Well, it’s finally back on. Barring any sudden last-minute spike or the emergence of an as yet unknown but even more deadly strain of Covid-19, the doors of the NEC should open from 22 February for the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, something that hasn’t happened for two years.
But it won’t be quite as big as before. Swift has announced it will not be exhibiting, as it prefers to continue with its online events (although some dealers will be showing Swift models). Erwin Hymer Group’s European brands will also not be on display, so there will be no Eriba stand. Erwin Hymer’s more recently acquired UK brands, however, will be showing. So you can catch up on the latest from Xplore, Elddis, Compass and Buccaneer.
One other European brand that has been a show stalwart won’t be attending – Hobby won’t have a stand this time around.
You can find out more in our comprehensive guide to what you can look forward to seeing. As ever, though, the show is about much more than new caravans.
So read on to discover the latest new awnings and accessories, and which events you shouldn’t miss while you’re there. Ever wanted to try your hand at paddle boarding, for example?
For further details and information about tickets for the show, see ccmshow.co.uk.
Adria Stand 3060/3060a
Last season the Adora range, which makes up more than half of Adria’s UK caravan sales, was given a major revamp, including a new front profile with wind diffusers on the corners.
Those diffusers have now also made it on to the new-look Alpina, which is the main focus for this year.
Adria’s most upmarket range has had a few other tweaks, too: on the outside there’s a newly redesigned door for the gas bottle locker, along with a more automotive-style rear panel, with an LED light cluster running all the way across the caravan.
Inside, the overhead lockers have a new (but still concave) profile, and come with handy removable shelving. Fixed beds are 4cm higher, to allow for more storage space below.
The headrests in the corners of the lounge are now height adjustable. There are new USBs in some spotlights, and there is also a chargeable light, which you can move to different locations within the caravan and outside.
The control panels over the door now include settings for the lighting, and for Adria’s MACH remote control and monitoring system.
The range remains as a pair of four-berths, but there’s now a price difference of £1575 between the £39,085 fixed-single-beds twin-axle Colorado and the £37,510 single-axle island-bed model, the Mississippi.
At season launch last summer, there was talk of a second model to be added to the Adria Action range. Production issues mean this hasn’t been launched yet, and we are told it won’t be making an appearance at this show.
Bailey – Stand 3020
The Bailey stand could prove a hotbed of activity at this show – it will be the first outing for the new-look second-generation Alicanto.
The Bristol firm’s most upmarket range, all models of which are eight feet wide, has been reduced to two models for this second iteration, both with inline island beds. The Porto continues as before. It is being joined by the new single-axle Lisbon. These second-generation vans now feature an even larger central front window, while the interiors have been redesigned to provide 10% more floor space, and the kitchen units have 25% more workspace and 30% more cupboard capacity. You also get factory-fitted mobile Wi-Fi and tailored mood lighting.
Alongside the new Alicanto, you can expect to see some of Bailey’s other ranges, including the Pegasus Grande SE, also eight feet wide, the Phoenix+ and the budget Discovery.
Coachman – Stand 2100
The main focus for Coachman at the show is the launch of its first motorhome range, one of the many new initiatives that have followed the company’s take-over by the Kabe Group.
But that’s not to say there won’t be any caravans to view; far from it. In fact, there’s a great selection to see from Coachman in 2022.
The three Laser Xcel models – all eight feet wide, twin-axle and self-levelling – continue as before. This year, each also acquires a 100W solar panel as part of the spec.
But standard Laser models which had the Xcel nomenclature have now been rebadged Xtra, to avoid confusion with other Xcels that have a higher spec. And this season, along with the newly named Laser 575 Xtra, there are two new Xtra models: the 545, a single-axle four-berth with an island bed, and the 620, which is a twin-axle four-berth with a spacious end washroom. Like the Acadia or VIP 520, in other words, but with a larger side dinette.
There is also an Xtra model in the VIP range, for the first time. The VIP 540 Xtra features an L-shaped lounge and a French bed, at the bottom of which is a dressing table and stool.
Xcel models in the Acadia range have been renamed Xtra, too: the 830, 860 and 875 Xcel have become, respectively, the 630, 660 and 675 Xtra.
Erwin Hymer Group UK – Stand 3000
Buccaneer, including the new models introduced last season, gets a completely new look this year, inside and out.
The caravans have a new front profile, with a flush-fitting tinted window, a cantilevered gas bottle locker door, and a wider skylight. There are new alloy wheels and distinctive new graphics down the side of the body, while the rear panel now comes with a new light cluster.
Inside, the front corner lockers have been redesigned, as have the locker door handles, and there is a completely new look to the washroom, which now has new lighting and a redesigned shower cubicle.
The Buccaneer line-up remains a five-model range: Barracuda, Bermuda, Commodore, Cruiser and Aruba.
Elsewhere, this year’s main development is a new family model in Xplore and in the entry-level ranges in Compass and Elddis – Casita and Avanté.
The 585 model is a standard width, but still manages to fit an L-shaped lounge in the rear; it can be converted into a double bed with another bunk bed located overhead.
All Erwin Hymer UK models now come with Dometic’s Series 10 two-way opening fridge, and a Wi-Fi system as an option.
Freedom – Stand 1064
The Freedom stand could be one of the many places to head if you are looking for something new and a bit different at the show.
The Staffordshire company has a long track record in producing lightweight budget caravans that are imported from Poland, such as the Jetstream, Microlite and Sunseeker.
However, at the show, it is currently planning to unveil a new model, which promises to be significantly different from what has gone before. Everything was still under wraps as we went to press, though.
Go-Pods – Stand 5039
An NEC regular, Go-Pod is the apt name behind these distinctive mini-caravans, which start off fairly basic, but can be enhanced to your requirements with different spec levels.
Knaus – Stand 1050
Head to the Knaus stand for the UK unveiling of the brand’s new Südwind 60th Edition, which is unusually finished on the outside in Campovolo Grey (a rather smart powder-grey colour).
Bikers might also be interested in seeing the Sport & Fun Black Edition and Deseo Silver models, which have been fully kitted out with a motorcycle rig.
Silver – Stand 5038
If you are after a caravan that is lighter and easier to tow, and you don’t mind a little bit more assembly work when you arrive on site, you might want to head to the Silver stand.
The French company, part of the Trigano Group that now includes Adria and the Marquis Leisure dealership, produces lightweight caravans that come with a pop-up roof to offer greater interior headroom.
No, this isn’t a mistake. Although Swift itself will not be at the show, you should still be able to see some new-for-2022 Swift caravans, including Conqueror, Challenger X 860, Sprite Compact and Basecamp 6 at the following dealer stands:
- Broad Lane Leisure – Stand 1045 & 1052
- Couplands Caravans – Stand 1110
- Glossop Caravans – Stand 2210
- Grantham Caravans – Stand 2206
- Lowdham Leisureworld – Stand 3090
- Robinsons Caravans – Stand 1056
- Wandahome (South Cave)- Stand 2050
T@B – Stand 1050
Knaus’s sister brand T@B will be bringing along two of its distinctive brightly coloured teardrop caravans to go on the Knaus Tabbert stand. You can see the end-kitchen T@B 320 and the T@B 400, with its front dinette that can be converted into a separate bed.
Wingamm – Stand 3040
Newly back in the UK, along with its motorhomes, Italian brand Wingamm will be displaying two models from its range of Rookie monocoque caravans.
Whether or not you’re looking to buy a new caravan, there will be plenty of awnings to see. Here is a round-up of what you can expect to find at the show.
Bradcot – Stand 1033
Bradcot is well known for its traditional awnings, designed mainly for seasonal pitches, including the Residencia 50.
But it has also brought out more innovative products, such as the Modul-Air, which can be used as a porch or a full awning depending on circumstances, and the Innov-Air, a full awning which, like the Modul-Air, is made of robust and waterproof Tencate fabric.
Camptech – Stand 1034
The new 3m-deep Buckingham awning makes an appearance on Camptech’s stand. The company has also redesigned its Cayman T full caravan awning for the new season.
Dometic – Stand 1022
Along with Kampa’s campervan awnings, the Dometic stand will host a wide range of its caravan awnings, including the Leggera Air Redux range.
Designed to be lightweight, these also include many useful features, such as a dual keder to fit different types of awning rail, adjustable height and apex ventilation. In addition, they are made from recycled plastic bottles, with 10 going into each metre of fabric.
Dorema – Stand 1028
The Dutch company makes a wide range of poled and air awnings with both traditional house-style fronts and more modern curved shapes. It also has a range of sun canopies.
Isabella – Stand 1048
Isabella has had its main focus on catering for more unusual caravans this season.
It has brought out a range that is specially designed to fit Eriba Touring mini-caravans, complete with pop-up roofs.
These retro-looking poled awnings are designed to fit Eriba Troll, Triton and Familia models in the touring range. Also on the Isabella stand, you should be able to see its new mini wind screen.
Shorter than the standard wind screen, these have been designed to mark out your space on a pitch and keep small children (and dogs) contained.
There will also be a wide range of accessories, including Natura crockery and coffee sets.
Olpro – Stand 1040
The NEC show is always a good place to check out products from the Worcester-based firm, as they are otherwise only available online. Although its focus is still mainly on motorhome awnings, especially for campervans, it does produce a small range of caravan awnings, including the Welbeck poled awning and the View air awning, and some sun canopies.
Outdoor Revolution – Stand 1042
Outdoor Revolution has been keeping busy while the show has been on hold, producing a new lightweight Eden Air range, which features individually inflated air poles, along with some recent additions to the brand’s Sportlite and Eclipse.
Quest Leisure – Stand 1026
Quest, which imports Westfield awnings from Germany, has also comprehensively updated its own range of Falcon caravan awnings for 2022.
Now in new colours, the pole awnings are available in four sizes, from 220 to 390, while the air awnings come in the same four sizes in 150D fabric.
Both should be on display on the Quest Leisure stand, along with matching accessories.
The firm has also increased the number of single-point inflation awnings that it offers. And don’t miss its innovative new screen houses: autonomous structures that can be pitched
in under a minute.
Trigano – Stand 1020
Trigano’s Guerande awning, new for the 2022 season, will be on display along with many of the French company’s existing line-up of caravan awnings.
The top-of-the-range Guerande features a traditional design, substantial windows and a modular structure.
Vango – Stand 5160
There should be a full range of caravan awnings to see on the Vango stand, including its Balletto and Riviera.
These now come in the firm’s new Elements ProShield water-repellent fabric, which also uses ColourLok technology, designed to slow down the rate at which dyes fade in the sun.
Look out, too, for the Airbeam S.I Pro single inflation system. This offers single-point inflation with multipoint deflation, which allows users to dismantle their awning more quickly, by rapidly removing all of the air.
This system has been extended to feature in a wider range of the brand’s awnings for this season.
Although people undoubtedly head to the shows to see the big-ticket caravans, it’s often the accessories zone that attracts the crowds on the day, as visitors look to find new kit to complement their life on the road. Here’s a selection of just a few of the brilliant products you’ll be able to see at this year’s event.
Arkay Sales – UK Stand 1004/1012
This lightweight, sturdy folding stool is easy to carry around with its built-in strap. It’s simple to use, too – in one move you have somewhere to sit. Great for taking the weight off on-site and when you’re out and about at festivals or events.
Helinox – Stand 5182
This South Korean company, producing cutting-edge lightweight outdoor kit and furniture, has won many design awards. The stylish café chair is one of its most popular products.
Cobb – Stand 5236
Nothing improves your touring experience more than cooking outdoors, and this award-winning portable Cobb cooking system grills, fries, bakes, smokes, boils and more. Ventilation through the holes of the dome allows for even distribution of heat, so food cooks to perfection. Charcoal or gas-fuelled models are available.
QUQUQ – Stand 5070
Boxing clever, the QUQUQ Campingbox is great for travellers who really want to maximise space. It combines a kitchen, bed and storage space all in one box, which fits into your boot. There are six models in the range, suitable for more than 90 vehicle types.
Snow Peak – Stand 5168
Snow Peak’s Japanese-designed kit features tents, tarps, outdoor grills and much more. It will be showcasing the newly launched Field Barista series, which includes the Coffee Drip. This clever product has a cone-shaped drip that allows for a finer grind to be used and helps prevent it collapsing.
Total Cool – Stand 5140/1102
Total Cool specialises in cooling technology, with a range of power and cooling products designed and manufactured in the UK. The Total Solar 100 is a portable, customisable and foldable 100W solar panel for outdoor use, which can charge many devices.
TyreDox – Stand 5194
If you’re finding you have to replace tyres too often, you might be in need of this useful storage product. TyreDox’s clever shape integrates a grooved ramp for maximum grip, leading to a carefully designed concave cushion. It’s the surface of this cushion which follows the contour of the tyre, significantly increasing the contact area to spread the load.
Utoka – Stand 5222
This colourful range from Utoka offers four coolers, from 18 to 140 litres. They also have sturdy carry handles and are wheeled for easy transport.
Many of the UK’s biggest dealerships will be exhibiting at the show. Here’s what you can expect to see from just some of them.
Broad Lane Leisure – Stand 1045 & 1052
The Broad Lane stand is where you’ll find the Icelandic Mink 2.0, a rugged trailer designed for all-terrain touring that includes a pop-up roof at the back, along with a kitchen.
Couplands Caravans – Stand 1110
Couplands is keeping the Bessacarr name alive, in special editions made for it by Swift from its Challenger range. There’s also the Swift Finesse special editions, based on the Sprite. Along with Swift, Couplands also deals in Bailey and Coachman.
Glossop Caravans – Stand 2210
One of the largest single-depot dealerships in the country, Glossop Caravans has no fewer than four special-edition ranges: Celebrate and Celebration, based on Swift, Chatsworth, based on Elddis, and Festival, based on Coachman. You will be able to see them all at the show.
Grantham Caravans – Stand 2206
Dealers in Swift and Coachman, Grantham Caravans also produces two Swift-based special-edition ranges – Siena, based on Sprite, and Elite, based on Challenger.
Grantham’s sister company, Caravans UK, deals in Knaus and Weinsberg.
Lowdham Leisure – Stand 3090
Lowdham is the place to come for information about what is possibly the best-known caravan in the world, because it’s UK distributor for the famous Airstream trailer, built in the US.
In caravans, it also deals in Bailey, Eriba and Swift, and produces two Swift-based special editions: the Freestyle, based on the Sprite, and the Hi-Style, which is based on the Challenger.
Raymond James Caravans – Stand 1045 & 3035
Raymond James Caravans deals in Bailey, Coachman, Xplore, Elddis and Buccaneer. It also produces two special-edition ranges – Avocet, based on Coachman’s Acadia, and Osprey, based on the Elddis Avanté.
Robinsons Caravans – Stand 1056
Robinsons Caravans deals in Bailey, Elddis, Coachman, Buccaneer and Xplore. It also produces two of its own dealer-special ranges: Sherwood, based on the Elddis Avanté, and Sunrise, based on the Sprite.
Wandahome (South Cave) – Stand 2050
Wandahome (South Cave) is due to attend the show, and has a large range of both caravans and motorhomes. Its line-up of new tourers features Bailey, Coachman, Elddis and Swift.
One of the best things about going to a show is being able to see the many live events and interactive elements. With so many first-timers taking up caravanning, there’s a lot to enjoy here!
There’s a lot to learn, too. If you are completely new to caravanning and want to feel more confident about towing, or even if you’ve been touring for a while now, but think that your towing skills could be improved, help is at hand.
The Camping and Caravanning Club will run free towing tuition every day at the show. These one-to-one sessions should be a confidence-booster, whatever your skill level.
Even if you’re unconcerned about towing, you might want to check if a caravan you see at the show is a suitable match for your current car. There’s help there, too: you can visit the TowCheck stand for free advice to ensure you will be towing within the limits.
Paddle and climb
Many caravanners enjoy outdoor activities, and new for 2022, the NEC show is giving visitors the chance to try stand up paddle boarding and kayaking in an indoor pool, under the expert supervision of the team at Canoe Trail. You can also climb the Peak Climbing Wall sponsored by Subaru.
At the Inspiration Theatre you can enjoy fascinating talks from travel writers, outdoor adventurers and wildlife presenters.
Speakers include, among others, TV’s Matt Baker and Miranda Krestovnikoff, adventurer James Forrest and stand up paddle board expert Lizzie Carr.
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