Two-story pump-top RV carries visionary glamping comforts to market
It's summer in Germany, which can only mean that it's once again time for Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) to push the boundaries of incredible RV design. After trickling down some of the best features from the forward-looking Hymer VisionVenture into last year's Bürstner Lyseo Gallery concept, EHG is now ready to launch the latter. The unique motorhome stuffs the inflatable half-top, staircase-accessed second-floor bedroom and townhome-like decor of the original concept into two available floor plans.
It's no surprise that the Lyseo Gallery has made it to production. Bürstner mentioned plans for a 2022 launch when it showed the pre-production prototype a year ago, and the production version debuts as the Lyseo Gallery TD. Since last summer, Bürstner has put the unique inflatable pop-up "Gallery Roof" through its paces in an environmental chamber. It conducted a series of 24-hour tests in heat, cold, wind and other harsh-weather simulations.
"The alcove withstood all weather conditions. We tested it in temperatures ranging from -30 to 80°C (-22 to 176°F), in misty conditions, with a 1.5-m (4.9-ft) snow load, in the wind tunnel with the vehicle exposed to winds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) head-on as well as sideways," recounts Bürstner head of development Tim Niedick. "The elevating and lowering mechanism as well as the locking system worked without a hitch in all conditions. The bellows and the folding mechanism remained intact. With the Lyseo Gallery TD, you can travel in comfort all year round – in stormy and inclement weather, in sunshine and through snow."
Niedick's mention of "bellows" only amplifies the fact that the Lyseo Gallery TD reminds us most of a fireplace bellows on wheels – we just want to press that roof down and turn a spark into a bonfire. But while the Gallery TD will look just as natural next to a campfire, its bellows are obviously not designed to fan the flames but to create an air-filled four-season-capable thermal barrier around the upstairs bedroom. They inflate via an integrated air compressor that simultaneously raises the alcove roof, deploying in 90 seconds. Upon breakdown, the roof electrically locks into drive position.
As with the pop-top on the new Tourer CUV from the competition at Knaus, the idea behind the Lyseo Gallery TD's unique compressor-popped roof is to deliver the spacious living area of a larger motorhome within the driving footprint of a smaller one. At 699 cm (275 in) long, the Gallery TD measures more than a full meter (3.3 ft) longer than the Tourer CUV, however, and 10 cm (4 in) longer than last year's Lyseo Gallery prototype.
The production Lyseo Gallery TD will come with two floor plan options, starting with the 689 G previewed by last year's exhibition vehicle. That floor plan begins up front with a spacious L-shaped dining lounge before extending back into a large kitchen complete with 138-L compressor refrigerator and available triple-burner stove. The rear is filled out by a bathroom with separate shower and WC compartments.
Bürstner has also introduced a second floor plan for production, pushing the dining lounge of the 649 G layout to the rear where it converts over into a second double bed at night. Both floor plans include four belted seats for the ride and the signature upper bedroom reached via a small side staircase in place of a simple step or ladder. The vertically walled bedroom provides 110 cm (43 in) of headroom while raising total vehicle height to roughly 3.7 m (12 ft).
Decor-wise, Bürstner has brightened the space up with new two-tone upholstery and light wall paneling while at the same time contrasting it dramatically with glossy piano-black fixtures and a dark marble-look dining table. Buyers will ultimately select between "Sandy Gray" and "Casa Pino" color schemes. Features like wall-mounted lamps and Bürstner's multipurpose magnetic-mount Homelight table lamp/overhead light/flashlight enhance the homey ambiance.
Bürstner will host an official Lyseo Gallery TD world premiere at the upcoming Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, where it will show both floor plans. The show runs from August 26 to September 4, and we'll chase down more details and photos once it is underway.
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I’d prefer a parallelogram collapsing ladder (steps, not rungs) of similar steepness that stows neatly in a slot under the bed or on the bed.