Nick’s News – Nick Harding is an expert in all things motorhome, caravan and camping. Each week, Nick explores products, locations, holiday ideas and essential community information on our behalf – It’s a Hard-ing Life for Nick, but here is what he found this week.
Campsite eAlerts – get yours now
If you’re reading this before the end of March, you could sign up for free alerts telling you of pitch availability on campsites throughout the UK.
The Motorhome Holiday Company (www.motorhomeholidaycompany.com) – a hire specialist that also delivers a lot more – is offering weekly email updates until September to those who want to sign up for the service.
Free if you subscribe before April, prices are also being pegged for the current season to a one-off payment of £9.99 after this date.
It’s a neat idea, especially as there promises to be an unholy scramble for pitches as we emerge from our lockdown restrictions.
It’s a UK-wide challenge that could be exacerbated even further if there are restrictions on travelling abroad.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned…
Caravan Crush – More than just a dealer special classic!
I confess I’m a big fan of dealers’ special edition caravans – reworkings of standard manufacturers’ most popular models given an extra lift in terms of additional kit, graphics, upholsteries and more.
Midlands-based dealer group Broad Lane Leisure has been in the special editions game longer than most – nearly 30 years, in fact. If I could pick one from what has become an extensive portfolio – with models made by Swift as well as Coachman – it would have to be the Fairway Platinum 580 – derived from Swift’s Challenger 580 (transverse island bed, rear washroom) but with extra kit totalling over £3,000 (alarm, Al-Ko ATC, dimmable lighting, door window and more).
Too much? There’s also the slightly less opulent Classic 580 variant.
Three good Superior specification, Fairway pedigree (now with extra Platinum), hugely popular floor-plan
Two bad Heavier than standard variant, not everyone wants loads of extra kit
Perfect for… adding a lot of extra luxury for not much more cash
Consider also Glossop Celebration 580, Kimberley Icon Trend T8, Wandahome Corniche 20/4
Motorhome for me?
Auto-Trail Grande Frontier G-70 – exploring new territories
Lucky me. Between lockdowns I was fortunate enough to have a look at what was then Auto-Trail’s A-class in the making – the first of three new models planned for the 2021 season. You probably don’t need telling either, they’re the only A-class motorhomes being produced by any mainstream UK manufacturer.
All very neat at under 7m long, the G-70 is the smallest of the trio. It’s a two-berth as standard with a floor-plan that’s unique in the A-class sector: full-width rear washroom, large front lounge and – of course – a full-size pull-down double bed over the cab area.
Three good Keenly priced, an instant attraction for Auto-Trail owners, British-favoured floor-plan
Two bad Low payload, availability could be an issue
Perfect for… trading up from a standard coach-built
Consider also Nothing!
No doubt about it, there’s every chance we’ll all be doing more sitting around this season. So, now’s the perfect time to take stock of your outdoor seating and consider some comfier purchases.
Vango’s (www.vango.co.uk) Radiate chairs have an added extra element to them… literally. It’s a layer of graphene that you hook up to a powerbank and, voila, a heated seat! Look out for Embrace, Tall, DLX and Grande DLX in the Radiate range – prices are all around the £100 mark – perfect if you want to take the chill off things when you’re sitting around outdoors.
Quest’s Westfield Avantgarde range has been updated for 2021 – there’s a Relaxer, Recliner and even a Leg Rest option here now – all coming with a unique DuraDore 3D padded mesh fabric that’s particularly quick-drying. They’re all backed by a five-year warranty too.
Then again, if you find camping chairs a bit too formal, how about hanging out in a hammock? I love the new Trace Hammock Set from Robens (www.robens.co.uk). It’s £40, uses recycled materials (for respectability along with that coolness), and comes complete with carabiners and slings so you can hook up (ha ha) wherever you like.