Pitched up at chapel lane, snacks packed, lists made, map revised… it was that time of year again- The Motorhome and Caravan show at the NEC!
Every year that we’ve previously visited we’ve only been for one day, cramming everything into a few crazy busy hours. But this year we decided to spread it out over three days and have more time to enjoy it. But where should we head first?
As we entered we were greeted by the familiar sight of buzzing crowds of people, all interested in the same thing-leisure vehicles. Through the hustle and bustle we made our way around the 11 huge halls, taking in all the shiny new caravans and motorhomes, as well as hundreds of stalls full of smiley staff selling every accessory and ad-on you can possibly think of.
Wandering around it’s impossible not to get drawn to things, everything is just so interesting! But there were a few things that stood out above the rest…
As all of you should know by now- I’m a wheelchair user and naturally I’m drawn to anything that is inclusive to people with disabilities. So when we came across Coachbuilt GB I was particularly excited. On display they had a fully wheelchair accessible motorhome, complete with an electric lift, electric bed, hoist and wet room. The work they do really puts our money-saving DIY caravan conversion to shame and it was better equipped than my own home!
Another unmissable thing for us is always a visit to the lovely ladies and gents at the Bailey stand, and this year was their biggest yet! It’s always exciting to see the younger brothers and sisters of our very own adventure-mobile but having every model in one place is a great sight. We can never resist a peek in our favourite caravan- the series 4 Unicorn Valencia. Being the newer version of ours, it has all the key features we love, but in an updated and modern way. For now we’ll just have to keep dreaming.
Within the Bailey stand it was great to see the accessory shop- Prima Leisure. Formally known as “Bailey parts” they came in very handy when we were adapting/destroying our caravan as they sell a huge variety of parts (not just for Bailey), from window catches to external graphics stickers, as well as general caravan accessories.
At their stand the crowds were gathering to enter a competition to see who can blow up an inflatable awning the quickest. The atmosphere was buzzing and it was great fun to watch, but Stephen decided he was far too unfit to go up against the agile competitors and we continued on our way. One competition Stephen always wins at (may or may not be legitimately) is the Caravan Guard “spin the wheel”. He’s “won” every prize except the water bottle, so this time that was his mission- and it was a success! (Although it may or may not have been legitimately).
Despite having revised the map extensively, we still ended up walking around with no sense of direction at all- totalling 10 miles over the 3 days. Just strolling along, hoping that we’ll be able to tick a few things off our list along the way. Thankfully we managed to do that, and even more! Plus Stephen was thrilled to add to his ever-growing collection of NEC pens.
Although it was fantastic to see the shiny new caravans and accessories, our favourite part of the motorhome and caravan show is always catching up with the loveliest people. It’s such a great community and everyone is so friendly across the industry, even if we’ve only known each other online we get talking straight away and it feels like we’ve been good friends for years! From manufacturers, marketers, journalists and sales staff- to this crazy and inspiring bunch of Youtubers.
One man who was particularly helpful in the lead up to us buying our caravan was Graham Powell on the Caravan Finder stand. He is a wealth of knowledge and we always enjoy having a catch up at the shows. Last year he introduced us to Jason from Greenfield’s mobile-servicing, at the time we were having slight technical issues and he gave us a lot of time and was great for advice- it just goes to show how great the caravan community is.
After having an amazing but full on three days at the NEC our time there was drawing to a close. Looking forward to having a good rest we left the hustle and bustle behind and stepped outside, and as we took in the fresh air we were greeted by a magnificent murmuration of starlings- a perfect reminder of the beauty of nature and the reason we go caravanning in the first place.