Caravan, Camping, and Motorhome Show 2017 Highlights

The Caravan, Camping, and Motorhome show is a firm fixture in our diary every February.

It’s a great chance to see what’s new from the manufacturers, get some bargains, and pick up some tips and inspiration for the year ahead.

This year was no exception.

If you didn’t manage to go to this year’s show, below is our highlight video of just some of the things we saw.

New and Improved Trailer Tents

A trailer tent is great if your car can’t tow a caravan, yet you want the convenience of having everything together, without the hassle of pitching a tent.

They are a great idea, but I know from our experience, we’ve pitched a tent much quicker than others arriving at a campsite with a trailer tent. But not always.

Personally, I think that trailer tents have been needing some innovation for some time – both in looks and technology.

Fortunately, it looks like there has been, and there were a few trailer tents that caught our attention at the show.

Holtkamper Cocoon Aero

The trailer tents from Holtkamper looked quite stylish. Seeing them on a campsite you would have thought they were glamping tents rather than trailer tents.

The Holtkamper Cocoon Aero is not just a pretty face. It self-inflates to take the hassle and time out of pitching.

Inside the trailer tent was a great deal of space too.

And while it only has one built-in double bed, there’s plenty of space for pop-up tents for the kids, as well as plenty of room for tables and chairs.

Of course, your kitchen comes with the trailer.

Prices were advertised as from £13,195.

Holtkamper Kyte XL

Another trailer tent with good looks was the Holtkamper Kyte XL.

I really liked the layout of this camper, with a good looking kitchen facing onto the large porch shelter. Just the sort of set-up for those family evening meals or breakfasts at the campsite.

Inside the main part of the Kyte XL was a fixed double bed, plus an area you can use for other bedrooms or somewhere to store items.

Prices were advertised as from £17,195.

Air Opus Camper

Air technology has made its way into the Opus camper.

These rugged looking campers just ooze adventure, and when they are packed away, they are a perfect platform for bikes or canoes. This is our sort of trailer tent!

When set-up it is clear that this is a trailer tent. However, you’ll be blown away with the interior of the Opus.

At each end of the trailer are two double beds that fold out. And there’s still room for a kitchen with sink, gas hob, microwave, and seating area with a table…which can also be used as another double berth.

If you do need more space, there’s also an additional awning you can get.

If the air frame doesn’t appeal to you, then there’s still the original polled Opus trailer still available too.

I was also impressed to spot a motorised mover on the trailers. Trailers are a lot easier to manoeuvre than caravans, but with this addition, you would have no problems in getting your trailer into the perfect spot.

The Opus Camper is listed from £12,995 and the Opus Air from £15,495.

Lots of Family Tents

At this year’s show, there were lots of large family tents on display.

Outwell took centre stage, with Vango, Coleman, Air Revolution, Zempire, Kampa, and others.

Here are a few of the tents that were on display.

Outwell Vermont XLP

The Outwell Vermont XLP is a very large tent that would make a great base as a home-from-home for a long camping stay.

It has a large sheltered porch area that you can completely zip shut, a large living space that includes a wardroom, and three large bedrooms.

Outwell Concorde 10AC

If you prefer a vis-a-vis layout, where the bedrooms face each other, then the large inflatable Outwell Concorde 10AC was at the show.

As well as being a large tent, the bedrooms have been made larger too, and are now 2.5 metres long.

Vango Illusion TC 800XL

Vango also brought a number of large family tents. This included the large Vango Illusion ‘technical cotton’ 800XL.

This is an inflatable Vango AirBeam tent with a safari look and canvas style fabric.

On the front of the Illusion TC 800XL, is a large canopy to provide shade (or rain shelter). Then there’s a large enclosed porch area providing a lot of useful space.

As you move inside the tent you have three bedrooms at the back, plus an optional bedroom you can hang in the middle of the tent.

Vango Illusion 800XL

As a comparison, the Vango Illusion 800XL was also on display. This is the polyester version of the previous tent, and sports the same layout, including the optional 4th bedroom in the living area.

Vango Maritsa 600XL

This popular and distinctive tent layout is back, with its narrow fully sheltered porch area that opens up into a larger living space, where three bedrooms span the back of the tent.

Outwell Vermont 7SA

The Outwell Vermont 7SA is another large inflatable family tent.

At the show, the Vermont 7SA was fitted out with the sort of furniture you might take with you to the campsite. I find this really useful in helping understand just what practical space you actually have when the tent is in use. It can be hard to gauge the usable space when you are faced with just an empty tent.

The Outwell Vermont 7SA has an impressive enclosed front porch area. At the show, this was filled with a large camp kitchen plus storage, which shows just how much usable space you get in the front of the Vermont 7SA.

Inside the main tent was a 2-person table and the optional ‘wardrobe’ hung in the middle of the tent. This was also filled with storage.

At the back of the tent are three bedrooms. These are the Royal Master Bedrooms, which are much larger bedrooms than you find on the majority of tents.

Outwell Harrier 6SATC

The Outwell Harrier 6SATC is another inflatable ‘technical cotton’ tent that was at the show.

As with the Outwell Vermont 7SA, this features the larger-than-average Royal Master Bedrooms.

Outwell Phoenix 7ATC

Another inflatable ‘technical cotton’ tent at the show as the Outwell Phoenix 7ATC. Again, another large family tent that’s designed for those family holidays under canvas.

Like the Outwell Vermont 7SA, the Phoenix 7ATC was fitted out with the sort of furniture a family might use in their tent.

In the enclosable porch area was a kitchen (the excellent Drayton kitchen). Inside the main tent area was a four-person table.

You might prefer to use the table in the porch or outside rather than inside the main part of the tent, but it does illustrate well the amount of space you have in the tent.

At the back of the tent are three bedrooms. These are Ambassador Master Bedrooms, and again, they are larger than bedrooms you find on most tents.

Outwell Wolf Lake 9E

The ever popular Wolf Lake was at the show, this time in the new Elan range showing the new, thicker, tent fabric that looks like canvas on the outside.

This is another tent with a large living space in the porch area that’s really practical for families. At the show, this tent had the really good Padres XL kitchen unit easily fitting in the porch, along with space for a powered cool box and waste bin.

There was even enough space for a chair, a lounger, and a side table.

Inside the main tent living space, you can find 3 large bedrooms along the back of the tent.  These are the 2.5m long Ambassador Master Bedrooms.

In the middle of the tent is the fourth bedroom.

Coleman Rocky Mountain

Coleman has a new tent this year: the Rocky Mountain, which comes in two sizes.

The tents feature Coleman’s blackout bedrooms.

Zempire Airforce 1 and Zempire Delta Force

The New Zealand firm Zempire was back this year, this time with their new massive canvas tents: the Airforce 1 and the Delta Force.

These are very big tents (with a price tag to match).

Zempire Airforce 1 has an RRP of £3000.

Zempire Delta Force has an RRP of £5000.

Caravans

Of course, much of the show’s halls were filled with caravans and motorhomes.

There were a number of small caravans at the show that caught the eye…even if it would be a challenge to fit a family in them!

The LEGO caravan was also back at Freedom to Go.

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For us, though, we really wanted to go and see Casper’s brothers and sisters.

If you are not aware, Casper is the Compass Casita 586 caravan we are currently using for the #5CChallenge.

It was great to see all the different layouts of the Compass Casita range. Though for us, we love the Casita 586 the best 😉

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Motorhomes

Motorhomes (or RVs if you are from the States) are the other major part of the Caravan, Camping, and Motorhome show, of course.

We’re no expert in Motorhomes, but a few things caught our eye.

Motorhome’s with Garages

If we ever got a motorhome, we have always thought that one with a garage would be the most useful.

However, we wouldn’t use it to keep a moped. Instead, we’d fill it with things like inflatable canoes 🙂

Folding Travel Seats

Space is more of a premium in motorhomes than caravans as it is not only your living and sleeping space, but also where you drive and travel.

I came across this folding that allows the motorhome to have bench seats and a full forward facing set when travelling.

However, I know that when we tried a motorhome, the kids liked sitting at the motorhome’s table while travelling, as they could do things like drawing as we travelled.

Activities

Of course, it’s not just caravans, tents, and motorhomes at the show. There are a number of activities to do or gear to use on your adventures.

Red Paddle Co

Red Paddle Co were at the show demonstrating their excellent inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboards and inflatable Windsurfing board.

It was great to see how many people were interested in trying a SUP. They are great fun!

Sleeping Up A Cliff?

If you ever fancied in sleeping on a cliff face, then that was one of the many activities on offer from Gaia Adventures.

For the Kids

There were a number of activities at the show to keep the kids amused.

Our lad’s favourite was the pedal powered caravan driving at the Camping and Caravanning Club.

The speed at which the kids drove the caravans around the corners led to many crashes!

Talks and Celebrities

There’s plenty of talks and demonstrations at the show too, as well as the occasional celebrity walking around.

We met Julia Bradbury and fellow GetOutside Champion, Ben Fogle.

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Camping Kids

One talk I attended was about a new book coming out soon, called Camping with Kids.

This book looks full of great ideas to help make your family camps great fun with the kids.

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Gav Grayston
Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.
Gav Grayston

@getoutkids

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