Caravan Salon: Modern recreational vehicles are variable, networked and comfortable

The trends of the next season will be shown in Düsseldorf


Hymer GmbH presents the latest result of the intensive cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Vans: the Hymermobil B-Class. Photos: Messe Düsseldorf / CTillmann

The Caravan Salon continues to live up to its status as a novelty show with innovative products and world premieres this year. From the 31. August to 8. 2019 600 exhibitors will be showing 214.000 caravan and motor home brands around 130 exhibitors and more than 2.100 leisure vehicles of all price categories. "The Caravan Salon is the industry's leading trade show and trend barometer. In Dusseldorf, all well-known national and international manufacturers present the latest generation of recreational vehicles, but in addition, with studies or prototypes, venture a glimpse into the future of mobile travel. The bandwidth and product variety is as big as never before, "says Director Stefan Koschke.

As a result of the increasing demand for motorhomes and caravans for years, established brands are steadily expanding their model portfolio and more and more new brands are entering the market. For example, manufacturers of large premium vehicles are presenting increasingly compact and cheaper entry-level models, while some suppliers of these vehicles are increasingly venturing into the middle and upper classes. The growing choice is entirely in the customer's interest, as Daniel Onggowinarso, Managing Director of the Caravaning Industry Association e. V. (CIVD), states: "This promotes product development, as the brands are now transferring the know-how from their special discipline to other vehicle segments."

Electromobility: The first caravan with its own electric drive

Trend towards compact vehicles is increasing

Despite growth in all vehicle segments, the trend towards compact vehicles is intensifying again this year. Vans account for an increasing proportion of motorhome production and have replaced medium-sized semi-integrated models with the number 1. Customers appreciate that they are even easier to move on narrow streets and therefore better suited for city trips and everyday life. At the same time, demand for comfort options, equipment extras and electronic helpers is increasing. In the meantime, almost all devices in the recreational vehicle can be intuitively controlled via a central operating panel and the fill levels of the battery, water tanks and gas cylinder can be called up via smartphone.

Innovative lightweight solutions to save weight

The many features bring more weight. To make matters worse for motorhomes in the truest sense of the word that the base vehicles have gained weight anyway because of more and more equipment and assistance systems that enhance ride comfort and safety. Due to the EU driving license reform, only vehicles up to 1999 tons can be moved with the car driving license since 3,5. It is therefore important to stay below this limit. For caravans, one challenge is that many consumers are increasingly driving compact passenger cars with a limited towing capacity. In order to keep the vehicles agile despite the many equipment extras and thus master the balancing act between the sometimes contrary wishes of modern customers, the manufacturers use innovative lightweight construction methods that have long gone beyond the replacement of heavy materials with lighter alternatives. "More and more manufacturers are beginning to rethink the traditional design and construction of recreational vehicles," explains Onggowinarso.

The well-being factor is very important in the Harmony 3. With this new study Bürstner GmbH presents the living ideas of the future in the caravan.

Variable interior design and modern design

A modern recreational vehicle should also look stylish, sporty and striking lines determine the exterior design. This continues in the interior, because here too today's customers are demanding. In order to create the most comfortable ambience, lighter, coordinated upholstery and decors contribute. Manufacturers are increasingly looking beyond their own horizons and are inspired by interior designers or are developing innovative LED lighting concepts with lighting specialists. In addition, they construct additional, more variable floor plans as well as modular interior concepts that enable a modern and open sense of space. An example are electrically operated lift beds, usually arranged over the driver's seats. In addition, the well-known from caravans large round seating group found in the rear moving into motorhomes.

At the Caravan Salon 2018, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting forward-looking ideas in the motorhome segment, from fully connected homes on wheels to alternative drive systems. For the megatrend "emission-free driving" stands the "Concept Sprinter F-CELL".

Large selection of basic vehicles

The variety of available basic vehicles for motorhomes is also increasing. For example, the Citroën Jumper and Peugeot Boxer models, which are identical to the market leader Fiat Ducato, are increasingly in demand. For two years, a new generation of Crafters on the market, the VW after the completion of the joint venture with Mercedes -Benz again manufactures on its own. MAN's TGE, which is identical to the Crafter, with either front, rear or four-wheel drive, has been available since last year. Mercedes, in turn, introduced the new Sprinter last year. The Swabian carmaker's third-generation transporter focuses on extensive equipment, giving it a focus on particularly demanding customers. "Competition is known to stimulate business and manufacturers are positioning themselves with attractive extras and options. The new diversity in the industry is therefore entirely in the customer's interest, "says Onggowinarso.

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