15:08 12 May 2022
With an oversaturated camping gear market and hundreds of useless products being sold, we’ve narrowed it down to the five must-have items for any camper.
Matt Sims, General Manager of the Motorhome Holiday Company and This hobby shop in Hewish, offers his expert advice on camping gear and reveals how you can get your hands on a bottle of gas when we’re short on supplies.
Yes, it may seem obvious, but gas is an essential item to pack for any recreational vehicle. And with rising energy/oil prices, a shortage of steel to make cylinders, and a shift to local stays instead of overseas vacations, gas is becoming much harder to come by. If you are planning to have a summer barbecues with your family and friends this year, you will have to add it to your list.
“We are the only company in North Somerset to receive regular deliveries of gas,” says Matt. “One woman even drove us from Plymouth just to get her hands on it for her family’s holiday – it’s crazy,” he tells us.
Matt explains that Calor (a major gas supplier) has stopped supplying new cylinder deals. “For regular campers, this is not a problem because they already have an empty bottle to exchange. But for new campers, it makes it incredibly difficult to get your hands on an empty bottle to exchange for a fresh one.
This hobby store buys empty bottles on eBay and Gumtree, so if you’re looking to start your camping trip, there’s plenty in store.
2. Outdoor furniture
Camp furniture is becoming harder to find, and prices are rising as more people choose to stay closer to home. “We had huge deliveries in November, so we have plenty of stock remaining at last year’s prices for our customers to take advantage of,” says Matt. “They’re perfectly suited to life at home, but are also ideal for folding up and taking on holiday with you. Camping furniture looks more and more like “glamping” furniture, offering elegant and luxurious pieces. »
This hobby store chairs are made with improved, water-resistant fibers, ensuring furniture won’t stay wet after rain.
“We have over 50 outdoor chair options, including small, foldable and flat models for motorhomes as well as large sun loungers that are lightweight and still easy to transport. Our prices range from £12 to £250 £, so we can adapt to any kind of budget,” he adds.
Matt explains that they also offer a variety of the tables and windbreaks, as well as a festival package for revelers, with a cart that includes a tent and plenty of essentials for those heading to music events this year.
3. Electric bikes
Whether it’s getting to the nearest town for supplies or heading to the beach for the day, it’s much easier and more efficient when you’re on a bike. “We specialize in a range of electric bikes (electric bicycles) as well as a variety of mountain bikes. Many of our bikes can fold in half, so they’re ideal for taking along in the caravan or motorhome,” says Matt.
That Leisure Shop e-bikes come with a removable battery which, once charged, will power your bike rides wherever you go. You can easily charge it anywhere with a power source, from your desk at work to an electrical outlet in your vehicle, so it’s easy to maintain. “Some are slightly heavier, but the Axon range is incredibly lightweight – we have all sorts of styles to suit every individual’s budget and requirements,” Matt tells us.
Batteries can be adjusted and matched to the amount of power you want for your bike ride. “It makes riding a bike much more enjoyable for those who aren’t experienced cyclists,” he says.
4. Chemicals for Your Outdoor Living Essentials
“Chemicals are something a lot of new campers don’t know about, but they’re really important,” says Matt. Every toilet in a motorhome or caravan will have a cassette, where you place the chemical to dissolve it in water, which you can throw down the drain.
“Many campsites use a septic tank that is not connected to the main sewage system, and therefore requires a specialized version of the chemical (which is green and not blue like normal),” he explains. This product does not affect the biological balance of the tank and guarantees its respect for the environment. “A lot of these products are being discontinued and the prices for newer ones are going up,” Matt tells us.
Matt explains that there is a wide range of choices, from chemicals for fresh water and sewage to kitchen and bathroom cleaners, and some may contain bleach which will stain plastics. He advises seeking expert advice to make sure you’re buying the right products for your vehicle.
5. Security for your motorhome or caravan
Unfortunately, RV thefts are on the rise due to increased demand and a shortage of supply due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As the value of these vehicles skyrockets, it’s worth securing your assetsnow more than ever, to make sure they are as safe as possible.
“We have a large stock of wheel clamps, hitch locks for your tow bars, steering wheel locks and even covers for your motorhome that can help deter a thief,” says Matt. “It’s so important to take safety seriously and take the necessary precautions to keep your vehicle as safe as possible.”