Tag Archives: Campervan

What are the advantages and disadvantages of comparison sites?

Image of Best priceThese days comparison sites are everywhere; you can barely turn on your television, listen to the radio or browse the internet without some sort of advert popping up. One of the reasons these types of sites have become so popular over the years is because they offer a beneficial service to customers and promote themselves as a way to save money. Continue reading

Motorhome Awards Shortlist Released

Gold TrophyThe long awaited shortlist for the 2013 Motorhome Awards was announced yesterday and with the award associated with Caravan Club and adjudicated by top motorhome magazines, the prizes will be much coveted. The awards themselves will take place in January after serious contemplation from the judges.

In previous years Motorhome Awards have seriously increased the number of sales and requests for motorhome insurance quotes attached to each motorhome. Winning a category can do wonders for the particular model that wins, but it’s also recognition that the brand is doing something right as well.

The awards nominate four motorhomes under each category. This year’s categories include small campervans, high-tops, a variety of single, double and non-fixed coachbuilts and, at the top end, the luxury coachbuilt which will come in at over £75,000. For most people, this is the ‘dream motorhome’ award, and will attract the affection of plenty of motorhome users.

The most hotly contested category looks to be the family coachbuilt, with the Swift Sundance, Roller Team Auto-Roller, the Dethleffs Esprit and the Bürstner Ixeo Time. Family coachbuilts are amongst the best selling motorhomes and certainly popular amongst first time buyers. There’s a definite loyalty that goes with motorhome purchases too; those that buy a good first one are often inclined to stick with the same brand for the second. Taking a win for any brand in this category could be lucrative.

If you’re thinking of making a purchase in 2013, it could be that you want to wait for the announcement – the panel of expert buyers, testers and journalists certainly know what they’re talking about. However, though the official seal of approval can be a great thing, it doesn’t always mean the winner is right for you.

Of course, we’ll have to wait for January for the announcement of the awards, but be assured we’ll have the latest comment here as soon as we know.

Charity launches labelling scheme for converted vehicles

Motorhomes and campervans have traditionally been vehicles chosen by disabled people and their carers as the sort of vehicle ideal for transporting people in wheelchairs or other modes of mobility demanded by their illness.

Over the years motorhome insurance providers have got used to providing specialised cover on vehicles that have been adapted for their owner’s specific requirements. Now a leading UK charity are attempting to introduce a labelling system that will inform travellers, disabled motorists, their carers and emergency rescue teams whether the vehicle has been properly crash tested.

Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) are behind the labelling scheme and they say it is extremely important because many vehicles that are converted to carry wheelchair passengers have to be structurally altered to facilitate their new owner. DMUK believe occupant safety is put in jeopardy if the conversion company are not proficient at what they do and the charity is now offering a compliance label to companies which can prove their wheelchair accessible vehicles have the relevant ECWVTA.M1.SH safety certificate.

There is no doubt that the certificate is difficult to acquire; the crash testing part of the certificate sees a dummy strapped into a wheelchair within the vehicle, which is then put through a series of head-on collisions at different speeds to check that the belts and their fixings are robust enough to cope with the collision, and keep the wheelchair passenger secure. Helen Dolphin, the Director of Policy and Campaigns at the charity, revealed that the crash test dummy is just one of 60 tests converted vehicles have to successfully pass to get the ECWVTA.M1.SH certificate and she believes companies who have converted vehicles to such a high standard will be only too pleased to advertise the fact on the new labels.

End of an era as the Kombi bows out

Motorhome insurance companies will no longer be required to give quotes on brand new Volkswagen Kombi vehicles shortly after the New Year as the classic campervan finally goes out of production.

It is 63 years since the first Volkswagen Kombi rolled off the production line and over the years the simple prototype for the millions of sophisticated luxury models that came after it has retained affection with campervan fans that almost resembles a reverence. It is the vehicle that transformed a generation of new wealthy Americans and created a folk culture around sea and surf that still remains today. It is because of the popularity of the Kombi that European, North American and Antipodean holiday makers saw the value of having a vehicle that was virtually a mobile home and today tourism in these countries is massively dependant on people who hold campervan insurance cover. It has taken a little longer for the motorhome to become a major feature on the roads of the UK, maybe because of the weather, but interest in mobile homes is now at its highest in this country and campervan hire in particular is enjoying a boom period.

The German manufacturers still say that 250 new Kombis are built everyday although now they are constructed in South America. In fact the Kombi would no longer meet Government vehicle construction requirements in many European countries as they don’t have anti-lock brakes and dual air bags as standard, but Volkswagen have confirmed they will still produce their California campervan for some time yet. So there is still the chance to capture the flavour of owning a classic design and manage to get a foothold in the camaraderie to be found in classic campervan clubs throughout Britain.

Can too much technology be dangerous?

Motorhome insurance companies will be delighted to learn that recent research reveals that over three quarters of motorists questioned said they would be happy for manufactures to come up with technology that will deactivate digital devices when they get into their mobile home.

As this is about as likely to happen as Turkeys voting for Christmas, it must be up to manufacturers to come up with safer ways for owners to continue communicating while they are ensconced in their campervans, motorhomes or whatever vehicle they may be travelling in. Incredibly, despite it being 23 times more dangerous than focusing on the road ahead, some motorhome owners are still using their hands to send a text while driving. Insurance experts are convinced some technology is actually causing accidents and this is why, they believe, it is time to draw a line in the sand and determine whether it is time to disable certain actions in the vehicle.

All distractions are not equal when it comes to danger. Talking to a passenger or glancing in the mirrors to assess the traffic is significantly less dangerous than sending a text or posting an update on a social network site. Insurance experts believe that texting while driving is the most disturbing and dangerous thing a motorist can do while driving but fines and bans are only as effective as the level of enforcement, and research shows that 88% of drivers recently questioned said they see mobile use by drivers on a daily basis. So it seems that texting is like breathing, drivers do not even know they are doing it. More than three in four mobile home owners (76%) believe vehicle technologies are too distracting and even dangerous to have. In addition, more than half (55%) argue that some manufacturers have taken technology for road use too far and furthermore three in five (61%) view their motorhome as a haven from the outside world and they do not always want to be connected while driving.

Campervan cooks queuing up to sell the perfect holiday

With motorhome insurance providers being one of the few businesses that have enjoyed higher sales this summer, industry insiders are putting the popularity of mobile home holidays down to TV shows where celebrities use campervans and motorhomes as there mode of transport throughout a series.

Ever since Jamie Oliver introduced UK residents to basic Sicilian cooking via his campervan, the association of relaxed living, good food and travel with mobile homes appears to have struck a chord with Brits. No longer do North American and Antipodean travellers hold sway on the motorhome and campervan market, because more and more UK citizens are now holidaying in a mobile hotel and long may it last.

Certainly the relaxed atmosphere holidaying in a mobile home creates seems to take everyone back to their youth and the image of the campervan even today is intrinsically linked with flower power, surfing, sunsets and music, with waves creating an idyllic backdrop. Of course since Jamie Oliver paved the way we have had motor racing stars such as Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton touring in a motorhome and Campervan cook Martin Dorey drawing millions of TV fans to his series based on his travels around the UK, cooking up a treat everywhere he goes. This week sees “loose woman” Lynda Bellingham set off on a TV trip round the British Isles in her campervan “Battenburg”. Once again the series will be about food, travel and relaxing.

So what is it about campervans that has suddenly grabbed the population of the UK? Travelling in a campervan allows holiday makers the chance to take their home comforts on holiday with them. They can take their own plates, pots and pans, towels and knives and forks if they want. There is no weight restriction on clothing and children can take their own toys, games and cycles without any problem, even the family pet can squeeze in and get the same kind of treatment it gets at home.

Choosing the ideal location to suit all the family is easy as there are hundreds of sites across the country offering different levels of amenities and price bands, and if you find the place you have booked for the first couple of nights is not exactly what you fancy then it is a simple matter of turning the ignition key and trundling off to somewhere else. No worries is a saying used by many in the surfing regions of the UK and it perfectly describes a holiday in a vehicle associated so closely with the same culture.