How it all began…
In a land far far away, some know it as “up north”, Karina and Jules started their journey to find the perfect touring caravan in which to set out on a mission to travel the length and breadth of the UK.
With experience of static caravans and camping they decided that 2017 was the year to start this mission and so it began…
So, we waved goodbye, temporarily, to our static caravan, promising we would be back once our search was complete…
Once on the open road we ventured to caravan dealers in various counties, crossing the borders we were careful to observe the local customs of the lands we discovered.
Our first firm favourite was Swift, the Challenger 630 if I recall, deciding that the large twin axle was the most suitable caravan for us.
Whilst clambering in and out of various demo vans, it was then we stumbled through the door of an Elddis 860, oohhh I immediately thought as I stepped inside. Immediately impressed by the 8ft width we soon forgot about the offerings of Swift, shallow I know. The extra width gave a more roomy feel, probably something we had been spoilt with by the static. The bed layout and centre bathroom was another great feature and with several dealer specials to choose from we were like sugar addicted children in a sweet shop.
We viewed the dealer specials at Prestons, Glossop, Wandahome and Pearman Briggs..well I did say our search was far and wide!
By now the Caravan show at the NEC in October 2017 was fast approaching and we were getting excited at the thought of getting there to hand over in excess of £20k of our hard earned money!
With our easily swayed minds made up it was then we happened upon a video uploaded by our soon to become hero, Andrew Ditton. Andrew took us on a tour of an Adria Adora Isonzo that he had been provided with. Yes, we were glued to every word he spoke, each draw he opened and every blind he drew..the gasps of oh and ah from us both as we watched on.
So there was nothing else for it but to eagerly head to Stewart Longton dealers at Chorley, an hours drive from our home, we chatted excitedly all the way there.
We entered their show room with trepidation, would we be able to see this Adria Isonzo in the flesh, or would we leave with a glossy brochure and a feeling of disappointment. We were lucky that day, fate shone down on us like the sun, a rare sighting in these parts. We were greeted with enthusiasm by Marion, a lady who had as much enthusiasm for caravans as us. We explained to her we were touring virgins, eager to lose this in her showroom, Marion spent what must have seemed like an eternity to her showing us all the Adria had to offer. We were hooked, delighted by the layout, the build quality, the size, within those few minutes Elddis had been forgotten, dumped instead for a big Slovenian brute who made us feel safe in its company.
Marion provided us with the best price they could offer, and at several thousands of pounds less than the Elddis, our tight Yorkshire minds were convinced! Even with the motor mover, awning and a cadac we had change for a bag of chips on the way home.
We were going to the Caravan Show the following week so decided we would make our purchase there, well I had spent good money on those tickets so I wasnt going to waste them! Sunday 22nd October 2017 couldnt come soon enough!
The day arrived and we hit the road early, it was still dark, our drive down the M6 was filled with more excited chatter about how we would plan our day, which stand to visit first, get the big purchase done first. We pulled into one of the many car parks at around 8am, yes we were eager, we parked up and trotted across to get a breakfast at Wetherspoons. Two porridge pots later and we were itching to get in there, the doors were firmly closed, no entry until the clock struck 10am. Whilst sat on a nice plastic chair, Jules exclaimed, “theres Caravan Gossip” and pointed at a man nearby, sadly this was wasted on me, however I have since experienced enlightenment! We perused our show map and brochure, one eye on the clock, we moved towards the door of hall 20, nervous excitement began to creep in as we waited to make a rush for the doors with the other keen caravanners. That was it, the doors opened and we bagan to shuffle forward, tickets in hand, through we went and we made a short dash to the Adria stand. Once there we located Mike, from Stewart Longton caravans, we told him about our discussion with Marion and the negotiation began. I do believe “how much” was said by myself a number of times as we discussed the price of various items.
It was during these hard negotiations I noticed Jules had gone missing in action, yes, he had disappeared. As I scanned the hall I spotted him, not difficult due to the size of him, talking to a man in a familiar black and red shirt. Yes it was no other than Andrew Ditton, looking like a bewildered rabbit in the headlights, who had been collared by a crazed youtube fan. So as I spent our money, making the important decisions as usual and securing a good deal, Jules conversed enthusiastically with his new best friend.
To be continued….