With an estimated 500,000 touring caravans in use , the NCC (National Caravan Council) is advising owners to check the condition of tyres before every journey, to ensure both their safety and that of other road users. Particular attention should be paid to the age of the tyres.
This advice is because caravan tyres do not tend to wear out due to high mileage like car tyres. However, the rubber degrades due to exposure to UV radiation from sunlight and other weather conditions. Therefore even if the tyres do not appear to be worn, it is recommended that they are replaced seven years from the date they were manufactured.
To identify the tyre's age, owners can check the Date of Manufacture Code which is printed on the tyre. The code is four digits, for example '1807' which would indicate the tyre was manufactured in the 18 th Week of 2007. When replacing tyres also ensure that they are correctly rated for the maximum plated weight of the caravan.
As one of the UK's largest consumer events – Boat and Caravan Show - came to a close at the NEC Birmingham on Sunday, all the signs were of an industry leading the way out of business gloom with record orders reported by exhibitors.
Attracting a visitor attendance of 83,364 (this figure excludes exhibitors and press and is subject to ABC audit) to the six-day event, leading manufacturers such as Swift, Bailey, Elddis, Lunar and Coachman reported record sales.
"The tens of thousands of people we welcomed to the show proved that despite so much talk of doom and gloom, there is an increasing demand for the outdoor way of life and outdoor holidays in both the UK and Europe."
For the full report please go to Busy Outdoors.com
Predictions from the NCC (National Caravan Council) that an extra two million caravan holidays would be taken in Britain in 2009 are set to be proved correct.
The NCC, the trade association that represents the UK caravan industry, estimated in February 2009 that a big rise in the number of holidays taken in touring caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes would be seen that year.
Figures from VisitEngland show that the number of camping and caravan trips taken in the UK rose by nearly 20 per cent during the first nine months of 2009 (more than any other type of accommodation except self catering). Their research also reports that 65 per cent of caravan parks attracted more bookings last year than in 2008.
Data from CRiS, the registration system for touring caravans, show that sales of pre-owned tourers rose by around a fifth in 2009. The NCC believes that up to 1,000 new jobs have been created through the rise in park bookings, as additional staff were taken on in caravan holiday companies' offices and on sites.
Speaking before the opening of the Boat and Caravan Show at the NEC (23-28 Feb, Director General of the NCC, John Lally, said: "More than 95 per cent of touring caravans and virtually all caravan holiday homes in the UK are made here. Caravans have played an important part in fuelling renewed interest in holidaying in the UK.
Swift Group may be working flat out on its latest models for 2010 but a little corner of their giant plant is devoted to a very special project – the restoration of three classic caravans.
Chairman, Peter Smith has owned the classics for some years but with the Eccles celebrating its 90th birthday in 2009, it seemed a good time to get the restoration project off the ground.
Oldest of the three caravans is the Eccles President from 1938 which made its debut at the 1937 Motor Show. The Eccles has spent most of its life under cover and was used for many years prior to the second world war. The caravan is complete with its original crockery pots and pans including egg cups and sherry glasses.
It has amazingly high specification with 12V lighting, built in water tank and wet cell radio, a table that has a cover for card games and a mat on the other side for letter writing. Thankfully some things have improved though as it was challenging to tow, max speed 25 mph and the nights were freezing.
To the get the Eccles back to its former glory, looking exactly as it did when it left the factory, the President has been stripped back to its shell and has been painstakingly brought back to its original condition.
Being worked on alongside the Eccles is one of Swift's originals, a 1964 Clubman Ten – which is having new upholstery, curtains and carpets to match the originals. Thanks to the skill of the time served craftsman, this 45 year old van will look as good as new.
The third classic project is a Safari Minor from 1948. This two-berth caravan was one of the first Safari caravans to be built and is again getting new soft furnishings in addition to body work repairs to return it to its former glory.
The three classics will be centre stage on the Swift Group stand at the NEC National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Show 23-28 February 2010.
Tags:Caravan Manufacturers Caravanning
Despite the snow and ice thousands of families are choosing the peace and quiet of the countryside over overindulgence and television repeats in front of the fire at home, according to the latest research.
Record numbers of cash-strapped Britons forced to tighten their belts switched to 'staycation' holidays in UK in summer and have now extended the concept of money-saving breaks to New Year despite the plummeting temperatures.
To read the full report from the Daily Telegraph click here
This year's show consists of over 560 exhibiting companies offering visitors' the first opportunity to see the latest 2010 products from some of the leading outdoor manufacturers. Free activities, demonstrations, help and advice add to a great day- out for the whole family.
Talk of doom and gloom and the recession were sidelined last year, when over 96,384 (84,423 visitors and 11,961 exhibitors subject to ABC Audit) walked through the doors of the UK's largest outdoor leisure show.
Discover the freedom and adventure of independent holidaying – whether in a tent, a caravan, folding camper or motorhome – and visit the show where friendly help and advice is available from leading clubs and organisations. Beginners can try towing a caravan or driving a motorhome at the show – all free of charge.
We have ten pairs of tickets to be won in our ticket competition - to enter go to our main page here
Britain's rediscovering of the benefits of caravan holidays helped Britain's largest manufacturer, Cottingham based Swift Group, achieve all time record sales of £28 million at the International Caravan and Motorhome Show held at the NEC, Birmingham last week.
The company, which displayed a wide range of its touring caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes, provided a spectacular main feature at the show with a display of over 100 products covering a massive 7,000 square metres.
The iconic American Airstream trailer has come of European age with a model made specifically for the European market. It hasn't lost all the glitz that differentiates an Airstream from the rest but it has been slimmed down slightly for our smaller, twisty roads. For the largest model you'll still need a mighty 4×4 to pull it but the aerodynamics could reduce your fuel bill by up to 20% compared to a standard "white" caravan. You'll also need a hefty wallet but you'll never be lost in the crowd!
For a full report from The Telegraph click here
Tags:Caravan Manufacturers Caravanning
Scotland's only dedicated event for caravanners and those who love the outdoor life - The Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show - will take place at Glasgow's SECC from 4 - 7 February 2010.
We have 12 pairs of tickets to give away in our competition!
Our 12 lucky winners will each receive a pair of tickets for the show which brings together over 150 companies showcasing the latest caravans, motorhomes, holiday homes as well as outdoor leisure accessories, camping equipment and small boats – all under one roof.
Go to our competition page here
Those buying a caravan could make a lifestyle choice by allowing them to holiday every weekend, it has been claimed.
Brits who opted for a caravanning holiday this year could make it a regular occurrence it has been suggested. According to The Caravan Club, those who spent their holiday in a caravan could decide to make that sort of break a lifestyle choice.
Spokesperson Nikki Nichol explained the rise in the number of Brits opting for this kind of holiday is likely to continue and said it presents people with a different option.
"Who wouldn"t want a holiday every Friday night? If you have a caravan, you can do that," she said. The comments come on the back of what caravan park operator Park Resorts called a "record-breaking season". Sales of the mobile holiday homes were up by 40 per cent in the first half of the financial year.
Meanwhile, an IM Financial Services survey found that 89 per cent of respondents would consider buying a caravan to holiday in the UK.