Automotive

Holzmobil off-grid woody motorhome goes au naturel inside and out

Holzmobil off-grid woody motor...
We've seen a few MAN TGE-based motorhomes and camper vans over the years, and the Holzmobil is the prettiest
We've seen a few MAN TGE-based motorhomes and camper vans over the years, and the Holzmobil is the prettiest
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Holzmobil under-bed wardrobe
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Holzmobil under-bed wardrobe
A swivel-mounted TV can be viewed from the bed or living area
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A swivel-mounted TV can be viewed from the bed or living area
The wood breaks for the toilet, mirror and sink ...but not much else
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The wood breaks for the toilet, mirror and sink ...but not much else
The Holzmobil has a bath layout with two cross-aisle compartments that join together
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The Holzmobil has a bath layout with two cross-aisle compartments that join together
Wood floor panel removed for showering
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Wood floor panel removed for showering
Beautiful wood construction from floor to ceiling
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Beautiful wood construction from floor to ceiling
The Holzmobil 4,500 peeks out
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The Holzmobil 4,500 peeks out
The Holzmobil doesn't appear to be Germany's most capable off-road RV , but it does include 4x4 and a raised departure angle
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The Holzmobil doesn't appear to be Germany's most capable off-road RV , but it does include 4x4 and a raised departure angle
We've seen a few MAN TGE-based motorhomes and camper vans over the years, and the Holzmobil is the prettiest
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We've seen a few MAN TGE-based motorhomes and camper vans over the years, and the Holzmobil is the prettiest
A look back at the curved counter kitchen and rear bed
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A look back at the curved counter kitchen and rear bed
The 4,500-kg Holzmobil has a sleeper alcove and four-chair dining area
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The 4,500-kg Holzmobil has a sleeper alcove and four-chair dining area
Dining table folded smaller
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Dining table folded smaller
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Germans love themselves RVs of all shapes and sizes, from bus-sized convertibles to seamlessly converted 4x4s. Wood campers, from large, piney fresh expedition vehicles to modern-day gypsy wagons, are a chapter of that love story that gains a new character. Holzmobil (Woodmobile) imagines a more sustainable breed of road travel, debuting with a MAN 4x4-based motorhome with all natural wood construction from wall to wall.

Creating a motorhome cabin that feels more like an off-grid wilderness cabin, Holzmobil reaches for certified sustainable German woods for the entirety of its module construction, eliminating all plastics from the interior design. What's left is a warm, rustic wood space that looks like a steam sauna you can live in. Ensuring it never feels like a sauna is a patent-pending roof design built to allow moisture to escape while maintaining a comfortable temperature inside. Insulation is a wood material, as well.

Holzmobil's first model is built atop a MAN TGE 4.180 4x4 van chassis, with a hot-dipped galvanized support frame between chassis and motorhome. The two beds are located at opposite ends of the floor plan, a 140 x 200-cm (55 x 79-in) bed sleeping two transversely in the rear and a 130 x 200-cm (51 x 79) bed sleeping two more up in the alcove.

The 4,500-kg Holzmobil has a sleeper alcove and four-chair dining area
The 4,500-kg Holzmobil has a sleeper alcove and four-chair dining area

The lounge below the alcove plants an expandable dining table between four swivel captain's chairs, two in the driver's area and two for the rear passengers. The kitchen is on the driver's side, across from the entry door, bringing a cooktop, sink and 50-L fridge. The walls, doors, floors, support beams and shelves all look and smell of handcrafted oiled wood, accented in certain areas by glass, metal hardware and contrast inlays. Even the lighting fixtures are crafted from wood.

The bathroom fixtures are separated into toilet/vanity sink and shower compartments, located between the kitchen and raised rear bed area. The shower compartment is too compact to be used on its own, instead joining with the toilet room directly across the way via the two sets of doors to create a single motorhome-width bathroom closed off from the rear bedroom and front kitchen/lounge. The aisle floor panel removes to access the shower pan. The steam sauna feeling grows ever more palpable in the bathroom, where bare wood rises and flows around everything beyond the plumbing and electrical hardware.

The Holzmobil has a bath layout with two cross-aisle compartments that join together
The Holzmobil has a bath layout with two cross-aisle compartments that join together

The Holzmobil cuts cords from the electrical grid with a 400-Ah lithium battery bank and a 700-W pair of solar panels. The standard 90-L fresh water tank can be upgraded by customers who want a little more H2O autonomy. The motorhome is also packed with modern technology, including a touchscreen command center with accompanying app, individual displays and speakers for both rear passengers, and a swivel-mounted television in the rear bedroom. Electric heat and diesel hot water are also on offer, and the motorhome is LPG-free.

Holzmobil keeps the wood bare outside, too, relying on a seven-part coating derived from from boatbuilding to provide weatherproofing. It prevents chips and cracks around the edges with diamond-plate trim. The motorhome module eats up 3,700 kg (8,157 lb) of the truck's 4,500-kg (9,920-lb) GVWR, leaving 800 kg (1,763 lb) of payload to split between passengers and provisions. The full vehicle stretches 770 cm (303 in) in length and 214 cm (84 in) in width, rising to a total height of 325 cm (128 in).

A look back at the curved counter kitchen and rear bed
A look back at the curved counter kitchen and rear bed

All that wood craftsmanship doesn't come cheap. A complete 4,500-kg truck build like this one costs €182,800, Holzmobil managing director Oliver Offenburger tells us. He says that buyers who can't quite justify that price can lower the cost by cutting back on equipment, such as dropping the 4x4 system. Conversely, buyers can customize the build-out for added cost.

Holzmobil is also working on a smaller 3,500-kg truck that will fall under a standard European Class B driver's license.

Source: Holzmobil via Promobil

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5 comments
sdw
C.C., you must be from Germany which is much further north than the U.S. That van would last two years in any of the southern states from Florida to California.
The sun is too intense and it's too hot. Just like the VW Beetles (from Germany) always had cracked dashboards because they were made with a plastic that came apart in a couple of years in the states. On top of that, I'm wondering if you've ever owned an RV like a motorhome or 5th wheel or camping trailer. Because anyone that's had one over a couple of years knows that any part of RVs made with wood will come apart because of all the bouncing and swaying as you go down the road.
That exterior would have to be waxed constantly. So that rig should stay in Europe.
BlueOak
A noble green wish, but seemingly hollow.

1) That weather-exposed wood will require excessive regular maintenance vs more durable materials - sanding down and finishing to prevent it from rotting, every few years, just like a boat.

2) The only way to extend its life is to build an extra garage (or in effect, require someone else do so) to store it inside when not in use. Not very green.

Interior lighting appears to be an all waking hours requirement to keep that window-neutered space from feeling like a cave.

But good thing it only costs US $215,000 so it is approachable by the common person.
Mark Hays
The Holzmobil looks beautiful -- but is a classic example of form over function. After you pay €182,800, imagine the maintenance cost to refinish the exterior every few years -- and the wood bath interior. This reminds me of a beautiful Chris Craft mahogany boat. Beautiful on the water, but a bear to maintain. Of course, if you have €182,800 to spend on a glamper, you can simply buy the new version before any maintenance is required!
toni24
We live 100% off grid and that would be so cool
holzmobil.de
Hey C.C., thank you very much for your great posting. We have read the comments here and cannot share the statements or want to say something about them. The top is a flexible and highly resistant modern membrane. This can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and UV irradiation. We guarantee that it will last for a long time even with the most extreme sunlight. The wood surfaces are protected against water and solar radiation on the outside with a 7-fold two-component coating. This coating was tested in the endurance test under temperature fluctuations and water applied. The exterior is low-maintenance in this embodiment. Since the construction can be customized, further windows are no problem either. The price is justified by the choice of components. The MAN all-wheel-drive base has already come at a price but with quality. In addition, there is a high-end power system with a bus system, which has a 5.5 kW Li-Ion battery. Ultimately, both the exterior and the interior are handmade. There are many hours in it, as you can imagine. Regards from holzmobil.de