Automotive

BASF dives into the details of 2019's coolest camper van

BASF dives into the details of...
BASF's Chromacool tech means the van can stay cool, no matter what color it is
BASF's Chromacool tech means the van can stay cool, no matter what color it is
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The VisionVenture includes a rear lounge with panoramic windows and a fold-out tailgate deck
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The VisionVenture includes a rear lounge with panoramic windows and a fold-out tailgate deck
The tailgate area has a slide-out grill
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The tailgate area has a slide-out grill
BASF helped Hymer create many of the VisionVenture's most notable features, including the inflatable pop-up roof tent
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BASF helped Hymer create many of the VisionVenture's most notable features, including the inflatable pop-up roof tent
BASF shows the various materials and technologies that it supplied for the Hymer VisionVenture concept
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BASF shows the various materials and technologies that it supplied for the Hymer VisionVenture concept
Hymer's VisionVenture shows what the future of van life could look like
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Hymer's VisionVenture shows what the future of van life could look like
BASF tech features prominently in the pop-up roof, from the waterproof fabric coating, to the bed frame, to the cool-touch mattress finish
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BASF tech features prominently in the pop-up roof, from the waterproof fabric coating, to the bed frame, to the cool-touch mattress finish
BASF helped Hymer with 3D printing of parts like the fender flares
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BASF helped Hymer with 3D printing of parts like the fender flares
BASF's Chromacool tech means the van can stay cool, no matter what color it is
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BASF's Chromacool tech means the van can stay cool, no matter what color it is
BASF helped Hymer with materials for the suspension and noise/vibration reduction package
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BASF helped Hymer with materials for the suspension and noise/vibration reduction package
A favorite feature of the VisionVenture: a staircase leads to the pop-up roof, rather than a simple ladder
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A favorite feature of the VisionVenture: a staircase leads to the pop-up roof, rather than a simple ladder
Wraparound windows and a rear deck help to strengthen the van's bond with nature
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Wraparound windows and a rear deck help to strengthen the van's bond with nature
BASF materials also feature around the
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BASF materials feature around the interior
Rather than combining the shower and toilet room into one, the way many camper vans do, the VisionVenture has a convertible bathroom space that allows for separate shower and toilet/sink configurations
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Rather than combining the shower and toilet room into one, the way many camper vans do, the VisionVenture has a convertible bathroom space that allows for separate shower and toilet/sink configurations
BASF Veneo Slate features heavily in the shower room
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BASF Veneo Slate features heavily in the shower room
The VisionVenture was one of the biggest highlights of this year's Caravan Salon
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The VisionVenture was one of the biggest highlights of this year's Caravan Salon
The VisionVenture was one of the biggest highlights of this year's Caravan Salon
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The VisionVenture was one of the biggest highlights of this year's Caravan Salon

Even with a few months of 2019 left to go, we feel confident that the Hymer VisionVenture is the coolest camper van of the year. The concept camper has absolutely captured the public's imagination, showing how a little bit of creative tinkering can turn the art of sleeping in a van into world-class luxury travel. When Hymer announced the concept at the start of the 2019 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, it mentioned incorporating over 20 materials and technologies from German chemical giant BASF, touching upon some of the most integral. BASF jumped in this month to further detail exactly how its tech can benefit future van lifers.

Hymer certainly gave credit where it was due, recognizing BASF's role in the opening paragraph of its VisionVenture announcement and detailing elements like the Chromacool exterior paint and Veneo Slate transforming-bathroom trim. Still, it wasn't quite clear just how deep BASF's participation ran. Knowing a thing or two about the power of a buzzy concept vehicle (like a bike or car), BASF released some additional information last week to squeeze a little extra press out of the VisionVenture, a star of the 2019 Caravan Salon that featured in RV, auto and tech publications and blogs all over the world.

BASF shows the various materials and technologies that it supplied for the Hymer VisionVenture concept
BASF shows the various materials and technologies that it supplied for the Hymer VisionVenture concept

BASF tech features on virtually every inch of the VisionVenture, from the running gear and structural components of the van itself, to the various rooms of the living area build-out. In addition to the 22 technologies listed in the infographic above, BASF helped in the production of the van's more than 100 3D-printed components.

Some of the features are a bit too "chem nerd" to be of much interest to the average traveler or outdoor enthusiast, but some really promise to tangibly improve the mobile living experience. The pop-up roof, in particular, is home to a number of comfort-enhancing materials and finishes, starting with the Elastollan coating on the signature inflatable canvas walls. The water-resistant finish fights off both precipitation and wind, helping ensure a comfortable night of sleep no matter the weather. The tent's inflatable design, meanwhile, offers a simple form of insulation, creating an air barrier between sleeping campers and the frosty night air, much the way inflatable sleeping pads offer some insulation between camper and cold ground.

BASF tech features prominently in the pop-up roof, from the waterproof fabric coating, to the bed frame, to the cool-touch mattress finish
BASF tech features prominently in the pop-up roof, from the waterproof fabric coating, to the bed frame, to the cool-touch mattress finish

Speaking of nighttime temperature regulation, BASF's Elastocoat C Spray Gel gives the pop-top mattress and other cushioned furniture a cool touch. It's not uncommon to wake up at camp in a hot sweat due to a combination of heavy sleeping bag and direct sun, so Hymer and BASF attempt to create a cooler, more comfortable sleeping environment.

The foam mattress also enjoys a little extra dampening thanks to the slatted frame below, where Hymer puts BASF's Infinergy expanded TPU to work. More commonly recognized as a driving component of Adidas Energy Boost running shoes, the elasticized material adds pressure point relief while saving weight and enhancing durability. The material also features in the step construction.

The VisionVenture was one of the biggest highlights of this year's Caravan Salon
The VisionVenture was one of the biggest highlights of this year's Caravan Salon

We mentioned BASF's Chromacool (mistakenly calling it Climacool) exterior paintwork the first time we looked at the VisionVenture. The paint reflects away infrared radiation, helping to lower the temperature of both the vehicle body and interior. As BASF points out, this offers a related advantage in opening up more individualized paint options without any performance penalty. While plenty of camper vans have color options, if you go to any motorhome show, you'll notice a sea of white motorhomes and caravans, painted that way to help prevent heat absorption and keep things cooler in the summer. With Chromacool, campers can enjoy regulated temperatures inside a more colorful ride. Hymer's choice of green definitely adds to the VisionVenture's overall appeal, and the tech is available in a full palette of colors.

Sadly, while the VisionVenture concept is definitely the "camper van of 2019," it doesn't look likely that a production version will be the "camper van of 2020." Hymer does plan to incorporate some of the van's better ideas into its production lineup. Hopefully that list includes the drop-down tailgate deck, convertible wet/dry bath and ladder-replacing staircase.

Source: BASF

1 comment
guzmanchinky
This thing really is the coolest one. Pun intended.