Welcome to a brand-new series of shows on The Caravan Channel! And for this opening episode, join Practical Caravan’s Group Editor Alastair Clements at the NEC Birmingham from the recent Motorhome and Caravan Show.

Our NEC show special kicks off by looking at the 2016 Sprite Freedom range, a new collection of entry-level, affordable and lightweight caravans, aimed at the family market. There’s the twin-axle Freedom FB, the Freedom 6 with fixed bunks and a side dinette, and the Freedom 6 TD. Inside the 6 TD, which costs £14,620 and sleeps six, there’s all a family could need, although there’s not an oven. However, there is a bright and spacious front lounge, while the rear lounge is at the heart of the kids’ area, with fixed bunk beds alongside it, and the rear lounge itself can be converted into a single bed, with a fold-out bunk above. And if you thought all this would mean a compromised washroom, think again. Watch our review to find out more.

Our TV shows are broadcast on The Caravan Channel, which is on Sky 261, Freesat 402 or Freeview 254. You can also watch live online on the Information TV website. Each episode is broadcast five times a week for two weeks, giving you 10 times to catch each show. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for the broadcast schedule.

Next in our NEC show special, we’re talking caravan security. The NCC has launched its new VIN Chip scheme and Practical Caravan’s Alastair Clements meets Sean Bailey of the NCC to learn about it. Sean showcases the visual deterrents as well as the electronic RFID chips that will make it easier than ever for police to track down stolen caravans. All British 2016 touring caravans made by NCC members will have this, plus there’s an upgrade kit you can purchase from the NCC for just £24.99, if you own an older caravan. Excellent peace of mind if the worst happens.

Tune in to the first show from our new series and you’ll also be able to enjoy our review of the 2016 Bailey Pegasus Modena, a new lightweight van that’s great for touring couples, and that has a nearside fixed bed, front lounge, end washroom layout. That lounge is comfortable and plenty big enough for two, and the fixed bed is a 6ft 3in double, with plenty of storage around it. There’s also a neatly-packaged, well-specced kitchen and we were surprised by the dimensions of the L-shaped end washroom which has a large, fully-lined shower cubicle. Check it out for yourself on The Caravan Channel, on Freeview 254, Freesat 402, Sky 261 or live online.

Then it’s the turn of some Continental vans to step into the limelight, starting with the Mini Silver. This colourful, lightweight, pop-top range from the Trigano Group is designed to appeal to those new to caravanning, perhaps those considering moving on from tent camping, in search of a few home comforts. It’s also got the bonus of a big, wide rear door, which is great for loading kit such as bikes or canoes.

Or how about the Knaus Sport & Fun? It’s a caravan with a bright, vibrant, youthful design, and as well as a fixed double, a make-up double bed, a lounge, a washroom and a kitchen, you’ll find innovative storage solutions including a large garage.

Our NEC special TV show also brings you expert towing advice, courtesy of The Camping and Caravanning Club. Watch for top tips on hitching up, checking the lights and fitting towing mirrors, plus advice about driving licences and what yours will let you tow.

Then we’re back in the warmth of the show halls at the NEC Birmingham with our Group Editor who’s reviewing the 2016 Coachman Pastiche 470. It’s just under £20,000 and comes with a great spec, but you won’t see the real standout feature until you step inside. So make sure you tune in to The Caravan Channel to see the 470’s large, fixed double bed that sits across the front of this van, as well as the smart kitchen and washroom.

Finally, we meet a record-breaking caravan with a difference – it’s made of Lego! If you were at the NEC Motorhome and Caravan Show last month, maybe you saw it? If not, you will not want to miss it. Built on an Al-Ko chassis, this tourer really is made entirely from those famous Danish bricks, from the lights, windows and grabhandles, to the sofa, the kitchen and the food. The attention to detail is astounding.

So be sure to tune in to our NEC show TV special on The Caravan Channel. We’re on Sky 261, Freesat 402 and Freeview 254, and you can watch live online. This episode will be broadcast between Monday 2 November and Sunday 15 November 2015, at these times, on these days:

  • Monday at 8pm
  • Wednesday at 5pm
  • Friday at 7pm
  • Saturday at 7pm
  • Sunday at 7pm

We hope you enjoy this the first show in our new series – and you come back for more!