By William Coleman & The Team
Last year was quite the year for CaravanTimes, not to mention the rest of the UK. Now we are in 2020 we can look back fondly at 2019 and share some of our highlights for one of the rockiest and fun years in recent memory.
Well what a year that was! Over the past 12 months we have seen some high and some lows both in and outside of the caravan and motorhome world. I think it is safe to say that a lot of the negative things that happened within the caravan sector were Brexit related, or so a lot of people were saying. Which is actually a good thing when you sit back and think about it. Imagine if the issues and business dips were due to people’s lack of interest?
No we are not out of the woods, or the EU, just yet but we have a clear government who want to move on and get the country back to where it needs to be and restore a lot of people’s faith in the future. Moving forward, in or out of the EU, one thing is for sure, we all are still very much in love with our caravanas.
For me one of 2019’s highlights was just how much I was able to travel around the UK. I managed to see both Scotland and Wales as well as many other parts of England. Oh and the shows are always great fun too, and a good way to travel all over the UK.
As of writing this I am sorting out the travel and accommodation for both the Manchester and Scottish caravan shows and cannot wait to get there and spend some time both at the show and in the two great locations.
Rob Key – Post Production Manager
I joined the team just before 2019 began and did not have too much knowledge of caravans, I have always been a campervan user. Having spent a lot of the year filming caravans, and actually getting to use them, I can see why they are the most popular touring vehicle.
One of the best things about the vans I saw were just how much space you have compared to the smaller more “home made” vans that I have been used to using. Having an on-board shower and toilet that is sectioned in its own room is something I that I will struggle to go without moving forward. Have been this easily converted to the touring caravan?
Through 2019 I was able to take motorhomes from Auto-Trail to Wales which was great as I got to see the higher end motorhomes and van conversions, the ones I have used are nothing like these so it was nice to see what other options are out there for future use.
2019 has been a year that has really shown me the diversity within the leisure vehicle world and come 2020 I will be going out of my way to get in more touring caravans.
Dan Cartwright- Director
Can I mention my 2018/19 highlight? I mean they are the same thing, I was just lucky enough to be asked to do it two years in a row.
The stand out for me last year, and 2018, was being a judge in the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s Towcar of the Year testing. It is genuinely one of my highlights of the year.
I love anything with an engine and you’ll usually find me tinkering on cars and bikes so getting a chance to try out some of the world’s best cars, 4x4s, SUV and all other manner of towcars is right up my alley.
Aside from my personal love for vehicles I do take a great amount of pride in actually being able to judge each vehicle as I know the feedback is going to help caravan owners make a much more informed decision as to what towcar to buy. The testing is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse to see what new innovations and tech they are adding to towcars.
The information is also fed back to manufacturers so they can look at how they can improve and market their new models toward the caravan market.
Spending a week at the Millbrook testing ground with the Club and other industry experts is also a treat as you get to converse with your caravanning peers and have some great conversations about all things towing. Who wouldn’t want to test drive around 50 vehicles around a race course with a caravan attached?
James- Camera Operator, Producer & Post Production
2018 was very tough year to beat due to legs 1 and 2 of the Bristanbul tour. But that being said I still managed to get out in the field and do a lot of filming for the caravan world, but all very much in the UK.
If I had to choose one thing that I enjoyed the most, I’d have to say the October show at the Birmingham NEC. Which is odd because its a full week on your feet running around trying to film tons of vans and interviews.
The past October show was busy but this meant I actually got a chance to see pretty much the entirety of the show, something I rarely get to do. This also meant that I got to see a lot of familiar faces and all the new goodies and gadgets that we can expect in 2020.
The week was capped off nicely by the Caravan Design awards on the Friday evening of the show, the 5am wake up call to go home was a little rough though.
2019 In A Nutshell
Overall 2019 was a good year, if not a tad quieter than the 2018. A lot of times people are too quick to compare the current state of the caravan world to 2017 where we saw a huge rise in pretty much every sector.
Each year manufacturers make some changes but it seemed, to me anyway, that the changes and additions added for this coming season has been the biggest leap in innovation for the past few years.
Over the last year me and the team got to travel all over the UK spend time in pretty much all of the major fans that are now on the market and made lots of interesting video content for a lot of companies within the leisure vehicle industry.
Now that the elections are out of the way and a little bit of public faith has been restored I think we will start to see an upswing come early to mid 2020 for the caravan and motorhome world.