Nick News, Spotlight

Nick’s News – The Adria roadshow, pop-up campsites and the Elddis Xplore 304

Exterior of the Xplore 304

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

Wales last week, Scotland this week. It was a long drive, which was luckily shared, but we arrived at Invermoriston on Saturday. Finishing with the last 150 miles or so of our drive on Sunday through the most glorious of scenery as we passed by lochs Lomond, Linnhe and Ness.

Even the weather is on our side now. I’m also pleasantly surprised the roads aren’t as busy as I’d expected. True, there are plenty of campervans and motorhomes around, but the general picture so far is of a country that’s coping admirably enough with its seasonal influx of visitors.

Driving over the Skye BridgeWe’ve got bookings for the Caravan and Motorhome Club sites at Kinlochewe and Strathclyde Country Park, hopefully squeezing in a day at the Oban Highland Games in between. Happy days!


In the news

Adria on the road

You can grab a slice of the Adria 2022 action at a dealer near you. September sees Brownhills, Geoff Cox Leisure, Tilshead Caravans, Black Country Caravans, Tenby Tourers and Swindon Caravans taking the stage on consecutive weekends, with others confirmed for October and November.

If you’re interested in an Adria, check out what your local dealer is doing as part of this roadshow. Not only will it be your first opportunity to view the very latest models, you’ll be able to get great advice too.

And, hopefully, like other manufacturers, things are getting back on track for managing to supply new vehicles based on orders placed any time this year for delivery before the touring season gets going next spring. If you have a caravan or motorhome to trade in, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised at how much it’s worth.

Cornish past it? Or is there still some space?

Have you made it to Cornwall yet, asks an email from the Visit Cornwall tourist organisation? Gosh, are they really open for even more visitors? Much as I love the county, all the reports I’ve heard this summer tell me it’s all full up and campsite bookings are all but impossible. Good luck if you’re planning a last-minute getaway.

Pop-up sites – the WTA way

Wales isn’t the only area of the UK where there’s been an avalanche of pop-up campsites – often nothing more than just farmers’ fields providing leisure vehicle and tent accommodation on a temporary basis – as the country struggles to keep up with demand for places to stay.

The Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) is hoping to introduce a Register of Pop-Up Campsites to help councils manage unlicensed campsite accommodation across the country. The Welsh Government allows pop-ups to operate for up to 56 days, but such has been the explosion of sites, it’s deemed the time has come for them to have a bit of management.

The WTA itself admits it has no idea how many such sites there are, but it’s calling for a some more official regulation to ensure certain standards are met, as well as certain essentials, from basic hygiene provision (like a proper supply of fresh water and waste disposal facilities).

I’m all for a bit of wild camping – or even semi-wild, as pop-up sites can offer – but, as ever, with such power comes responsibility, and that includes to your neighbours.

Caravan crushInterior of the Xplore 304

Elddis Xplore 304 – Give a little, get a lot

Sprite’s all-new Compact (I’ve yet to see it) may have something to say, but the Xplore 304 from Elddis is a small wonder with few peers. It’s upped its game for 2022 too, with a general smartening up of its appearance as well as some key upgrades, like the Dometic 10 series fridge. You’ll want the £500 SE Pack to bring it up to a decent specification too.

But yes, it really can sleep four, with two a-piece at either end of the living quarters. And it comes with front and rear lounges, a decently specced kitchen and washroom, plus better storage than you’d expect in a diddy 5.5m overall length.

Light on weight as well as price, it currently starts from a smidge over £15,000.Interior of the Xplore 304

Three good: Ten-year bodywork warranty, four-berth capabilities and lightweight for easy towing
Two bad: A bit flimsy in places with compact dimensions mean space is a bit tight
Perfect for… Thinking big, but acting small
Also consider: Adria Action and Bailey Discovery D4-2