Want to win a new caravan? Of course you do! So don’t miss our new TV show on The Caravan Channel, when you could do just that. Don’t believe us? Then tune in on Sky 261, or Freeview 254, or watch live online and see it for yourself!
But first, it’s time to wrap up warm and join Practical Caravan’s Group Editor Alastair Clements inside Truma’s cold chamber to learn how caravan manufacturers keep our vans cosy. Put simply, a cold chamber is a large refrigerator used to test the thermal performance of caravans. Truma’s Martin Fitzpatrick is on hand to explain exactly how this important procedure works. It’s a three-part test process which involves first chilling the caravan to -15C before bringing the temperature up to 20C within four hours, then maintaining that 20C temperature, before the final stage of the test which ensures that the tourer’s water systems work.
Alastair also speaks to Simon Howard from Bailey, about how the firm approaches this important test and how it goes about improving the performance of its products when it comes to keeping us snug. Technical stuff this may be, but it’s crucial for touring comfort and fascinating to find out how our vans get and stay warm.
But that’s not all. It’s -15C outside, so it’s time for Alastair, Martin and Simon to get comfy for the night in a Bailey Pegasus Rimini that’s been set to 20C, to prove the thermal abilities of this tourer. And how else to pass the time, than to build a Lego Bailey caravan! Make sure you watch this special TV show on The Caravan Channel as proof, were it needed, that no matter what the weather, you can enjoy touring all year round.
And to win a brand new Bailey Pegaus, head to Truma’s website or visit the Truma stand at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC Birmingham which runs between 23 and 28 February – good luck! Watch our show on The Caravan Channel for full details, on Sky 261, Freeview 254 or live online.
After the break, we’re giving you a second chance to enjoy watching our 2015 tow car special show. Practical Caravan’s very own Tow Car Editor David Motton is here and first it’s the Volvo XC90 that he’s putting through its paces. Lighter, more fuel efficient and more sophisticated than its predecessors, this sharp-looking new SUV has a lot going for it on paper, but what tow car ability does it have? Hitched to an Elddis Crusader, the XC90’s four-cylinder diesel engine is definitely put to the test but at no point did it feel underpowered or strained, 347lb ft torque meaning you won’t feel short-changed in terms of pulling power. It also proved itself to be a stable tow car, with plenty of grip when pushed. Tune in and check out our full test of this impressive seven seater.
Then, as we continue to look back at our tow car special, it’s the turn of the Mitsubishi L200 to fall under our expert’s spotlight. And there’s not much this pickup can’t legally tow. Powered by a 2.4-litre engine producing 178bhp and 317lb ft torque, it has plenty of mid-range muscle and compared to its rivals it’s fuel efficient, too. It’s also better to drive and a more stable, secure tow car than its predecessor, although during our tough lane-change test, Motty did feel the caravan pushing and shoving at higher speeds. Watch our review on Freeview 254, Sky 261 or live online, and see it for yourself.
Finally, we review a very different car: the Seat Leon X-Perience. With four-wheel drive and a punchy diesel engine, on paper it’s got a lot going for it, and hitched up to a Swift Expression 554, right away the Seat felt like a capable tug. Testing the less-powerful, 148bhp variant, performance wasn’t lacking thanks to 250lb ft torque from the 2.0-litre diesel engine, while its stability made it a confidence-inspiring tow car for long-distance journeys. And if you need to take a lot of stuff with you on tour, its very useful 587-litre boot capacity with the seats upright can be increased to a super 1470 litres if you fold the rear seats away.
We’ve packed a lot into this episode, so you don’t want to miss it, or your chance to win a caravan! Thankfully, you’ve plenty of opportunities to catch this show. It will be broadcast between Friday 12 and Sunday 28 February 2016 at these times on these days:
- 8pm on Mondays
- 5pm on Wednesdays
- 7pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
So remember to tune in to The Caravan Channel on Sky 261, Freeview 254 or live online. We hope you enjoy watching.
Crucial for touring comfort, it is fascinating to find out how our vans get and stay warm