It’s that time of year when, to paraphrase Matthew 26, “You will hear of shows, and rumours of shows”. The Caravan and Motorhome Show has just filled Event City in Manchester, the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show starts soon at Glasgow’s SEC and plans are well advanced for Birmingham’s Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show from 20 to 25 February.
But it’s not just in the UK that we’re being tempted to browse touring units and book intriguing places to stay. This month I had the chance to spend a day at “the world’s largest consumer show for tourism and leisure” – CMT in Stuttgart, Germany. Here are a few things I spotted while I was there:
1 This 50th anniversary event wasn’t light on destinations. The number of places to visit and activities available (completely filling four halls) was mind blowing. I visited on press/set-up day, so my experience included tip-toeing around polystyrene Doric columns and ducking under a cherry picker as it lifted a full-size, fixed-wing hang glider into position. Nevertheless, the range looked incredible.
2 The development of lightweight caravans is continuing apace in German manufacturers. Knaus had the latest Deseo on display, using a similar ultra-light frame technology to that in the Travelino. Dethleffs had its own take on lightweight, with the Coco, along with an intriguing concept caravan with a trailer-tent-style fabric sleeping cabin folding out of the back window.
The Germans are also a fair way ahead of us in terms of celebrating retro in their leisure vehicles. The gorgeous Eriba Touring Troll Rockabilly was stealing hearts at the show, including mine.
Many modular camping kits were vying for attention. These self-contained modules allow you to add a kitchen, storage, or more to your normal car, van or pick-up to convert it into a camper for the weekend. I think this is a great idea but it doesn’t seem to have caught on here yet – though watch this space for details of a potential new product at the Birmingham NEC show…
I took the opportunity to test a small camera at CMT, ready for a Gear Guide in March’s issue of Camping & Caravanning. If you have a little extra time to spare, you can see something of the show here: