Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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Don't miss the best new ’vans at the NEC! Check out the must-see motorhomes at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show, so you get the most from your visit

The country’s second biggest motorhome jamboree kicks off shortly!

Trouble is, being so huge, it can be easy to miss the latest releases and newest products – so we are here to help you get the best from your trip!

So if you are heading to the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC Birmingham (20 to 25 February 2018), here’s what not to miss.

All that’s left to do is to find your comfy shoes and head to the NEC – have a great time!

Covers come off new Baileys

Probably the biggest news at this show is the launch of a new range of Advance motorhomes from Bailey of Bristol.

Details of the hotly anticipated range – the slightly more entry-level of the two that Bailey produces – were still under wraps as we went to press.

Malibu comes to the UK

German brand Malibu was launched by Carthago as a more entry-level version of its main brand – to bring within the reach of ordinary mortals the luxury and quality that made Carthago’s name, but were only available to the very wealthy buyer.

Until now, it has been difficult to compare and contrast the two ranges because, in this country at least, the Malibu name has only been pasted on van conversions – and Carthago itself doesn’t make any of those.

Malibu low-profiles and A-classes were first mooted in 2016, and were in evidence at last August’s Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf – although we were told they would initially be trialled only in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

But now the launch seems to have been speeded up, because this February, the Malibu low-profile range is coming to Birmingham.

There are five low-profiles and five A-classes in the full range, all on Fiat Ducatos and with an MTPLM of 3500kg as standard.

In the low-profile models, the T410 is 6.66m long with a transverse bed, the T440 QB is 6.99m long with an island bed, and the 6.90m-long T430, 7.13m-long T440 LE and 7.20m-long T460 have fixed single beds.

The five A-classes mirror the low-profiles in numbering and layouts, but are 5cm longer.

Prices were unavailable as we went to press.

Lunar joins up with Fiat

After a couple of hiccups when it previously withdrew new models not long after launching them, Lunar has re-established itself as a manufacturer of coachbuilts with its Roadstar range.

While these were traditionally based on a Renault Master (in part because of widely reported delays in Fiat production), this show will see the launch of the first Roadstar built on the Ducato base vehicle.

The Roadstar SB is a fixed-single-beds model with an end washroom.

New Roller Team A-class

Italian brand Roller Team completely revamped its one A-class, the Pegaso 740, for the 2018 season.

This vehicle should be of particular interest to British buyers, because along with a very modern interior, it features a cab with a door on the ‘right’ side for UK drivers: the offside.

It’s the first A-class in the UK market to have such a feature – no more needing to slide over to the passenger seat to get out, or even climb back to use the habitation door.

At the NEC show this February, the Trigano Group manufacturer is going one stage further in bringing out a second A-class with the same feature.

And while the Pegaso 740 has a fairly standard layout for an A-class, with a rear island bed and a full lounge, the newcomer, the Pegaso 745, sounds rather more intriguing.

It has a rear lounge above a garage, complete with a slide-out TV. Don’t miss it!

Both ’vans are priced at £65,260 OTR.

Rolling Homes for five

Camper van maker Rolling Homes will be displaying the new five-seater version of its popular Columbus model, built on a short-wheelbase 102 Highline VW T6.

It comes with a 129cm-wide RIB bed that can comfortably seat three adults when you are on the move.

The new model is hot off the blocks, having only been completed at the end of last year.

For those of you worried about the powers that be and their increasingly punitive measures on diesel engines, Rolling Homes has taken advantage of the new T6 petrol version to build a Columbus based on it – this will also be on display at the NEC Birmingham.

New Hymer at Lowdhams

Despite there being no Hymer stand at the show, you can still see a new Hymer model.

The Lowdhams stand features the first UK appearance of the Hymer Supremeline 708.

A major attraction when it was unveiled at last August’s Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, this B-class model is part of a range designed to have a high double floor, which you can use for storage, and which houses the plumbing, wiring and water tanks.

With an MTPLM of 4500kg, this 7.79m-long model has an island bed in the rear and a full lounge up front. It costs £90,730 OTR.

Glossop dealer special motorhomes

Glossop Caravans is well known for its spruced-up dealer specials of the caravans it sells.

Now it’s hoping to spread some of this magic, by bringing out its first motorhome dealer specials.

Based on the Swift Escape and Elddis Autoquest ranges respectively, Glossop’s Celebration and Chatsworth line-ups feature their own upholstery: bold browns and oranges in the Celebration, and a paler blue and grey floral pattern in the Chatsworth.

Both ranges come with a long list of extras. In the Celebration, this includes a black metallic cab, external mains socket, shower and barbecue point, a leather steering wheel, a reversing camera, an awning and an Omnivent.

As extras, Chatsworths get alloy wheels, a bike rack, a SkyView cab roof, those same external sockets, an awning and more.

Harbouring a launch

Harbour Creek’s stand will feature two new Westfalia van conversion models – the Kepler 1 for the 2018 season, not seen in the UK before and its cousin, the altogether new Kepler 6.

Based on the LWB Volkswagen T6, the Kepler 6 includes a side kitchen and separate travel seats that are fixed to rails on the floor.

With an optional pop-up roof, it can sleep up to four people.

Both ’vans costs £52,995 OTR.

A myriad of motorhome awnings!

There should be a fair amount to see on the awnings front at the NEC, in particular from one of the most widely trusted names in the field, Isabella.

Traditionally a manufacturer of pole awnings, it broke into the inflatable air awnings market a few years ago with its sister brand Ventura.

For 2018, the firm has considerably extended its air offering with a range of four awnings, two of which are for motorhomes and all of which are made of Isabella fabric.

The Simplex is a full awning with an attached floor and sewn-in curtains for easy assembly and dismantling.

It also has an inner tent in breathable material, attachments for LED strips and reflective guy ropes.

The Vivo, meanwhile, is a more substantial, more traditionally shaped awning, complete with a small canopy at the front, and a front panel that can be rolled to the side.

It has attachable flooring as an option.

New Kampa awnings

Kampa, not to be outdone, will feature three new awnings. These include the Motor Rally AIR Pro 300, a drive-away version of its popular Rally model, which can be put up in minutes from the standard Kampa single inflation point.

It also has the company’s new dual-pitch roof, designed to allow rainwater to flow away more easily and to give extra headroom inside.

Look out, too, for the Travel Pod Trip Air, a 290cm x 280cm awning designed more for camper vans, which gives you a little extra space for sports equipment or outdoor furniture.

It also includes a clip-in waterproof groundsheet.

The Travel Pod Touring Classic AIR VW is designed, as its name implies, to provide more living space for VW camper van owners.

Its breathable polycotton fabric reduces condensation and should make the interior cooler.

It includes a large canopy at the front and comes with a four-berth inner tent.

Prima Awnings, part of Bailey of Bristol, is likely to be launching new awnings on its stand, but details were still under wraps as we went to press.

Finally, don’t miss Grove Products’ flower-shaped stand (with awnings as petals and accessories in the middle).

This should include its full range of Trigano awnings, including the Hawaii XL Motorhome.

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