Top 10 must-see motorhomes at the NEC
The Motorhome & Caravan Show, the UK’s biggest indoor motorhome event, returns to Birmingham’s NEC from 15-20 OctoberThis is the only show where you’ll see all the new 2014 motorhomes and latest accessories from the leading UK and European manufacturers under one roof.
Over 400 UK and international brands will be filling a massive 11 halls at the NEC and, to help you plan your trip to this year’s show, we have compiled a top 10 of the must-see motorhomes on show.
In no particular order, our top 10 are:
Dethleffs Evan – Hall 9, stand 27
An A-class with an elevating roof, the Evan also has an extra wide side door, as well as an equally wide rear door. It’s also just 5.65m long and 2.15m wide.
The Evan’s features also include a choice of four or six individual, fully adjustable travel seats, with sleeping accommodation for up to six!
There’s little here that’s conventional with features such as underfloor heating, gas cartridge-powered cooker, extendable washroom with removable toilet. It's a great little A-class!
Bürstner Viseo I 700 – Hall 8, stand 40
The Viseo's A-class bodywork creates a beautifully integrated look and superior winterisation. It is also just 2.20m wide, so you shouldn't be daunted by driving it.
Inside, there is an instantly available drop-down double bed in the cab and two lounges with seat belts up front and featuring an L-shaped settee and picture window astern.
If you want German A-class quality and British-style lounging, you’ll want to see this.
Rapido 640 – Hall 7, stand 40
MMM magazine motorhome reviewer, Steve Rowe, recently described this Rapido as a “game changer in the coachbuilt motorhome market”.
A low-profile that manages to fit a fixed double bed with easy access for both occupants into a body that’s just 6.49m long. You can read his review here.
Rapido has squeezed so much into so little. The 640 has a unique – patented – transverse kitchen design. The only downside is that, unlike other Rapidos with low-level ovens, this one has its oven/grill over the 150-litre fridge/freezer.
Moto-Trek Euro-Treka I – Hall 11, stand 40
This motorhome is British, well-priced and comes with twin slide-outs, which means it certainly deserves a look.
The Euro-Treka is the first offering from the market-leading manufacturer of equestrian and motor sport vehicles, so it’s no basic start up. That experience (dating back to 1999) shows through in the firm’s first leisure-oriented coachbuilt.
It’s unique and it’s intriguing. We guarantee you’ll see a lot more of Moto-Trek over the next few years.
Auto-Trail V-Line – Hall 7, stand 20
Which Motorhome Editor, Peter Vaughan, says ‘make a beeline for the V-Line’. If you're contemplating downsizing from a coachbuilt or just looking for a campervan, then the V-Line should be on your list.
It stands out from the hoards of high-tops with its sleek raised GRP roof and it’s got all sorts of clever details too, like storage for wet gear and a home for outdoor chairs. Even the washroom is better designed than we’ve come to expect in van conversions.
There’s a full and exclusive road test in the October issue of MMM – which you can buy here. Or if you want to read a synopsis of the road test, click here.
Winnebago Via – Hall 9, stand 140
We didn’t think an American motorhome would ever make it onto a ‘must-see' list in the UK, except for diehard RV fans, but this European-sized A-class on a Mercedes Sprinter base has done just that.
Unlike most of its European rivals, it comes with a space-enhancing slide-out in the lounge.
Three layouts, finishes and décor schemes and six exterior colours are the sort of touches you expect for around £125,000.
Westfalia Amundsen – Hall 11, stand 135
Look out for at least two vehicles from German campervan manufacturer, Westfalia.
The first is the Amundsen, which joins the Columbus as Westfalia’s Fiat-based offering and will be available on both the long and extra-long wheelbase.
The second is the Volkswagen-based Club Joker. If you want to learn more about these two campervans, both tested in the May issue of Which Motorhome. You can buy a copy here.
Westfalia, which is now owned by France’s Rapido, is looking to appoint some UK dealers at the motorhome show. As soon as we learn who they are, we will let you know.
Pilote Aventura G600 LA – Hall 9, stand 9
And the star of its line-up is the new Aventura G600 LA, which has been developed with UK tastes in mind. It has a full cooker and the super-sized lounge’s table is fully removable. Read our review of it here.
Remarkably, the new Aventura is expected to hit the UK roads priced at around £50k, and, if you want even more lounge space and a higher spec, there’s the new A-class G690 LR which looks great value at £60k.
Bailey Approach Autograph 765 – Hall 19, stand 29
And, for 2014, it has re-developed its entire motorhome range as well as introducing Britain's first drop-down bed low-profile motorhome - the Autograph 765. You can read our review of it here.
The entire Autograph range is better looking, more stylish and more extensively appointed than its SE predecessor, but the 765 is the one that stands out.
And, while you're at the Bailey stand, take a look at its two new sub-6m compact coachbuilts, which make their debut at the show.
Auto-Sleepers Warwick XL – Hall 6, stand 55
Auto-Sleepers has enjoyed a successful 2013 with sales up 12 per cent on the back of a thoroughly reworked coachbuilt range. For 2014 it’s the van conversions that come under the spotlight, with a new look thanks to lighter oak furniture and two new models based on the extra-long Peugeot Boxer van.
The Warwick XL takes the best-selling Warwick Duo’s rear lounge layout and uses the extra space to create a better lounge and a washroom with a separate shower.
It still has Auto-Sleepers' winning formula of automotive looks and high spec, and 2014 models will meet the Grade III standard for winterisation.
Get the November 2014 issue of MMM (out 17 October) for an exclusive first test of the new Warwick XL. You can pre-order your copy here.
And if you have time...While these two didn't make our top 10, we highly recommend that, if you're interested in campervans, then you also head to the Wellhouse stand (Hall 12, stand 155) to see the first British campervan built on the new Ford Transit.
The new Ford has already won widespread praise for its driving style and equipment levels, and Wellhouse is well-regarded as a top-notch converter, so this new campervan is well worth seeing.
And, remember, we are also promised a great new campervan from British specialist converter, IH. So make sure you get to Hall 7, stand 13 to see what IH Motorhomes is offering.
For a full report on all the new 2014 motorhomes, buy the October issue of MMM. You can read all about the latest launches from Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Bailey, Bürstner, Carthago, Chausson, Dethleffs, Elddis, Frankie, Hobby, Hymer, Knaus, Laika, Niesmann + Bischoff, Pilote, Rapido, Roller Team, Swift, Tribute and WildAx. To purchase your copy, please click here.