Heavy rain first thing this morning didn’t seem to dampen the opening of the 2014 Manchester Caravan & Motorhome Show at Event City. We arrived around 9:15 and managed to park at the back of the arena and make our way to the entrance just as the rain stopped. This year, the tiny coffee stand in the entrance hall that was over-run last year had been replaced by a bigger stand far more suited to the number of people expected and there were plenty of tables to sit at while we waited for the doors to open.
Additionally there was also a cloakroom that saved you having to carry your coats round. The doors opened at 10:00 and the long queue of people was quickly processed.. make sure you have your tickets ready.
I’m not going to give a blow-by-blow account of our wanderings. If you are planning on going, take a packed lunch! Spotted on one stall – 3 dinky pork pies for the ‘show’ price of £6 or you could opt for a meat pie (or steak pie) for the ‘amazing’ price of £3.50… it was a normal sized 3 1/2 inch diameter pie! We didn’t indulge in any pies. We did however opt for a couple of sausage and egg muffins and a bottle of water for a show stealing price of £7.80 Ouch!
Glossop Caravans had brought down a good selection of their “Celebration” range of Swift dealer specials. Now we are a bit biased as we bought our “Celebration 550” from Glossop in 2011 and for all the extras that come with them you do seem to get a lot for your money. However as we aren’t shopping for a new caravan, we continued onwards.
We are not motorhomers… but last year we did have a look through a selection, just to see if we were missing out on something – and we decided we weren’t. However we did have a poke round a Swift Kon-Tiki which was quite impressive, especially the storage space. However, the motorhome that did stand out was one we had never heard of made by a company we also hadn’t heard of before.
Moto-Trek produce the Euro-Treka I and II (the II is the tag-axle version) that has a couple of slide outs and seems like it has been designed by someone with a bit of sense (well to me at least) We both liked it a lot. Massive amounts of storage, good layout, lots of room, some good features. We liked it a lot (did I already say that?)
By 12 o’clock it was getting busy and the food outlets all had queues. Stopping by the Towsure stand seemed well stocked… and packed with people, a brief search didn’t managed to come up with a tow hitch cover or one of those round bags for storing your EHU cable in (that’s all we wanted really).
Eterniti Caravans had a full stand and they seemed really busy, but for some reason the Eterniti range of caravans don’t seem to tick boxes for me. Wandering round the smaller exhibitors stands there was the usual eclectic mix – everything from knife sharpeners to the latest thing in shredding garlic. Sue did almost go for a frothing whisk do-hicky thing…
On one of the smaller stands was a chap called David Walker, the owner of a company called WiFi On Board (DRW Electronics – hall 3 stand 143)… I had an interesting conversation with him about installing a 3/4G WiFi network in a caravan. I might be writing a feature on this soon.
By 1:30 it was packed with people, so we decided to head out and back home.
So that’s about it for the show roundup. If you are planning to go, go early, take your own sammich and be prepared for a queue here and there.
PS – a review in the Manchester Evening News