Old age has finally happened. Although not yet of pensionable age, I’m afraid I caught myself snipping out a money-saving coupon from a magazine last week. I think I got away with it though, as it got us into the Scottish Caravan and Motorhome Show for half price yesterday. As we’re still saving up for this year’s big trip in September, we thought a wee jaunt up to Glasgow for the show would be the next best thing to actually going away in Vince.
Glasgow is a couple of hours from where we live on the edge of the Galloway Forest, and I have to confess it was quite a transition from brown, bracken-covered misty rolling hills, to the concrete urban sprawl of Glasgow. Don’t get me wrong, Glasgow is a transformed city these days. It’s a long way from the dark and smoky place we used to pass through when visiting my mother’s family as a child in the late 60’s. There are big changes even from when I studied there in the mid 80’s. It’s a clean, modern and vibrant place now, and as it only took a couple of hours to get here, I can see us making more regular trips in the future for the shops, museums and galleries. I’d better look up handy parking places for motorhomes.
Once we’d paid the eye-watering SECC parking charge and our half-price entry fee (See? That coupon came in handy!) we meandered through the three exhibition halls to ogle all the latest shiny and gadget-laden models.
I’ve always like VW camper vans, especially decked out in surfer-dude paint jobs like the ones we saw in Sagres, Portugal. We’ll never own one however as I think it would be far too much of a squeeze after touring with all mod cons in Vince. No shower, a portaloo if you’re lucky and not a lot of storage space for arthritis pills, zimmer frames, Werthers or comfy slippers. They’re so good to look at though – if we were thirty years younger maybe…
At the other end of the scale we sat in wonder inside one or two of the luxury A-Class models. They’re better appointed than our house! We were surrounded by discreet mood lighting, drop-down beds and TV’s, built-in coffee machines and air suspension which automatically levels the vehicle when you’ve parked. They had glossy cupboards, huge beds, starship dashboards and room in the rear garage for his ‘n’ hers scooters! They also had six figure prices to match. Ah well, we’ll bear them in mind for next week’s lottery win.
We continued our Goldilocks tour (Too big? Too small? Or just right..?) by checking out the coach-built motorhomes like Vince. Built on a Fiat, Mercedes or Peugeot chassis they retain the van cab but can have the living area configured in a huge variety of layouts. We saw fixed beds, sofas which turn into beds, over-cab beds, island beds and beds which drop down from the ceiling at the press of a button. Some vans were so empty and basic that you could hear your voice echoing, others were so packed with extras, soft furnishings and chintzy curtains that you could only take a small handbag away with you or the van would be overweight!
And the upshot of all this ogling and marvelling? We’re going to stay as we are thank you. We could never trade our Vince in, the handsome old thing. Our thinking is that the additional cash we’d have to find to trade up would pay for an awful lot of ferries and camp sites. There are lots of nice-to-haves on the market of course, but we thank our lucky stars that we’re currently fit and able to travel around together in the big fella, so we’ll just carry on making the most of our travel opportunities while we can.
And needless to say, when we do – we’ll keep rabbiting on here to keep you posted 😀