Eriba Car camper van taps into fun and flair of vintage VW camping bus
Hymer is mining nostalgia for decades past to lay the foundation of a new camper van future, shuffling brand names around to present a true eye-catcher meant to encourage freedom and adventure. The all-new Eriba Car brings back some of the timeless style and flash of the classic dual-tone VW camper bus but on a modern VW Crafter van filled out with the warm, homey ambiance for which Hymer group products have become known. Designed to be "anything but ordinary," the new camper van looks to offer van lifers something a little different.
The first thing that strikes us as not quite ordinary about the Eriba Car is its branding. Eriba is one of four brand lines sold by Hymer GmbH & Co. KG, and it's the one that's been dedicated to camping trailers for nearly 70 years. There have been Eriba camper vans and motorhomes in past decades, but if you look at the brand's own accounting of seven decades of milestones, they're all trailer-related.
In recent years, it's seemed like Hymer has been tasked with pushing the boundaries of camper van and motorhome design, while Eriba has been doing the same with trailers, including launching one of the sleekest, most modern towables out there.
So why a new Eriba Car now?
Hymer explains that it's looking to tap into the longstanding cult classic status of the Eriba Touring brand in hopes of launching a van that develops equal and immediate cult appeal of its own. It doubles down by giving the new van a retro-inspired but comfortably contemporary multi-color design that begins with the vibrant two-tone Crafter paint scheme. Buyers can choose to offset the white upper with Deep Blue or Cherry Red or go with a more subtle combination of upper silver and lower Metallic Iridium Grey. The dual-tone paint is reminiscent of the vibrant colors of classic Volkswagens and Eriba Touring caravans alike.
"From the very beginning, Eriba has been surrounded by this unique narrative of freedom, individuality, and refreshing coolness," said Hymer central marketing chief Frank Heinrichsen. "Without sacrificing any of this, the Eriba Car now demonstrates that we have not only grown as a company, but also grown up."
The colorful styling continue inside, where Deep Blue furniture and panels are tempered by more earthy surfaces and soft-touch paneling. A combination of direct and indirect lighting highlights those contrasts, while light-colored yacht-inspired floor planks help keep the space bright.
The Eriba Car's color combo is quite unlike the average camper van, but its layout is very familiar. It features the Hymer staple of a raised foldaway sprung mattress at the rear, which offers a 200 x 136-cm (79 x 54-in) sleeping surface at night while keeping the center aisle clear for loading during the day. The wet bathroom is directly in front of the bed on the driver's side, supplying the shower, toilet, foldaway sink and vanity mirror. The shower can also be used outside by simply pulling it out through the bathroom window, says Hymer.
The galley on the other side of the van houses a dual-burner gas stove, sink, extendable counter and pull-out refrigerator. A few steps from the stove, the swiveling dual-leaf dining table adjusts to accommodate those seated at the dual-seat rear bench and swivel cab seats. The Eriba Car also includes an available outdoor dining set with folding table and chairs, sized to be stowed in the cargo area below the bed.
The 236-in (599-cm) Eriba Car is built on a Volkswagen Crafter 3500 with 2.0-liter TDI engine in 140-hp or available 177-hp tunes. A six-speed manual is standard, an automatic optional. The living area comes standard with heat and hot water, a 95-Ah AGM leisure battery and a 100-L fresh water tank.
Hymer debuted the Eriba Car at the CMT show in Stuttgart, which wraps up this weekend. The van will be available from European dealers beginning in the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2024 for a base price of €74,900 (approx. US$81,600).