News, Nick News

Nick’s News – Embarking on a Grand Tour, meeting the Mertons and the Adria Alpina Mississippi

Nick HardingNick’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.

My week

We are getting ready for our Grand Tour, as our month-long campervan travels kick off this weekend with a week in Pembrokeshire. I’m particularly looking forward to visiting St Davids, and for the record, there is no apostrophe in the city’s name.

Sorry, you can take the campervan out of the journalist but you can’t take the journalist out of the campervan! We’ve got stays booked at the charming, secluded Mill House Caravan Park near Saundersfoot and the Camping and Caravanning Club’s site near St Davids itself. And that’s just the start.

In the news

Meet the Mertons – and their motorhome

Channel 5’s new TV series, Motorhoming with Merton and Webster looks like a wonderful view of how newcomers tackle the leisure vehicle lifestyle. OK, not many of us are lucky enough to plunge straight in with a Roller Team Pegaso A-class, but there’s a good dose of reality here as husband-and-wife comedians Paul Merton and Suki Webster try things out on an extensive UK tour.

Wales and the Lake District are high on their list of favourite destinations, and they also go to the Peak District, Norfolk, Somerset, Suffolk and more, making it a proper tour. They both obviously struck up an instant rapport with fellow campsite users, helping to reinforce the fact that motorhomers and caravanners really are among the friendliest and most helpful folk you can meet.

Catch future episodes on Fridays at 8pm.

Motorhome sales add up for Abacus

Andover-based Abacus, which is best known as a general vehicle hire company that also has a fleet of motorhomes, has been appointed a retailer for Adria motorhomes. Abacus has also expanded its service centre operations.

It all sounds like a great move for both organisations. I’m a big fan of try-before-you-buy, so with Adrias joining the fleet and the showroom, hiring a particular model is an ideal way to see if you really like the motorhome way of life, as well as a specific layout. Plus, of course, you get a much better deal if you subsequently go ahead and make a purchase.

There’s now a dedicated motorhome sales location on Hawker Siddeley Way at Andover Business Park, which is well worth a visit if you’re thinking about buying.

Be SAFE when you go for a tow

Good, sound advice has been issued from trade body the National Caravan Council (NCC) via its Approved Workshop Scheme for caravan and motorhome workshops. It’s supporting the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency’s SAFE campaign for safe towing.

What’s SAFE? It’s a simple checklist to help create awareness of what to do before you take to the roads:

S – has it been Serviced recently?
A – have you got enough Air in your tyres? Check pressure, tread depth and condition.
F – have you Fitted the breakaway cable and checked electrical connections and cables?
E – what are your lights looking like, have you Examined them properly?

Check load and weight limit, mirrors and do the jockey wheel test before you travel. It’s definitely particularly pertinent for those who are new to towing a caravan. But it’s a great reminder for the rest of us too.

Caravan crush

Adria Alpina Mississippi – turning up the glamInterior of the Adria Alpina Mississippi

Not many caravans make you go wow, so here’s an exception. The 2022 version of Adria’s twin axle Alpina Mississippi turns the style dial up to 11. The sleek, silver bodywork, with its wind-cheating grab handles, is just the start.

You’ll love – or not, it’s entirely up to you – the details. Everything from the branded natural wood chopping board and sink cover and the kitchen’s storage rails to the tiny-but-powerful reading lamps on rails and the storage crates in the full-width front locker.

With its transverse island bed, full-width end washroom floorplan proving such a favourite across the UK, here’s a futuristic tourer whose time has come.

Three good: Great style, build quality and storage solutioms
Two bad: Hefty (like, 2,000kg hefty) and not for the shy and retiring
Perfect for… The avant garde
Consider also: Buccaneer Cruiser, Coachman Lusso 2 or Swift Elegance 580