Nick News, Spotlight

Nick’s News – Caravanning with dogs, safe towing and the Coachman Lusso 1

The Coachman Lusso 1 parked up

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

I’m sneaking a night away in Suffolk this week at Polstead Camping and Caravanning Club Site. It was one of the Club’s first ever franchise sites – privately owned but otherwise run as a Club venue.

It’s well over a decade since it joined the network, so I’m looking forward to hearing how franchisees Greg and Karen Baines have been getting on since they gave up their teaching jobs for a complete career change. I’ve always liked their policy of not charging for Wi-Fi and instead asking for donations to go towards the upkeep of the wonderful floral display on site.

In the newsDog and owner taking in the view

Who let the dogs out?

I wonder if we’re going to notice more dogs than ever on sites this summer. One of the side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is loads of folk – as many as half the population, according to one survey – in the UK have gone out and got themselves a lockdown pet.

Needless to say, the consequence of this is people are on the lookout for pet-friendly holidays. I just hope all those owners (old as well as new) behave themselves. You might also want to be a bit more wary when you’re out on your travels, as dog thefts are very much on the up too.

Go tow, but keep it safe

Safe towing, if you’re hitching up to head off touring this summer. I know you’ll be aware of all the tyres, lights, loading, mirrors and more checks you need to make before you hit the road.

If you want further back-up, it’s all there in the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) recently updated £6 Trailer Towing Guidance and The Law Guide. It’s the tenth edition and there’s more of a skew to first-time tow-ers in this version – because there’s a huge growth in that particular sector, of course. Not your typical holiday reading, I grant, but essential all the same.

More motorhomes on the way?

Coming soon… or so it says. A well-established UK caravan maker is set to enter the motorhome market in 2022. Can’t wait. How many more brands can the UK motorhome market take though?

Arguably, it’s a good time to be able to produce motorhomes, such is the demand at the moment, which is something that looks set to continue over the next year, at least. Now watch this space…

Interior of the Coachman Lusso 1Caravan crush

Coachman Lusso 1 – single luxury item

Watch out for another version of Coachman’s flagship Lusso tourer, due to hit the showrooms in time for the 2022 season. It’s a smaller, single axle sister to the twin axle model announced a year ago. So, it’s shorter and lighter, and will cost less (prices are still in the offing). It will feature the same floorplan though – the current chart-topping transverse island bed with full-width washroom across the back. And, of course, it’s packed with luxury fittings, right up to an E&P self-levelling system.

There’s a big change in the lounge, though, where the original Lusso’s C-shaped seating has given way to a more conventional L-shape and the fixed pedestal table is now a more lightweight free-stander.

Funnily enough, I rather liked that previous lounge with its fixed table… too different, perhaps?

Three good: Upmarket charm, equipment and quality
Two bad: TBC but it’ll be hefty… and expensive
Perfect for: The style conscious
Also consider: Swift Elegance 580

Gadget envyThe tipi in action

Time for an award-winning tipi?

Excuse me while I go slightly outside my caravans and motorhomes remit, but I thought you might like to hear more about a tent that’s just picked up a major award. It’s the Robens Chinook Ursa S and it’s just been awarded the UK Outdoor Industry Award 2021 for Best Tent/Awning.

A tipi that can also be adapted into a shelter, it retails for a pretty cool £900-plus. It’s a stylish number, alright – a great combination of retro chic and modern materials, including a polycotton flysheet with that unforgettable cool in the summer/warm in the winter ambience of an old-style tent. Bet it would look great next door to your campervan, motorhome or touring caravan.