Swift Live 2023

Register for Swift Live today and you’ll be able to preview Swift’s 2023 caravan range !  Swift Live is an online event by Swift Group, bringing you unique access to expert advice, inspiration and a virtual showroom featuring 360˚ tours of all caravan models.  All this from the comfort of your own sofa!

Make sure you are one of the first to discover the new season developments from Swift.  To register, visit https://swiftlive23.vfairs.com/en/registration-form.  If you attended last year’s Swift Live event then please note you will need to re-register for this year’s event.

For further information then please visit https://swiftlive23.vfairs.com/ or call our sales teams who will be happy to help.

Caravan & Motorhome Show: 18th – 23rd October

The Caravan & Motorhome Show at the NEC is fast approaching and our sales teams will be there to explain the changes in the ranges for 2023 and help you make the right decision to suit your requirements.  We will have 6 salesmen at the show, with high attendance anticipated please fill in the form below to book an appointment with one of the team.  Will of course match any show deals back at any of our 3 branches in Swindon, Oxford or Reading should you be unable to attend.

Book an appointment with our sales team at the NEC:

With high demand expected, beat the rush and book an appointment with one of our sales team at the NEC this October.

Due to our commitment to forward order large volumes, we have early availability on almost all ranges and models from Bailey, Swift & Adria.  Place your order soon to avoid any potential future price increases.

On the Bailey stand at the NEC:

Simon – Branch Manager. Tel: 07421 041253 Email: simonbh@readingcaravans.com
Lee – Sales. Tel: 07421 032316 email: lee@swindoncaravans.com
Alistair – Sales Manager. Tel: 07422 666546 Email: alistair@oxfordcaravans.com

 

On the Swift stand at the NEC:

Andy – Sales. Tel: 07421 034539 Email: andy@swindoncaravans.com
Paul – Sales. Tel: 07421 885224 Email: paul@swindoncaravans.com

 

On the Adria stand at the NEC:

Steve – Sales Manager. Tel: 07421 719883 Email: steve@swindoncaravans.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swift 2022 Display Model Sale. Final Reductions, save up to £3,500

Our last remaining 2022 Swift caravans must go!  Order today and collect your new caravan this month.

Although we do not have many left, we have made some final price reductions.  Save up to £3,500.  All of our Elegance range have now gone but we do have single models available in all the other Swift ranges.

View Our New Swift Caravans

Please call our sales teams for more information.

Swindon 01793772096, Oxford 01844339566, Reading 01189888111

The 2023 Swift caravan ranges are due on our forecourts imminently and have been subject to a price increase.  So if you order one of the display models, not only will you be able to enjoy your new caravan straight away, you will also beat the price increase on the 2023 models.

Beat the Price Increase

Display models are now available to order and collect this August.

Don’t miss out this Summer.  Call us today! 

Our stock levels have been running low across all manufacturers and respective model ranges for most of the year and we are virtually sold out.

The good news is that we have now decided to release our display models for sale.  Order today and you will still be able to collect your new caravan in time to enjoy this Summer.

The 2023 caravan ranges are due on our forecourts soon but they will be subject to a minimum price increase of 5%.  So if you order one of the display models, not only will you be able to enjoy your new caravan this Summer, you will also beat the price increase on the 2023 models.

View Our New Bailey Caravans

View Our New Swift Caravans

View Our New Adria Caravans

(Please note, the Bailey caravan range will remain unchanged for the 2023 season)

Please check with the respective branch before travelling if you have a specific model in mind that you are looking to view to avoid disappointment.

Unable to attend the Caravan & Motorhome Show? Don’t worry.

 

As you may or may not be aware, tickets t0 the Caravan & Motorhome Show at the NEC are now sold out.  But don’t worry. We already have the majority of demonstrator models across all model ranges from Bailey, Swift & Adria available to view at our 3 branches and we will match any promotional offers from our manufacturers during the NEC Show week. Pre-order early and secure your new vehicle. Demand continues to remain strong and there is limited stock available so don’t miss out! Come and visit any of our 3 branches and pre-order your new vehicle today!  Any deposits are refundable if you did not wish to proceed after viewing the vehicle.

Meet the members of our sales team below who will be working at our Swindon, Oxford & Reading branches during the NEC show week.  They’ll be on hand to discuss your requirements, update you on stock availability and answer any further questions you may have.

Swindon Sales: Tina Murray. Tel: 07421 034030 Email: tina@swindoncaravans.com
Swindon Sales: Andy Parker. Tel: 07421 034539 Email: andy@swindoncaravans.com
Swindon Sales: Paul Hopkins. Tel: 07421 885224 Email: paul@swindoncaravans.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oxford Sales: Lewis Sirett. Tel: 07422 528263 Email: lewis@oxfordcaravans.com
Reading Sales:  Jaydon Welch. Tel: 07579 783144 Email: jaydon@readingcaravans.com

Book an appointment with our sales team at the NEC Show: 22nd – 27th February

 

After 2 years we’re delighted that the Caravan & Motorhome Show at the NEC will finally return this year.  Ticket sales to the event have been very strong and the event is now sold out!  With high demand and low stock availability, we would advise to give our sales teams a call before the show to pre-order your vehicle (deposits refundable if you did not wish to proceed after viewing the vehicle).  We will of course match any promotional offers from our manufacturers if and when they are announced.

Meet the members of our sales team who will be working on the Bailey and Adria stands at the NEC in February.  With high attendance anticipated, fill in the form below to book an appointment with one of the team:

Adria Stand:  Steve Watts (Swindon branch). Tel: 07421 719883
Bailey Stand:  Lee Matthews (Swindon branch). Tel: 07421 032316
Bailey Stand:  Alistair Cruickshanks (Oxford branch). Tel: 07422 666546
Bailey Stand:  Simon Barnett-Higgins (Reading branch). Tel: 07421 041253

 

Book an appointment with our sales team at the NEC:

Legal requirements for driving a motorhome

Our previous articles discussed both choosing the right type of motorhome to suit your requirements and choosing the correct layout.  With the recent updates on UK driving licences for those that tow caravans, our final motorhome article focuses on the current legal requirements for driving a motorhome. A simple explanation is that, depending on when you gained your UK driving licence, will dictate what weight of motorhome you can drive legally.

We’re often asked “can I drive a motorhome” – this article provides the answer.

Vehicle weight terminology

To understand motorhome weights properly we should be aware of the various terminology used. Annoyingly, many of the abbreviations and acronyms that have been used over the years sound different, but in some cases refer to the same value.

The motorhome weight plate

There are usually 2 weight plates on a motorhome. The first is usually under the bonnet, commonly referred to as the VIN plate, and the second is usually held within the bodywork of the motorhome. The second weight plate is installed by the coach builder. It will have the term “STUFE 2” printed clearly on the plate. The values on this plate will override the values on the vehicle’s VIN plate. So, for our purposes, this is the weight plate we need to pay attention to.

MAM

The maximum authorised mass or MAM is the new designation for Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).  This is the vehicle’s weight plus the maximum load it can carry. This is usually the first line on the weight plate.

Gross train weight

Usually the second line on a weight plate, the Gross train weight is the MAM of the motorhome plus what it is able to tow.  This may also be referred to as the Gross Combination Weight (GCW) on some older vehicles.

Axle weights

On lines 3 and 4 of the weight plate will be the maximum weights allowed over the front and rear axles. Line 3 refers to the front axle and line 4 refers to the rear.  These values will be higher than the MAM of the vehicle. This is to allow various loading combinations of the vehicle. For example, if you load a 1-tonne pallet at the rear of the vehicle, the weight will weigh more on the rear axle, and very little on the front as opposed to loading the same weight through a side door that will add weight on both front and rear evenly.  In the event that a motorhome has twin rear axles, this value will be displayed on line 5 of the weight plate.

Licence categories

Motorhomes that weigh between 3,500Kg (MAM) and 7,500Kg (MAM) will require the driver to have a C1 category on their UK full driving licence.  If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, it’s likely you will have the C1 category on your driving licence.  Motorhomes that are over 7,500Kg will require a category C licence. Motorhomes that exceed 3,500Kg are classified as Private HGV by the DVLA and will cost more on road tax.  The good news is if the motorhome weighs 3,500Kg or less a standard UK driving licence can be used.

Our range of Bailey Adamo motorhomes is a great example of motorhomes that weigh 3,500kg or less.

Up-plating

Thankfully many motorhome manufacturers these days adjust their motorhomes to be 3,500kg or less to allow drivers with a standard UK full licence to drive legally. The downside is that this can remove some of the payload allocations.  The payload is how much weight you can add to the vehicle. For example, clothes, food and accessories.  If you have category C1 or C on your licence you can have the motorhome up-plated to gain more payload allocation. In some instances, this can be as much as 700Kg.  This is a paper exercise and will require no modification to the motorhome, you will be given a new weight plate for the vehicle and a new V5 to show the newly available payload.

If you do not have C, or C1 on your licence you can sit extra driving tests to gain this entitlement. To understand what you can drive check the Gov.uk site or of course please feel free to ask our sales teams at SwindonOxford or Reading who will be happy to help

Choosing the correct layout when buying a Motorhome

Touring the UK and Europe is quickly becoming a favourite way of exploring the great outdoors. Motorhomes, campervans or van conversions have everything to provide a comfortable home from home as well as being completely mobile. Indeed, modern motorhomes can be situated off-grid in a rural location or as part of a campsite to take advantage of on-site facilities.  If you are considering buying a motorhome, there are a number of things to consider first.  Our previous article discussed choosing the right type of motorhome to suit your requirements.   Over the next few articles, we will discuss some of the most common questions and queries that newcomers ask and this article will focus on choosing the correct layout.  Of course, if you do have any further questions, please feel free to ask our sales teams at Swindon, Oxford or Reading who will be happy to help and answer any questions you have.

Number of people

There are a few constraints involved when choosing any layout for a motorhome. Budget, driving licence restrictions, physical size and the most important element, how many people will use the motorhome.

 

Daytime vs nighttime

You will hear and see a term called “berths” used on motorhome reviews and listings. This is how many people can sleep comfortably in the motorhome. However, some motorhomes will have a limit on how many people can legally travel in the motorhome whilst on the road. Each travelling passenger must have a seatbelt whilst in transit, so on adverts, listings and reviews, check that the motorhome has the same number of seatbelts as berths. This may commonly be referred to as daytime/nighttime occupancy. Not all motorhomes provide the same number of seats for the number of berths, especially with Campervans or van conversions.  Long side seating could in theory hold 2 or 3 people whilst travelling, but with no seat belts, it would be illegal and incredibly dangerous to travel with loose passengers.

Children

If you are taking young children on holiday, make sure that the belted seats are ISO-FIX compatible. This is a standard that seats, seatbelts and vehicle manufacturers adhere to and also gives baby seat manufacturers a working template to ensure the seat can be installed safely inside the motorhome. One thing to note is, because of the natural layout of a motorhome, it is likely that the baby seats will be physically situated some distance from the cab seats.

Pets

A final point to think of is travelling with pets. It is a legal requirement that when travelling with a dog or other animals, they must be suitably restrained in the vehicle whilst in motion.  This can be tricky in a motorhome as tie-down points may not exist, and ISO-FIX seats may not offer the best location for a dog. In this instance, a travelling crate that is secure between seats or tied onto a side dinette can offer a suitable place for secure transport.

We mentioned briefly some constraints when buying a motorhome -along with the number of passengers – another limitation may be driving license restrictions, so be sure to read more on that if you have questions about suitability.

Choosing the right type of Motorhome

The name motorhome really only focuses on one style of touring vehicle.  In fact, there are many types of motorhomes with many layouts, options and variations and each of them will suit you differently and may also differ when it comes to price.  To understand the differences and some of the features you are likely to find, we have listed the common motorhome types available on the market today.  Here are the options:

Micro motorhomes

 

These van conversions are primarily based upon small vans or people carriers. These micro variants sleep a maximum of 2 people, usually have a pop-up style roof and host a very simple kitchen set-up.

Campervans

Popularised by VW, campervans are still very popular even after 50+years since their creation. Campervans nowadays offer sleeping and living accommodation, a small galley kitchen, sometimes a pop-up roof and plenty of storage, all held within the footprint of a small van.  These are very popular with couples and young families and the addition of a drive away awning makes these an ideal touring vehicle.

Van conversions

Bigger than a campervan, large vans are a great base to create a leisure vehicle. With plenty of head space, a separate wet room, blown air heating and bigger kitchens, van conversions are a very popular combination of minimal form factor and optimal usability. These van conversions are completed by both mainstream manufacturers and hobbyists alike. Why not checkout the Adria Twin available at our Swindon branch.

Coach built motorhomes

 

With a cab and chassis from a popular van manufacturer, such as Fiat, the body is created by a leisure vehicle company such as Bailey. With extra width the choice of layouts is vast. A separate washroom, cassette toilet and fixed beds options are available. Coach built motorhomes come in 2 variations. A low-profile version provides enough living and sleeping space for a couple or small family, whereas an over cab bed option creates plenty of sleeping space for a family of up to 6 people. Larger variations of this style of motorhome also come with a separate garage, ideal for storing bikes, outside furniture and awnings.

‘A’ Class motorhomes

 

A larger style of motorhome, where the leisure vehicle manufacturer builds the living area as well as the cab area. The manufacturer takes a bare chassis and builds the entire vehicle from the chassis up.  These A-Class motorhomes provide more space, more refinement and bigger storage options. A-class motorhomes are nearly always heavier and more expensive than their cab/chassis counterparts.

 

 

These are some of the most common styles of motorhome in the UK, there are of course American style RVs that offer vast amounts of space, slide-out sections and fittings that make the living space a luxurious place to be, however, some of the larger vehicles find it difficult to find a pitch on many UK campsites.

Read on for information about choosing the right motorhome layout for you.