Fiat shows the all-new Ducato
Fiat has released the first details of the all-new Ducato, the most popular motorhome base vehicle across Europe.
It has already started taking orders, including in the UK, where prices start at £27,005 excluding VAT.
The Ducato is the flagship model of the Fiat Professional range and is used by the majority of motorhome manufacturers – and many campervan makers – as their base vehicle of choice, although it is receiving increasingly competition from Peugeot (Boxer) and Ford (Transit), especially in the UK.
With this all-new model and the recent arrival of the excellent new nine-speed automatic gearbox, Fiat looks set to retain its top spot in the motorhome world for some time to come.
This new model focusses on technology and connectivity, as well as enjoying a refreshed design and improvements to the interior.
A new all-digital configuration of the internal instruments, courtesy of Fiat’s Full Digital Cockpit that, it says, can immediately and clearly provide practical journey information and alerts – from the sat-nav to the driver-assistance systems right down to the options for reconfiguration and interaction with the UConnect infotainment system.
The new UConnect interfaces has screens up to 10”, a top-of-the-range full satellite navigation system including TomTom 3D maps and built-in wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. These latter systems provide access to the most commonly used vehicle controls in just one tap. There are smaller UConnect 7” – also with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto – and UConnect 5” available also.
The interior design sees a redesigned dashboard and steering wheel, along with a new gear lever, new door panels and automatic air-conditioning controls.
There are also new driver assistance and safety systems, and the new Ducato is being marketed as the first light commercial vehicle with level 2 autonomous driving, offering a full range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) both on the road and when parking.
There is also a new digital central mirror, which digitally improves and shows the rear view to replace the relevant mirror, plus the ESC system has Cross-Wind Assist, Trailer Stability Control and Active Park Assist, the latter a semi-autonomous assistant for parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers.
Other additions, which will all probably be optional extras, include Keyless Entry and Go – to lock and unlock the cabin and load compartment doors and start the engine without the key; electric parking brake to reduce clutter in the cabin and facilitate relocations; a compartment to charge mobile phones wirelessly; double USB-A and USB-C ports; a high-voltage 230-V power socket; larger and more spacious door panels; heated windshield with internal electrical resistance for quick defrost and self-leveling air suspension.
The cab seats also get a new look as well as new padding and offer more space and comfort, while the new electric power steering, which is standard across the range, is more precise and manageable and benefits from a smaller steering wheel with a reduced turning circle.
There are also new versions of the Multijet diesel engines based on the new and exclusive H3 power architecture proprietary to Stellantis, which lower CO2 emissions by up to 7%.
The New Ducato engines, which are promised to be quieter than the outgoing versions, will be available in four levels of output: 120, 140, 160 and 180bhp with a new 6-speed manual transmission available across the range with that new 9Speed automatic transmission available in the 140 160 and 180bhp variants.
On the exterior, the front features the new Fiat badge in its center. Similarly, the grille, engine housing and skid plates have been redesigned to give, says Fiat, “an impression of stylistic uniformity in step with the times”.
But perhaps more importantly, the new Ducato now comes with high-performance full-LED lights, which are divided into three sections, with the lower one dedicated to the LED light guide, which develops the luminosity “signature” characteristic of the Ducato. The three central lights come with a sporty look and offer 30% more brightness than conventional halogen headlights. Finally, the upper section is dedicated to the direction indicators, the style of which has also been refreshed with an LED light guide with a slider switch, an effect much appreciated and used in cars and now available in a commercial vehicle.
Finally, a new colour – Lanzarote Grey – has been introduced as a color at lunch, which says Fiat has been introduced to emphasise the “adventurous spirit of the New Ducato and specifically dedicated to clients from the recreational sector”.
The new model will be available in three configurations: Easy, Business and Lounge, which can be customised further by adding additional packs with ADAS systems, improved functionality and aesthetics such as in the Trekking pack.
Last but not least, the New Ducato’s Uconnect system can be enhanced in many ways: Uconnect Services and the Fiat app will make it possible to manage and monitor your vehicle directly from smart devices, wherever and whenever you like.
Many services are available through the app, such as remote assistance, smart navigation, remote control, and much more. This means owners can interact with the vehicle even when away from it, to lock and unlock the doors, check its location and set up alerts on speed, area and time slots, as well as monitor fuel level, tyre pressures, odometer readings and receive of direct notifications on maintenance or repairs.
There are other appealing features such as Send&Go, Parking Search and Refueling Station, which mean once you have searched for your destination in the app, it can be sent to the sat-nav with just one tap, then you can view refueling stations and parking lots along the way. The maps are always kept up to date over-the-air, without having to visit a workshop.
It also feature My WiFi, with added WiFi Hotspot, to allow owners to connect up to eight devices and use the Amazon Alexa Voice Service. For alerts if theft is attempted and to receive assistance if the vehicle is stolen, the My Alert pack is available.
I have no idea what the The New Normal will look like but if being out and about virtually non-stop is the route to it, I’m doing all the right things!
Someone asked me what the main changes in my life look like being as (Boris permitting) things start to ease.
Firstly I speak an entirely different language. My most commonly used utterance now is “You’re on mute.”
Secondly I suspect hugging will soon be a recognised Olympic sport as seemingly everyone wants to hug everybody else. Handshaking may never re-emerge.
Thirdly, working from home was formerly seen as tantamount to skiving. Soon it will be so widespread and universally approved that offices will be converted en masse to fast food dark kitchens delivering to hermits skulking in their homes.
Meanwhile The New Normal has yet to be defined but anyway Faye and I are off out tonight to our favourite pub restaurant for an indoor meal.
A passion for camping led one entrepreneurial couple from Leicestershire to invest in a new motorhome for hire business, Hey Campers – after the COVID-pandemic accelerated their modest plans.
Trudi and Adam Lilley have enjoyed outdoor adventuring together for the past 11 years and for five of them, have been motor-homing. After investing in their own home on wheels and choosing to let that out when it wasn’t being used by them, they saw an opportunity to take their stock of one vehicle to six – and are now looking to order more for the booming summer season.
Now, the duo, who have run an accountancy consultancy together for the past seven years, have taken on new premises for Hey Campers, in Coalville. With the aim of opening their depot as a show home when COVID-restrictions ease, it’s currently home to Tillie, Beni, Lexie, Lillie, Minnie and, Tessie – its six motorhomes who, as the names suggest, are already very much part of the family.
Hey Campers co-founder Trudi, said: “There’s so much uncertainty around holidaying and travel restrictions at the moment, but understandably, people are desperate for something to look forward to.
“We’ve already seen booking for half of our summer availability this year and feedback from campsites is that they’ve seen a rise in enquiries too. If holidaymakers can’t go abroad, then the chance to take to the open road and discover something new in the UK is a popular alternative, especially as motorhomes provide self-contained living with onboard bathrooms and kitchens.”
While the doors to the show home remain firmly closed for now, anyone interested in booking can take a virtual tour of their chosen motorhome and is well looked after by Hey Campers’ general manager and concierge, Samantha McCaffrey. Joining Hey Campers in early 2021, Samantha worked at Avis in Leicester before her role was made redundant due to forced closure of the depot because of COVID-19.
With extensive experience in vehicle hire and procedural management, Samantha’s passion for the role and her personal interest in the great outdoors, makes her the ideal fit for the brand. Joining as a marketing intern is also local graphic designer, Molly Jarvis. The Sheffield University student from Market Bosworth is responsible for managing Hey Campers’ social media and design.
Trudi concluded: “With Hey Campers we’ve added lots of personal touches and special extras, to make sure trips in one of our motorhomes, will be truly memorable. These include luxury bed linen, made to order food hampers, 5G enabled WIFI fitted as standard and premium sports and movie channels.
“Our ambition is to also explore ‘money can’t buy’ experience stays and to get the message across to all our customers that with a Hey Campers hire they can have holidays they’ll remember for a lifetime. Just last year, Adam and I were sitting in our motorhome Tillie in Jersey overlooking the beautiful St Ouen’s bay. As I watched the waves crashing over the rocks, Adam made us a Sunday lunch with roast lamb and all the trimmings. We sat down in this perfect location to enjoy our meal and I remember thinking, what more could you want? That’s what I want for all our holidaymakers.”
I guess like many motorhomers and caravaners I have been booking sites ahead in the hope that one day, one of them will become a real booking and off I go! No harm in dreaming.
Anyway, things are getting close and at the end of April we have a pitch booked at the exquisite CAMC Trewethett Farm site near Tintagel. The May Bank Holiday will be a few days later on May 3rd and might I get lucky and be able to get to Trewethett at the end of April?
I am grateful to Audrey and Michael of MandA Tours for this piece about a new trend sweeping through the locked down motorhome community in Germany. Please be very clear this is a story about the lockdown in Germany and must not be interpreted as being suitable for any other country. We all know we all have our own lockdown rules here in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and I would hate anyone to misunderstand this news story from Germany, about Germany. It is a sad fact that a tiny minority of motorhome owners and users have featured in some flagrant rule breaches here in the UK and it is essential we all follow the rules carefully. Christopher.
Motorhome Dinner German Lockdown Style
Since we sent out the last newsletter not a lot has happened. Most countries are again in some kind of lockdown due to the situation with the Covid-19 Virus and there are new travel restrictions which make motorhome travel pretty much impossible at the moment.
Although in Germany we are also in lockdown and all shops, restaurants etc are closed and travel for tourist reasons is not permitted, a new trend for motorhomes has emerged – the “Motorhome Dinner”. We do not know if this is also offered elsewhere, but in Germany it works like this. As restaurants now are only able to offer a take-away service, some clever person came up with the idea that people could come in their motorhomes and the restaurant could deliver a meal directly to their door. Obviously, social distancing must be adhered to and masks are worn when in contact with staff but otherwise the only condition is that the restaurant has their own car park big enough for motorhomes.
To use this service, you must first call the restaurant and make a reservation. Some venues offer a set menu, or you can eat a la carte. When you arrive at the restaurant you park your motorhome and ring to tell them that you have arrived. You order your food and drinks, and they bring it directly to your motorhome. If you are now thinking your meal will arrive in a polystyrene box with plastic glasses, you are mistaken. Your dinner comes on china plates and your drinks served as if you were sitting in the actual restaurant. Some restaurants even offer to lay your table, while you wait outside. You can then light candles, turn on your favourite music, and enjoy a great meal safely in your own motorhome. The only negative is that you must leave the carpark and drive home after the dinner, as overnight stays are currently not allowed, so someone has to be the designated driver!
We are really looking forward to being able to get out in the motorhome again this year, as probably you are too. With vaccinations having begun there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel. We missed the company of our customers in 2020 and hope that in 2021 things will get back to some sort of normality and that we can travel with you again. Until then, we must all be patient!
If you are interested in a specific tour for 2021 and would like more information, visit our website.
For an overview of all the dates and prices download the PDF: Touring Season 2021, Overview Tour Dates and Prices on the main page of our website.
If you have any questions, or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail, or just give us a call!
Audrey & Michael
The dates for the outdoor-only Warners Shows motorhome, campervan and caravan shows have been announced for 2021.
The tickets for all these events go on sale at 9am today (18 November) and subscribers can save £5 when booking in advance. Subscribers can also turn up on the day as day visitors and receive a £3 discount off the non-booked price (this applies to all shows except the new Scottish show). If you plan to rally with a club, there is a further £2 saving available.
There are some significant changes to next year’s show season, including the addition of the all-new Scottish Motorhome & Campervan Show in Edinburgh and, for the first time, there will be electric pitches available at the shows in Lincoln and Peterborough.
In addition, the events organiser, Warners Shows, has introduced a booking guarantee, which means that any show has to be cancelled, a full refund will be provided. Of course, as with this year’s shows, all the 2021 events will be compliant with any coronavirus restrictions in force and Warners Shows confirmed it is working closely with the relevant local councils to offer covid-compliant entertainment.
26-28 February 2021
East of England Arena, Peterborough
After the great launch of this new event in 2020, this free day visitor-only show in Peterborough will offer a range of both new and used motorhomes and campervans for sale, many with show-only discounts, for buyers to purchase before the season starts.
It will be one of the largest pop-up multi-dealer showrooms in the UK, with local and national dealers showcasing hundreds of new and used vehicles with show exclusive offers.
Tickets: Day visitor only. Free – register online for tickets in December 2020.
19-21 March 2021
Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate
There will be hundreds of new and used motorhomes and campervans for sale in an extensive outdoor and indoor exhibition area. There is also a series of seminars planned, details will be announced soon. There will also be industry experts on the stands.
There will also be thousands of outdoor leisure accessories on display from over 120 exhibitors.
Tickets: Day visitor only. Pre-booked £5, non-booked £8.
16-18 April 2021
East of England Arena, Peterborough
This show is still the largest and longest-running outdoor motorhome and campervan show in the UK. And 2021 will be no different, with four nights of live entertainment including a headline performance from rock ‘n’ roll superstar, Suzi Quatro, and 70’s glam rockers, The Sweet.
There will be the largest selection of new and used motorhomes for sale from a huge range of dealers, making the show the perfect place to compare a large range of models and layouts. In addition, there will be a variety of exhibitors selling a wide range of accessories from must-have camping essentials, outdoor clothing, electric bikes, electricals, awnings, gadgets and more.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £60 (with EHU £95) or Friday to Monday £57 (with EHU) £92. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £6, non-booked £9.
14-16 May 2021
Newbury Showground, Newbury
Calling all sixties lovers – this show in Newbury is for you with four nights’ camping with 60s-themed live entertainment. Headlining the weekend at the ticketed Saturday night show will be The Trems, Dave Berry & The Cruisers and Spencer James from The Searchers.
Along with the music, there will a large exhibition area with local and national dealers showcasing over new and used motorhomes and campervans for sale and thousands of accessories from 200 exhibitors.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £60 or Friday to Monday £57. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £5, non-booked £8.
25-27 June 2021
Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth
Fast becoming one of the top shows of the year, join thousands of retro-lovers for a weekend of jive, dance and rockabilly! There will be daily free dance classes, followed by a free hair and makeup tuition from Boston Jive and 12 rock ‘n’ roll and jive bands (all included in the pitch fee). There will also be 50s-themed entertainment as well as an exhibition area with motorhomes and campervans for sale and a large range of accessories.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £70 or Friday to Monday £67. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £5 (for two adults), non-booked: £5 (per adult).
23-25 July 2021
Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh
New for 2021, this Scottish show will bring together the largest dealers in Scotland and the north of England to showcase the largest collection of new and used motorhomes and campervans Scotland has seen all in one place.
Rally on-site (just a short tram ride from the city centre) for four nights free entertainment, plus a headline ticketed Saturday night performance from The Bag Rockers, Rod n Faces and Shang a Lang.
Why not tie visiting the show around a larger trip or as a stop-off on the way up to do the famous ‘North Coast 500’, a 516-mile scenic route along Scotland’s Northern Coast that begins and ends in the city of Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £60 or Friday to Monday £57. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £5, non-booked £5 (parking an additional £5).
6-8 August 2021
Norfolk Showground, Norwich
Famous for the beautiful Broads – over 125 miles of navigable lock-free waterways and set in beautiful countryside – the Norfolk show is perfectly placed for those looking for a great weekend away followed by a few days exploring the county.
With four nights of campers’ favourite entertainment, including – back by popular demand – Elvis Through the Years and The Kommitments. Looking for a new motorhome or campervan? Browse new & used vehicles on-site from local & National dealers.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £60 (with EHU £95) or Friday to Monday £57 (with EHU £92). Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £5, non-booked £8.
20-22 August 2021
Three Counties Showground, Malvern
Renowned as one of the most popular country and western festivals in the UK, this will be the stand-out weekend in any country and western lover’s calendar! Known for its exciting atmosphere, join over 6,000 people camping against the backdrop of the beautiful Malvern Hills.
Not only will there be over 20 great country and western bands taking to the stage over the weekend, there will be the chance to watch authentic living history displays from the Lonestar Old West Re-enactment Group.
On top of all this, there will be one of the biggest displays of vehicles in the whole of the UK! Local & national dealers will be bringing a wide variety of brands in a range of styles and layouts.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £70 or Friday to Monday £67. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £6, non-booked £9.
11-12 September 2021
Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet
Head to Somerset for this motorhome and campervan show and rally for the weekend with four nights of rock-themed entertainment, including a headline performance from Slade.
Not only will the nights be filled with exciting rock-themed entertainment, but the days will be packed in the exhibition area where there will be the biggest variety of motorhomes and campervans for sale in the South West from local & National dealers, as well as 120 exhibitors with thousands of accessories on offer. You can also attend free expert seminars from key industry speakers.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £60 or Friday to Monday £57. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £5, non-booked £8.
24-26 September 2021
Lincolnshire Showground, Lincoln
Situated near the historic city of Lincoln, many refer to this show as ‘the big end-of-season rally’ and meet up with friends they’ve met over the year for one last weekend of fun before the winter. With one of the largest exhibition areas all year, visitors will discover over 500 new and used models to choose from. It is the ideal place to take advantage of the end-of-season clearance deals as well as take a first look at new 2022 models.
Known for its best of British-themed entertainment, this year’s show will see the return of much-loved Cornish comedian, Jethro, headlining Saturday night’s show, supported by Mud II and The Moondogs.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £60 or Friday to Monday £57. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £6, non-booked £9.
Three Counties Showground, Malvern
The Three Counties Showground presents a great value autumn break below the stunning Malvern Hills. Stay on site and enjoy a weekend away with four nights of live entertainment or visit for the day and browse a selection of new and used caravans, motorhomes and campervans for sale from National and local dealers. There will also be some daytime entertainment including a charity coffee morning, bingo and the ever-popular fun dog show.
Tickets: Camping pre-booked Thursday to Monday £40 or Friday to Monday £37. Day visitor tickets: pre-booked £5, non-booked £8.
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.
#motorhomes, camc, caravan and motorhome club, chrismacgowan, Christopher Macgowan, East of England Showground, Events, motorhome, motorhomenews, outandaboutlive, peterborough, Peterborough Arena, Warners
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.
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!
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.