Tag Archives: Motorhome

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

Winnebago Top Performing Motorhome Company

US motorhome and recreational vehicle giant Winnebago has been named as the top performing motorhome company of 2012. Winnebago continues to dominate the US markets in terms of sales and in terms of growing its market share. At current estimates it has approximately 20% of the market share for Class A and Class C motorhomes in the US; that’s one in five motorhomes sold.

Winnebago has always been a well known name over the pond and it brands itself as “the most recognised name in motorhomes” but here in the UK Winnebago has never had quite the same dominance. The large, American-style motorhomes just don’t seem to be as popular here in the UK as on the highways of the US.

It’s quite possible that cost has a big part to play in this. To import a Winnebago, particularly if the British Pound is not performing particularly well, is a very expensive affair and it can be less economical than to buy a UK or European built motorhome. On top of this, motorhome insurance on Winnebagos in the UK can be prohibitive and their extremely high value makes them difficult to store and to insure.

Equally, many Winnebago sized motorhome require a HGV license to get them on the road. This is something that the typical UK motorhome owner doesn’t have any need for and though it’s perfectly possible to pass the test, it is extra cost and expense on top of buying an EU built motorhome.

Having said this, the market for more luxury motorhomes is really starting to take off in the UK and in Europe and it’s likely that brands like Winnebago will really be able to start making inroads overseas if strong demand continues. The roads in the UK don’t make them ideally suited for large Winnebagos, but it’s a small price to pay if you’re after that scale of luxury.

Having said this, the market for more luxury motorhomes is really starting to take off in the UK and in Europe and it’s likely that brands like Winnebago will really be able to start making inroads overseas if strong demand continues. The roads in the UK don’t make them ideally suited for large Winnebagos, but it’s a small price to pay if you’re after that scale of luxury.

‘Pothole Crisis’ Hits Britain’s Roads

In the UK we have a unique road system which combines smooth, flowing motorways with narrow, gnarly country lanes and pretty much everything in between. This winter has been extremely tough on the roads, however, and the recent snow and ice has caused real deterioration. The press is billing the road situation as a ‘pothole crisis’ and for motorhome owners potholes are becoming a real problem.

The weight and size of a motorhome means that it can absorb most shocks from uneven road surfaces, but when pothole damage does hit it often causes serious damage. Punctures from potholes are a very common reason for a motorhome insurance claim and they can be immensely expensive if the damage goes through to the wheel.

Suspension is also at risk on winter roads and constant battering from potholes can severely weaken the springs that keep the ride smooth. Older vehicles are more likely to have been damaged in the past and so will be more at risk, but quite an impact is necessary to completely dislodge a suspension unit.

Many drivers take the evasive approach when it comes to potholes, trying to line up the wheels away from the actual hole and avoid it all together. This can prevent the initial damage from hitting a hole but often results in drivers swerving which can cause a skid and potentially an incident. Avoiding potholes also becomes habitual and very often it’s safer just to approach the hole slowly.

Unfortunately the roads in the UK are only likely to get worse for the next few months until warmer weather makes repairs possible. Even then, heavy rainfall and latent drainage problems could cause further difficulties and worse damage. Until then motorhome owners are advised to take extreme caution on country lanes and make sure to keep details of their breakdown cover provider handy, alongside a charged mobile phone, just in case of the worst.

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.

Motorhome Safety High on Manufacturers’ 2013 Agendas

Slow Down Drive Carefully SignWe like to moan about health and safety in this day and age, and sometimes it feels like there’s no end to the risk assessments and compliance reports that go around. However, there’s no question that the only reason that motorhome insurance providers are around is to protect against the possibility that an accident will happen.

Recently though, there have been a number of well documented incidents in the news involving caravans, motorhomes or campervans that have drawn attention to the dangers that are inherent with driving a motorhome in the UK. Because of this, manufacturers looking to put out 2013 models have been increasing the safety standards of their motorhomes.

Technology is becoming a big player in the motorhome market, and most new motorhomes come with improving features. Reversing is one of the major causes of motorhome accidents and a particularly prevalent reason for small claims and manufacturers have conquered this problem with rear-display videos mounted on dashboards. The solution has become considerably more popular over recent years and in 2013 we’re sure to see an influx of new models adopting increasingly more sophisticated variants on this technology.

One of the biggest worries on the roads at the moment is the relationship between traffic and cyclists. Unfortunately, incidents between motorhomes and cyclists are surprisingly common and the length of most motorhomes, combined with the sometimes tricky visibility, makes it a real possibility that you could collide with a cyclist.

Rear and side reversing sensors are rapidly becoming standard in motorhomes and are useful for moments when another road user gets just a little bit close. In 2013 we’re sure to see more manufacturers adopting this technology in an attempt to drive down the number of accidents that happen on the road every year.

Though we bemoan health and safety sometimes, the one place it really should be taken seriously is on the road. Consumers appreciate this and manufacturers are seeming to get it too – we’re sure to see some big progress in motorhome safety in 2013.

Trigano Expands with Acquisition of SEA Group

The Trigano Group are best known for the retail of camping equipment through their stores in France, but also as owners of a formidable number of motorhome and motor-caravan brands throughout Europe. Trigano has made an offer to acquire 100% of the share capital in struggling Italian motorhome manufacturer SEA. Trigano hopes to offer the brand a new lease of life and motorhome insurance providers are certain to be busy providing quotes for mid-2013 models.

SEA own brands such as Mobilvetta and McLouis which have experienced good sales in the past but have been struggling with economic certainty and floundering demand. Strong names like these will have surely attracted Trigano to make the purchase and there will be an ongoing requirement for after-sales and repairs for these big names.

Trends in the Motorhome Market

This year has been especially busy for mergers and acquisitions in the motorhome industry and firms have been struggling to match the pull of rising input costs with unpredictable demand. In difficult times, consumers are reluctant to part with the sort of sums that motorhome manufacturers charge and we have seen a number of firms go underwater.

It has been a trend that larger groups such as Trigano have been looking to expand their operations through external growth. The strength of Trigano’s camping accessory brand should compliment this new venture into the motorhome market and when the market becomes less volatile it is expected that Trigano will see a good return on their investment.

The merger is awaiting conformation from the French and Italian finance authorities before going ahead but we should see progress on the move early the New Year. We expect 2013 will bring interesting new challenges for the motorhome market and, hopefully, a resurgence of sales will help to make new structures successful and should give smaller firms the boost they need.