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.
It’s time to take a break from my weekly column, so this will be the last edition of Nick’s News for a little while. I’ll be using my freedom wisely as I’ve certainly got a packed year ahead of me in terms of touring at home and, hopefully, abroad.
Meanwhile, it’s been lovely sharing news and views with you. Happy touring for 2022 and hopefully we’ll meet again later in the year.
In the news
Trailer training – it’s in the pipeline
Although our lawmakers have decreed it’s now OK for anyone with a full driving licence to tow any kind of trailer, including caravans up to 3,500kg in weight, vehicle allowing, without needing to earn any other qualification, it is now proposing safe towing schemes.
Developments include a debut for the National Council for Accredited Trailer Training, an agency which will include a number of towing organisations, overseen by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Things could be in place as early as next month, it seems, with training opportunities aimed at newcomers as well as accomplished towers who just want to refresh their skills.
The training will be voluntary, but let’s hope anyone new to towing has the common sense to take even some basic tuition. There’s also more at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tow-a-trailer-with-a-car-safety-checks
Aire of Scotland? That’s brave
No sooner did I tell you about plans for overnight parking for motorhomes in Northumberland, then I heard about a similar initiative for the Dumfries and Galloway area of south-west Scotland.
Grants have been made available for local land owners to offer something akin to the aires you get throughout France, with each being authorised to offer up to five pitch spaces. Officially, the plan is to have 15 such aires offering pitches with electricity as well as the usual fresh and waste water amenities.
Plans for aires in the region also coincide with the announcement of a new driving and camping route, the South West Coastal 300. It just might make Dumfries and Galloway the place to visit this year or next! And if it attracts the same crowds as the North Coast 500, it’ll need considerably more aires in the future.
Motorhome for me
Murvi Morello – flying the flag for independent quality
It’s got a unique floorplan, but independent manufacturer Murvi can trace its Morello model right back to when the van conversion specialist started in 1980. It was based on Fiat’s Ducato then and, indeed, can still be specified as such. But I have to say the decision to also offer it on Ford’s Transit has given it a whole new lease of sophisticated life.
You’ll be hard pressed to avoid the many delights of the Transit in Limited trim level, as the specification is truly awesome so do check it out for yourselves. And that Morello floorplan – with its brilliant front lounge, L-shaped rear kitchen and offside corner washroom – is still pretty much unique to Murvi. As you can guess too, the design has been honed over the years, so it really works. And there’s top quality in the build as well.
Along with just a few other optional extras it takes you into the mid-£70,000s, but that seems to be the price you pay for such a premium product these days. Is the business still independent? The company sells direct from its manufacturing base in Ivybridge, near Plymouth in Devon.
Three good: Great lounge for space and comfort (plus views out) and overall build
Two bad: Not cheap and only sleeps two
Perfect for… Couples touring in style, comfort, practicality and quality
Also consider: Wellhouse Custom Lux-XL
Stay cool, improve your view, save your pitch
Cool, eh? Literally. Even if you already have a fridge in your leisure vehicle, you might just be tempted to add some extra cooler storage for drinks in the form of one of these. They’re the latest WCI Ice Chest range from Dometic – in a choice of three attractive colours – Ocean, Glow and Slate – and come in 13, 22 and 33-litre capacities.
If you’ve noticed scratches on your vehicle’s glass windows as we come out of winter, you can blame a combination of the wintry weather conditions and over-enthusiastic use of your windscreen scraper. You can get rid of them by using the Quixx System Glass Scratch Remover. It’s a two-part process that includes a diamond polish and a finisher.
Multi-functionality is the key to the quick-erect Instant Utility Tent from Quest. Pitch it yourself in under two minutes – it uses what Quest calls a “zero tension frame system” – ie it’s a simple act of folding it out and extending the legs – and it can be used for storage, or as a toilet tent or even for showering in. Or simply use it to reserve your pitch when you’re out for the day.