13/10/2010
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Chelston Motorhomes Second Open Weekend

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IT doesn’t seem a year ago that I last attended Chelston’s Open Weekend, but learning from that experience, my wife and I avoided the daytime holiday traffic by taking down our motorhome the night before.

Chelston had also arranged some off-site parking with a shuttle service, which is an excellent idea. The 2010 weather did not smile as kindly as it had before, but at least it didn’t rain and this time we arrived without the stress from traffic jams.

With last year’s event so fresh in my mind it also became immediately apparent that there were several notable changes.

The event seems to be expanding and improving year on year. Of course, Chelston Motorhomes has a prime location on a modern industrial park, with the building holding the reception area and the sales operation easily visible.

The site is very comprehensive and comprises a large area to display new and used motorhomes, a service centre and a large leisure outlet, that is the equal of any national outdoor chains.

Indeed, it would be hard not to find the accessory that you needed for your motorhome from among their comprehensive selection. It is also Chelston’s proud boast that their service centre is second to none.

So what had changed? The most apparent changes were the re-location of the ‘Part Exchange Clearance Zone ’ to a much better, more self-contained, area nearer the main building, replacing it with a new ‘sales podium’.

Sales staff were available in abundance, clearly anticipating large numbers of visitors to equal those at last year’s event.

The diversity and number of stands had also expanded quite dramatically, to the extend that Chelston’s own show is beginning to rival some of the established motorhome shows on the calendar.

Once again, there were complimentary refreshments consisting of tea, coffee and biscuits. For those whose appetites extended to something more filling, the ‘Magic Nosh’ van was set up nearby.

In spite of all the doom and gloom in country’s economy, the last year does seem to have been good for business, or at least as far as Chelston are concerned.

The hire scheme, which was in its infancy last year, has been successful and they now have expanded from one vehicle to two Adria Corals, which are available throughout the year.

Significantly, they have also taken on some new lines of motorhomes and expanded their operation to other premises.

The old standbys were still there with comprehensive ranges from Adria, Autotrail, Bessacar and Burstner, with some impressive specimens from the ‘Aviano’ and ‘Elegance’ ranges, but a prominent addition is the introduction of a number of ‘value for money’ motorhomes from Roller Team.

 chelston motorhome show chelston hire fleet 
 motorhomes at the show chelston motorhome show 


There were several impressive vehicles on display and I was informed that a new outlet has been opened on the Trago Mills approach road at Newton Abbot to deal exclusively with The Roller Team Range, including the new Box with a 7.5 cubic metre garage.

This is aimed mainly at motorsport enthusiasts, with the vehicle doubling as a motorhome and a vehicle transporter, with a full-width, rear entrance with steel shutter. It will be interesting to see how these sell. They certainly look impressive.

Similarly to last year, I wandered around and chatted to a few people looking at the motorhomes People come to motorhoming for a variety of reasons and it is interesting to get a slant on these.

One of the couples that I spoke to came to my notice because the lady was using a motorised buggy.

Motorhomes seem particularly attractive to those with some kind of disability and it is interesting to learn why this should be.

Mrs Marlies Washington, who was originally from Holland and now lives in Bideford, told me that she has MS. Previous to that she had been a very active lady, having participated in a variety of outdoor pursuits.

Marlies and her husband Peter fully intend to make the best of the situation and have found that their foray into motorhome ownership has enabled them to do this.

They want to tour extensively in England and Holland and Peter has given up his job so that they have time.

They had already tried motorhome hire for a three-week holiday and they loved it. The intention is to downsize their home and to use the capital from this to fund the outright purchase of a new or nearly new motorhome that will fit their needs.

This would have to have storage capacity for the electric buggy, which has made such a difference to Marlies’s mobility. This would probably necessitate a garage facility and a fixed bed was preferable.

They had looked at the Burstner Elegance 821 favourably. They had a budget of up to around £45K, but this would be stretched by the fact that their purchase would be VAT exempt.

Ian and Jennie Stewart from Barnsley are ardent caravanners.

They spend in excess of eighty nights a year away in their Bessacar E500 caravan, together with their two cats who are quite at home with all this travelling.

They also have not owned a motorhome before but are considering it, with the intention of doing more touring particularly in Scotland.

Ian and Jennie have a budget of up to £50K and want to buy new.

The motorhome must be fairly compact and self-contained, with decent cooking facilities as they might not necessarily use campsites all of the time.

This new purchase might replace the caravan or they may use both depending on circumstances.

All in all this, once more, seemed to have been a successful event and is an excellent example of how a forward-thinking company can independently stage something good enough to rival the bigger motorhome events in the calendar.

I look forward to seeing what happens with this, now regular happening, in 2011.

Contact:

Chelston Motorhomes ?(sales and hire)
Chelston Business Park, Wellington, Somerset TA21 9JE

Tel: 01823 662075
Web: www.chelstononline.co.uk

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