Caravan Salon 2022 in Germany might have seemed slightly subdued, in comparison to previous years, but there was still plenty to enjoy at the Dusseldorf show. In this guide, we’ll talk you through some of the highlights. You can also find out more about the brands featuring here in our guide to the best motorhome makes.
Perhaps the most talked-about event at Caravan Salon 2022 was the launch of the Hymer Venture S, the new Mercedes-based motorhome that includes an inflatable pop-up roof, which is reached by a proper staircase, and a rear sundeck.
First launched as a concept in 2019, Hymer says the ’van has now become a commercial reality with relatively few changes. But you will need a large wallet to get hold of one of these limited-edition ’vans. Starting price is £197,540 for the ‘van which won best motorhome for innovation at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2023, and there are no clear plans as yet for when any right-hand-drive versions will be made available.
Hobby launched the first model in its new Maxia range at Caravan Salon 2022. The vehicle is the first product of its collaboration with Volkswagen.
Based on a 177bhp Crafter, the Maxia 680 ET comes with single beds at the back and Truma Combi 6 heating. It also manages to have 2m headroom throughout. But right-hand-drive models probably won’t be coming to the UK until at least 2024.
Caravan Salon was also an opportunity to view the Bürstner Lyseo Gallery for the first time.
Unusually, this low-profile motorhome has an inflatable pop-up roof, like the Hymer Venture S. This creates a bedroom area which can also be accessed via a staircase. The Lyseo Gallery, officially launched last year, is more likely to be visiting UK shores fairly soon, however.
Other new vehicles on the Bürstner stand included the Eliseo C644. With its rear U-shaped lounge and forward located washroom, it looks very much like a van conversion alternative to the Lyseo TD 644 G Harmony Line. Like that vehicle, it also includes a ‘garage’ at the back, which is large enough to hold a bicycle. All told, you get a roomy four-berth with good storage that is still only 6.36m long.
The low-profile 644 has been partly designed as a shorter version of the 744 Lyseo model, which, with its “three rooms” design, has been one of this reviewer’s favourite motorhomes from the past few years. This is now only available as an A-class, and newest models have dispensed with the pull-out coffee table in the rear lounge that was perhaps one of the vehicle’s few drawbacks. There is now a more practical swing-out table instead.
Dethleffs’ Globetrail van conversions (one of which includes an innovative washroom that expands if you partially fold away the bed) will sadly not be coming to the UK.
But we will be seeing the firm’s new Ford-based Just Go range.
Many of these models include Vario washrooms, with partitions that swing over to reveal the shower, and it was very impressive to discover how light some of these partitions are compared with competitor models, where you often feel the partition is heavy enough to snap off any catch that is holding it.
I particularly liked the neat way the partition in the corner washroom of the Just Go T 6905 seals off the ample shower room from the washroom located just behind it.
For those looking for something a bit more luxurious, Niesmann+Bischoff was showing off its new-look Flair range.
For 2023, this line-up has been completely redesigned, with an exterior that includes headlights set wider apart and an interior with a clear line of sight from front to back.
Other details include a minimalist shower with a walk-in solid tray and concrete-effect wall, and side walls that are covered in felt to help deaden any outside noise.
Speakers have also been integrated into the wall lights, and as there is a 370-litre fresh-water tank, you can even opt to have a dishwasher.
One 100Ah leisure battery is fitted as standard, but you can in fact have up to six installed, and along with an inverter, there is a choice of a 220W or 440W solar panel system.
The new Flair is based on an Iveco and comes in two lengths, 8.87m and 9.27m, both of which provide single beds at the back.
Stylish Italian brand Rimor exhibited a wide selection of ’vans from its new Ford-based Kilig range. With a bright and breezy interior ambience, thanks to the clever use of white and panels of turquoise, the new range is clearly geared towards families, like much else in the Rimor line-up.
Models on show included the Kilig 9, an overcab with six travel seats fitted as standard and a possible six berths; the Kilig 4, a shorter overcab providing a transverse double bed at the back; and the 69 Plus, a low-profile fitted with an island bed.
Pilote had said it would be launching its new Ford-based Atlas campervan range at Caravan Salon 2022.
But as final design decisions were yet to be made, visitors were only allowed to see the outside of this 6m-long ’van, although the French manufacturer did release one interior image, which may be subject to change.
Pilote first worked with Ford soon after it started making motorhomes in the late 1970s. This model aims to be something of a halfway house between a standard van conversion and a fully off-road vehicle, because it comes with Ford’s limited-slip differential, which is designed to reduce wheelspin on rough roads. The range is due to be launched fully in the spring.
The Frankia stand included the German brand’s new A-class versions of the low-profile Neo motorhome, launched at the end of the previous decade.
Aimed at a slightly younger audience, the Mercedes-based range includes a 6.88m-long transverse-bed model, the MI 7BD, and a 7.06m fixed-single-beds model, the Mi 7GDK. Both have optional drop-down beds.
In the same year the Neo appeared, Frankia launched its van conversion, the Yukon, with an innovative layout involving a rear lounge with a daybed and a large space for a TV. This is now in the process of being developed into its own brand – Yukon by Frankia.
The Mercedes-based layout remains, as the Yukon 7.0 Lounge Microliner, and the range has been expanded to include other Mercedes- and Fiat-based models, and Renault-based campervans. If you’re looking for more inspiration, our best campervan guide could be worth a look, as we share our top picks.
SMC in Newark, which is still currently Frankia’s only UK dealership, will have a selection of the new Neo A-classes on its forecourt later this year, along with some of the Fiat-based Yukon models.
Hobby was not the only manufacturer at the Düsseldorf show with a new ’van based on a Volkswagen.
Weinsberg’s stand included the two models in its new X-Cursion range, the first Weinsberg models built on a VW Transporter 6.1 base.
The 500 MQ includes an innovative height-adjustable shower cubicle, which can be lowered when not in use to make more room for the single bed outside. The 500 LT, meanwhile, has an entrance door to the rear with parallel settees in the front dinette, a sliding bed above the cab, and a large wardrobe at the rear that can be accessed externally. The vehicle’s floor is not without steps, however.
Rapido launched its range of compact low-profiles a couple of seasons ago. This year, it chose Caravan Salon to launch A-class versions of them. Initially just two models will be available – the C55i, an A-class version of the low-profile with two single beds, and the C86i, 72cm longer than the C55i at 6.99m, with an island bed.
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