Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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Head to the Manchester show this weekend and you'll find a new family-friendly Coachman, a funky little newcomer and much more! Peter Baber is your guide

Coachman’s much-anticipated upmarket family van, the VIP 570, has finally made its first full public appearance at the Caravan and Motorhome Show in Manchester this week.

But that’s not the only reason why you might want to head to EventCity this weekend.

There’s also a fascinating new lightweight caravan to feast your eyes on, plus plenty of great touring accessories and dealer-special offers.

New Coachman VIP 570

The VIP 570 features two longitudinal bunks in the rear offside corner, as well as a small second children’s dinette that can be turned into another bunk if necessary.

As such it resembles the Venus 590/6 or Bailey Pursuit 570/6. But Coachman says it’s the first time this layout, which it has not carried in its line-up for many years, has been included in an upmarket caravan.

Each of the rear offside bunks comes with its own spotlight for reading. The rear dinette also has a small bedside cupboard and some shelving. It is divided from the rest of the caravan by a concertina partition.

Further up the van, thanks to the 5.80m of internal length, you get a large nearside central kitchen with a huge amount of workspace.

Coachman tells us it has been very pleased with the new model’s reception, with one model being bought even before the show had begun.

A caravan for any car?

A new lightweight caravan can be seen in Manchester if you head to the stand of Cumbria-based Adventure Leisure Vehicles.

The Teardrop – so-called because of its shape – features just a single double bed inside with storage, and a kitchen you access in a canopy at the rear next to a clip-on table at the side.

With an aluminium roof and tailgate, the vehicle, made by Kaiser Fahrzeugbau in Germany, has a MiRO of 650kg, so it could be towed potentially by almost any car. With an overall height of just 1.9m, it should also offer less wind resistance.

It has an OTR price of £9990 plus £1250 for delivery and preparation.

Yet relatively cheap and lightweight does not mean basic.

Lightweight luxury

You get a choice of six colours for the doors, wheel arches and interior birch plywood cupboards, as well as 12V LED lighting inside, a 60Ah leisure battery, two mains sockets, a mains hook-up and that all-important USB socket.

The kitchen at the back has a stainless-steel sink with a tap, there are 12-litre tanks for fresh and waste water, and a coolbox.

A specially designed awning is also available as a cost option, which can be fitted to either side of the caravan.

Adventure Leisure Vehicles sales and marketing director Michael Hold said: “It is perfect for anyone who wants something they can take virtually anywhere, with facilities to cook and somewhere comfortable to sleep.”

An ALV spokesman added that the company has already had some success among mountain bikers with its T@B caravans.

He thought the Teardrop should prove just as popular, as an optional extra bike rack that is fitted to the front of the caravan means you don’t have to put the bikes inside at all.

Other options include alloy wheels, a gas cooker and an electric fan heater.

New awnings

Isabella has also chosen the Manchester show to display its significantly expanded Ventura range of inflatable air awnings.

This includes four new models, two of which are for caravans. They are colour-coded with a blue stripe beneath the front window to distinguish them from the motorhome awnings, which have an orange stripe.

An Isabella spokesman said the company was particularly proud of the new Ventura Trinus 400 awning, which is designed to look more like a traditional pitched-roof awning, even if it is inflatable. Customer feedback has suggested this is still a popular shape.

The other caravan awning, the Vivo, is a more compact porch awning. Despite being branded Ventura, both awnings are made of Isabella fabric.

Dealer-special highlights

This show is also a great place to compare and contrast the various dealer specials on offer.

This year you can see the Kensington range from Kimberley Caravans, currently the only dealer-special range based on a Compass caravan, in this case the Casita range, including the new 462 end-kitchen layout. These come with exclusive upholstery, an exterior barbecue point and a backlit headboard.

On the Campbells Caravans stand, meanwhile, you can see the Cosmos range based on Lunar’s Quasar models. Extras here include alloy wheels, a USB socket, chrome furniture handles and an auto-changeover dual gas regulator.

The Caravan and Motorhome Show runs until this Sunday, 21 January 2018, at EventCity in Manchester.

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