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Excel - London


TedNewman

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As we live just over the Thames from London City Airport and the Excel Centre I thought I would pop along tomorrow to see what it is all about :rolleyes:

 

Especially important for those of us 'darn sarf' as it seems that this year will be the last of the Earls Court Shows. :angry:

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Well we went! Spent the whole day there and it was brilliant - OK not as many exhibits as Earls Court put still plenty to see and try.

 

The show also has a boats section for those of you that like things nautical.

 

And the biggest display of motor homes that I have seen in one place including some fantastic US imports BUT the things that impressed me (and the wife) most were the fifth wheel vans with their extend-able sides and once parked they are no bigger than many vans and you have a very usable double cab pickup truck.

 

Lots of accessory stands and we ended up spending a lot more than we intended.

 

Very reasonably priced cafeteria and indoor pic-nic area with a wall climbing for the kids plus a ski and snow board dry slope.

 

Large outside area with towing experience area, Land Rover experience, mini bikes etc and for those of you that like a more primitive existence 'tent village'.

 

The whole place is set on the side of London's old Royal Docks with acres of room for future expansion of the show, there are good rail, bus and DLR links with just a few minutes drive from the M11 and A406 motor roads plus ample car parking and there is even a caravan site ON SITE for those that want to uses their vans or several good hotels if you want to stay the night.

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hi folks

 

i hope i have got this right, but there isa caravan show on in nov? earls court, am i going to feel a plonker if i aint got this one right,

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Yep - a bit of 'politicking' going on at the moment!!!!

 

Seems like the Earls Court people want to move to the NEC in September of next year and give up the Earls Court venue - so we would then have two shows at the NEC!!

 

So I wish the Excel people good luck with their show this year and then perhaps next year could be larger - they are only using half of the halls available so there is plenty of room for expansion.

 

For me Late October is a good time for the show - nothing to detract as September we are likely to be away still and December away again! Selfish attitude I know :P

 

Forgot to add that if the weather is still nice (today it was brilliant at 21 degrees) there are outside areas where you can have your pi-nic. where you are overlooking the water and you can watch the aircraft landing at LCY (london City Airport ) :)

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Guest Hobbybod
Well we went!  Spent the whole day there and it was brilliant - OK not as many exhibits as Earls Court put still plenty to see and try.

 

The show also has a boats section for those of you that like things nautical.

 

And the biggest display of motor homes that I have seen in one place including some fantastic US imports BUT the things that impressed me (and the wife) most were the fifth wheel vans with their extend-able sides and once parked they are no bigger than many vans and you have a very usable double cab pickup truck.

 

Lots of accessory stands and we ended up spending a lot more than we intended.

 

Very reasonably priced cafeteria and indoor pic-nic area with a wall climbing for the kids plus a ski and snow board dry slope.

 

Large outside area with towing experience area, Land Rover experience, mini bikes etc and for those of you that like a more primitive existence 'tent village'.

 

The whole place is set on the side of London's old Royal Docks with acres of room for future expansion of the show, there are good rail, bus and DLR links with just a few minutes drive from the M11 and A406 motor roads plus ample car parking and there is even a caravan site ON SITE for those that want to uses their vans or several good hotels if you want to stay the night.

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I agree Ted! I went today with a caravanning pal, and we were both impressed with the venue; way better than Earls Court. Shame the industry didn't support it better for caravans; as Ted says there were loads of motorhomes.

 

I popped in to an American one Trailite, I think,. It was s/h but only 8000miles and what you got for ~£40,000 was amazing compared to European models. Problem was it had a 6. 0l Chevvy engine converted to LPG and I bet it still cost a fair bit for fuel.

 

And another example that 'the Germans are coming'!! I saw that Knaus are shipping in anglicised caravans into the UK from this year. More expensive than Geist and Cristall, more on a par with Hymer, (they were all there) but nice, well built 'vans with 'modern' style interiors. Knaus caravans haven't been sold in the UK for ages (if at all!).

 

If the 'EC show' moved here then I think that would be a positive move; don't need 2 NEC shows. (I've always thought the Feb. NEC show far superior to the one at the horrible EC)

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Yep we saw those Yankee monsters too - it amazes me that you can get away with driving them on a standard car license!

 

I have to say we were impressed with the German build quality of their vans on show BUT oh my god they just lack any 'design flair' and that came from my wife who is German! What they need to do is get our guys to design the vans and for them to build them. Yes I know they have taken on board our concerns about the cookers and which side is the door but still a long way to go.

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Agree with all the above comments. Went on Thursday and was impressed with the space, all the 'little' stands as well as the big ones, and the civility of the salesmen and women on the stands, large and small.

 

I haven't towed for fifteen years - we're thinking of returning soon to touring either in a compact motorhome or trailer van - so I took advantage of the Camping and Caravanning Club's "Start caravanning" by "Experience towing a caravan". Went for a tour of Docklands driving a Land Rover pulling a Bailey caravan and it all came back to me. ..didn't hit any kerbs, jump any red lights, run down any traffic wardens, take out any artics or exceed any speed limits. Just brill.

 

The show was also terrific with some marvellous 'vans on show. After all the knocking that some forums have given Baileys, I was very impressed with the new Senator range, especially the smallest, the Vermont. I have to say, however, that the stars for me were the Knaus, recently returned to the UK, and the Geist (LMH with British design) which were just so well designed and put together. I also covetted the Voyager, but at £25000 it is about 60% overpriced for what you get inside - for that price I'd want air conditioning, underfloor heating, on-board water tank, faired-in awning and a Swedish au-pair.

 

Although this is a caravan forum, I was also very impressed with the Timberland motorhomes - veritable Tardises for what they fit into standard panel vans.

 

Even though the Discovery I drove on the "Experience towing" was nice, I also liked the two 4x4 Kias - the Sportage and the Sorento. I was expecting them to be cheap and nasty inside, but they weren't. Not quite as classy as my Honda Civic Executive, but certainly not ashamed to be compared with the best.

 

Super venue, terrific public transport - but be warned that on-site car parking is very expensive.

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OK we live within walking distance (if you don't mind walking for about 50 minutes) of Excel so did not park there BUT according to their web site parking is £8. 00 per day - sorry but I do not call that expensive especially for an inner city exhibition arena parking area.

 

Now where we had our office, until retirement, by Oxford Circus in Mayfair that was what I called expensive parking - £37. 00 per day!

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If you go to

 

http://www. caravanandoutdoorshow. co. uk/def. ..f1-f67159c0be6e

 

you'll find directions for all modes of travel - I used network rail and DLR which takes you to the door.

 

Be careful to tell TomTom to take you round the Congestion Zone or you'll be stung by that as well.

 

The car park, as far as I could tell, is directly under the exhibition hall, so you won't have far to hobble.

 

The charge is £2 per hour with a maximum of £10 per day, if I remember correctly from the payment machines.

 

This may be cheap for wealthy townies, but for impoverished yokels like me, who are used to parking for free, it seems expensive.

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Yep no congestion charge on weekends and bank holidays - isn't Ken Livingstone generous :P

 

If you are coming down the M1 I would suggest changing to the M25 clockwise (towards Dartford) then to the M11 South then to the A406 North Circular and follow signs to City, Docklands and the Excel itself.

 

As for wealthy town dwellers - no way when you have the cost of living that we have - country bumpkins have far more disposable income than us so can afford the odd days car parking charges and as a BTW the web site for the show says £2. 00 per hour or £8. 00 per day. :)

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Whoops! Sorry - I forgot about the concession for the Congestion Charge at weekends. I haven't driven inside the M25 for many years, although I frequently circulate in the world's largest traffic jam going to and from the south of London to/from the north.

 

There was a charming concession at the exhibition whereby motorhomes and caravans could park in one of the adjacent open-air car parks for the show. It looked very well patronised and, although it is probably too late for this year, for anyone interested in going next year - and I think all the correspondents have enjoyed the show - it would make an interesting and different excursion. The Camping and Caravanning Club are running it at £15 per night. I think the Docklands area is well worth a visit and after visiting the show, the DLR would take you to the heart of London in about 15 minutes, through some splendidly restored districts.

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