Futuristic concept camper inspires two-story RV with inflatable pop-up
In 2019, Hymer impressed many with a groundbreaking Sprinter B+ camper van concept it called VisionVenture. Among the concept's many boundary-pushing features were an inflatable pop-up roof and a staircase leading up to the second floor. Hymer Group brand Bürstner recaptures some of the sleek, innovative glory of the VisionVenture, integrating the inflatable roof and interior staircase into an ultramodern, two-floor Class C motorhome that invites travelers to "travel small, live large."
The roof on the 271-inch-long (689-cm) Lyseo Gallery isn't the first over-cab pop-top we've seen lately, or even the most extreme, but it definitely sets itself apart from the average above-cab sleeper. Bürstner explains that the model's pop-up alcove gives it interior space like the manufacturer's hard-alcove Class C motorhomes, but with the sleeker drive form of its semi-integrated Class B+/C vehicles.
Bürstner's existing semi-integrated Lyseo motorhomes don't offer alcove sleeping, using the compact space above the driver's cab as storage. But in the Lyseo Gallery, that space transforms into a roomy bedroom courtesy of the distinctive pop-up "Gallery Roof."
In place of the usual gas struts, the Gallery Roof relies on a different type of gas-assisted setup. At the push of a button, the built-in air compressor fills the vertical wall chambers, erecting the roof as they inflate into shape. It only takes about 90 seconds to go from lowered drive roof to upstairs bedroom. Once the roof is raised, a pressure sensor continuously monitors the inner air pressure, automatically filling the walls if pressure dips below a set level. Bürstner promises near-silent operation, but we'd have to hear it doing a 2 am refill to really believe that.
The first thing we wondered when seeing the inflatable pop-top in near-production form is, what happens if you accidentally pierce or rip one of the walls? Will you not be sandwiched by the crashing roof panel?
Bürstner says that the walls are reinforced to prevent damage and leaks and also claims to have arranged the chambers in such a way that it will not suddenly collapse due to loss of pressure.
When Hymer first showed the inflatable roof concept on the VisionVenture, it pitched it as a way of increasing thermal insulation to create a more comfortable interior environment. Bürstner cites the same advantage, stressing that the Gallery Roof boosts insulation by way of the trapped air inside the walls while also holding up to UV light. And, of course, the waterproof material stands up to outside moisture.
Beyond the advertised benefits of the walls themselves, the greater Gallery Roof design raises straight up into the air, rather than tilting open like many other pop-tops. This creates vertical walls to increase interior volume and support a second-floor sitting height of 43 in (110 cm).
Bürstner adds to the overall homeyness of the upper bedroom with a side table/workstation, seat and device charging station. Instead of a ladder, it adds in the tiny home-like staircase. Cabinets integrated below the carpeted stair treads ensure that no space is wasted in the design.
Bürstner's homey design continues throughout the rest of the interior, where its designers worked hard to create a true home-away-from-home aesthetic. Recalling its own 2018 Harmony 3 concept, Bürstner seamlessly blends modern rounded furniture and fixtures with classic residential-grade equipment like wall lamps and a high-arched kitchen faucet. The kitchen also includes a long sink basin with integrated drying rack, gas/induction cooktop with retractable extractor hood, pop-up coffeemaker, electrically controlled drawers and a full side countertop.
The Lyseo Gallery also includes a large rear bathroom and a spacious front dinette.
For now, the Lyseo Gallery remains a pre-production show vehicle, but Bürstner plans to put it into production in 2022.
The quick video below doesn't provide a particularly thorough look at the Lyseo Gallery, but it does give a quick feel for what it's like to live aboard.