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David350

Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at NEC Feb 2020

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Hi, We are looking to buy our first caravan early next year, and as part of this process, we intend to visit the CCM Show at NEC which is held 18-23 Feb 2020 to do lots of research and go inside lots of caravans etc. We have never been to the show before, but have heard that it can get quite busy and queues can build up for looking inside caravans etc. We want to visit on one of the least busy days (if there is such a thing) and we understand it runs Tues 18th Feb 20 Sunday 23rd Feb. I am guessing that maybe the opening day Tuesday & weekend will be busiest, so maybe the Wednesday or Thursday might be best, but taking nothing or granted. We are totally flexible on which day we go, so any advice will be gratefully received. Thanks. 

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I went on the Friday in October and it was relatively quiet, but Gordon was there all week. He is the best person to answer your question.

 

Come in Gordon ......................................... 

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Probably quieter on weekdays, but I wouldn't worry too much. Get there early as you can to give yourselves as much time as possible if you're serious about buying so you can compare and recompare. There's less caravans to look at than there used to be, but still plenty to see. Take a tape measure as well to measure bed sizes etc. It's a great opportunity to see everything under one roof. Enjoy,might see you there! 

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If you buy at the show, make sure the supplying dealer is close to home, otherwise you will have a long drive for service or warranty work!

Buying a caravan is not like buying a car! You have to go to the supplying dealer!

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Agree fully with Paul, but as a first time caravanner you might be wondering why.

When you buy a car, any franchised Dealer is obliged to carry out warranty work. Not so with a caravan. Only the original supplying Dealer is required to do warranty work. Other Dealers may do so if they wish but many will not, either because they do not have sufficient workshop capacity to handle vans they didn't sell, or because the manufacturer doesn't pay them as much for warranty work as he can get doing servicing.

 

Go round all the dealers and get the best price, then go back to the one nearest home and tell him what he has to beat.

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19 minutes ago, hp100425ev said:

Agree fully with Paul, but as a first time caravanner you might be wondering why.

When you buy a car, any franchised Dealer is obliged to carry out warranty work. Not so with a caravan. Only the original supplying Dealer is required to do warranty work. Other Dealers may do so if they wish but many will not, either because they do not have sufficient workshop capacity to handle vans they didn't sell, or because the manufacturer doesn't pay them as much for warranty work as he can get doing servicing.

 

Go round all the dealers and get the best price, then go back to the one nearest home and tell him what he has to beat.

Sound advice, but you should also take the dealer's reputation for customer service into account. The best is seldom cheapest, even if you try to haggle.

The motor industry is very much out of line in its warranty arrangements!

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1 hour ago, BOAC said:

I went on the Friday in October and it was relatively quiet, but Gordon was there all week. He is the best person to answer your question.

 

Come in Gordon ......................................... 

We went on the Friday as well and looked at everything of interest without feeling cramped or having to wait to view a caravan we wanted to review.

Be warned though the temptation to buy his hard to resist and we came away with a new  TA Swift Celebrate Super QEB.

Recommend being there for 10 to maximise your time. We arrived as it opened and didn’t leave until 5.30pm

Have fun

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Any weekday is better than weekends, obviously.  But remember, February show shows more caravans than motorhomes and the October show is vice versa, more motorhomes than caravans.  Also, you don't really need to go into every caravan.  First of all, look at what weight suits your car, then look at budget.  Majority of caravans have the same layouts as others.  That should get you down to just looking in half a dozen caravans:D

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Take a packed lunch.  Food is expensive and not great. Get your hand stamped and go into the concourse to eat,  you will generally find a seat. 

Have a good time. 

Nanamel

Edited by Nanamel

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If intending to buy at the show, may have 2 day there, one for browsing (with the evening spent chin scratching),  and the next day for doing the deal

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We went in February 2018 on the last day. It was definitely busy but certainly not too busy to see anything. We use it to look at new models and note prices but I prefer to do a deal with a good local dealer.

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We always go on the Wednesday and get there as it opens it is relatively quiet until about 12.30 pm then it gets busy, we leave mid afternoon to miss the rush

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Same as Lead Farmer. Go for more than one day taking your time and a night to think anything over.

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Go and enjoy. Wednesday is a quiet day. And yes a picnic is good though the food has got better. We will be working on the bailey owners stand Wednesday and Friday.  Call back to and say high. 

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Go on the Wednesday and have a good look around.  Go home and discuss caravans.  Go back to show on Thursday to buy the caravan.  That way it is the head and not the heart buying!  :D

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I find using your phone to video the caravans you like and best layout suits your needs as when you start to discuss the caravans you look at so many they start to get confusing .

 

Careful buying at the show as you might find you need to return the caravan to the dealer for warranty work of servicing and it might take two trips if you leave the caravan which could be hundreds of miles and hours driving .

So save a few grand might cost more in the long run in fuel and time .

 

 

 

Dave

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Can't re-iterate enough. Buy from a local reputable dealer. Don't believe the sales patter that it can be warranted anywhere.

 

We had to pay £500 more for that privilege.

 

Also, to shift quotas, they may have a special deal applying to the first 50 / 100 vans (eg). We agreed a price on the second show day, went to think about it until the Friday and was told the offer had expired. Despite walking away they didn't change their approach...

 

 

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6 minutes ago, PandR said:

Can't re-iterate enough. Buy from a local reputable dealer. Don't believe the sales patter that it can be warranted anywhere.

 

We had to pay £500 more for that privilege.

 

Also, to shift quotas, they may have a special deal applying to the first 50 / 100 vans (eg). We agreed a price on the second show day, went to think about it until the Friday and was told the offer had expired. Despite walking away they didn't change their approach...

 

 

Choose your dealer with as much care as you choose the van.

As to deals expiring, they sometimes get better towards the end if they realise that they are not going to reach their quota (bit of a lottery really!).

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Agree with the importance of a reputable dealer as local as possible.  I find they know exactly what the show offers are and will match them.  Apart from the cost, mine came with a free TV manufacturer offer but only if bought at the show.  The dealer did a fiddle on the paperwork to make it look like I had purchased there and we got the TV.

 

PS, don’t tell Lunar,  (oh they won’t care now).

 

John

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Weekdays are always the easiest for visiting any show, weekends can be a problem with children in the way.

I agree with PR1, do not be tempted by remote dealers offers, as although they may be tempting they are normally only interested in selling and not long term service.  The record of some is appalling.

If (probably when) you have problems you have to tow down to them. If it needs more than a day you are faced with towing there one day and recovering it with the same journey some days later.  If it takes a day you will need to go to the area the day before and stay overnight. This will likely wipe out any savings, although you will be able to have servicing done by an independent firm in most areas without problem.

If the local dealer is not there, try the telephone and see if they will match any deal you are offered, if you find what you want.

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Some great advice there. We will definitely go on  a weekday, get there early and take a packed lunch. Really useful  advice on getting quotes from out of area dealers, but ultimately  going with your local one (assuming decent service) and negotiating with them to match best deal in order to make warranty/servicing work easier. We have approx 4 dealers within 30 min drive of home, so shouldn't  be  an issue. Thanks .

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We narrowed down our list to two vans BEFORE the October 2019 show. The NEC is hectic and tiring for browsing and making choices  Try to do your homework if possible BEFORE you go. Visit dealers and drive the deal and approach your most local dealer last of all and push them hard. Extras such as motor movers, AWD upgrades, Hypnos mattresses, etc. are all within reach. You need to be calm and ruthless.  Remember, the world is full of caravan dealers  hungry for your business. Do not be swayed by the 'today only' offer. Get it in writing and walk away if needed. We ended up selecting our second closest dealer simply because of 'price to change' after a lot of 'pre-show' homework. Our Buccaneer Commodore is due with us in the new year. Enjoy!

Edited by yorkyguy
typo

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Perfect advice from York Guy-we did this and got a saving of £3k over the deal we had been offered by the same local dealer on a normal Saturday a few weeks before!

Edited by Jezzerb

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You can actually go to your local main dealer, and still get the same prices as at the show, because its the manufacturers who are selling their caravans, the dealers are really only the sales reps of same manufacturers.  So if you are truly wanting to buy a caravan, certainly go to the show, but thereafter, go to your local dealer.  Also, if anything's wrong, you can go back to that dealer.  When at the show, the dealer could live hundreds of miles away from you

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Not really Babs. The  beauty is you can get quotes from them all then go to your preferred dealer and say' beat that'.In that way you ensure the best price; if you simply go to them you have no haggling price-yes you can haggle but no way near so effective-4k saving for us, same dealer.

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