|Plenty of new product launches and family activities were
in store at the 45th annual National Boat Caravan & Outdoor Show at the NEC,
Birmingham from 18-26 February 2006. The 2005 event attracted over 130,000
visitors, as audited by ABC, which makes it the UK’s leading camping,
caravanning and outdoor leisure show.
Over 500 exhibitors showcased their 2006 products, and there was fun for the
family, with activities such as rock climbing, canoeing and sailing. There
was also a variety of special show offers on products, competitions and free
advice from leading clubs and associations. The show covered :
There were over 560 touring caravans and motorhomes on display ranging
from £4,500- £250,000 as well as a great selection of the latest in 4x4’s
and towing vehicles, tents, outdoor clothing and accessories, plus a variety
of stands and exhibits of products for outdoor living and entertaining.
Major names include: Avondale, Auto-Sleepers, Autocruise, Auto-Trail,
Bailey, Brownhills, Coachman, Don Amott, Explorer Group, Fleetwood, Gobur,
Hayes, Lunar, Salop, Spinney, Swift Group and Westcroft, plus many more.
Airstream for the first time unveiled to the public the brand new Airstream
Europe. On it’s 75th anniversary Airstream have been able to convert their
iconic caravan to comply with European standards. Fully certified by the
National Caravan Council and priced between £30,000-£35,000, it is truly a
sight to behold. The hand made silver shell with 7,000 buck rivets and slick
interior is set to take the European caravanning world by storm.
Bailey Caravans debuted the Ranger Series 5 that boasts a host of internal
and external upgrades, including a compact bed model and the end washroom
has been re-designed to feature a plastic lined shower cubicle.
Coachman Caravan Company Ltd brought to the show their two new laser models
– the 640/4 and the 650/4. With new fixed bed models, it allows more space
for maneuvering in the caravan. Other new features include a 45mm thick
floor with 35mm Styrafoam core for insulation and strength; high level
chrome brake light and chrome rear light clusters; and a kitchen work
station with Spinflo Argent recessed stainless steel sink.
Sunnflair Ltd, a family run company, were at the show for the first time.
They launched a variety of awnings, including the ‘Ultima Porch’, the
‘Stigma Lite’ and the ‘Galaxy Porch’ with the new quick lock aluminium
Outdoor Revolution displayed the new Easi-Porth compact awning.
Brownhills Group launched the new Mercedes A-class luxury range, which
includes the 7068 and 7099.
Spinney Motorhomes brought to the show the new A-Class Frankia motorhome
from Germany. This brand new model is the first motorhome with a rear slide
out section that extends its length from 6.5 metres to 8 metres.
Southdowns Motorcaravans, the UK concessionaires for prestigious German
marque Concorde, launched the Concorde Charisma II. The new model has a
single-level flooring which gives the driver an elevated view of the road
and an electromagnetic lock system on its door, insulated security glass and
an entry code.
Westcroft American Motorhomes launched the Eura Mobil 2006 range which
includes the all new Profila Alcove and redesigns of their Sport, Contura
and Integra models.
Camping and Trailer Tents
All sizes and types of tents were on display in the show’s largest ever
camping section. Tents at the show ranged from £30 back-packer tents to
£4000 family tents. There was an extensive choice of camping accessories and
gadgets such as outdoor heaters, seating and sleeping bags. New for the 2006
show was the Towsure Accessory Superstore that had hundreds of camping
products and accessories. Visitors were able to save up to 15% off selected
lines in store at the show.
Representatives from UK and pan European campsites were also exhibiting,
helping to provide ideas and guidance on choosing a campsite.
Pennine Leisure Products Ltd, Europe’s largest manufacture of folding
campers, had ‘The Continental’ which at £4,995 is the cheapest six-berth
folding camper in the market. They also launched a completely new range of
Conway models for 2006 season.
Sun Leisure Ltd brought their new protex industrial instant pop-up shelters.
Yeomans Outdoors had clearance models from Peakland and Khyam as well as new
models from Outwell and Coleman. At least 2,000 square metres of tents will
be on display.
Accessories and Supplies
At the show there was a large range of accessories and supplies on
display for visitors to choose from. There was accessories for caravans,
motorhomes and boats, such as satellite navigation systems and stoves, and a
vast selection of products for outdoor activity. Some of the accessories
exhibitors include include Roadpro, Towsure, Mers Products Ltd, Moore Power,
Action Replay, Garmin, and many more.
Eberspacher Ltd markets a range of diesel fuelled hot air and water systems
for motorhomes. They launched the Combitronic Compact, the only diesel
fuelled 12v/24v heating system which combines interior saloon heating, hot
water and independent 240 volt auxiliary electrical heating all in one box.
Maxview Ltd, manufacturers of broadcast reception and telecom products,
launched the Omnisat semi-automatic satellite dish and manual satellite dish
Powrwheel Ltd manufacture caravan and boat trailer transporters. Their new
product for 2006 was the Powractuator which automatically engages with the
remote controlled caravan mover Powrtouch.
Omnistor Accessories brought the new Safaari-Residence, which is a new tent
system that’s fitted onto an existing awning.
Safe & Secure Products had a new range of wheelclamps, hitchlocks, winter
wheels and ground anchors.
Thetford Ltd who distribute caravan and motorhome accessories such as stoves
and sinks, displayed a range of Spinflo products and their new own brand
fridges with LCD displays.
Bulldog Security Products Ltd brought their new satellite GPS tracking
system for caravans and motorhomes and their new wheel-lock for alloy
Berkeley & Co Ltd, official UK distributors of Muc-Off cleaning products,
launched the Muc-off fast action cleaner and the Muc-off Miracle Shine
polish and protectant for caravans, motorhomes and boats.
The show was very comprehensive offering a wide choice for people
searching for the brand new caravan or motorhome, but as always somewhat a
little lacking in the choice of tents and trailer tents considering the huge
amount of choice and manufacturers there are in the UK market.
The accessory shops were plentiful, as always, with many great bargains to
be had, but don't forget you park a long away from the show, so if you are
buying something bulky and heavy, it is a long walk back as the free bus
service seemed to always be chock-a-block.
There were plenty of places to rest and read up on the information that you
picked up, however, snack and drinks were not the cheapest that I have
found, so you may wish to bring along your own food to save some cash!
Overall a good all round show, but could offer more for the tenter and