Going to the Motorhome and Caravan Show? Here’s our pick of 10 must-see motorhomes you’ll be able to view at the NEC Birmingham from 14-19 October, 2014.
Your favourite motorhome magazine will be at the NEC show, of course. Pop along to see us in Hall 18, Stand 17A and say hi – you are all welcome! And don’t forget about the exclusive Practical Motorhome ticket offer*! Adult tickets are just £7.50, seniors £6.50, using our code PM5 when booking. Tickets include parking and a show guide. Doors open at 10am and the show closes at 6pm. Just click here, or call 0844 338 7799, and quote the promotion code PM5 to book and save money on your NEC show tickets. (*The NEC show ticket offer ends 23:59 hrs 13 October, 2014).
The Motorhome and Caravan Show is run by the National Caravan Council (NCC), and is arguably the most important show of the year. This is the best place to see the latest motorhomes, caravans, tents and outdoor equipment and place orders for 2015 models. At this show, motorhome and caravan manufacturers are proud to show off the very first of the 2015 ‘vans to come off the production line – and demonstrator models.
It’s a huge show, spanning many halls at The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. It’s well signposted, with fantastic transport links (click here) and the postcode for your sat-nav is B40 1NT.
This summer, Practical Motorhome’s expert reviewers have been to all the launches of 2015 motorhomes, held in Britain and Continental Europe. If you want to read more, we’ve a round up of the European brands, as well as detailed previews of the 2015 motorhomes for sale from Knaus, Hymer and Carado, Dethleffs and Sunlight, Adria, the Swift Group and others. We also attended the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. All this has given us a fantastic preview of the best new motorhomes that will be at the NEC Birmingham. So, whether you’re thinking of buying a motorhome or you just fancy a chance to see how the other half live, go to the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2014.In no particular order, here are our top 10 things not to miss at this year’s NEC show.
1 – Swift Esprit range
For 2015, the Swift Esprit range gets new streamlined bodyshells, overcab pods with a roof skylight and darkened windows. Internally, there’s a new ‘Aralie Sen’ wood finish, contemporary fabrics and new captain’s chairs with integrated head restraints, wider backrests and better side support. New to the range is the 494 – a four-berth with four travelling seats, a front dinette, a centre kitchen and washroom, and a transverse fixed-island bed boasting a Duvalay Duvalite mattress, a Swift Group exclusive. Find these in Hall 6, Stand 39.
2 – Auto-Trail’s new Imala range
The big news at Auto-Trail for 2015 is the launch of the new Imala range, giving the company a presence in the sub-£50,000 marketplace. With five models in the range, all except the 625 are available with Hi-line (overcab bed) or Lo-line (overcab storage). The 625 is High-line only. Three power outputs from the new Fiat Ducato X290 are available too; with the 130bhp being standard, and the 147bhp or 177bhp outputs as options. Auto-Trail is in Hall 6, Stand 10.
3 – Chausson Welcome on Ford Transit
Chausson is back with a bang with Ford’s new Transit base vehicle – or should that be ‘back with a Flash’? Chausson is producing its 2015 collection on both Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit base vehicles. Top UK Chausson dealer Lowdham Leisureworld is making things easy by keeping the Flash range Ford-based, with the more upmarket Welcomes riding on Fiats. Find Chausson in Hall 8, Stand 30.
4 – Bailey Approach Autograph 730
Without doubt, Bailey’s foray into the manufacture of motorhomes has been a tremendous success. The 2015 range features the well-established Alu-Tech body construction with a new lower profile, and the new Peugeot Boxer cab, together with a number of other tweaks. One of two new models for the 2015 season, the 730, is our pick. It has a rear bedroom with a transverse island bed, centre kitchen and washroom, and a spacious front lounge. Head to Hall 9, Stands 19 and 29.
5 – Auto-Sleeper Wave
Auto-Sleepers has expanded its range for the 2015 season following a very successful 2014, with the introduction of the new Wave and Wave HL models. Using the Mercedes-Benz Vito as the base vehicle, the company regards these as leisure utility vehicles – a daily drive and an ideal base for pursuing outdoor activities. The Wave has a colour-coded Reimo pop-top, while the Wave HL sports a GRP roof pod with an opening skylight, giving much greater headroom. You’ll find the company in Hall 6, Stands 55 and 49.
6 – Tribute on Fiat Ducato
Auto-Trail’s budget brand surprised many by building its 2015 collection in the new Fiat Ducato, and so ending its collaboration with Ford. Two van conversions are available, starting at £36,921 on the road, as well as five keenly priced coachbuilts. They look great value for money – see the new Tribute motorhomes and the new Auto-Trail range for yourself at the show! Visit Hall 7, Stand 20.
7 – Elddis 2015 motorhomes
The County Durham-based brand will be unveiling its 2015 motorhomes at the NEC show, having decided to keep its powder dry before the event. With the success of its Accordo range, launched in 2014, we’re expecting some more top-quality ’vans. Hall 20, Stands 19, 39 and 43 are the places to go.
8 – The new Swift Rio
Don’t miss this exciting new low-profile range of Swift motorhomes, with its distinctive opening tailgate. We reckon the Rio will be a big hit for Swift in 2015. Go to Hall 6, Stand 39.
9 – Adria Matrix Supreme 687 SBC
Based on the new Renault Master, Adria’s Matrix Supreme range is exciting enough. Pick of the range is the 687 SBC, which features a rear island bed with an en-suite washroom that is split across the middle of the ’van, and can be closed off from the spacious lounge. The lounge area is very bright and airy, thanks to a rooflight and skylight, and also features a drop-down bed. See it at the NEC Birmingham on Stand 77 in Hall 20.
10 – Rapido V55
The well-regarded French manufacturer has been busy innovating for 2015, with an ingenious system for configuring your bedroom furniture, called Mobily. Ask to see it being demonstrated – it’s very impressive. And further down the ranges, Rapido has gone all space-efficient in its excellent V55 van conversion, which features a swinging wardrobe (yes, really) that stows in the washroom when the washroom is not in use. Clever stuff! See it in action at Stand 40, in Hall 7.
And because there is just so much to see, our top 10 has now become a top 11!
11 – Learn how to drive a motorhome
Both newcomers and enthusiasts alike can benefit from these free taster sessions, run by The Caravan Club, on how to manoeuvre a motorhome. Book at The Caravan Club’s main stand in Hall 20 and don’t forget your driving licence (both parts, unless it’s the old style paper type).
We look forward to seeing you there at the NEC Birmingham!
Because there is just so much to see, our top 10 has now become a top 11!