We went to the Caravan Show

We shall be picking up our new caravan in a few weeks, so we didn’t go along to shop for yet another one, but we did fancy a little look at what the whole show had to offer.

We happened to start in the hall that housed the tents and awnings. So-called “air beam” frames, made of rubber tubes that you pump up are becoming the order of the day rather than metal or fibre frames that you slot together. Some of these tents can also serve as an awning.

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We bought something, of course. How could I resist this gazebo?

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Especially when it puts up and takes down in literally two or three minutes …

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… and packs down to something that resembles a badly furled umbrella?

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We really were taken with it as a dayroom for hot days. It has mesh sides which allow the breeze through but give a decent amount of shade. I can imagine sitting with a book and a nice cold drink in the evenings, too, but we’ll need to sort out some suitable lighting. They were selling LED strip lights as an optional extra, but not at a price we fancied paying!

Here’s a video of how easy it is to assemble. I should correct myself and say that it’s not a mere gazebo, it’s a “spring up screen house” or “hub shelter”. But you’d probably already guessed that. Quest Elite Spring Up Screen House 6

They were apparently invented in Minnesota as ice-fishing shelters. What we have is a summer version designed to keep the midges out when camping on the northern lakes. Anyway, we look forward to trying it soon. I’ll report back on its efficacy later in the year.

We found lots of interesting things like this teepee

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and a sleeping bag that converts into a dressing gown, presumably so that you can stagger across the campsite to the loo in the middle of the night without losing your nice sleeping bag warmth.

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We also went to one of the lectures.

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This one was on choosing a motorhome. We have no intention of buying one, but we hoped to understand the attraction of spending £80K or more on a motorhome rather than £20K on a caravan. We can see loads of reasons in favour of the caravan, and relatively few against, so there should be some powerful reasons the other way.

Sorry, motorhome enthusiasts. We still don’t quite get it. Maybe caravanning just suits our style of touring.

We finished off our visit with a pilgrimage to the Bailey Stand to admire our soon-to-be-delivered new van.

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I’d not noticed before just how much the front resembles a smiley face on a child’s toy, especially if you open the windows and the sunroof. We still love it though, and the interior is going to be just perfect for us.

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