Pitchup.com at the Spring Caravan and Camping Show
We're not long back from a family half-term trip to the Spring Caravan and Camping Show at the NEC, where we went to meet our suppliers, test out new caravan and tent models – and add to our list of camping trips so far this year. We are also about to inherit an old family heirloom – a caravan, and were the fortunate owners of a Volvo XC60 for a few days, so wanted to test out its towing capabilities.
The show was heaving with anyone with a keen interest in camping and caravanning in the UK. It's the only show of its kind taking place in the spring, which is perfect timing for anyone making their holiday choices for summer or looking for ideas for low-season holidays, as all the main caravan, motorhome and static home manufacturers are under one roof showcasing their latest models.
As tent geeks we were keen to see the new models from Vango, Outwell, Coleman and Sprayway before they hit the shop floors. We also enjoyed catching up with our friends at Haven, Shorefield and other popular UK holiday park and camping sites, and it was reassuring to hear that sales so far for 2013 are going strong, with some parks reporting peak season availability getting slim and urging customers to book their holiday as soon as possible. It was great to see so many destinations represented.
We were able to test drive/tow a few of the new caravan models too, with the NEC Volvo team on hand to help. The car was certainly a hit, and we didn’t even notice a huge caravan behind us. In fact we nearly drove off home with it still attached...no surprise that it won What Car’s tow car of the year award a few years ago.
We were reluctant to give the car back – the kids loved operating the car’s ‘space ship’ style controls with a remote control at the back, there was plenty of room for our family tent and equipment, and the car's in-built sat nav system will be ensure no arguments trying to find numerous rural campsites. Now I just hope our battered old family car will be able to tow our inherited caravan, if not then I know a car that can...
Thanks to Volvo for loan of the Volvo XC60
By Gemma Chase