Nick News, Spotlight

Nick’s News – The problem with popular routes, Niesmann + Bischoff and an electric campervan

The LEVC Camper in the wild

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

Can we holiday, or can’t we? As I write, things are still a bit in the balance. With foreign holidays all but banned for those who are happier sticking by the rules, parts of the UK are busy booking up fast. And I’m simply not one for the crowds.

I’m still planning a trip to Scotland in August and I wondered if anyone could give me any tips on experiences of overnighting in a Scottish forest? I’ve recently discovered this website and love the concept of offering just the one night at a time for leisure vehicle users who might be simply passing through.

In the news

North coast, no thanks!

North Coast 500 (NC500), Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry, Glasgow to Inverness… these are the UK’s favourite road trips, according to an organisation called Zutobi.

I’m afraid that sets alarm bells ringing as far as I’m concerned. All it suggests is that these roads and campsites are going to be chokka this summer – and are probably best avoided. If you’ve decided to take in any of these areas, good luck to you.

I’ve still yet to do the NC500, which follows the coast around the top of Scotland, but I’m quite happy to keep it on the bucket list for when things are quieter.

Dream the dream with your very own Niesmann + Bischoff

German dream machine manufacturer Niesmann + Bischoff has announced an online configurator for potential purchasers of its somewhat awesome motorhomes.

I couldn’t resist a play and started with an iSmove 7.3F, which is ‘modestly’ priced from £91,500, but then I added a customised paint finish (over £8,000, including trimmings), 18in alloy wheels (£2,374) and leather upholstery (over £2,000).

Of course, I didn’t stop there and had to have the Premium Kitchen Pack (£1,738), all manner of other options packs (ranging from £2,000 to £5,000), engine and automatic transmission upgrades (£5,000 or so), and then ‘details’ like Aguti cab seats (£678), second garage door (£830), sliding table (£252), oh and plenty more.

Well, you can guess what happened… I was fast approaching £130,000, but still, it’s fun to dream. Go on, I dare you to have a go yourself.

Motorhome for me? LEVC Camper on the beach

LEVC e-Camper – it’s all-electric

The world’s first electrically-powered campervan? Not quite*, but it looks like a damn good attempt. I’m talking about LEVC’s (London Electric Vehicle Company) e-Camper. It’s based on the VN5 van and yes, in case you’re wondering, its roots go back to being a taxi.

It’s all about the number of miles you can go between charges that’s critical for electric engines. Thanks to LEVC’s e-City range extender technology, e-Camper can do anything up to 300 miles.

The kitchen’s electric too, which means there’s no need for any gas system. The campervan conversion work has been carried out initially with help from Wellhouse Leisure, but the plan is for LEVC to go into full production on its own.

The company says it’s ready to take orders here in the UK, with deliveries possibly as soon as the last quarter of this year. But it seems Europe is a step ahead – early left-hand drive models are already being snapped up by dealers in Germany.

*It’s not the world’s first electric campervan. That honour goes to Hillside Leisure, which unveiled its Dalbury E micro camper based on Nissan’s e-NV200 (the electric-powered version of its NV200), back in 2014. The latest versions of the e-NV200 have a range of up to 174miles.

Three good: All-electric, including the kitchen and no VED (road tax)
Two bad: Initial cost and the element of the unknown
Perfect for… the environment!
Consider also: Waiting for more electric campers coming our way

Gadget envyThe Vango Sizzle

Electric cookers

If the future is electric for leisure vehicles, then what about the cookers we use in conjunction with the lifestyle? On-board electric hobs are yet to make it, although you might be lucky enough to have a gas hob with single electric hotplate. But, you can add to what you’ve got.

The news that gas barbecue specialist Cadac has added an electric model to its line-up is a possible pointer to the future. It’s the E Braai, which roughly translates as barbecue in its native South Africa.

I’ve always fancied an induction hob too. I know you have to have the right pans (easy) and the hob itself has to be exactly level in use or things can slide (trickier), but the cool-to-the-touch, instant efficient heat concept seems perfect for a leisure vehicle. Anyway, check out the Vango Sizzle – available as a single or double hob.

For a more basic electric addition to your existing facilities, how about something like the Whitby from Outwell? It’s a skillet with removable glass lid, ideal for frying or roasting.