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THE CARAVAN & MOTORHOME SHOW, MANCHESTER
15th – 18th January 2015
EventCity, Phoenix Way, Barton Dock Rd, Manchester M41

Show Opening Times:
Thursday: 10 – 6pm
Friday: 10 – 8pm (free for visitors from 5pm onwards)
Saturday: 9.30 – 6pm
Sunday: 9.30 – 5.30pm

2015 Caravan & Motorhome Show CoverThe 2015 Caravan and Motorhome show was held once again at Event City near the Trafford Centre shopping mall. Although in its 17th year, this is the fourth year its been held at Event City and 2014 saw a record-breaking attendance of over 27,900 visitors, up by 13% on 2012.  if the success continues at the current rate it won’t be long before it might have to go from a 4 day event to a 5 day event.

Although the weather was forecast to be a bit wild and windy, the sun was shining and the M60 motorway was surprisingly quiet as we left home this morning and it only took about 20 minutes to get there. Car parking is not a problem and this year they have introduced a temporary traffic light crossing on Barton Dock road to make it easier crossing from the car park to Event City.

The quiet before the storm... before the show opened!

The quiet before the storm… before the show opened!

Thankfully we had a chance to gain access before the show opened to the public which gave us chance to check out some of the stands before they got too busy.

One of the new exhibitors to the Manchester show this year was Airstream and they had one of their iconic Airstream travel trailers along with TAB and the largest gathering of Eriba caravans we had seen.

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Although you do see a lot of Eriba caravans on sites, it’s not often you can get to look round and for such a tiny caravan on the outside, really there is a bit of a space time thing going on as I’m sure they are bigger on the inside!

I think the award for most caravans on a stand has to go to Glossop Caravans for their mahoosive stand…

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… it needs a map all of its own!

Glossop Caravans are one of the biggest caravan and motorhome retailers in the country and this show is almost in their back yard and they make the effort to make sure that they cover as many of the models as possible.

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Sue’s favourite caravan of the show… I thought I was going to have to go and do a deal with Brian Lang before she would come out!

Between Glossop’s stand and Swift’s stand I think every option for Swift Group products was covered.

The other major caravan dealers in the north-west Lowdhams, Campbells and Kimberly covered the other manufacturers. It was noticeable though the tiny number of Bailey caravans on show although Lowdhams had a great selection of Bailey motor-homes on their stand.SPB_5D_098246 The Show Opens

The show opened it’s doors promptly at 10:00 and the massed gathering outside in the entrance foyer flooded in. You could tell it was going to be busy.

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10:00am and the doors open…

By now it was coffee and bacon and egg muffin time….. DISASTER! Non of the food retailers we checked out had a traditional show breakfast offering of the humble bacon and egg… or sausage and egg muffin. The nearest we came to it was the main food outlet that was doing Bratwurst rolls (I hope they weren’t a result of poor bratwurst sales at a Christmas market!) so two bratwurst rolls, one tea and one coffee (and £15 lighter in the wallet) had to do. I know the food outlets at shows normally charge a premium.. but seriously guys… £15.

Something new…

One of the most innovative ideas at the show was something from a company called MOGO Freedom.

SPB_5D_098248Matjaz Korosec and Ross Design from Germany followed the adage of less is more – the luxury lies in its simplicity. In its simplest form it’s a bed in a box… that you can tow. Now it’s not going to replace a caravan, but, and here is the clever bit, for avid campers that want something a bit more than a bit of canvas over their head at night but don’t want to give up the simple freedom of camping this might just be the thing that they are looking for. It is of course a bit more than a bed in a box. The bed rises up electrically to reveal a large storage area and both sides of the box open up to form a roof. The great thing about it is it will store in a normal size garage and it’s a maximum of 750 Kg’s so no towing restrictions for younger drivers.

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Photo (c) MOGO Freedom Ltd

I think it’s a great idea as the all season alternative to a tent… go and have a look at the website… http://www.mogofreedom.com/

Other stuff…

Doing the rounds of some of the smaller exhibitors stands we chatted to the guys from Equipmart Ltd about their new KIAM inverter generators which really are pushing the price point for 1000 watt and 2000 watt inverter generators. Hopefully I’ll be able to include KIAM in a Caravan Chronicles generator shoot out and review later this year.  (http://kiamproducts.co.uk/generator/petrol-inverter.html )

Make sure you don’t forget your wallet (or purse!) as Towsure once again are hosting the Towsure Accessory Superstore which has some great show deals. It always amazes me just how much stuff they can pack into their stand.

We did mooch round some motorhomes and as caravanners we can appreciate the different requirements that motorhomers and caravanners have for their particular chosen mode of accommodation. However we did come across Moto-Trek’s Euro-Trekka range and one in particular, the tag axle Euro-Trekka II did have us thinking… Hmmm. It has two slide out’s, a big 700 Kg payload and a 1600Kg towing limit. Only question is as Andy Harris asks… can you make toast in it?

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So what did we think?…

Well if the crowds that we saw are anything to go by, I think it’s going to be another record-breaking show. It was great to see some new exhibitors to the show, especially Airstream and I hope that they and the others continue. All the stalwarts were there – Towsure, Isabella etc. Event City is an ideal location although I wonder how the show can grow apart from extending the number of days it’s open for. I did think that this year there were less leisure homes and lodges on show than previous years and maybe that one option would be to have these in a separate show all of their own so both could expand.

Definitely worth a visit, especially if you don’t want to travel down to the NEC next month.

The show is open Friday: 10 – 8pm, Saturday: 9.30 – 6pm and Sunday: 9.30 – 5.30pm and plenty of free parking.