Nick’s News – Nick Harding is an expert in all things motorhomes, caravans 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.
Bank holidays, don’t ya just love ‘em? With perfect timing, too, summer seems to have hit us. Congratulations to everyone who managed to get out for the bank holiday weekend, and beyond. I trust you’re having a wonderful time.
To be honest, I tend to give bank holidays a bit of a swerve, as I hate getting stuck in traffic, especially when I’m supposed to be making the most of my leisure time. And, unfortunately, bad weather over the previous weekend put paid to a quick trip to Beer Beach in Dorset. Instead, and I know this is me being selfish, but I’ve got a sneaky weekend away planned for when things are a little bit quieter…
In the news
Kimberley up to three
It’s great to hear Kimberley is adding a swish new third branch to its empire. The caravan and motorhome dealer takes its name from its original base in Kimberley, Nottinghamshire. It expanded with its purchase of the premises formerly known as Barrons Great Outdoors, near Darlington in County Durham, back in 2012.
The new site sits between the two, geographically. It will be a huge 1.6-hectare location at the former Multiplex Engineering premises in Chesterfield, which, when finished, will have space to showcase up to 150 motorhomes and caravans, indoors and out. It’s aiming to be up and running by the end of summer.
Webbs has the Knaus – and the Rimor
Webbs Motor Caravans is a dealer on a mission. The Reading-based retailer has just announced it’s to be a dealer for new motorhomes from Germany’s Knaus (say it ke-nowse) and Italy’s Rimor (ree-more) – and it’s celebrating with some enticing offers on late 2021 stock. Could be time to catch a very late season bargain – especially as my old friend Trade Rumour tells me most motorhome prices will be going up by about five per cent for 2022 models.
Freedom – chimes of bargains flashing
In a list of caravans that have stood the test of time, Freedom is usually overlooked. And yet the all-GRP-bodied micro tourers are based on a design that goes back well over three decades now.
Made in Poland, new prices start at around £13,000 for the basic Discovery, Sport and Sunstream models, and £15,500 for the Twin Sport and First Class.
As something different this week, I thought I’d tell you about a two-berth Microlight Prima I spotted on a visit to Davan Caravans near Weston-super-Mare last week. It was in great order (well, there’s not much to go wrong on any Freedom) and just £3,495. Pure coincidence, too, but Davan was an early importer of these tough little gems. Just don’t be surprised if it’s not already sold by the time you read this.
Three good: Tough-as-nails bodywork, lightweight and straightforward
Two bad: Prevailing smell of glass-fibre and tiny living quarters
Perfect for… an early taste of no-nonsense caravanning
Also consider: Go Pod and Wheelhome Dashaway
Sustainability – for future success
There’s no reason for not putting the environment at the top of your list when it comes to kit for camping. So, if you’re after a new jacket, how about the Go Hike from Jack Wolfskin? In men’s and women’s sizes, this £145 coat features 100 per cent recycled materials. It comes in a choice of colours, as well as making the usual claims for high levels of waterproofing, breathability and wind protection.
If you get a new coat, you’ll want some suitable headgear to go with it? Even iconic brands like Tilley are getting up to speed on sustainability. The renowned outdoor hat maker has introduced two new models to its portfolio – the £70 Modern Airflo, a reworking of its classic Airflo design, complete with lifetime guarantee; and, at £30, there’s the 5 Panel Recycled Cap. Both boast fully recycled nylon fabrics.
Repurposing old fishing nets is all the rage at the moment. The Got Bag company claims to be supplying the world’s first rucksacks made from ocean plastic. Backpacks start from £114 and there’s a day sack at £79.
Image credit: Matthew Montague Architects