It’s a rare year when one of our relatively diminutive NEC shows manages to take the fight to the mammoth Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, but this might just be one such year. Where Düsseldorf seemed a little starved for highlights, October’s NEC show looks like it’s going to be absolutely packed with exciting new ’vans.
We’ve already covered some of the bigger manufacturers in our news section, but my favourite bit of the show is exploring the stands of Britain’s army of plucky, small-volume camper converters, to see what sort of quirky new developments they’ve cooked up. These new small-volume models often remain secret until the NEC itself, but this year I’ve already got a couple of things to get excited about.
First, we have the WildAx Nexus. I’m a big fan of Yorkshire-based WildAx, and I am really excited to see their latest model, a two-berth that they’ve built on the very impressive new Renault Master base. The Nexus is apparently the first of a whole new range of conversions that WildAx will be producing on the Master – I can’t wait.
Then we have the Wheelhome Vikenze. Never one to rest on his laurels, Wheelhome’s founder Stephen Wheeler has devised a new Fiat Fiorino-based microcamper to complement his famed Skamper, which took the last two NEC shows by storm. Rather than the two-berth, slide-out rising roof arrangement of the Skamper, the Vikenze has a more conventional rising roof, and its layout has a side kitchen and a two-person dinette, which converts into a single bed. An additional berth can be specified in the roof. The Vikenze is more affordable than the Skamper (£23,895 vs £27,225), and has Romahome’s one-berth R10 Solo squarely in its sights.
Lastly, there’s the Phoenix FL from Shire Conversions in Knottingley. I was impressed by Shire’s Phoenix 3, which boasted of excellent build quality and attention to detail, so I’m very keen to see what the FL is like, although so far I don’t know anything about it, beyond the fact that it’s got a front lounge.
What NEC models are you most excited about seeing and why? Let us know in the comments.