UK: With more people than ever expected to holiday in the UK next year, an interiors firm is helping owners transform their caravans, motorhomes and camper vans.
Ghyll House Upholstery and Design is seeking to provide a full refurbishment service for owners looking to spruce up their tourers ahead of next spring and summer. The firm has a range of professional upholstery options in different fabrics and colours to ensure vehicles are ready for action next year.
Joe McAlpine, general manager of Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, said: “With a winter of restrictions ahead, now is a good time to think about any updates your caravan, motorhome or camper van might require before the spring so you’re ready for the new holiday season.
“Many people are buying a caravan or camper van, updating it and making it their own home-from-home for their holidays. New upholstery can give it a new lease of life. The better the quality of the foam and fabric, the more comfortable it’s going to be.
“We’ve fitted many different vehicles and caravans over the years. Camper vans have become more popular in recent years, with people investing in them as DIY projects to create their own space,” he added.
Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, which is based at Mealsgate in Cumbria, said the upholstery service was also proving popular with owners of static caravans looking to update their holiday homes.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, staycations in caravans, motorhomes and camper vans have experienced a boom during 2020.
Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “The popularity of this kind of visit is clearly on the rise, with ten per cent of visitors to The Lake District, Cumbria this year choosing to come in their motorhome or camper van, according to our recent survey.
“With so many campsites offering motorhome pitches right across the county, word is clearly spreading about the wide range of facilities available and that Cumbria, with its wide open spaces, spectacular scenery, culture, heritage and adventure, as well as first class food and drink really is #theperfectplacetobe all year round.
“We’ve been delighted to see so many of our camper van and motorhome visitors choosing to explore our coastal and less well-known parts of the county, as well as the more familiar places and we know from our own surveys that those who’ve holidayed here this year have strong intentions to return.
“We’d encourage our motorhome owners to sign up to our newsletters so we can keep them posted on facilities, places to visit, and experiences to enjoy,” she added.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club reported a 35 per cent increase in bookings over the summer; a trend which it expects to be repeated next year.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “This demonstrates how keen campers, caravanners, motorhomers and campervanners are to enjoy the great outdoors and the freedom and peace of mind that touring holidays provide.”
Andrew Bell, from Wigton, has enjoyed caravan holidays since he was a child and now owns two tourers – a caravan which he and his wife Jane use for UK breaks, and a vintage 1979 Viking Fibreline which they take to classic car shows, along with their 1977 Ford Granada 2.0 GL.
After buying the Viking on the internet ten years ago, Bell had only some small renovation work done to the vehicle and chose to keep the original upholstery. However, last winter, the caravan was fully restored with a full respray and timber frame repairs and he decided it was time to get the upholstery refitted too.
He said: “The foam was so old it was getting uncomfortable to sit on so that’s when we approached Ghyll House. They did a superb job keeping the original vintage look of the cushions, while also making it much more comfortable. We’re delighted with the end result.
“Because of Covid-19 we haven’t been able to take it to the places we would usually go, but hopefully next year we’ll get a chance to,” he added.
Due to current restrictions, Ghyll House is to offer a service where caravan owners can arrange to send measurements to the company, which will then be used to create made-to-measure cushions to the customer’s choice of fabric and design. These will then be delivered directly to the client.
“We’re doing everything we can in the current climate to help make life easier for our customers,” added McAlpine.
As more and more travellers seek out staycations in rural, off-the-beaten track destinations, the recreational vehicle [RV] trend is one that ShortTermRentalz is predicting will take off next year and will be exploring in an upcoming 2021 predictions piece. This was illustrated by KKR’s recent $100m+ funding round for peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace RVshare.