We were at the station in good time for the train, managed to park the car fairly near the station entrance for a quick get away when we got back.
The train was late into Birmingham but they must have held the London Train which stops at Birmingham International airport as we managed to get the train we were booked on despite having to walk the length of the station.
There was a shuttle bus service to the halls we were looking for so we waited for it. Walking into the show we saw wall to wall caravans and motor homes. We went to the Bailey stand to enquire about a wheel clamp for our caravan and were advised what to look for.
We then started walking round the stalls which were many and varied, offering all sorts of things some pertaining to carvaning some not. We found the camping and caravan stand and registered for the ACSI book which comes out at the end of December for 2014. We had also got vouchers for a cup of tea, so we waited a few minutes for a free table and then sat and had our chicken rolls and a cup of tea.
We resumed our walk round the show. We found Towsure and DB bought a couple of things he wanted, we looked at the wheel clamps, but did not buy one. We also found A & S whose travels around Europe we had read about on their blog, they sell wi fi equipment for caravans and motor homes. A works from their motorhome when they are travelling. They also knew C & C our friend who were wardens on our Lake Distric camp site, A told me they were hoping to join C & C when they go to Morocco for the winter.
A few of the van conversions drew our attention and they have come a long way since we had our Highwayman, we looked at quite a few but the prices......aarrgghhh....... We also saw motorhomes with a garage underneath for your car. You need a special license to drive one of these monsters and they cost more than a small house, do only about 5 miles to the gallon and look like a bus. Several of them had sides which slid out.
Another stop to rest the feet and backs was called for. I actually bought two cups of coffee that cost me £5.......and at that they were only very small. Its a good job I paid for them out of my pocket money, that was at least 3 days main meals on two cups of coffee.
It was almost 5.30 when we started for the exit to get the shuttle back to the station......as we were walking along we walked through the Bailey stand and into the Lunar stand, I looked at the blurb about a small van and saw........we could tow it, just under our maximum weight. DB went off to see if he could get some info and came back with the news that there was in fact another one we could tow.....and joy of joys, it had an end bathroom!! I so missed the one in the Abbey Oxford we had. It was small but it was an end bathroom, with a separate shower so, you could shower and dress without causing havoc whilst breakfast preparations were underway. We were most surprised that there is no fire......a completely new warm air system which is controllable so you can use either electric, gas or both and has a boost for hot water if you are taking one shower after another. Magic........the dealers are not that far from us and its something we will bear in mind.
A new van looses 25% of its value when you put it on the road. So a sensible solution for us would be to wait until the second hand vans start to come onto the market and decide then if we are going to continue caravanning and if it is worth changing at that point.
We got home just after 8.30pm, both of us shattered. The train had been a good alternative to going by road, no strain on the driver. Scrambled eggs and 2 cups of tea, a shower and bed.
This morning we talked over the day, we both enjoyed it and were happy with what we had seen. I have 2 carrier bags full of bumf which we will go through and throw out what we do not want.
DB was fine all day which was a great relief to me, at several places he asked for and got a chair to sit on. I do think that carrying a back pack is not the way to go, we saw several people with wheeled suitcases, not over large ones, I think thats the way to go, if we go to another show.
We both slept well, late getting up, but so what we are retired......