One of those motorhome days where another coffee and a later start seems more appealing.
Christopher Macgowan @motorhomenews
Very fond of Wagtail Country Park touring site between Grantham and Newark just to the east of the A1. It’s a CAMC Affiliated Site.
And a couple of miles down the road is Boscastle.
Sometimes motorhomers find Cornwall a long way away but in an era of staycations it is back to being hugely popular.
Clearly my loyalties lie with the CAMC but even in these early summer days the sheer number of motorhomes is very apparent and and I can foresee “invasion” headlines appearing in local papers. Congratulations to the Tintagel beauty hot spot for accommodating day time and night time motorhome stays.
For my part I will stay on regulated sites and try to be a responsible tourist. Simply because that is easily the nicest way to have a cracking good holiday – which we certainly had this week at the drop dead gorgeous Trewethett Farm.
For more than a century, the Caravan and Motorhome Club has helped Britons tour far and wide. With more than 200 camp sites directly operated by the Club, and affiliations with over 2,000 more, wherever you want to spend your holiday, the Club has the perfect place for you to stay.
And it works hard to make sure that when its members pitch, they have everything they need. Campsites are located in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. They’re close to a variety of leisure activities and they’re equipped with all utilities. The only thing missing? Reliable wi-fi connectivity, which is essential in today’s always-on digital world.
The rural location of the Club’s sites makes this difficult. And the sites that already offered wi-fi, didn’t live up to members’ expectations. Especially on their larger campsites, where lots of guests might be trying to get online at the same time.
This isn’t just a challenge the Caravan and Motorhome Club face. Poor wi-fi can be a roadblock for every rural business, as building an innovative forward-thinking business requires reliable connectivity.
We’ve seen first hand the business transformation that companies can achieve by embracing technologies like the cloud, VoIP , and artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, according to research carried out by the pollster YouGov, 79% of businesses have already adopted at least one cutting edge technology.
But only with a reliable connection can businesses truly start to see the possibilities that next-generation tech brings. Connectivity unlocks innovation and accelerates digital transformation. It keeps organisations competitive and helps them stay ahead, no matter their size, or sector.
The Club realised that without advanced connectivity, they simply wouldn’t be meeting their members’ needs in a digital age. That’s why they turned to us to superchange the hotspots at more than a hundred of their sites. Digitally transforming their entire organisation and future proofing their services.
Club members’ biggest complaint about the wi-fi was the download speed. Luckily, we had the perfect solution: a BTnet leased line.
With a regular home internet connection, a whole street might share bandwidth. This means that if everyone decides to watch Netflix or play video games at the same time, the connection can overload. But with a leased line, the connection is 100% dedicated to one household. So they always get fast internet, no matter what their neighbours are doing.
We’re installing BTnet on each of the Club’s campsites. As well as not having to share the line with the wider world, it will have enough capacity for 100 caravanners. And with 100Mpbs downloads, they will enjoy exceptional speeds – with ultra-low latency – that never, ever slow down.
“Reliable wi-fi is about bringing the conveniences of home to the holiday park,” explains Harvey Alexander, director of marketing and membership services, Caravan and Motorhome Club. “ Our members can look up information about local attractions. Or stream a movie at the end of the day. And it means they can easily share their holiday snaps on social media with friends and family back at home.”
The Caravan and Motorhome Club wants to offer its members much more than reliable wi-fi. They also want to revolutionise the way every campsite works, to make operations more efficient. So they can respond and react to events faster and smarter.
At the most basic level, this makes processing digital payments more quickly, minimising the check-in process for guests so they can kick back and relax.
In fact, the hope is that one day soon, Club members won’t even need to visit the campsite reception on arrival. They’ll be able to simply drive up to their pre-booked pitch, pull out their phone and use the on-site wi-fi to check-in and pay. The Club knows that everyone has come to expect this level of convenience in their day-to-day lives. So this transformation is an opportunity to level up and bring those modern conveniences to holidays too – offering much greater flexibility to staff and members.
Their digital transformation doesn’t stop there. As part of the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s roadmap for success, it’s open to the idea of embracing new technologies that can work over their leased lines.
The Club is exploring whether it wants to use computer vision technology to automatically read number plates. This way simply driving into a Club site could trigger the check-in process, so member’s don’t even need to pick-up their phone when they pitch up. Saving time and resources.
Using IoT, connected sensors could also help monitor each site, from the local weather to the temperature of the swimming pool. This information could help site managers make sure that facilities are running at their best at all times.
Sensors could determine when certain maintenance needs to be carried out, like when the chlorine in the pool needs topping up. This means that maintenance staff can be deployed on-demand, which is much more efficient than relying on an inspection round to discover problems.
AI could even be used to analyse the sensor data and spot patterns that will allow site managers to predict what requires maintenance. This means potential problems can be identified and prevented before they even happen and stop small problems turning into larger ones.
In recent years the Club has expanded its range of pop-up sites that offer temporary camping facilities at stately homes and music festivals.
Advanced connectivity, in the form of Rapid Site, powered by EE’s no.1 5G network, could help transform this experience even further. The fully managed service promises to have new sites up and running with full 5G connectivity in just three working days. With super-fast internet, the Club can enable more efficient site management, saving them time and money, while giving guests the same high-quality experience they’ve come to expect from the Club’s permanent sites.
Organisations and businesses in every industry are now realising the potential of next-generation connectivity and IoT. Because it’s essential for surviving in today’s digital world.
Without a reliable network and advanced 5G connectivity, organisations simply can’t meet customers’ increasing demands. If you want to deliver better customer experiences and keep up with the ever-changing business landscape, digital transformation is essential. It gives your business the confidence to adapt, evolve and thrive – so you’re ready for whatever the future brings.
“We’re excited about what’s now possible with new technology, but we’re equally interested in making digital transformation a core part of our ongoing business,” says Harvey Alexander. “We want to create a culture in our organisation that will always be open to taking advantage of digital innovations to improve our campsites, bookings and overall holiday experience our members and guests expect.”
“Thanks to our partnership with BT, we’re now building strong foundations that will allow our business to grow and evolve in the years to come.”
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 was in Regent Street on Monday and despite the lack of tourists and customers it was looking like Christmas. So, uncharacteristically, and breaking all the date conventions I am sending an unfeasibly early HAPPY CHRISTMAS to one and all.
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.
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.
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.