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Weird 2015 Caravan Design Awards


Steamdrivenandy
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I got my December CC mag. this morning and noticed it included an article on this years Design Awards. As I started browsing the results I started noticing some oddities.

 

Firstly, I think for the first time the awards were split into two distinct halves. One being for standard vans with 10 classes and the other for dealer specials with 3 classes.

 

Secondly there were no Swift Group vans entered into the first half of the contest, no Swift, no Sterling and no Sprite, not a one. And the editorial didn't say a word about why.

 

There were also some rather uneven entry level numbers as this list illustrates:

 

Explorer Group (Elddis/Compass/Buccaneer) 12 entries

Bailey 7 entries

Coachman 7 entries

Lunar/Venus 7 entries

Hymer Group (Hymer/Eriba) 6 entries

Knaus 5 entries

Adria 4 entries

Silver, Weinsberg, Tripbuddy, Vanmaster & Airstream all entered once.

 

As to the first places awarded Coachman got FOUR?, Explorer Group got two, Silver one, Bailey one, Knaus one, Vanmaster one.

 

So:

  • Why weren't Swift Group there?
  • Why were Explorer Group allowed to enter nearly twice as many models as any other manufacturer?
  • Why did the Lunar Group get no first places at all?
  • Why, if these are design awards, did Bailey not get anything for the new Pegasus lounge bed design, which is arguably the most innovative design feature unveiled this year? Their only first place came from a Pursuit range model.
  • How did Coachman achieve four first places out of seven entries when several are just warmed over previous year vans?
Then we come to the farce of dealer specials.

 

Removing the dealer decals you find that underneath were the following manufacturers:

  • 8 Swifts
  • 7 Explorer Group
  • 5 Coachman
  • 3 Bailey
And each of the top three listed got a first place.

 

But how did they choose between a Glossop Coachman 450/2 (Winner) and a Kimberley Coachman 450/2, or indeed a Glossop Elddis 482 and a Preston Elddis 482, or indeed a Broad Lane Swift 480 and a Glossop Swift 480 in Group 11? And in Group 12 there was a Glossop Elddis 554, a Preston Elddis 554 and a Kimberley Compass 554 - all basically the same van? Not to be outdone Class 13 also had matching vans with a Glossop Elddis 636 getting first place whilst the virtually identical Preston Elddis 636 got nowt.

 

Not the most auspicious set of awards ever methinks.

 

 

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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TBH I have never taken any notice of awards for caravans. Our personal requirements will be so different from someone else's. It is too subjective.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Let's be honest, the way the CC does their towcar of the year award is an utter shambles, so this is no surprise really.

It is strange that there were no vans included from the Swift group though.

 

I hope the Explorer group models were checked for supports around the rooflights before they gave out the awards. :ph34r:

Edited by Valley Commando
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Awards are directly proportional to advertising revenue, the more a company pays for space so their products get awards, do not confuse the amount of advertising with the cost, deals are made to pad the magazines with non readable pages also known as advert pages.

Goes a bit like this Advertising sales manager " we haven't received your adverts for this month Brian" Brian " Ah yes, we are cutting back, don't need it in all magazines our surveys indicate you are number ten on the list" ASM " perhaps we could come to an arrangement like a 2 for three on pages" Brian "was thinking about a 1 for 2"

Brian gets a lot more pages for the same cash but there's no room for all his models in the "Best of "competition, Brian doesn't care as no one takes any notice of them and the same piccies are in his adverts that would have been in the magazine competition, that's without the magazine trampling all over his vans making inane comments and drinking his scotch and gin. That's assuming they don't judge from piccies whilst drinking the scotch and gin provided by the advertisers advertising budget. :D :D :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :unsure:

Edited by Guest
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For what it is worth - I think that Caravan Design Awards should only be judged and made after a model has been in use for two years.

 

It should be run by The NCC and not by any of the Caravan Magazine Publishers.

 

If that was implemented it would be a totally different issue - WOULDN'T IT JUST ?

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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  • Why, if these are design awards, did Bailey not get anything for the new Pegasus lounge bed design, which is arguably the most innovative design feature unveiled this year? Their only first place came from a Pursuit range model.

 

 

 

Slightly off topic, but what new bed design, just had a look on Baileys site but cant see anything obvious?

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Bailey have given it a fancy name which I can't remember.

 

Basically both seat cushions are a two thirds/one third sandwich hinged together by fabric at the gangway side. You pull out the slats and hinge the two, thinner top pieces on top of each other. That provides a flat mattress across the van. As they don't use the seat backs in the mattress they no longer have to be the width of half the gangway, or shaped to be pieces of mattress. On the Pegasus 4's they've made the seatbacks higher than normal giving much more back and shoulder support. They've also made them wedge shaped so they provide a much more comfortable seating position.

 

Considering that lounge seating has been the same since year dot I think Bailey should be congratulated on designing something totally different and fundamentally better.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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For what it is worth - I think that Caravan Design Awards should only be judged and made after a model has been in use for two years.

 

It should be run by The NCC and not by any of the Caravan Magazine Publishers.

 

If that was implemented it would be a totally different issue - WOULDN'T IT JUST ?

 

This Award is run by the Caravan Club, not a magazine, though they do publish a mag, obvs.

 

I doubt the NCC would make it any more objective, they are, after all the caravan industry's trade association and are funded by the companies, not owners.

 

A lot of the vans involved have been around for two years or more, sometimes much more. All that changes are the fabrics and decals.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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TBH I have never taken any notice of awards for caravans. Our personal requirements will be so different from someone else's. It is too subjective.

 

But surely if it's 'Design Awards' then it should acknowledge innovation in design and developments that benefit users? It shouldn't be judged on whether the curtains match the carpet. They should go round each entrant with a fine toothcomb looking for snags in design and build quality and add in a mark for innovation, but the overall impression of fabric and finishes etc should come way down the list in my view .

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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For what it is worth - I think that Caravan Design Awards should only be judged and made after a model has been in use for two years.

 

It should be run by The NCC and not by any of the Caravan Magazine Publishers.

 

If that was implemented it would be a totally different issue - WOULDN'T IT JUST ?

 

It would not be a different issue, just a different bias.

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When I read the title I was looking forward to some awards for weird caravans!

Same here. I've just read the CC magazine and thought this must be some alternative design award scheme.

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I'm wondering if Swift took their bat home. From looking at the lists most mainstream UK brands were able to enter seven classes. Explorer Group entered 12 vans from three brands. Maybe Swift Group wanted to enter seven vans from each of their three brands, or something like that and there was a falling out over the numbers.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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A cynic might say. ............ "Unless we were to know what vested interests the CC senior management have with certain manufacturers, none of us can really speculate why the awards were given to whom".

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A cynic might say. ............ "Unless we were to know what vested interests the CC senior management have with certain manufacturers, none of us can really speculate why the awards were given to whom".

 

Agreed - they should be run by 'Which' so we could have a different set of vested interests!

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Awards are directly proportional to advertising revenue, the more a company pays for space so their products get awards, do not confuse the amount of advertising with the cost, deals are made to pad the magazines with non readable pages also known as advert pages.

Goes a bit like this Advertising sales manager " we haven't received your adverts for this month Brian" Brian " Ah yes, we are cutting back, don't need it in all magazines our surveys indicate you are number ten on the list" ASM " perhaps we could come to an arrangement like a 2 for three on pages" Brian "was thinking about a 1 for 2"

Brian gets a lot more pages for the same cash but there's no room for all his models in the "Best of "competition, Brian doesn't care as no one takes any notice of them and the same piccies are in his adverts that would have been in the magazine competition, that's without the magazine trampling all over his vans making inane comments and drinking his scotch and gin. That's assuming they don't judge from piccies whilst drinking the scotch and gin provided by the advertisers advertising budget. :D :D :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :unsure:

You don't see many VanMaster ads in the mag do you?

 

Ian

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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A cynic might say. ............ "Unless we were to know what vested interests the CC senior management have with certain manufacturers, none of us can really speculate why the awards were given to whom".

 

Well if that's the case, Adria should have won every category, because the CC has just received 50 of their vans.

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What's weird is not which caravans won the categories, but which caravan makes entered into the competition. Either Swift decided not to get involved or all their branded caravans were overlooked at the selection stage.

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It's not that they weren't 'selected' EF, Page 54 of the magazine lists all the entrants for each class. Swift Group just didn't enter at all.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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It's not that they weren't 'selected' EF, Page 54 of the magazine lists all the entrants for each class. Swift Group just didn't enter at all.

 

Maybe they realise how stupid they are then?

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My magazine finally arrived and due to circumstances I'd rather not have had, I had time to read these awards!

 

Well, what a meaningless load of tosh.

 

I note that the CC don't actually state what it is they are looking for, only what they mark on (listed below):

 

Five judges mark vehicles for their Beds, Seats and Personal Effects Storage, Shower, Toilet and Fittings, Kitchen Appliances and Services, Exterior and Technical aspects.

 

I'm left unclear as to whether innovation, layout and the overall feel of a 'van are factored into the scores at all. For me, they should be focussing on these items as well as quality and value.

 

Looking at the classes/winners, I'm not going to argue with Class 1 to Class 3.

 

Class 4 is a bit of a joke though. For a start, at £19k to £22k, it excludes a majority of family layout vans (it's the small family class!). Secondly, it's won by a french bed van which will surely be mostly used by couples (we've spent three years as a small family in just such a van and it's not ideal!). Thirdly, the third place van is applauded for being a 3 berth as if this is innovative. Actually, the layout is as old as the hills and just means if you want a more flexible 4 berth, you need to specify a bunk above berth 3. The only shining light in this class is the Knauss Lifestyle 550. We looked in this van at the show, and if you are prepared to sacrifice the second dinette it really is innovative, well built and lovely place to be. We very nearly found the extra cash ourselves!

 

Class 5 has the same price criticism as Class 4, but at least these are all 6 berth family vans (not much innovation though, I would have thought the Pegasus - Palermo or Ancona should have been a winner here).

 

Anyway, I'm with Andy, I think that genuine innovation should be awarded here. Be it in layouts, weight saving, construction methods or internal tech (like Bailey's seating/bed system). No wonder Swift steered clear?

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Inovation

Definition. The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need.

So actually it can go back to the stone age, but one does wonder whether some apply regarding the second sentence and the caravan industry :o :rolleyes:

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Maybe the CC should put a definition on what constitutes a 'couples' a 'family' and 'small family' van and what the others that don't meet those criteria should be called?

 

We tend to spend a lot of time on 'adult only' sites where if you followed accepted caravan industry definitions you'd expect a lot of couples in two berth vans. In fact most couples are in four berth vans which make up the largest market segment by far.

 

Surely what the CC should do is have five classes for two to six berth vans, maybe with some sub divided by price range, instead of using ill defined titles like 'couples' and 'family'?

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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