"Driver side blind" "Front screen blind" "Passenger side blind"
The Norfolk Motor home show was on the weekend before we were due to collect our Elddis Accordo 120, and since one of the best thing about trade shows is all the offers and bargains – so what better place to go and buy some accessories for the new motor home.
Before we bought our motor home one of the items that was on the list of “must have” accessories were the cabin blinds, you know the thermal ones that keep the motor home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When we hired a Chausson Flash from Motorholme/Unbeatable Hire for a test run there were no blinds. The Chausson had curtains for cabin privacy but there were no blinds to put on the screen and windows, which kind of surprised me. It was hiring the Chausson that showed us window blinds are an essential bit of kit.
There were plenty of trade stands at the Norfolk Motorhome show, as I’m sure you can imagine, and there were loads of different stands from which to buy thermal blinds. Whilst the choice of trade sellers was extensive the choice of blinds was not. The blinds were marked as premium and budget, and to the untrained eye (i.e. mine – being a total newbie and never having paid much attention to these blinds on motor homes on the campsites I have stayed at) they looked the same. The other thing I noticed was that all the blinds were “universal” and good for all motor homes.
I am wary of universal products as they are a “jack of all trades and master of none”. I didn’t have any doubts these blinds weren’t up for the job but I did have some doubts on how they would fit. I know there are only a few vans used for coach built motor homes (Peugeot, Fiat, Mercedes and Ford etc.) and I know that the Peugeot and Fiat vans are made in the same factory and are basically one and the same thing, but surely there must be some differences in the size, shape and curvature of the windscreen and side windows? Surely there must be some differences in the size, shape and location of mirrors that would affect the fitting?
Fortunately, I stumbled across the CountrySeatsUK trade stand. Compared to the other motor home accessory selling stands this was a small stand with a handful of products, one of which were the thermal blinds I was looking for. Unlike other traders the bloke on this stand had one of each type of blind on display, and I was given the chance to touch them, check the quality, see how big they were, see how they fitted to the vehicle etc. Considering I had never properly inspected one of these thermal blinds being able to see (out of its packaging) and feel the actual product was very useful.
Speaking to the bloke on the stand (who was not only very helpful but also patient in answering my “stupid newbie” questions) I discovered that there are subtle differences between the marques of vans and that his blinds were specifically tailored and cut to fit a specific cabin. The bloke on the stand pointed me to the campsite where there were different vans and motor homes with his thermal blinds on them so I could see how they attached to the van and also how they fit to the van.
Most of the traders advertised their products as “show specials” and therefore there was a “show only” price and to take advantage of that you had to buy now. The bloke on the CountryseatsUK stand said that the price was fixed and it would remain the same whether I bought a blind at the show or whether I bought one of the blinds in the future. I was assured there was no “show price” so I could go and look at the vans fitted with his blinds and make sure they were what I was looking for before spending my money. There was no pressure sell at all, which was a totally different approach to the other trade stands all of which were pressuring people to get their money out and buy, buy, buy!
After checking out the fit of CountrySeatsUK blinds I knew it was the blind for me, but didn’t buy anything at the show because we had not yet taken delivery of the Elddis Accordo 120.
Once we had collected our new motorhome the first thing I did was email CountrySeatsUK to order an internal thermal blind (for when the motorhome is on the driveway and not in use) and an external blind (for use when we are away on vacation). I didn’t get a response to my email until the following Monday (that’ll teach me to contact a trader during the weekend of one of the biggest motorhome shows in the country!) but I did get a response and ordered the thermal blinds.
The interior thermal blind cost £39, the external thermal blind cost £49 and delivery was £9. Under normal circumstances I would have baulked at a £9 delivery charge but given the low cost of the thermal blinds I didn’t mind. Yep, the blinds are well priced - especially when you consider the Milenco external thermal blind (which is universal fitting) is £79 (excluding delivery). I ordered the blinds 10 o’clock on the Monday and they were delivered by 11 o’clock the Tuesday. How good is that?!? I have to say that I was well impressed with the service.
When I opened the box and removed the blinds (each of which is supplied in its own zip up bag – which is perfect to make sure they remain clean when I am storing them) I was pleased to see the quality of the blinds was exactly the same as that of the blinds I saw at the Motorhome Show. The quality is superb, especially given the cost. The blinds didn’t come with fitting instructions which bothered me at first, but then after a few minutes I soon worked out how to fit them (yep – even stupid ‘ole me) so fitting instructions really aren’t needed.
I have to say that I am very impressed with my thermal window blinds from CountrySeatsUK and I highly recommend them. The blinds fit the cabin windows like a glove, they are top quality, do everything they need to do and are such a good price too. The service I got from CountrySeatsUK was exceptional, and whilst I had to wait a day or so for a response this was to be expected given they had a stand at another motorhome show. The bloke got back to me as soon as he could, and I can’t ask for any more than that. At £9 the delivery is a bit on the high side, but considering delivery was the following day and the goods were well packaged I didn’t mind paying the extra. Besides, the cost of the blinds was so much cheaper than the alternatives, the high delivery charges was an easy pill to swallow. If you are looking for some thermal blinds for your motor home you need to take a look at CountrySeatsUK.