CAMC National 2021

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The Director General of the Caravan and Motorhome Club,  Nick Lomas, has today announced that The National 2021 is cancelled.

The logistics of organising such a huge event are significant and the risk of forced cancellation – possibly at short notice – because of Covid-19 are simply too great.

Sad but understandable.

Bearing in mind that I witnessed last month the Southampton Boat Show being cancelled at 4pm the day before it was opening I am pretty sensitive to the cancellation risk. Equally I and many members will sorely miss this annual gathering.

Christopher Macgowan
@motorhomenews

The Adria range at Brownhills, Newark.

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Adria is showing 2020 and 2021 models through a series of dealer events and I popped in to Brownhills Newark to take a look. With sales of new and used motorhomes running at extremely healthy levels I wasn’t too sure how many models would be on display but in the event it was a very healthy line-up.

The new generation Coral and Matrix models were on show and, like so many manufacturers, it is obvious that van conversions are becoming increasingly popular and the layouts are evolving with increasing sophistication. In my personal view, they are popular for a number of reasons but drivability is a key one where both partners in a relationship feel equally comfortable doing the driving. The Fiat Ducati with an automatic transmission is hugely popular in this sector.

A good example is the new for 2021 Twin Supreme 640SPB Family with an “any licence” 3500kg maximum authorised weight, a great layout and a transverse bed. It could be one of their star performers for 2021.

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews

RAC’s new preparation standard means motorhomes can be sold by Approved Dealers for the first time

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A new 78 step preparation standard designed to provide a high level of consumer reassurance has been introduced to allow used motorhomes to be sold by RAC Approved Dealers for the first time.

The document has been created by the RAC working in conjunction with Assurant, its partner in the aftersales sector, and East Sussex-based dealer AMC Motor Caravans, who have become the first retailer to hold the accreditation.

Sean Kent, RAC director of sales at Assurant, said: “The used motorhome sector has been booming in recent years and we have been receiving more and more requests from dealers who wanted to include them in the RAC Approved Dealer programme. This is especially the case as caution around international travel remains, creating  a potential trend towards an increasing number of UK holidays.

“The preparation standard, which has been designed by experts in this market, is extremely detailed and designed to cover the many different key points that are specific to this type of vehicle. We are confident that it will play an important part in helping dealers retail high quality, used motorhomes that will meet the needs of a large number of discerning buyers in this market.”

Geoff Takashi, sales manager at AMC Motor Caravans, said: “For a long time, buying a motorhome was very much the preserve of older people, perhaps something that happened as they approached retirement, but we’ve seen quite a shift in recent years. There’s been a whole new sector opening up of customers in their 40s and younger.

“For these buyers, a used motorhome represents a significant financial outlay, probably between £25,000-£40,000, and the presence of the RAC Approved Dealer programme within our showroom and online makes a significant difference to how we are perceived. Buyers know that the RAC would only put its name to an initiative – and to a dealer – that meets the highest standards. It is a genuine advantage for our business.”

There are now 1,500 existing members of the RAC Approved Dealer programmes selling cars and vans. Their proposition is based around preparation standards specifically designed for different vehicle types, a minimum three-month RAC warranty, 12 months of breakdown cover, a vehicle data check and enrolment to RAC Accident Care.  

Sean added: “The Approved Dealer programme has been performing very well in the post-lockdown used vehicle market. Buyers are looking for peace of mind and post-purchase support, and that is very much what the proposition was created to deliver.”

SOURCE: RAC Press release.

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews

The Peterborough Show.

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Congratulations to Warners MMM staging the show under difficult Covid-19 conditions.

I popped in to the Peterborough East of England Showground to see the Warners Show. There was a comprehensive range of new and used motorhomes on show via the many dealers exhibiting. Plus all the usual accessory stores – so much on display it would be hard to leave the show without making a few purchases.

The show was of course Covid compliant with lots of one way systems but being an outside show visitors were able to roam pretty much at will. There was a sanitiser outside each motorhome, only two people were allowed in the motorhome at any one time and your mask had to be used inside. So all good common sense stuff implemented very professionally by Warners events team and, mostly, visitors were complying with the rules. In fact everyone seemed delighted to have a show to go to although it does amuse me there is a certain section of society who seem congenitally unable to follow arrows!

So, in my opinion, 10 out of 10 to Warners for organising it and sticking with it. Sadly no evening entertainment so less of an all embracing event but the on-site temporary campsite was in action nonetheless.

Ferry Meadows CAMC

For my part I wanted to stay at the CAMC Ferry Meadows site about half a mile from the show ground. It is one of my favourites located next to a 500 acre country park, next to the Nene Valley railway and a ten minute stroll from a pub.Happiness? I think so.

Oh, and as all readers know, it hit 34 degrees C on Friday!

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews

Interest in camper vans surges says the Daily Mail’s Ray Massey.

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SOURCE: thisismoney.co.uk and Ray Massey of the Daily Mail.

Boris Johnson this week urged the nation to enjoy a ‘staycation’ in Britain, as part of the Government’s plans to ease the lockdown in England from next weekend. 

With campsites and hotels able to reopen from July 4, there has already been a surge in interest in campervans that provide flexible, mobile and self-contained accommodation. 

Manufacturers say they are getting calls from both stir-crazy couples and families wanting to explore the country safely and avoid the hassle of travelling overseas and quarantine on return. 

Campervans are ideal for creating self-contained hotels-on-wheels — ‘bubbles’ with beds, fridges, cookers, kitchen and often a shower on board. 

And there’s a good choice on the market to buy or rent. 

Volkswagen is a leading player with its recently launched, and refreshed, California 6.1. It costs from £55,339 in Coast trim, up to £69,889 for Ocean. Based on the Transporter van, the 2.5-ton 2m-tall model sleeps four and has a raised roof. It comes with a table, cupboards, double gas hob, kitchen sink, a side awning and a sleeping space. 

Powered by a 2-litre 148 hp diesel, with seven- speed automatic gearbox, it averages 33.6 mpg with CO2 emissions of 221g/km. 

The larger Grand California, from £72,745 to £82,258, based on the Crafter van, sleeps two or four, and has a wet room with a toilet and showerIn March and April, online requests for quotes went up 250 per cent for the California. Nearly 1,500 were sold in Britain last year. They are factory built — not conversions — and can be serviced at VW’s 97 UK van centres and authorised repairers. 

To be truly authentic, a secondhand hippy-trail VW ‘bus’ will cost from around £10,000 to £40,000. 

Other new options include: the Mercedes-Benz V Class Marco Polo, from £37,980 to £69,800 and the oddly-named Ford Transit Custom Nugget, from £59,608 to £63,334. 

Horsham-based converter Sussex Campervans turns a Renault Trafic or Nissan NV300 into its Manhattan and Paradise ranges, from £41,995 to £51,995. 

If ‘glamping’ is more your style, then bespoke luxury motor home firm GlamperRV.co.uk offers an office-hotel on wheels, from £75,000 plus VAT.

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews

CAMC England sites to re-open.

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Most of the CAMC sites in England look set to re-open on July 4th barring unforeseen changes in direction by the government.

I have to say this is really good news of course for the Club and its members and particularly good news for me as I was showing the early signs of going stir crazy in this lockdown. I am well aware there are many people far worse off than I am and I feel for them. But it was all getting a bit difficult for me – possibly because the motorhome sits on the drive glowering at me!

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews

Jittery holidaymakers are reassured.

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  • 68% of people surveyed expressed uncertainty about travel changes after Jan 31 
  • 24% have consciously delayed 2020 holiday decisions
  • 46% of respondents expressed desire for more reassurance on travel requirements

(24 January 2020) With Brexit just one week away, new research for the ferry sector has revealed mass confusion among potential travellers. Industry body Discover Ferries, is seeking to clarify and reassure holiday makers that there will be no change in requirements for people wanting to travel via ferry between the UK and the EU post January 31. This will be the situation for at least the rest of 2020, during the transition period, now the UK government has passed the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

The research* indicates widespread confusion about travel to EU countries and even ferry travel within the British Isles. Of 2,000 survey respondents, 68% admitted they were not sure what changes will apply for travel to EU countries from February 1, 30% said they thought they would need a visa to enter any EU country and almost a fifth (19%) thought they would need a passport to travel to Jersey and Guernsey, which are part of the British Isles. Neither of which is true.

There was similar uncertainty over pet travel. Over a quarter of respondents (27%) said they will need to take extra steps to take their pets abroad, while 44% fear that their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid, which is also untrue

The effect on consumer confidence was also clear in the results. Almost a quarter (24%) of people have been consciously delaying their 2020 holiday plans until after January 31 this year. Almost half (46%), expressed their desire for more reassurance. 

“It is clear that there is a lot of confusion around travel to EU countries this year, resulting in many people delaying their holiday plans,” said Emma Batchelor, director of Discover Ferries. “I would therefore like to reassure anyone looking to travel by ferry this year that there are no changes; all valid passports, EHIC cards and pet passports will still be authorised for travel to the EU and there will not be any new requirement for visas to Europe or passports to travel to the British Isles. 

“I also encourage the government and the wider travel sector to support the message that nothing changes this year, and that people should book their 2020 summer holiday with confidence,” added Mrs Batchelor. 

For further information on travel requirements, visit www.discoverferries.com/FAQs.

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews

Fife Council should be less hostile.

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Sir, – Every year a huge wealth migration in the form of European and southern Englander’s campervans takes place up to, and back from, Scotland.

These visitors are for the most part multilingual, cultured, responsible and wealthy people and are among our best customers, vital to our own survival as a Pottery Cooperative and to the likes of the Pittenweem Arts Festival and other venues.

In the rest of Europe, tourist towns and areas provide a mostly free campervan service for overnight stays; they are recognised as being an important tourist adjunct.

Crail Pottery was founded in 1965, and until 2015 campervans freely used the Marketgate for overnight stays; a summer average of five or so vans a night, with their average spend of £100 or so each, vital to the co-operative.

In the old days, jobs for young people were important. However, probably a majority of the area’s new demographic includes non-local retirees, working commuters and second homeowners who now, quite frankly, find tourism a nuisance.

Hence the community councils persuading Fife Council to erect signs originally forbidding any campervan parking in Marketgate during the day and at night, now modified to forbidding overnight stays.

So the campervans moved to the likes of Kingsbarns beach, where I go often, and now they cause very little trouble and present little danger.

My family is probably one of the biggest employers in both Crail and Anstruther. Do jobs for our young people no longer count? Why is Fife Council so hostile to campervans, resulting in them travelling to routes like the North Coast 500?

Have they never thought how many millions would be brought into Kirkcaldy High Street, Leven High Street, Burntisland and so on, by providing free campervan service areas on the sea fronts? Especially for Kirkcaldy with its rail connection with Edinburgh.

The simple facilities campervans need is an area of land, a tap, litter bins and a wastewater disposable point.

I therefore urge Fife Council to erect notices welcoming campervans to Fife as they now do in the border towns, to remove the hostile signs in Crail and provide the facilities these pleasant people require.

I served on Crail Community Council for many years, in those days tourists were cherished and jobs for our young people were paramount.

As a walker and lover of Fife countryside I visit these local ‘problem sites’ frequently and never find a problem.

The season is very short. If we could get campervans to visit in the winter, it would benefit the community greatly and mean more jobs for our young people.

We must provide our campervan visitors with what they rightly expect from a civilised European country.

Stephen Grieve.

Crail,

Fife.

Christopher Macgowan

@motorhomenews