The 2012 Caravan Talk Awards were held at the Caravan Show in the NEC, October 2012 and were selected by you, the caravan community, from the first nominations to the final winners.
Best UK Campsite
Not all caravan sites act on customer feedback, Lady Heyes went a step further. Before the site was even planned the owner, Alex, came onto the Caravan Talk forums and asked a brave question: "How do I build the perfect caravan site?"
After many, many pages of discussions he went off to create Lady Heyes Caravan Park, using the valuable information gathered from the caravanners. That wasn't the end though; once complete, Alex then invited many of the members to visit for a free weekend and asked for their feedback.
The result; a caravan site that had been tailored to fit its audience, placing it above well established sites in the eyes of the public.
- Bashley Park - Children love it, the wardens are great and they look after their visitors
- Bunree Caravan Site - You wake up and look out over the loch, a breathtaking way to start your day
- Dornafield - Beautiful, impeccably maintained, clean, great location and the best pain au chocolat this side of the channel, what more could you want?
- Old Oaks - Superb views out over the Mendips, maintained to a “ultra exceptionally high standard” with plenty of space, peace and quiet for a perfect escape in the caravan
Excellent value caravan with a ten year warranty for water ingress. The Swift Challenger is a popular and dependable choice for many caravanners.
- Adria Adora - Well built, comfortable and with a highly versatile bedding arrangement, a great example of a caravan that has been well thought out
- Bailey Olympus - Great layouts, great interior space and built to last with whatever size of family you can throw at them
- Bailey Senator - Amazing build quality built to last the test of time, the current Senators will probably still be going strong in 20 years time
- Bailey Unicorn - Alu-Tech is a brave innovation in the industry and is supported by high level of design and luxury
Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery models have always been the most accomplished and complete towcars available and the Discovery 4 raises the bar to new heights. Feedback from the nominations includes:
"Just awesome, you have to try it to believe it. Land Rover Discovery 4"
"Funnily enough my vote is for the new 8 speed automatic Discovery 4. Smooth and effortless is an understatement - it's like towing your van in an armchair. "
"Best tow in the world bar none the Land Rover Discovery 3 [or] 4. Self levelling air suspension , 6 speed silky smooth auto, 200-240bhp, 400+torque, a decent nose weight of 150kg not like these soft roader offerings, seats that you can drive the length of the UK in and get out Looking like a human. You hook up by using the suspension to lower and raise the caravan, put the disco in D for do-it set cruise at 58mph and waft along in utter luxury letting the car do the work. Effortless ."
- Hyundai Santa Fe - Self leveling suspension, great warranty, masses of space and does everything you can throw at it without fuss
- Kia Sorento - Reliable and reasonably priced, with a great warranty and pulls any caravan you can put on it
- Land Rover Freelander 2 - Tows wonderfully and a dream to drive solo, it will get you where you want to go in all weathers with confidence and comfort
- Volkswagon Tiguan - big enough to tow, small and cheap to run without the van behind, and all round great vehicle
Best Caravan Dealer
Chris and Matthew Kinsell demonstrate how a great family business should be run. Their team can't do enough to help you and they are always willing to go the extra mile.
- Broad Lane Leisure - Nothing seems to much trouble for Broad Lane,
- Northam Farm - Servicing prices below those published, prompt attention to minor faults, no quibble over warranty items and helpful service manager
- Reads Blackburn - A dealer that puts the customer and road safety first, sales second. They have helped many people work out the perfect match for their outfit
- Teesside Caravans - They can't do enough for you and are always thinking of new things to keep everything interesting
Best Caravan Servicing
Reads of Blackburn
Nominated for both Best Dealer and Best Caravan Servicing, Reads of Blackburn know how to put the customer first. Whilst they have been praised for their advice when looking to buy a caravan, their servicing impressed caravanners above their rivals:
"A wonderful service and habit of spotting and replacing things under warranty, even if you missed them yourself"
- Avonbridge Specialist Repair Services - Perform repairs with minimal fuss, at your convenience, a first class family run business
- Caravan Chris Mobile Service Engineer - an excellent service where you want it - on your drive and under your scrutiny
- Newark Independent Caravan Services - A dyed in the wool caravanner and not just a businessman. He really understands what people want and nothing is too much trouble
- Stewart Longton - Excellent service and competitive pricing
Best European Campsite
In the words of blueflightmedic:
"The magnificent site at Les Abrets, just outside Grenoble called Coin Tranquille (The tranquil place) which has sensational views, a beautiful pool, huge emplacements with mature reasonable height hedges and a gourmet restaurant. It is easy to relax and be quiet or to go party. Once a week they have a feast night, with a host of different themes. Reception multi-lingual, shop good, loads of activities for children and it is in cycling distance of the little town. You are on the edge of the preAlps, and access in is easy. We went to Chamonix and back in a day with ease."
- Camping Baia Verde - Close to the lake, lovely pool, reasonably priced and tasty on site restaurant, great facilities and friendly staff!
- Camping des Abers - The pitches on the higher ground give out a lovely view over the bay or you can pitch up almost on the beach, wall to wall peace and a very welcoming owner
- Camping Laacher - On the edge of Laach Lake, almost every caravan has a view over the lake and there’s a small beach where you can go for a swim, stunning
- Camping La Ferme de Lann Hoedic - A family run site 800m from the coast with good pitches, great prices in a great area for exploring
Best Family Caravan
The Crusader offers everything you could need in a family caravan; great layout with plenty of room for kids and dogs, a great level of equipment, easy to tow and, perhaps most importantly, it's a caravan that the whole family enjoy.
- Adria Adora - large but yet light, the build quality is great and the body is dent free
- Avondale Argente - Flexible layout, feels warm and cosy, full of many excellent and practical ideas like removable carpets and side-mounted gas lockers
- Hymer Swing - Superb build quality with a very solid construction, there’s a dividing wall that can separate the caravan into two halves, for parents and kids to have their own space!
- Sprite Major - The design has a great vision of space, using clever storage ideas and high quality fixtures, the Major 6 even has a garage at the rear, ideal for bikes
Best Small Caravan
Great flexibility, good looks and a lightweight package that even smaller cars can tow. The Xplore is a great small caravan, from the smaller 302 to the flexible but still compact 304.
- Cosalt Safari - Ample cupboard space for a couple, built in 2 ring hob and a full size oven and a huge double bed
- Eriba Familia - Lightweight, easy to tow, yet well made still going strong
- Lunar Stella - Very practical little two berth, with two singles or a double bed and a large kitchen area
- The Splash - Light enough to be towed by a trike, this little teardrop is great for those seeking a bit of an adventure
Caravan Talk Contributor of the Year
Ian has done a great service to CT in being well balanced, with calm and well articulated advice and comment on whatever issue he is discussing. Whilst we would like to thank all of our members for the brilliant and continued support we take this award to celebrate Ian's contributions.
Thank you, from everyone at Caravan Talk!
- Gordon - Works so very hard on the forum - both in front and behind the scenes, he’s even helping today as our unofficial photographer!
- Left Hand Down - He seems to contribute to nearly every topic, well done that man.
- Snooks - Her advice on european travel, is invaluable
- ValA - She has given help to many members with regard to ferry prices and the discount codes without fail, a constant help
Caravan Industry Personality of the Year
Not only has Chris beaten Jeremy Clarkson, but his dedicated and stunning achievements have left an impression on the caravan industry that will not soon be forgotten.
The Caravan Channel, his own Caravan Diary and his contributions in all areas of the industry, Chris has earned this achievement and we all wish him a happy retirement from touring caravans.
- Andy Harris - Andy has a relaxed but factual approach to presenting information in an understandable way
- Gary Glenn - nothing is too much any hour of the day. Always willing to help with advice, the lone ranger of the caravan world riding around on his Aprilia!
- Jeremy Clarkson - Brought public attention to caravans, if not in the best possible way (caravan conkers springs to mind)
- Sue Irwin - Nothing is too much trouble, she rings when she says, sorts out issues, provides parts when necessary and even once came out to a house to resolve a toilet issue
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