Welcome to the premiere of Practical Caravan TV! Formerly known as The Caravan Channel, we’re launching our rebranded channel with an all-new series of shows – and it all starts here.

You don’t want to miss it, so make sure you tune in at 8pm on Monday 4 April 2016, at 5pm on Wednesday 6 April, and at 7pm on Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April. You can find Practical Caravan TV on Showcase, which is on Sky 212 and Freeview 254 (for the latter you’ll need a smart TV), plus it’s being streamed live online

Our first Practical Caravan TV show is an NEC special! Filmed earlier this year at the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, it’s packed with reviews, interviews and innovations – and we kick off with a review.

Surely the first thing that will strike you about the 2016 Elddis Crusader Aurora is its new champagne sidewalls and bronze locker lid, but this model also brings a new layout to the range, featuring an in-line double bed at the back of the van. It’s a huge 6ft 3in long and is retractable, giving you more space to walk around it during the day. The bedroom also has nice touches like domestic-style curtains on proper poles and a good amount of storage.

This luxury model has a comfortable lounge with a large panoramic sunroof and nicely-padded seating, plus a well-equipped kitchen with a great amount of worktop space and even a cocktail cabinet. It also has a clever central washroom, with an electric flush toilet, a sink and a radiator for the Alde wet central heating on the nearside, and a circular shower on the offside. In fact, there’s a lot to like about the new Elddis Crusader Aurora, so join Practical Caravan’s Group Editor Alastair Clements and watch our review.

Alastair then gets under the skin with Al-Ko, taking a closer look at the chassis which underpins most British caravans. Learn more about how the AKS3004 stabiliser, the brakes and the ATC anti-snaking system work, then see it in action. We also take a peek at Al-Ko’s new premium braking system, which is automatically adjusting.

The next caravan to fall under our spotlight is the Barefoot, which certainly drew the crowds at the NEC Birmingham. Tune in to Practical Caravan TV to hear Cathy Chamberlain tell us the story behind the curvaceous, British-built Barefoot, with its one-piece, seamless, monocoque body. It squeezes a lot in, including a kitchen, a washroom and Truma heating, and the finish is second-to-none. See it for yourself on Sky 212, Freeview 254 and live online

After the break, our Group Editor takes a look at the new, UK-focused StarClass range from Knaus. Importer Mike Lake explains how this range came about and shares Knaus’ plans for Great Britain and Ireland, before we get inside the Knaus StarClass 560. Well-specced inside and out, with a spacious lounge, featuring sprung, deeply-padded sofas, there’s a lot to like. The kitchen has a separate oven and grill, a four-burner hob with an electric hot plate, a large fridge with a separate freezer and lots of storage space. In the bedroom, the huge (2.03m x 1.36m) fixed nearside double bed is complemented by a big wardrobe, a vanity unit and heaps of storage, while a generously-sized shower cubicle is just one element of this van’s smart washroom. Watch our review and see what you think.

Finally, we’re back in the world of niche vans, meeting Julie of Teardrop Caravans. These bespoke products weigh just 500kg and are priced from only £4600. Every van starts with a galvanised chassis and shell, and then you tell the company what you want!

So don’t miss the first episode of our new series on Practical Caravan TV. Remember to watch on Freeview 254 (if you have a smart TV) and Sky 212, or live online. We hope you enjoy the show!