Sarah Wakely

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Heading to this month's Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC Birmingham? Still undecided? Read on as Sarah Wakely says it is one not to miss

The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show is set to return to the NEC Birmingham from 23-28 February, attracting more than 350 exhibitors. And you will definitely not be short of things to see and do if you make the trip.

In addition to the full 2016 ranges from the UK’s leading brands, there will be the Discovery Theatre – showcasing top tips from industry experts – dog agility, the Woodland Trust’s forest-themed ‘Country Park’ activity area, and the Guinness World Record-breaking Lego caravan. Hundreds of accessory traders will be on hand to demonstrate their wares, and you’ll be able to pick up touring inspiration from the many campsite representatives who’ll be in attendance.

One of the most exciting tourer arrivals at the show will be the return of a famous name, as the Knaus Tabbert Group continues its significant investment in the British market with a bespoke range of UK-specific caravans: these feature entry doors on the ‘correct’ nearside. The new generation StarClass will be a six-model range, with four single-axle tourers and two twin-axles, all available in UK-friendly layouts that include end washrooms, separate shower cubicles and fully-equipped kitchens. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but are likely to start at around the £27,000 mark, rising to over £30,000 for the twin-axle vans. 

In other show news:

  • Heating specialist Truma plans to give away a new, £25,000 Bailey Pegasus loaded with the latest Truma goodies – mover, air conditioning and solar panel – at the NEC. This is to mark the new Bailey Pegasus Verona recording the fastest-ever Grade 3 pass for thermal insulation in the UK (at 64 minutes). To find out more and for a chance to win this huge prize, pay a visit to the Truma stand.
  • A host of celebrities will be in attendance at this year’s show. Among them are TV presenter Chris Packham, attending on Tuesday 23 February, chef Aldo Zilli, who will be cooking up a storm on Sunday 28 February, and Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and her dog Pudsey, who will entertain the crowds at the weekend!
  • Towing lessons are available, free of charge – ideal if you want to brush up on your skills, or you fancy trying your hand at it for the first time with some experts on hand for reassurance. They’re being offered at the show by The Camping and Caravanning Club and Hyundai, plus Hyundai test drives can be booked in advance. To find out more, including what paperwork you'll need to bring, head online.
  • Two new exhibitors this year have made it their mission to help disabled holidaymakers on tour. Coachbuilt GB and Nirvana Mobility are offering conversions to overcome the challenges that face disabled touring enthusiasts. And Nirvana will unveil its new six-strong range of Freedom caravans, motorhomes and campervans.
  • Most caravanners appreciate anything that eases pitching up – and two products being launched at the NEC Birmingham later this month could help. E&P Hydraulics, which brought out its LevelSystem last year, will introduce the Compact LevelSystem, automated hydraulic jacks that will fit most vans. Also on show will be the U-Level, a handheld gadget that links to a transmitter in the tourer and tells you when it is level.
  • In addition to the regular daily events, there are also three themed days to enjoy. The Caravan Club’s is on the Tuesday 23 February, Visit Wales will be taking over the Discovery Theatre on Wednesday 24 February, and The Camping and Caravanning Club’s day has been named ‘Friendly Friday’ (26 February). C&CC members can get discounted show tickets – click here.
  • Places are filling fast on the temporary show campsite, operated in conjunction with The Caravan Club. It’s situated in two of the NEC’s North car parks, so is really handy for accessing the show: a pitch costs £35 per night and includes a 6A electric hook-up. To book, call 01342 336 666.
        

Tickets to the show cost £8 for adults (advance, £10 on the day), £7 for seniors (£9), with free entry for accompanied children of 15 years and under, plus free parking. For details, call 0844 873 7333 or visit the show's website.

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