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Our family popped down to the New Forest over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Each year we have a camping expedition and meet up with a couple of other families. It’s great fun – despite the changeable weather this year.

A highlight was the evening crespuscule: watching the sun go down over the undulating moorland from the edge of our forest campsite, glass of wine in hand. The resulting midge bites aren’t so good, though!

Much of the talk was about Team GB’s performance at the Olympics, particularly the cyclists and dinghy sailors. Steve – one of the dads – is a keen cyclist. I think he’ll be taking his sleeping bag to the new London velodrome in four years’ time! I’ll be either camping down at Weymouth to watch the sailing; or joining Steve for the cycling. But preferably both. Gary – our other camping buddy – is heading for the track events.

We drove down in a Mercedes Viano. This is an MPV that’s been rather off my radar. It’s van-based, which shows sometimes, but that also means it’s big. You can add to the car’s versatility by choosing ‘packs’ depending on your requirements: BIKE, LIFE and BUSINESS.

I had the X-CLUSIVE model on test – it had powered sliding rear doors (both sides) and seating for six on individual “captains chairs”. The ones in the rear are configured to face each other on a seat rail system. There’s a table, a DVD player and so on. Perhaps not all necessary for a camping trip; but the space was brilliant. So was the amount of really useful storage areas and luggage capacity.

And I can see the business use in this vehicle.

For small businesses who have to travel to offsite meetings – say construction sites – it’s an office on the move. You can hold a meeting in there, use your laptop, show a presentation on the DVD screen, and so on. It’s brilliant. I’m hooked.
Bank Holiday camping trip

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