The halls of the NEC in Birmingham will
host the largest single collection of caravans anywhere in Britain. This year’s
show will occupy 11 halls and feature over 400 UK and
Continental brands, from huge mainstream manufacturers to small-volume,
Besides the ranks of shiny new caravans on display, there’ll also be the usual
mix of accessories, demonstrations and activities, including towing tuition run
by the Camping and Caravanning Club.
Be sure to drop in at our stand (Hall 18), meet the editorial team and say hello!
The volume manufacturers
Adria (Stand 20-77)
The new Adora (pictured) is the jewel in the Slovenian
manufacturer’s crown for 2014. With a new-look bodyshell, each of its five
layouts now offer a large, opening sunroof. The Astella Glam Edition is an
eye-catching seasonal tourer, too, while the Altea range remains great value.
Bailey (Stand 19-29)
The big news from Bailey is the launch of
the Pursuit, a new low-cost lightweight entry-level range that replaces both
the Orion and Olympus. The six-model line-up will feature all the most popular
layouts. Silver GRP sidewalls will help distinguish it from other
manufacturers’ entry-level offerings. For many, it’s also the first chance to
see the two new additions to the Unicorn line-up, the Vigo and Cordoba (below).
Coachman (Stand 19-39)
The all-new Vision (below) replaces the entry-level
Amara range, with reduced weights and prices for the eight-model line-up being
the big story here. Pastiche, VIP and Laser have also undergone cosmetic
Compass & Elddis (Stand 20-19/39/43)
With a 54-van line-up, there’s lots to see
here. Elddis has relaunched the Compass brand, with the Corona, Omega and
Rallye (pictured below) ranges featuring four floorplans each. They’re based on best-selling
layouts from equivalent Elddis ranges (that is, Avanté, Affinity and Crusader),
and are built on AL-Ko instead of BPW chassis. Also, the Xplore has been
overhauled and relaunched as a stand-alone entry-level range, and Elddis
Crusader now has stylish new sunroofs.
Lunar (Stand 17-39 & 18-13)
Lunar has introduced new lightweight, plastic-lined
interior wallboards to its range, reducing weights by as much as 55kg.
Otherwise, the biggest news here is the overhaul of the mid-priced Quasar range,
which sees the addition of a new four-berth layout (Quasar 564), featuring two dinettes and
a rear washroom. The Lexon 470 (pictured) is also a new layout, with a large rear
Swift Group (Stand 6-39/41/33/31)
The show-stopper here is the styling
feedback on a concept caravan unveiled at the February NEC show, make sure not
to miss it! The Sprite range sees the addition of a new layout, Challenger Sport
and SE get cosmetic tweaks, as do Swift Conqueror and Sterling Elite.
The niche brands
Airstream and [email protected] (Stand 11-80)
The new Airstream International 604 will be
on display. It’s a twin-axle that has been made more compact to better fit
European roads. Although the lower maximum technically permissible laden mass
(MTPLM) is now 2000kg, you’ll still need a Discovery-sized tow car. The 604 has
a front-bed layout, with a rear L-shaped lounge and a rear entrance door that
opens into the lounge. The L-shaped seating unit converts into a dinette for two. The front-bed, mid-washroom layout
creates an ‘en-suite’ bedroom area by opening the bathroom door and swinging it
90 degrees to partition off the bed from the rest of the living area. The 604
also features signature Airstream flourishes, such as Corian worktops. [email protected]’s
teardrop-caravans will also be on display at the show.
Calder Leisure (Stand 17-85)
Edinburgh-based Calder Leisure sells
massive, well-equipped fifth-wheel trailers, and will have its new KountryLite
Quad Slide on display; it’s 27ft long and has two sets of twin slide-out
sections that extend the living area and bedroom. The company claims that it’s
a world first – the only compact, narrow-bodied fifth-wheel with four
slide-outs. These sections create a huge living area in the rear, with a sofa
and a dinette, which abuts the large kitchen. The rear bed area features a
seven-foot-wide wardrobe, which should be ample for a couple’s clothes on tour.
Dub Box (Stand 18-24)
These whimsical little VW-camper-inspired caravans will be at the shwo once again. Dub Boxes are all about customisation – there are many layout options to choose from, so you can come up with a bespoke design that suits your needs.
Eterniti (Stand 9-25)
Eterniti will be adding new models to its
line-up of distinctive caravans. The company made a splash last year with its
Genesis and Chronicle ranges, which between them feature six high-end, luxury
caravans with slide-out sections. The firm is now planning to debut five
all-new models at the show, also with electric slide-outs, the most spacious of
which adds 5sq m to the caravan’s interior space. The layouts have been designed
from the ground up to make full use of the slide-outs, and there are layouts
for couples and families.
Fifth Wheel (Stand 9-90)
North Wales-based Fifth Wheel is famous for
its huge fifth-wheelers with slide-out sections which will be at the show. But it
also builds a range of caravans with slide-outs, called INOS. The twin-axle
INOS caravan is already on the market, and the show will see the debut of the
single-axle INOS (pictured), with a fixed double bed in the rear. The slide-out is located
in the lounge, and extends to create a spacious L-shaped seating group. The
lounge also converts into two single beds, and the kitchen is located
amidships, with a huge fridge-freezer. Fifth Wheel’s high-spec construction
utilises GRP throughout and Styrofoam insulation, with wood-free sidewalls
ensuring high levels of damp resistance. Equipment levels are high, as you’d
expect, with Alde heating and alloy wheels provided as standard.
Knaus (Stand 17-41)
Sole UK distributor Automotive Leisure will
have five caravans on display at the show, all of which are new to the UK
market. These are all from Knaus’ distinctive square-edged Deseo range, which
seeks to provide high levels of practicality at a decent price. Highlights
include a family model, with space for bicycles, and the Transport, which can
accommodate two motorbikes.
Teardrop Trailers (Stand 19-15)
Teardrop’s products are similar to [email protected]’s,
offering aerodynamic little caravans that accommodate up to four people.
Teardrop will have two new models at the show. The Snugg Bug has a white gloss
finish, while the Retro Bug comes in a brushed-aluminium finish. Both are
heavily customisable and have MTPLMs of just 500kg, making them towable even with