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The website www.motorhomewifi.com has a range of WiFi antennas and other devices, including 3G sims and dongles, to help you get online easily. They have recently (April 2013) compiled a useful table to compare the 3G data roaming charges for different operators.
Motorhome WiFi was setup in April 2012 by Adam and partner Sophie after a 12 month tour around Europe in their Adria Twin motorhome.
When they left in 2011 they took a whole host of different WiFi devices, adapters and mounts with the hope that some of them would help them to stay connected on the road. Motorhome WiFi is the result of nearly a years daily WiFi usage and experimentation across 21 different countries in Europe along with a genuine passion to help others.
Vanmaster in Administration
Vanmaster Ltd have gone into administration as of Monday 29 April 2013. Vanmaster Caravans bought the Bentley Motorhomes brand last September after it went into administration and it appears that both brands are affected.
The following statement has been issued by the administrators:
Vanmaster Ltd statement 30.04.13
James Sleight and Geoffrey Martin of Geoffrey Martin & Co have been appointed as joint administrators of Vanmaster Ltd, which operates under the trading styles of Vanmaster Caravans and Bentley Motorhomes. The company employed 20 people on two sites in Wigan. All staff have been made redundant as ongoing production is not possible. James Sleight, partner at Geoffrey Martin & Co, said: “The business entered administration due to a drop in orders and supplier issues which affected production. We are hopeful that a buyer can be found, as we believe that either or both businesses could be complementary to existing manufacturers or retailers.” Anyone with outstanding deposits and orders, or with questions about warranties and servicing, should contact Geoffrey Martin & Co on 0113 244 5141.
Management buyout at Swift Group
News has emerged of a management buyout at Swift Group, it took place in July last year (2012) but has only just been announced.
The buyout, by a senior management team, has been funded by a bank loan and a significant investment by existing shareholders.
The team, headed by Managing Director James Turner, take the majority stake from Peter Smith, who prior to the restructure was chairman, and Keith Brayshaw, who was the financial director. They will retain a significant investment in the company but will not be involved in the day-to-day running.
Read more: this is Hull and East Riding
IH Motorhomes Celebrate 20th Anniversary
IH Motorhomes have had an incredible start to 2013.
Ian Hartley IH Motorhomes MD
“Its a testament to the current climate whereby customers are putting their faith in high quality British designed and engineered products, we have always been confident that our customers place ease of ownership, bespoke design, engineering and strong re-sale values at the top of their list of priorities when choosing a Motorhome that fits their lifestyle, our recent sales success would confirm that we are on the right track” said IH Motorhome’s founder and managing director Ian Hartley.
Ian Hartley and Ian Birdsall
Welcome to Ian Birdsall
IH Motorhomes are please to announced the purchase of a significant shareholding in the Company by Ian Birdsall, this will not only bring financial security to the business but will also enable development of new initiatives, distribution structure and enhanced customer support. Ian Birdsall has more than 30 years experience in developing and operating successful businesses within the specialised leisure industry, and is currently Vice President of International Business with MasterCraft Boats, the World’s leading Manufacturer of prestige performance Power Boats with a global dealer network in more than 40 countries, and a reputation for building outstanding products for over 45 years.
“IH Motoromes is all about building the finest product in its class whilst providing the highest levels of customer service, of course recently times have been hard for the Motorhome industry as a whole, however we know our customers are very discerning individuals who place a high value on their leisure activities, I am therefore confident the time is right to progress the development and strength of this iconic British Brand, our team are dedicated to this, we will bring to market an evolving range of products over the next five years combining luxury appointments with technical superiority in an environmentally conscious evolution that is in line with our customers’ expectations” said Ian Birdsall
These recent developments provide a solid future and ensure IH Motorhomes continues to maintain its position as the most desirable Brand available both today and in the years ahead.
Full Details of the IH Motorhomes range of luxury campers - www.ihmotorhomes.com
Kimberley Caravans & Motorhomes add Hymer's Carado motorhomes to their range
available at the Burtree site
Kimberley Caravans & Motorhomes, who recently won Practical Caravans Owner
Satisfaction gold award for the supply of new caravans, continue to expand into the
motorhome industry with the addition of Carado motorhomes. Michael and Chris Lowe,
owners of Kimberley Caravans, were approached by Hymer in early 2012 when they first
acquired the Burtree site. After continued success throughout 2012, they now branch out
into Carado and also introduce the new 2013 range of Hymer.
Alongside Hymer's premium quality vehicles, Carado rounds off the company's
overall range in the budget market sector. Carado motorhomes are very modestly priced
starting from £38,495 and come in sizes ranging from 2 to 6 berth. With a maximum mass
of 3500kg, they are accessible to all drivers. The new range is set to wow customers with
unbeatable value for money and a distinctive feel-at-home ambience. You can choose from
a selection of layouts from the semi-integrated range (T-models) and the coach-build range
(A-models). Small but thoughtful touches include larger beds, memory foam mattresses,
panoramic windows and of course excellent build quality throughout.
Chris Lowe said of the appointment: "I am delighted to be able to offer another
quality made range to our customers and this price range is definitely going to be very
The launch of the new 2013 range of Hymers welcomes 10 new models to the
company's Burtree site. The site is in a good location just off the A1 at J58, with several
National Parks nearby and offers an overnight stay for customers on collection day.
Kimberley Caravans & Motorhomes
Burtree Gate, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 2XZ
EXCELLENT ATTENDANCE AT FIRST NCC EVENTS SPRING CARAVAN & CAMPING SHOW
The first ever Spring Caravan & Camping Show at Birmingham's NEC is being hailed as a massive success after attracting 83,854* visitors and healthy sales, despite a very tough economic climate.
The brand new Show, organised by NCC Events, ran at the Central England venue for six days from Tuesday 19th to Sunday 24th February, and occupied four halls (60,000 sq m in total).
Launched in March last year, The Spring Caravan & Camping Show is a regional showcase catering for newcomers to camping, caravanning and motorhoming as well as existing enthusiasts looking to purchase new models, leisure accessories and camping gear, and to research new holiday destinations, attractions and service providers.
The Show also provided a comprehensive display of holiday homes and lodges marking the start of the holiday park season.
The industry's major manufacturers all supported the Show, distinguishing it from other dealer focused regional events. Exhibitors included ABI, Bailey, Coachman, Elddis, Lunar, Swift and Trigano, who all used it to display brand new mid-season launches as well as best selling ranges.
Many companies exceeded their Show sales targets and there were reports of fewer than expected trade-ins suggesting that many sales were coming from newcomers to the market.
Advance ticket sales had reached 43,158 by the start of the Show and walk up attendance remained consistently high throughout the week, reaching an incredible total visitor attendance of 20,469 on Saturday (23rd).
With half term holiday dates and a desire to attract families and newcomers to the holiday pastime, NCC Events themed free show features on popular outdoor activities that could be enjoyed on a camping or caravanning holiday.
Visitors could 'have-a-go' at climbing on the Rockface Challenge, angling on 'Rod and Reel', kayaking or water zorbing on the 'Paddles Up!' indoor pool, pick up BBQ recipe ideas in 'Campsite Cookery' in association with Calor Gas and learn all about wild birds, reptiles and creepy crawlies in the 'One-to-One' with Wildlife theatre in association with Dudley Zoological Gardens.
Experts from the TV and sporting worlds were enlisted to stage live presentations at each of the features with a different personality attending each day. They included BBC 'Operation Iceberg' presenter and extreme adventurer Andy Torbet, cook, author and broadcaster Valentine Warner, wildlife TV presenters Kate Humble, Nick Baker and Julia Bradbury and London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalists in the canoe slalom Tim Baillie MBE and Etienne Stott MBE.
The Caravan Club staged a 'Club Day' on opening day with discounted entry and entertainment for members, including a performance by Strictly Come Dancing Duo 'Vincent & Flavia'. They also supported the Show by offering free Motorhome Manoeuvring courses.
The Camping and Caravanning Club launched it's 'Clean Washrooms Guaranteed' initiative with TV personality Kim Woodburn from 'How Clean is Your House' on opening day and on ‘Friendly Friday’, offered members discounted entry to the Show and a day of events including talks from mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE. In association with Volvo UK, exhibitors and the official tow car sponsor of the Show, the Camping and Caravanning Club also provided visitors with free expert towing tips from behind the wheel.
Says John Lally, CEO NCC Events, "This brand new Show has exceeded all expectations. There has been a great atmosphere in the halls all week and everyone has pulled out all the stops to ensure visitors enjoyed themselves and didn't go away empty handed.
"Our aim has been to provide a Show with high quality products and great choice for enthusiasts whilst attracting families and also newcomers to caravanning and camping in a bid to grow the market. Feedback from attendance and our exhibitors suggests we have achieved our aim.
"This is a brand new Show and we have already identified areas for improvement in 2014 to encourage visitors to return year on year to purchase."
The Spring Caravan & Camping Show will return to the NEC from 18th – 23rd February 2014.
NCC Events will now turn its attention to the industry's National Show, The Motorhome & Caravan Show which returns to the NEC from 15th – 20th October 2013.
*excluding exhibitors and press, ABC audited.
COMMENTS FROM EXHIBITORS
Auto Sleepers exceeded their sales objectives. Discerning buyers were evident in good numbers especially during the week. All models on display sold in good volumes with Broadway and panel-van conversions selling exceptionally well.
David Williams –Sales Director
Congratulations to the team at NCC Events, the organisers of the Show. We were very encouraged by the number of daily visitors and were extremely pleased with the sales volumes of our 2013 range of motorhomes.
Scott Stephens- General Sales and Marketing Manager
Bailey of Bristol
The Spring Caravan & Camping Show has been a great way to kick off 2013. The new layout works really well and has ensured good traffic flow around the halls. There are a large number of families visiting the Show many of which have not used a caravan or motorhome before and are here to buy their very first vehicle. The Show has proved to be an excellent event to Showcase our 2013 touring caravans, motorhomes and leisure homes and we feel it will certainly encourage new people to join us now and in the future.
Nick Howard – Managing Director
The Camping and Caravanning Club
NCC Events delivered strong visitor numbers and a quality array of exhibitors and feature areas which has helped generate a positive vibe ahead of the new camping and caravanning season. We used the show to re-launch our Eat Local campaign and showcase our new Clean Washrooms Guarantee and Club Perks initiatives plus a whole lot more and it was pleasing to see 'Friendly Friday' go down a storm with so many people, who had nothing but praise for what we are trying to achieve as a Club.
Jon Dale – Senior Communications Manager
NCC Events, the Show Organisers, have delivered a quality audience to their new Spring Caravan & Camping Show resulting in a high volume of sales well above expectations.
Verle Hibbs - Marketing Manager
Dorema UK Ltd
A perfect Show which far outweighed our expectations. Well done to all involved. We cannot wait for the next Show.
Darren Butlin – MD
There has been a real buzz to the Show...We have enjoyed it, our customers have enjoyed it and more importantly we have had terrific sales
Liz Colleran- Sales and Marketing Director
The Show has been a great success and has given us a good feeling at the start of the new season. The advertising and organization have been fantastic and attendance better that expected.
Alan McCarthy - Marketing Manager
The Show has provided a fantastic platform for the exciting launch of our new Vacanza Camper Car. There has been a very high level of interest in both our Vacanza and our range of tourers.
Lea Lawrence – Marketing Manager
The UK's largest dealer network, reported better than expected sales across the whole portfolio of its new franchise products. Our entry-level special edition models were the cornerstone of volume sales for Marquis. To our surprise a much lower number of part-exchanges were traded in suggesting new buyers were entering the market.
Alan Buckwell - Sales Director
'We have seen a fantastic audience of good quality customers in the right frame of mind to purchase accessories ready for the new season. We are looking forward to coming back in October'.
Rick Gorton - UK Sales and Marketing Director
Sat Nav Warehouse
The Spring Caravan & Camping Show is officially our best event in the 6 years of trading and we have already pre-booked for 2014. Organisation is slick and feedback from customers suggests there is enough here to keep them coming back for years to come!
Phil Powell- Managing Director
Congratulations to NCC Events for delivering an exceptional Show with amazing attendance figures. As the UK Number one manufacturer, we are delighted with our sales performance...Our Strategy of delivering top quality, great value products at affordable prices is well on track to give us a great year.
Nick Page – Commercial Director
We at Tappers Upholstery have had an excellent response from the public and trade with many requests for quotes and a large number of orders placed. We have been pleased with the large number of visitors and we are looking forward to the next Show in October, hopefully with the same response.
Richard Tapper - Owner
The Motorhome Show
Bath & West Showground - Shepton Mallet, Somerset - 12th to 14th April
The indoor show for outdoor people.........
As the show season fast approaches, it'll soon be time for the fourth April Motorhome Show. Being held at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet in Somerset, BA4 6QN from the 12th - 14th April. Featuring all the latest Motorhomes from the leading manufacturers and a host of accessories, gizmos and gadgets that enhance our enjoyment of the outdoor lifestyle.
Visitors will be able to see a whole raft of new 2013 models as they wander through the halls that house the exhibition, as well as many outdoor exhibits nestled around the halls. In addition to the exhibition itself, many clubs choose the show as the venue for their first rally of the New Year. A good chance to catch up with old friends and discuss what's new. For those staying the long weekend we have two New Year party nights with a live cabaret style entertainment on the Friday and Saturday evenings.
Day entry costs are £5 per adult in advance online from www.seetickets.com/themotorhomeshow (£7.50 on the day). Day car parking is free and children accompanied by parents also come in free. The show opens at 9-30am and closes at 5pm. Those who wish to stay for the weekend can book on 020 8302 6150 or pay on the gate when they arrive and visit the show as often as they like and go to the free evening entertainment. From Thursday onwards the cost is £40 and from Friday onwards it's just £35. It's a great show with great deals. For more information visit www.TheMotorhomeShow.com
Caravan Club News - New Sites and Great Offers mean fantastic news for Scotland
The Caravan Club is scheduled to open its new site at Stonehaven, Queen Elizabeth Park on 5 July this year. A picturesque seaside location, it's ideal for family holidays and will provide 77 pitches, equating to approximately 9,500 pitch nights for 2013; more will be available in 2014 when it will be operating from March to November.
Local attractions include an Olympic sized, open air swimming pool and paddling pool, heated and fed by seawater. Fishing villages, a variety of restaurants and Dunnottar Castle are all situated close by. For those wishing to experience some city culture, the town’s railway is part of the mainline link to Edinburgh so plenty of opportunity to see more of the sights of Scotland. Stonehaven is also located just 15 miles south of Aberdeen.
This is the second new site The Club has added to its network in Scotland in less than a year, following the opening of Strathclyde Country Park Caravan Club site, near Glasgow, in November 2012 which is open all year round to members as well as non-members. This brings the total number of Caravan Club sites in Scotland to 30, with 121 Certificated Locations (small, maximum 5 van sites) also on the site network. Lying in 400 hectares of parkland, just 15 miles from the bustling city centre of Glasgow, there are plenty of attractions and events to suit all ages including sites of historic interest and a nearby theme park for the children. The Country Park includes activities such as sailing, kayaking, bike hire and much more.
The popularity of touring in Scotland is on the increase and following requests from its members, The Caravan Club has recently introduced a flat-rate fee offer on three of its Scottish sites, providing even greater value when travelling north of the border and enticing members to experience the delights of these beautiful, remote and scenic locations. Caravan Club member and TV wildlife presenter, Simon King says, "I like to feel as close to the wild world as possible and that is where the caravan comes in. No other accommodation gets me into the heart of the action with so much comfort and flexibility. Scotland offers an abundance of wildlife that can be
seen among some of the most stunning scenery. I am delighted that The Caravan Club is helping its members discover the many hidden wonders of this beautiful part of the country."
In the north-west, Kinlochewe, close to Loch Maree, now costs just £15 per night for two adults including pitch all year round. Brora – a lovely coastal site in the north-east, costs £18, and beautiful Dunnet Bay in the north costs just £17 for two adults.
Another deal covering two more wonderful Scottish sites – Clachan next to Loch Tay and Altnaharra on the banks of Loch Naver – now offer The Club's 'Only Eleven' deal, which means the all-inclusive fee for a standard pitch, including electricity or economy pitch with no electricity, is just £11 per night.
With all these great value offers and so many sights to discover, there has never been a better time to visit Scotland. Ellen Shotts, Product Development Manager for The Caravan Club says, "These Caravan Club offers are great news for both the Scottish tourer and those visiting from further afield. It's hoped that even more Caravan Club members will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of Scotland as a result."
As Europe’s premier touring organisation, The Caravan Club represents the interests of over one million caravanners, motorhomers and trailer tent owners. For more information visit The Club's award-winning website at www.caravanclub.co.uk and www.discovertouring.co.uk
Lunar Caravans are producing motorhomes again after a gap of several years. Their first offering is the Lunar Vacanza, which is a compact campervan based on the Nissan NV200 Combi.
The new model was launched on the first day of the Spring Caravan and Camping Show at the NEC on 19th February.
The Vacanza offers 4 belted seats and will sleep 2 adults and 2 children. The front seats swivel, and together with the folded rear seats and a thin inflatable 'mattress', make up a 6ft long double bed. 2 single childs bunks fold out in the pop up roof. It also has a fridge, hob, grill, and sink, plus Webaso diesel heating.
The Vacanza is just 4.4m long and with a fuel consumption quoted at over 50mpg and Road Tax at £120/year it is undoubtably economical to run and fulfills the function of a family car and compact camper.
Prices start at £29,995 for the base model.
CAMPING AND CARAVANNING CLUB LAUNCHES SITESEEKER APP
The Camping and Caravanning Club is now offering campers, detailed site information at their fingertips as it officially launches its SiteSeeker App – the perfect travel companion!
And it seems users agree as the Club has recorded over 3,300 online downloads in just two days and this number is only expected to rise as the summer camping season approaches.
The smartphone application is available on iOS and Android devices and allows holidaymakers to search for Camping and Caravanning Club Sites and Camping in the Forest Sites based on pitch requirement or their location.
Results can be filtered further by price or on-site facilities – and favourite sites can even be saved - making it easier for campers to find their perfect pitch.
Clear and concise contact information, including location details on an interactive map, for all of the Club's 109 Club Sites and 20 Camping in the Forest Sites is included.
And the good news continues as Club members also receive exclusive access to over 1,500 secluded Certificated Sites by unlocking the service with their Club membership number on their first visit to the application.
The SiteSeeker App is now available for download from the App Store and Google Play. Visit www.myccc.co.uk/app for more information.
Evleen Price, the Club's Senior Digital Manager, is delighted to be able to offer holidaymakers the new service and she said: "In this digital era, it's important for the Club to continue to expand and improve its services. The new SiteSeeker App is a welcome addition to the Club and it will certainly help campers when they're trying to find their perfect pitch.
"Much thought has gone into its design; as many of our campers will know, it's not always easy to find an internet connection or a 3G signal when out exploring in the great outdoors, so we've made sure that our app can be used both online and offline to give holidaymakers additional flexibility when on the move."
For more information, visit the Club's website: http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/newsandevents/club-app/
MOTORHOME INSURANCE SPECIALIST LAUNCHES BESPOKE NEW TRAVEL INSURANCE PRODUCTS TO MEET CUSTOMERS NEEDS
Obtaining affordable travel insurance is now much easier for motorhomers with pre-existing medical conditions or who are over 65 thanks to a new travel insurance product launched by the UK's leading leisure insurance specialist.
The New Year is the perfect time to start planning your next holiday and travel insurance should always be at the top of your list. Shield Total Insurance has been helping motorhomers holiday happily and safely for 16 years and it’s now teamed up with travel insurance specialist, International Travel and Healthcare Ltd to provide affordable and flexible travel insurance cover to meet the needs of its customers.
According to Stuart Craig, Shield's Sales and Marketing Manager, many people get into motorhoming because they have a medical condition, which means obtaining travel insurance is complicated, costly and inconvenient – that they fall in love with it is a bonus!
He says, "It's not always their only type of holiday and, sometimes, motorhomers want to venture further afield than their own home turf so we’ve made it easier for those with pre-existing medical conditions and who are over 65 to obtain good value insurance without jumping through hoops or cutting the level of cover.
"Unlike non-specialist insurance providers, we understand the specific needs of motorhomers and should something happen on your holidays, we’ll take care of you," he adds.
Motorhomers can now find the following secure, online travel insurance cover by visiting the Shield Total Insurance website:
The new Shield travel insurance products can be found on the website - www.shieldtotalinsurance.co.uk/travel-insurance
Bently Motorhomes Resume Production
Vanmaster have now completed the build of the first Bentley Motorhome since their take over 4 months ago, a Bentley Cerise.
Almost complete is an Amber along with an Indigo which be exhibited on the Vanmaster Bentley stand at the February NEC Show.
As a special promotion to celebrate the launch the on the road price of all three models has been reduced by £4,000 giving the price of an Indigo at £43,950 and a Cerise and Amber both at £42,995.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a new Bentley Motorhome please contact Vanmaster Bentley on 01942 212 194 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 UK MOTORHOME & CARAVAN SHOWS ANNOUNCED
Organisers Event Developments Ltd have announced the 2013 dates for their 3 annual shows, including plans to extend their UK Spring Motorhome & Caravan Show to a 3-day event at Newark Showground on March 22nd – 24th at no extra cost to weekend campers or traders!
Over 150 trade stands will be on display at the Spring Show, plus free evening entertainment for weekend campers includes fantastic musical tributes to Stevie Wonder and The Drifters, plus rockabilly band 'The Houndogs', comedy pickpocket 'Keith The Thief', comedian Josh Daniels and much, much more.
Elsewhere, the UK Summer Motorhome Show returns to the picturesque Shrewsbury Showground on 6th & 7th July, with the addition of family entertainment including aerobatic displays, falconry, bike displays and boat trips. Outdoor Summer evening concerts for weekend campers include 'The Greatest' Take That tribute and the spectacular 'AbbaMania' live show.
The UK Autumn Motorhome & Caravan Show rounds off the season back at Newark Showground on Saturday 31st August & Sunday 1st September. Spectacular evening entertainment at this event includes a Tom Jones tribute show by the world's number one look-alike, plus international tribute 'The Counterfeit Beatles'. Hilarious comedian Martin Gold also returns to the show by popular demand, together with magician Keith King.
The Spring, Summer & Autumns Shows all feature a massive selection of trade stands including new and used motorhome and caravan dealers, plus all manner of motorhome and caravan accessories.
Weekend camping at any of these 3 shows is priced at just £40 per pitch, including superb free evening entertainment. Club rally areas are also available – please ask your rally secretary to phone for details of club discounts. For more details contact Event Developments Ltd on 01775 723723
Caravan Club buys Alan Rogers
The Caravan Club is pleased to announce that on 5th October 2012 it purchased the Mark Hammerton Group; under Club ownership it will be known as The Alan Rogers Travel Group.
The Club is delighted to be able to add the extensive range of travel products, expertise and service to its already renowned Travel Service. This acquisition is a strategic move for The Club to enable it to grow its Overseas Travel Service offering for members and to further strengthen its position as market-leader. The acquisition of The Alan Rogers Travel Group will ensure Club members have a greater choice of travel products and services.
Nick Lomas, Director General of The Caravan Club, and now Managing Director of The Alan Rogers Travel Group, says, "The Caravan Club's acquisition of The Alan Rogers Travel Group has combined two market-leading brands which will further enhance The Club's Travel Service offering for its members. Together the two organisations can build an array of unbeatable travel products and services."
The Caravan Club is Europe's premier touring organisation representing the interests of over one million caravanners, motorhomers and trailer tenters.
The Alan Rogers Travel Group is a UK market leader: it is the publisher of the Alan Rogers Guides; provides extensive campsite information; sells sites and ferry crossings and is the exclusive UK agent for Camping Cheque. It also owns Belle France, a specialist French tour operator, a digital media company and has a Dutch office that sells media opportunities to individual campsites.
Vanmaster buys Bentley Motorhomes Ltd
The award winning motorhome manufacturer Bentley Motorhomes, which recently went into administration, has been aquired by the Wigan based caravan manufacturer Vanmaster.
Vanmaster bought the Bentley name and assets from administrator Begbies Traynor. Bentley Motorhomes Ltd, which operated from Swinton Meadow Industrial Estate, employed 26 staff and last year had a turnover of £2.4m. It went into administration in August following a significant reduction in sales.
We understand that when production restarts it will be at a lower volume and that the company will sell direct to consumers.
The following press release was issued on 4th September:
The Wigan based caravan manufacturer Vanmaster is pleased to announce that it has now acquired Bentley Motorhomes.
The directors of Vanmaster are currently working with suppliers and other interested parties with the objective of recommencing production at Bentley’s Mexborough factory and an announcement is expected within the next two weeks.
Lesley Thompson of Vanmaster, said "this is a unique opportunity for two award winning companies involved in the manufacture of high quality caravans and motorhomes to work together to continue to innovate and deliver positive customer experiences". She added that the management team is working extremely hard in trying to ensure that warranties relating to the current owners of Bentley Motorhomes are supported.
C1 DRIVING LICENCE TEST TO BE EASIER FOR NON-COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
[30/8/12 - Updated February 2013]
A draft amendment to the EC 3rd Directive on Driving Licences should mean that it will be easier for drivers of privately used vehicles to obtain a C1 licence (required for driving vehicles of between 3500kg and 7500kg GVW). Drivers who passed a normal car test after 31/12/1996 do not have the C1 category on their licence and currently must pass a C1 goods vehicle test in order to drive any vehicle of between 3500kg and 7500kg GVW.
The proposal is that where driving is not the principal activity of the driver, i.e. it is solely for personal or leisure purposes, there should be no requirement to demonstrate knowledge of the rules and equipment applicable to the professional transport sector.
A separate C1 test is proposed, and the C1 licence category will be issued with a new restriction code (97) indicating that only private use is permitted.
This easing of the testing requirement should reduce the need for motorhome manufacturers to build vehicles with a GVW of 3500kg or less.
Member states must incorporate the amendment into national legislation before 31/12/2013, in the UK the Driving Standards Agency have stated that they plan to consult on the changes in May 2013.
ExCeL Show Cancelled
ExCeL confirmed to us this morning that the Event Manager for The Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show, due to be held at ExCeL 12-17 February 2013 has told them that the show is not now going ahead.
Today (13/8/12) NCC Events have released a press release confirming the cancellation:
MOTORHOME, CARAVAN & CAMPING SHOW WILL NOT RETURN TO
EXCEL IN 2013
LOGISTICAL ISSUES END EXCEL'S ROLE AS HOST OF INDUSTRY’S SOUTHERN SHOW
NCC Events has announced that it will not stage The Motorhome, Caravan & Camping Show at ExCeL London in 2013.
The decision to cancel the 2013 Show was taken after in-depth consultation with the venue and the Industry identified insurmountable logistical issues regarding the movement and storage of a vast amount of valuable exhibitor product during the build-up and breakdown of the event.
The lack of suitable onsite camping and the venue's location within the costly LEZ (Low Emission Zone) was also considered to limit the venue's suitability to host a consumer Show of this kind in the long term.
NCC Events Chairman, Anthony Trevelyan said, "ExCeL is a magnificent venue and, as we have witnessed during the Olympics, provides a world class visitor experience. As a result, it is subject to ongoing expansion and, in recent years, in excess of 40,000 square metres of the campus has been converted to hall space and there are plans for even further development.
"Space that was allocated in 2012 for the movement and safe storage of around 650 valuable exhibitor caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes cannot now be guaranteed moving forwards. Without this space, the build-up and breakdown of the Show is not feasible. We have no option but to cancel the 2013 Show and seek another venue."
The inaugural Motorhome, Caravan & Camping Show was held at ExCeL in February 2012 and was the first regional show if it’s kind in the South for six years. More than 300 companies exhibited at the Show and attendance levels exceeded 43,000 over six days.
Also influencing the decision was feedback from exhibitors that revealed apprehension regarding the impact the rising cost of accommodation, food and transport around the venue could have on future return-on-investment, particularly in light of current economic challenges.
Consumers also felt the pinch, and despite a greatly reduced ticket price compared to other consumer caravan shows, feedback highlighted that the lack of onsite camping facilities plus the venue's location within the costly LEZ would limit the Show's potential for long term growth.
Says Trevelyan, "The decision to cancel the 2013 event has not been taken lightly and it is not a criticism of ExCeL's visitor facilities. We have demonstrated that there is a desire and a requirement for a well run, Industry supported Southern show and we are committed to delivering it. The caravan Industry and its consumer base have unique requirements; we are actively seeking an alternative venue in the South to stage the Show and this will most likely have to be a collaborative approach with a venue than can be adapted to meet them."
David Pegler, Managing Director at ExCeL London said; "We are obviously disappointed not to be welcoming the Show back for a second year but understand how important it is for show organisers to meet the requirements of their target audiences."
NCC Events will now focus its efforts on delivering the Industry's national showcase, The Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC in Birmingham from 16-21 October 2012.
Motorhomes not welcome at Asda?
We hear that, after receiving a
£60 parking 'fine' for not parking his campervan exactly within a parking bay at the Weston super Mare branch of Asda, the owner appealed to the customer services at the store but was was told 'if you can't park in the bay don't stop'.
Quite a contrast to Asda's parent company Walmart's policy of letting motorhomes stay overnight on the parking lots of it's stores in America.
Digital Agenda: New price caps for mobile data roaming expected to save families over €200 each year and business travellers over €1000
From 1 July 2012, the European Union's mobile roaming regulation will be extended to include price caps for data downloads which will mean significant savings for those using maps, email and social networks when travelling.
For a typical businessperson travelling in the EU this will mean savings of over €1000 per year. A family taking an annual holiday in another EU country can expect to save at least €200.
Overall, the improved EU roaming regulation – taking into account calls, SMS and data - will deliver consumers savings of 75% across a range of mobile roaming services, compared to 2007 prices.
This year Europeans will spend around €5 billion on roaming services, a saving of around €15 billion compared to what the same services would have cost under 2007 prices.
The new prices caps, which will enter into force on 1 July 2012, are:
29 cents per minute to make a call, plus VAT
8 cents per minute to receive a call, plus VAT
9 cents to send a text message, plus VAT
70 cents per Megabyte (MB) to download data or browse the Internet whilst travelling abroad (charged per Kilobyte used), plus VAT.
Full information here
Department for Transport approve 'no parking' sign for motorhomes
The DfT have authorised a new traffic sign to regulate the parking of motor caravans.
Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 - Sections 64 and 65 - Authorisation of Traffic Signs and Special Directions, authorisation number GT50/013/0014 dated 16/3/2012 approves the use of this sign.
References to the time of day, day of the week, month, bank or public holidays may be added varied or omitted. The direction of the arrow may be varied or it may be omitted.
Sadly they don't seem to be interested in helping those councils who want to allocate specific parking for motorhomes by authorising a sign to indicate dedicated motor caravan parking places.
New aire opens in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland
Local motorhome enthusiast Chris
Quinn, who is spearheading the drive to improve facilities for
across Northern Ireland, said:
"Motorhome Tourists and members of the
many motorhome clubs in Ireland will be delighted that Ards Borough has
taken the step to open an aire in Donaghadee.
As Chair of The Motorhome
Association I would like to thank Mr Jim Shannon for his support, as a
Councillor, then as an Mla and now as my MP, who organised meetings and
came along to support driving forward this valuable tourist facility.
This will promote much needed tourism in this area. Our thanks to Ards Councillors for their support and foresight in getting this facility
up and running . Also Ards Tourism Officers Rosemary Richardson and
Sharon Mahaffy for their constant help in aquiring the unit and getting it installed. My thanks also goes to Donaghadee Chamber of Trade and independant shops cafes and pubs / restaurants for embracing this Europe wide facility. The scenic views and the close proximity to the villiage are ideal.
We in the Motorhome Fraternity look forward to
spending time and money in the shops and pubs of this pretty village and in the surrounding peninsula.
For those in the hospitality industry, The
Quays Portavogie, and the salt water Brig Kircubbin, who continue to give
us a warm welcome and permission to park overnight, we look forward to many more happy stays with them and look forward to the official motorhome signage being agreed upon.
Looking to the future
we would hope that more councils will embrace motorhome
tourism and provide a network of parking for motorhome tourists, who tour twelve months of the year, and reap the benefits in their local towns and villages."
This aire, along with the 4 others already open in Northern Ireland, is included in our listing of UK Motorhome Stopovers.
NCC EVENTS EXTENDS SHOW PORTFOLIO
NEW SPRING CARAVAN & CAMPING SHOW TO BE STAGED
AT NEC BIRMINGHAM IN 2013
In response to demand from both the industry and consumers, NCC Events has extended its portfolio with the launch of a new regional show, The Spring Caravan & Camping Show, which will run from 19th - 24th February 2013 at the NEC, Birmingham.
The Spring Caravan & Camping Show will welcome newcomers to camping, caravanning and motorhoming as well as existing enthusiasts looking to purchase new models, leisure accessories and camping gear, and to research new holiday destinations, attractions and service providers.
The Show will also include a dedicated feature area showcasing a comprehensive display of holiday homes and lodges as the event's timing marks the start of the new holiday park season.
This new Show will offer caravanners in the Midlands the opportunity to attend a Spring showcase on their doorstep and the NEC's easily accessible Central England location will also open the event up to those willing to travel from further afield.
The Spring Caravan & Camping Show will have a strong bias to holiday home and lodge products as this is perfect timing for the new holiday park season. The show has the support of the industry's major manufacturers and dealers as well as both member organisations, The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club, who will both stage entertaining and informative Show features to deliver added value to the visitor experience.
Says NCC Events Chairman, Anthony Trevelyan, "By working closely with all areas of the industry and both Clubs, the consumer's best interest are catered for - which is what exhibitions should be about."
NCC Events currently organises the Industry's National Show The Motorhome & Caravan Show, which is also staged at the NEC in October (16th - 21st), and The Motorhome, Caravan & Camping Show, a regional Show at ExCeL London from the 12th - 17th February 2013.
For information and regular updates on The Spring Caravan & Camping Show 2013 please register at www.springcaravanandcampingshow.co.uk
DVLA revise their rule change on campervan conversions
[last updated 13th September 2011]
Up until recently anyone who converted a commercial vehicle to a motorhome or campervan could apply to the DVLA for the 'body type' classification on the V5C Registration Document to be changed to 'motor caravan'. However we heard that recent requests to change the body type classification were being refused by DVLA.
We asked them what new criteria were being applied, this is the response we received:
When describing the external appearance of a vehicle DVLA applies a 'reasonableness test' which is based on how a member of the public or police would describe the vehicle in traffic or if parked on the road. This is a longstanding procedure. Whilst vehicles kept or used on public roads in Great Britain must meet both domestic and European regulations such as Type Approval, DVLA body type descriptions are a separate entity to approval requirements.
However, as DVLA have recently seen an increase in the number of applications to change the body type description on the vehicle registration document (V5C) to motor caravan, we reviewed the body type description 'motor caravan' in conjunction with the police and the ABI.
There was a clear consensus that the body type should reflect the outward appearance of a vehicle rather than its internal fixtures and fittings. As a result only vehicles first registered as motor caravans or those fitted with a custom coach built bodies, in addition to meeting the internal 'checklist' should be described as 'motor caravan' on the V5C.
We are aware that some motorists have complained that insurance premiums can be higher if the body type for converted vehicles does not show motor caravan. However the ABI have advised that insurance premiums would normally be calculated based on the information provided by the customer. They further advised that customers should make their insurers aware of any modifications made to the vehicle and this would be taken into account when the premium is calculated.
This seemed to us to represent a very narrow interpretation of the term 'motor caravan' and appeared to impose much stricter requirements than those required by EU Type Approval legislation. Taken at face value it seems to mean that NO conversions of any type of vehicle that has been previously registered will be able to re-register with a change of body type to motor caravan (unless they have had a coachbuilt body fitted), even bone-fide professional conversions that any reasonable person would consider to be a motor caravan.
It had implications for speed limits, since the term 'motor caravan' is used to determine that passenger vehicle, rather than goods vehicle, speed limits apply. MOT tests are another potential problem area where the type of test which is applicable may be affected if a vehicle is not described as a motor caravan on the V5C. For vehicles over 3500kg GVW it is possible that the regulations relating to drivers hours and the fittment of speed limiters and tachographs may also apply if the vehicle is not described as a motor caravan on the V5C.
We now hear that, following many complaints about the new policy, they have re-examined the issue. We asked for an explanation of the revised policy and received the following:
Apologies for the delay in replying we have been further reviewing our policy around the allocation of bodytype descriptions for motorcaravans taking into account the views of customers/key stakeholders like yourself. Recognising the impact the policy may have on professional converters and our customers who self build I am pleased to inform you that following a further review the policy will allow greater flexibility for vehicles which have been modified both internally and externally from the manufacturers original specification after first registration and consideration will be given to conversions which have been carried out professionally where the customer can provide documentary evidence from the converter or a self build conversion where the customer can provide documentary evidence of the build.
In addition to documentary evidence customers will still be required to provide external and internal photographic evidence of the conversion/build and also return their V5C for amendment. As previously advised cases can vary significantly and DVLA deals with each case individually, based on the photographic and documentary evidence provided by the customer/registered keeper. DVLA will continue to consider applications requesting a change of body type description but we will need to consider both the internal and external appearance of a vehicle. I should advise you that conversions will still be required to meet the internal criteria required for a motorhome/motorcaravan but greater flexibility will be applied to the external appearance of a vehicle.
We submitted photos of a panel van, which had been converted some years after it's original registration, to them for appraisal. Under the 'original' revised policy, as far as we can tell, it would have been classed as a 'van with windows', now they have confirmed that it would be classified as a 'motor caravan'.
It seems to us that there should now be no difficulty in registering a conversion as a motor caravan, providing that the conversion meets the 'reasonableness test' and that the exterior has been modified by at least having windows fitted.
See our Motorhome FAQs page for more on the definition of a motor caravan and the 'reasonableness test'.
TYREPAL INTRODUCES NEW "FIT AND FORGET" TYRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM
TyrePal Ltd , the specialists in tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), are delighted to announce the introduction of a further range of models to complement their TD range which has established itself as the system of choice for many caravanners and motorhome owners who recognise the importance of monitoring their tyre pressures and temperatures.
Owing to demand from some trailer and motorhome owners who told us that they wanted a "Fit and Forget" system rather than one which constantly displayed the tyre pressures, the TA range meets that need, and additonally brings them at new lower price points starting at £125.
The sensors replace the standard dust caps on the tyres and have anti-theft collars to prevent them being stolen. There are only two steps to install the new TA22 system:
1.Set the usual cold tyre pressures for your vehicle (up to 145psi).
2.Register the sensors by screwing them onto the tyre valves.
The TA range is designed to monitor your tyres and display diagnostic information and warnings if things go wrong.
The system automatically sets alert levels based on the target tyre pressures that you input and provides immediate diagnostic information in the event of a tyre problem - it will only alert you when there are problems. The display defaults to just an outline of the vehicles and the wheel positions being monitored, but lights up and displays relevant information in the event of an alert. However, a push button enables you to scroll through the wheels to display the actual pressures and temperatures at any time.
John Pye, MD of TyrePal, says "The TA22 range is ideally suited to someone who just wants warnings to show if there is a problem and does not wish to be constantly looking at their tyre pressures. If you will be regularly changing the tyre pressures or need to see the actual pressures in real time, then one of our TD series products may be more suitable".
The TA22 range comes in various configurations, starting with a 2-wheel system (TA22/2) for a single-axle caravan where the towcar already has TPMS and the owner just wants to include monitoring for the caravan or trailer. Because it is so easy to add additional sensors we can now meet the needs of owners who would like to add the facility of monitoring their caravan spare wheel also.
The TA22/4 four sensor system is suitable for an owner with a twin-axle caravan (and again an additional sensor can monitor the spare wheel). This configuration can also be used on 4-wheel motorhomes.
The TA22/6 will suit either tag-axle or twin-wheel 6-wheeler motorhomes.
Any of the TA22 systems can be extended afterwards with additional sensors up to a total of 22 wheels, and a booster can be added afterwards if the transmission distance so requires.
The system is supplied with everything needed:
1 Monitor unit with rechargeable battery
1 Monitor holder with suction base
2, 4 or 6 valve-cap sensors 0-145psi (cold inflation pressure)
2, 4 or 6 sensor batteries (Lithium CR1632)
1 Anti-theft set, containing collars for each sensor and a locking tool
1 Power connector for 12V vehicle socket
TA22/2 Two-wheel system - £125 including VAT
TA22/4 Four-wheel system - £165 including VAT
TA22/6 Six-wheel system - £220 including VAT
TA additional sensor (note this sensor is unique to the TA22 system. Not suitable for TD series) - £29.00 including VAT
TA Signal booster to extend range from sensor to monitor - £39.00 including VAT
Order online or get further information at www.tyrepal.co.uk.
We hope to have a system on test in due course
Bailey Motorhomes: A new Approach to value
Bailey of Bristol has a proven track record of bringing well designed, well equipped,
yet affordable products to market and in the process make the enjoyment of an outdoor
leisure holiday accessible to a wider audience. This ethos is one which has helped
Bailey to become the number one touring caravan brand in the UK and it is one which
the company be applying to its first range of Approach SE motorhomes.
Models will be coach-built using the same high performance Alu-Tech construction
system featured in our existing caravan ranges and will also include a GRP outer
skin on the bodyshell panels and floor base for extra durability.
Over the past twelve months Bailey has been working on modifying the Alu-Tech system
to specifically suit the needs of a motorhome and then subjecting the resulting
vehicles to a series of accelerated life and structural safety tests as well as
being given a thorough examination in a climate control chamber at the internationally
renowned Millbrook Proving Ground to ensure that every aspect of the new designs
have been thoroughly evaluated prior to launch.
As a result all models are insulated to Grade III classification of EN1645-I thermal
insulation, allowing you to holiday all year round, and will be supplied with a
market-leading 10-Year fully comprehensive and fully transferable body shell integrity
guarantee* to provide you with long term peace of mind.
The Approach SE is however much more than a high-performance bodyshell- it is the
-It offers the high performance package provided by a well-specified Peugeot Euro
5 cab, an AL-KO AMC chassis and an Alu-Tech bodyshell
-It offers beautifully-styled and spacious British interiors which provide comfort
and practicality in equal measure.
-It offers a list of standard equipment over and above what you normally expect
to find in vehicles in this part of the market
And thanks to the Bailey trademark value for money policy this ground-breaking motorhomes
it is now available for considerably less than other comparable products currently
on the market.
On the road prices for the Approach SE range will be as follows:-
Approach SE 620 £41,000 OTR
Approach SE 740 £43,000 OTR
Approach SE 760 £45,000 OTR
On the road (OTR) price includes a recommended cost of £1,450 to cover delivery
to a retailer in Great Britain, number plates (incl VAT), 12 months vehicle excise
duty, first registration fee and VAT @ 20%
Models will be unveiled for the first time at the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2011,
NEC, Birmingham (Stand 19-29 Hall 19) on 11th October. Display models will be arriving
at Retailer Depots from November onwards.
A full product microsite, containing comprehensive product images and information,
including a 360 degree product tour of each model, plus details of your local Bailey
Motorhome Retailer is now live @ www.baileyapproach.co.uk
National Caravan Council concern over fixed gas tank installations
Surprisingly there is no European or UK standard for the specification, installation, testing or maintenance of fixed LPG tanks for the supply of LPG to domestic appliances. Current installers of these tanks will normally follow the directions of their suppliers, which are usually based on the use of LPG as a propulsion fuel.
Many motorhome manufacturers may be reluctant to to fit LPG tanks as standard, or as an option, in the absence of specific technical standards. The NCC is therefore to work with the industry towards the creation of a European Standard covering all aspects of the installation, testing and maintenance of fixed LPG tanks for domestic use.
In the meantime the NCC has advised its members that it does not support the installation of such tanks.
TYREPAL INTRODUCES TYRE PRESSURE MONITORING FOR CARAVANS AND MOTORHOMES
Read our review of this system.
Having the correct tyre pressures is especially important with motorhomes and caravans, and yet most of us are surely guilty of meaning to check those pressures but it always seems to slip our minds doesn't it? And even if we do check them we have no way of knowing what happens to those pressures whilst we're driving along.
Now TyrePal has introduced a system which will enable you to wirelessly monitor tyre pressures from your driving seat. The TD1200-AX04 uses valve-cap sensors to transmit accurate pressure and temperature data from up to 4 tyres, so a motorhome's tyre pressures can be continuously monitored, the system can also be used on 2-wheel single-axle and 4-wheel twin-axle caravans.
Installation takes approximately five minutes - there's no need to remove the tyres, no wiring and generally no need to even re-balance the wheels. Simply screw the lightweight sensors onto your tyre valves in place of the normal caps, fit the anti-theft collars if required and position the monitor in view of the driver.
Pressures up to 180psi (12 bar) can be monitored and accuracy is ±3 psi, displayed in psi, bar or kPa.
The TD1200-AX04 continuously displays pressure for each tyre and gives audible and visual alerts for low pressure or high temperature. A backlight is provided for night driving. Power for the monitor can be from internal AAA batteries or from the vehicle's 12V power supply by means of the supplied power cord. Lithium batteries in the valve-cap sensors last for 1-2 years and are replaceable.
TyrePal is also introducing the TD2200-AX06 for vehicles with up to 6 wheels - for example a tag-axle or twin rear wheeled motorhome, a car plus 2-wheel caravan or a 4-wheel twin-axle caravan (with spare wheel). This unit also monitors up to 180psi (12 bar) and the individual axles can have their own alert levels set. TyrePal also sells the TD1000-AX for cars and other vehicles with monitoring up to 60psi (4 bar).
TyrePal also has another system (TD2000) for monitoring 8 or 10 wheels - ideal for a car plus twin-axle caravan or 6-wheel motorhomes with a TOAD (towed vehicle). This system incorporates a relay to capture and transmit the signal to the cab monitor - necessary because of the longer distances involved.
For up to date prices, to order online or get further information see www.tyrepal.co.uk.
Information is presented here in good faith - we will be pleased to include
further details or corrections on request.