Outdoors

Top camper innovations and debuts of the 2017 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon

Top camper innovations and deb...
The 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Gentletent shows its inflatable roof-top tent
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Gentletent shows its inflatable roof-top tent
Concorde is another name in car-hauling motorhomes
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Concorde is another name in car-hauling motorhomes
Bike course at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Bike course at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
VanEssa's Volkswagen Amarok slide-out kitchen
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VanEssa's Volkswagen Amarok slide-out kitchen
AutoHome makes well-known hard-shell roof-top tents
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AutoHome makes well-known hard-shell roof-top tents
Gentletent started with ground tents and used this year's Caravan Salon to expand into roof-top tents and bike campers
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Gentletent started with ground tents and used this year's Caravan Salon to expand into roof-top tents and bike campers
Holtkamper offers a different style of inflatable camping trailer. Its WindForce system uses the power of air to effortlessly blow its tents into shape and vacuum-compact them down, but the tents have hard poles, not inflatable tubes
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Holtkamper offers a different style of inflatable camping trailer. Its WindForce system uses the power of air to effortlessly blow its tents into shape and vacuum-compact them down, but the tents have hard poles, not inflatable tubes
Adria campers at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Adria campers at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Camper vans at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Camper vans at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
If you fancy decorating your life with classic Volkswagen Bulli accessories, Glam Bulli can help you out
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If you fancy decorating your life with classic Volkswagen Bulli accessories, Glam Bulli can help you out
Volkswagen lets attendees test some driver-assistance systems
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Volkswagen lets attendees test some driver-assistance systems
VanEssa VW Amarok kitchen
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VanEssa VW Amarok kitchen
VanEssa at the 2017 Caravan Salon
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VanEssa at the 2017 Caravan Salon
VanEssa estimates that the set-up with dual slides, full kitchen and wood cover will retail somewhere around €6,000 when it goes on sale next year
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VanEssa estimates that the set-up with dual slides, full kitchen and wood cover will retail somewhere around €6,000 when it goes on sale next year
Beyond the Amarok, VanEssa offers a full line of cooking and sleeping solutions for many European vans
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Beyond the Amarok, VanEssa offers a full line of cooking and sleeping solutions for many European vans
While world premieres and new innovations attract the most attention, the Oldtimer Show of vintage caravans is a very cool attraction in itself
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While world premieres and new innovations attract the most attention, the Oldtimer Show of vintage caravans is a very cool attraction in itself
According to the Caravan Salon website, the Oldtimer Show had 20 vintage caravans on display, the oldest dating back to the 50s.
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According to the Caravan Salon website, the Oldtimer Show had 20 vintage caravans on display, the oldest dating back to the 50s.
Caravans of the Oldtimers Show
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Caravans of the Oldtimers Show
The newly redesigned Knaus Deseo 400 TR is billed as a comfy caravan that can double as a motorcycle trailer
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The newly redesigned Knaus Deseo 400 TR is billed as a comfy caravan that can double as a motorcycle trailer
Two built-in ramps and a full-width tailgate make it easy to load the Knaus Deseo 400 TR
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Two built-in ramps and a full-width tailgate make it easy to load the Knaus Deseo 400 TR
The Knaus Deseo 400 TR includes a kitchen, living/dining/sleeping area and bathroom
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The Knaus Deseo 400 TR includes a kitchen, living/dining/sleeping area and bathroom
Hobby Vantana K60 FT
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Hobby Vantana K60 FT
We looked at the Hobby Vantana and its cabinet-style SlimLine refrigerator and swivel toilet last year
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We looked at the Hobby Vantana and its cabinet-style SlimLine refrigerator and swivel toilet last year
Inside the Etrusco 7300 SB
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Inside the Etrusco 7300 SB
Inside the Etrusco 7300 SB
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Inside the Etrusco 7300 SB
Etrusco 7300 SB
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Etrusco 7300 SB
Motorhomes and caravans were the main draw, but Danny MacAskill's "Drop and Roll" tour on the first weekend was also a highlight
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Motorhomes and caravans were the main draw, but Danny MacAskill's "Drop and Roll" tour on the first weekend was also a highlight
2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The caravans of the Oldtimer Show are quite interesting but so is the interior decor, often conveying the look and feel of grandma's living room
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The caravans of the Oldtimer Show are quite interesting but so is the interior decor, often conveying the look and feel of grandma's living room
Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Oldtimers Show at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Ququq camping system on show
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Ququq camping system on show
The Opus camper has been racking up air miles. We recently covered the latest American version and saw it in Australia, and here it is in Germany
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The Opus camper has been racking up air miles. We recently covered the latest American version and saw it in Australia, and here it is in Germany
Volkner vehicles are part Type A motorhome, part car carrier
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Volkner vehicles are part Type A motorhome, part car carrier
According to a Caravan Salon press release, the Volkner Performance S was the most expensive motorhome of the 2017 show
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According to a Caravan Salon press release, the Volkner Performance S was the most expensive motorhome of the 2017 show
The new Volkner Performance S makes its debut in Düsseldorf
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The new Volkner Performance S makes its debut in Düsseldorf
Volkner motorhomes slide-outs carry cars and increase interior space
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Volkner motorhomes slide-outs carry cars and increase interior space
Morelo is another name in large, luxurious motorhomes
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Morelo is another name in large, luxurious motorhomes
The Morelo Empire Liner
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The Morelo Empire Liner
On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
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On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
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On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
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On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
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On board a luxurious Morelo motorhome
The new Variomobil Signature 1200 isn't the only option for carrying a Porsche 911 Cabriolet; here Morelo shows it can do the same
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The new Variomobil Signature 1200 isn't the only option for carrying a Porsche 911 Cabriolet; here Morelo shows it can do the same
Smaller Morelo Empire Liners have only scooter or Smart garages, but the Empire Liner 118 GSO can carry a Porsche
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Smaller Morelo Empire Liners have only scooter or Smart garages, but the Empire Liner 118 GSO can carry a Porsche
Variomobil at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Variomobil at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Variomobil debuted its Signature 1200 motorhome at this year's show
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Variomobil debuted its Signature 1200 motorhome at this year's show
Not everyone needs to take a whole car along; here's another option
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Not everyone needs to take a whole car along; here's another option
A Concorde motorhome with Smart car
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A Concorde motorhome with Smart car
Bimobil's EX 420 is based on the Iveco Daily 4x4 with extended wheelbase
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Bimobil's EX 420 is based on the Iveco Daily 4x4 with extended wheelbase
Westfalia camper vans with various badges
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Westfalia camper vans with various badges
In addition to revealing the new Ducato 4x4, Fiat showed a smaller Talento camper van
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In addition to revealing the new Ducato 4x4, Fiat showed a smaller Talento camper van
A classic two-toned Volkswagen California Ocean
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A classic two-toned Volkswagen California Ocean
Exploring the rear annex
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Exploring the rear annex
Inside the Dethleffs Coco design study
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Inside the Dethleffs Coco design study
Dethleffs explores lightweight caravan design with the Coco concept
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Dethleffs explores lightweight caravan design with the Coco concept
Some sleek cooking modules on show at 3 Dog Camping, a pop-up trailer specialist
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Some sleek cooking modules on show at 3 Dog Camping, a pop-up trailer specialist
Bimobil at the 2017 Caravan Salon
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Bimobil at the 2017 Caravan Salon
Bimobil at the 2017 Caravan Salon
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Bimobil at the 2017 Caravan Salon
Dethleffs reveals the e.home electric motorhome concept with solar panel exterior
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Dethleffs reveals the e.home electric motorhome concept with solar panel exterior
Hymercar shows its DuoCar camper van
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Hymercar shows its DuoCar camper van
Hymercar shows its DuoCar camper van
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Hymercar shows its DuoCar camper van
Inside the Hymercar DuoCar
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Inside the Hymercar DuoCar
Action Mobil was a strong contender for "most rugged off-road monster motorhome"
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Action Mobil was a strong contender for "most rugged off-road monster motorhome"
The Atacama 5800 is Action Mobil's latest off-road motorhome
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The Atacama 5800 is Action Mobil's latest off-road motorhome
Its burly on the outside, but inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800 has comforts like a solar-backed electrical system, sound system and full kitchen
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Its burly on the outside, but inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800 has comforts like a solar-backed electrical system, sound system and full kitchen
Scottish pro trials biker Danny MacAskill put on a show for attendees
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Scottish pro trials biker Danny MacAskill put on a show for attendees
Gentletent roof-top tent
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Gentletent roof-top tent
Holtkamper demonstrates its WindForce air-based tent set-up
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Holtkamper demonstrates its WindForce air-based tent set-up
Holtkamper's WindForce system sets the trailer tent up in about three minutes
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Holtkamper's WindForce system sets the trailer tent up in about three minutes
CampWerk trailer
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CampWerk trailer
Danny MacAskill's Drop and Roll tour makes a stop in Düsseldorf
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Danny MacAskill's Drop and Roll tour makes a stop in Düsseldorf
Danny MacAskill's Drop and Roll tour makes a stop in Düsseldorf
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Danny MacAskill's Drop and Roll tour makes a stop in Düsseldorf
Pop-up roofs everywhere!
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Pop-up roofs everywhere!
The Volkswagen California XXL is a clear crowd builder
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The Volkswagen California XXL is a clear crowd builder
Knaus shows its Saint & Sinner VW Crafter concept
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Knaus shows its Saint & Sinner VW Crafter concept
Volkner Performance S
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Volkner Performance S
Bliss Mobil shows an impressive off-road expedition vehicle
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Bliss Mobil shows an impressive off-road expedition vehicle
Bliss Mobil at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Bliss Mobil at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The caravans of the Oldtimer Show
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The caravans of the Oldtimer Show
Susi Cruz is touring the world in a VW T3 camper van
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Susi Cruz is touring the world in a VW T3 camper van
As nice as the manufacturer interiors around the show were, there's something about the individual touch that really makes a camper look inviting and livable
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As nice as the manufacturer interiors around the show were, there's something about the individual touch that really makes a camper look inviting and livable
Dethleffs Coco design study
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Dethleffs Coco design study
The folding, sustainable sCarabane concept might have been the most impressive piece of hardware at the show
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The folding, sustainable sCarabane concept might have been the most impressive piece of hardware at the show
In addition to its innovative solar and wind power systems, the sCarabane looks like a very comfortable place to stay, offering a full deck and outdoor bar with kitchen access
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In addition to its innovative solar and wind power systems, the sCarabane looks like a very comfortable place to stay, offering a full deck and outdoor bar with kitchen access
Variomobil Signature 1200
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Variomobil Signature 1200
Inside the Variomobil Signature 1200
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Inside the Variomobil Signature 1200
Inside the Variomobil Signature 1200
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Inside the Variomobil Signature 1200
Inside the Variomobil Signature 1200
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Inside the Variomobil Signature 1200
Variomobil's Signature 1200 with Porsche-hauling XXL garage
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Variomobil's Signature 1200 with Porsche-hauling XXL garage
Having a Porsche along for the trip is sure to open up many new possibilities
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Having a Porsche along for the trip is sure to open up many new possibilities
Volkswagen at the 2017 Caravan Salon
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Volkswagen at the 2017 Caravan Salon
The 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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The 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
E-bikes are a natural motorhome partner, offering a maneuverable solution for shorter trips around camp and town
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E-bikes are a natural motorhome partner, offering a maneuverable solution for shorter trips around camp and town
Mercedes highlights its Marco Polo camper vans
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Mercedes highlights its Marco Polo camper vans
Mercedes highlights its Marco Polo camper vans
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Mercedes highlights its Marco Polo camper vans
Inside VW's innovative California XXL camper van concept
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Inside VW's innovative California XXL camper van concept
A peek through the rear window of the VW California XXL
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A peek through the rear window of the VW California XXL
Volkswagen California Ocean
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Volkswagen California Ocean
Fiat Fullback pickup truck
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Fiat Fullback pickup truck
Hymer at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Hymer at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Opus camping trailers on show in Düsseldorf
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Opus camping trailers on show in Düsseldorf
We've covered many European-market camper box systems, and here's one we haven't seen before: the Nest by Czech company Egoe
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We've covered many European-market camper box systems, and here's one we haven't seen before: the Nest by Czech company Egoe
Roof-top tents at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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Roof-top tents at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The Hobby Vantana gets the rock 'n' roll treatment
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The Hobby Vantana gets the rock 'n' roll treatment
The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
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The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
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The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
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The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
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The heavy metal-inspired Hobby Wacken-Vantana
Knaus Fiat Ducato-based Saint & Sinner
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Knaus Fiat Ducato-based Saint & Sinner
You don't need a massive Type A motorhome to bring a second vehicle along
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You don't need a massive Type A motorhome to bring a second vehicle along
TerraCamper builds rugged modular camper van systems that are on their way to the American market
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TerraCamper builds rugged modular camper van systems that are on their way to the American market
SpaceCamper at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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SpaceCamper at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Tischer pickup campers
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Tischer pickup campers
Some of the motorhomes and campers in the Caravan Center parking area are as impressive as those inside
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Some of the motorhomes and campers in the Caravan Center parking area are as impressive as those inside
Some of the motorhomes and campers in the Caravan Center parking area are as impressive as those inside
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Some of the motorhomes and campers in the Caravan Center parking area are as impressive as those inside
The Skydancer 7.5 is a convertible motorhome project we looked at a few years ago
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The Skydancer 7.5 is a convertible motorhome project we looked at a few years ago
Some of the motorhomes and campers in the Caravan Center parking area are as impressive as those inside
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Some of the motorhomes and campers in the Caravan Center parking area are as impressive as those inside
Morelo Empire Liner
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Morelo Empire Liner
Gentletent's new B Turtle bike camper with inflatable tent
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Gentletent's new B Turtle bike camper with inflatable tent
Gentletent's GT Roof tent
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Gentletent's GT Roof tent
The B Turtle bike camper sleeps two
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The B Turtle bike camper sleeps two
Gentletent also previewed a pickup truck inflatable camper
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Gentletent also previewed a pickup truck inflatable camper
Gentletent's pickup roof-top tent is interesting because it works as a sort of an inflatable bed camper
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Gentletent's pickup roof-top tent is interesting because it works as a sort of an inflatable bed camper
Action Mobil's Atacama 5800 includes a rear motorcycle lift
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Action Mobil's Atacama 5800 includes a rear motorcycle lift
Inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800
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Inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800
No need to go hungry in the backcountry, the Atacama 5800 includes a fridge, induction cooktop and oven
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No need to go hungry in the backcountry, the Atacama 5800 includes a fridge, induction cooktop and oven
Action Mobil's extendable bed provides room to sleep and shortens up when you need to use the dinette set
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Action Mobil's extendable bed provides room to sleep and shortens up when you need to use the dinette set
Action Mobil Atacama 5800 bathroom
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Action Mobil Atacama 5800 bathroom
Inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800
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Inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800
Volkner Performance S
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Volkner Performance S
Volkner shows off its roof-mounted solar
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Volkner shows off its roof-mounted solar
A retractable TV in the Knaus Deseo 400 TR 
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A retractable TV in the Knaus Deseo 400 TR 
The Deseo lifting bed provides a second sleeping level
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The Deseo lifting bed provides a second sleeping level
Inside the Knaus Deseo 400 TR
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Inside the Knaus Deseo 400 TR
Convertible sofa bed in the Knaus Deseo 400 TR
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Convertible sofa bed in the Knaus Deseo 400 TR
Knaus Deseo 400 TR
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Knaus Deseo 400 TR
The Deseo table can be used indoors or out
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The Deseo table can be used indoors or out
Knaus Deseo 400 TR bathroom
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Knaus Deseo 400 TR bathroom
Lifting bed up and out of the way
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Lifting bed up and out of the way
The Action Mobil Atacama 7900 has a built-in garage of its own
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The Action Mobil Atacama 7900 has a built-in garage of its own
The sCarabane caravan concept unfolds to full size at camp
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The sCarabane caravan concept unfolds to full size at camp
The sCarabane includes a large deck
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The sCarabane includes a large deck
Set on a circular track, the sCarabane rotates 360 degrees to track the sun and wind
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Set on a circular track, the sCarabane rotates 360 degrees to track the sun and wind
Roof-mounted solar panels and a hot water concentrator turn the hot sunshine into useful onboard energy
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Roof-mounted solar panels and a hot water concentrator turn the hot sunshine into useful onboard energy
The sCarabane has a well-equipped kitchen
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The sCarabane has a well-equipped kitchen
Inside the sCarabane caravan
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Inside the sCarabane caravan
The sCarabane master bedroom
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The sCarabane master bedroom
The sCarabane is by no means a light caravan for small crossovers, but it does fold up compact enough to tow
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The sCarabane is by no means a light caravan for small crossovers, but it does fold up compact enough to tow
The sCarabane has this master bedroom and a kids' bedroom next door
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The sCarabane has this master bedroom and a kids' bedroom next door

The 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon wrapped up last weekend, the lights going dark on a highly intriguing collection of world premieres, high-tech concept campers, massive off-road expedition vehicles, equally massive car-hauling road tourers, multi-purpose trailers, and other campers and glampers of all shapes and sizes. There were many highlights, and we've done our best to trim the list down to the very best of the best.

Concepts lay a path toward the campground of the future

Some of the technologies currently influencing the design direction of automobiles have just as much potential to influence the motorhome of the future. Imagine a motorhome that seats you behind large panoramic glass while autonomously driving you down the highway. And at camp, it expands into a roomier, more functional space and relies on a large lithium-ion battery fed by high-efficiency solar panels to power the comforts of home. Okay, maybe that's not really "roughing it," but it will certainly appeal to many glampers, sightseers and vacationers.

Dethleffs reveals the e.home electric motorhome concept with solar panel exterior
Dethleffs reveals the e.home electric motorhome concept with solar panel exterior

We didn't see anything quite as advanced as a self-driving, expandable, solar-powered camper in Düsseldorf this year, but some concepts did bring us a step or two closer. The Dethleffs e.home concept showed what an all-electric Type C motorhome with a full-body solar charging array could look like, and the Volkswagen California XXL showed how clever design innovations could open up living space at the campground.

The folding, sustainable sCarabane concept might have been the most impressive piece of hardware at the show
The folding, sustainable sCarabane concept might have been the most impressive piece of hardware at the show

Our favorite concept of the show brought together expandable design and sustainable energy. Clever on several levels, the sCarabane caravan from Green Cat Technologies packs up into a large but manageable caravan for towing, then essentially triples in floor size at camp while opening up several systems built to efficiently harvest natural energy. A 360-degree rotational system tracks the sun for more efficient solar charging and hot water management, and a retractable wind turbine turns breezy afternoons into usable power. Beyond being smart and virtually self-sustaining, the sCarabane looks like a super-comfy place to spend time, featuring a large deck, indoor/outdoor bar, two separate bedrooms, and residential-style conveniences like a dishwasher and washing machine.

The sCarabane is just a concept for now, and there's no guarantee it will ever become a reality, but hopefully at the very least we'll see some of its smarter solutions make their way into the greater industry.

Luxuries of the present

Concepts painted a picture of a luxurious and comfortable RVing future, but there are plenty of ultra-luxe motorhomes and caravans at dealerships now. If you read our coverage of the Variomobil Signature 1200, got to the base price of €773,500 (approx. US$930K), and thought, I like that but I'd like to see what kind of car-carrying luxury bus twice that money can buy, you're in luck - the Volkner Mobil Performance S gives you a very good idea.

Volkner Performance S
Volkner Performance S

For starters, €1,465,000 of Volkner price tag gets you a mid-mounted car garage in place of the rear garage on the Variomobil, so the weight from the BMW i8 or Porsche you're bringing along is concentrated low and center. The Performance S also has a much larger electrical system with 1700 amp-hours of battery storage and 1,200 watts of solar, interior comfort guaranteed by five heaters and three air conditioners, and driver cab seats that look as comfortable as TV room recliners. All those amenities will definitely make you forget that you're on the road, but the most expensive motorhome of Düsseldorf 2017 will cost you several times the price of a pretty nice house.

Truth be told, the Variomobil Signature 1200 from Düsseldorf is actually much closer in price to the Performance S than its base price would have you believe, coming in around €1.1 million as displayed, according to a press release put out by the Caravan Salon folks. The Performance S price is quoted for the model on show.

Over the river and through the woods

Unlike the off-road machines of mayhem at US's Overland Expo, Germany's Abenteuer & Allrad or Australia's Melbourne 4x4 Show, Düsseldorf's focus is overwhelmingly on road-touring motorhomes and caravans. However, there are generally some all-terrain vans and stretched expedition motorhomes mixed in, and they tend to be among the most impressive vehicles in attendance. Fiat revealed some good news for conversion shops looking to bring to life more rugged Ducato-based camper vans, and expedition vehicle badges like Bimobil and Action Mobil displayed some of the roughest, toughest members of their fleets.

Its burly on the outside, but inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800 has comforts like a solar-backed electrical system, sound system and full kitchen
Its burly on the outside, but inside the Action Mobil Atacama 5800 has comforts like a solar-backed electrical system, sound system and full kitchen

Action Mobil showed the latest in its long line of oversized expedition trucks, the Atacama 5800. Named for its 5,800-mm camper body length, the Atacama 5800 is not quite as dramatic as the six-wheeled Global XRS 7200, the 5800 driving on but four wheels powered by a 440-hp engine. That doesn't mean it skimps on comfort, though, with equipment like an induction cooktop, Bose sound system, 960-watt solar charging, electric oven, floor heating, and air conditioning making the jungle, desert or savanna nearly as hospitable as a city luxury apartment. At night, the bed all scrunched up against the rear wall extends electrically over top the dinette to provide room to stretch out. The Atacama 5800 prices in around €170,000.

The Action Mobil Atacama 7900 has a built-in garage of its own
The Action Mobil Atacama 7900 has a built-in garage of its own

Like other Action Mobils we've seen, the Atacama 5800 can carry a motorbike on a lift on its back. But if you want an Action Mobil that carries a four-wheeled vehicle around sand and mud the way a Volkner or Variomobil carries one on pavement, you'll need to step up to a larger Atacama, like the 7900 pictured right above. The forest-green Suzuki Jimny looks good emerging from that rear cave, but we can't help but imagine something more like a kitted-out Suzuki Samurai or Polaris RZR in its place, creating a gorgeous picture of unfettered 4x4 fun. Not quite as fun but still cool, the video clip below shows the car lift in action.

ACTION MOBIL - TECHNIK: Hebevorrichtung für Fahrzeuge

Camping all blown up

While not a new phenomenon, inflatable construction has been gaining more visibility in the tent and RV markets in recent years, with brands like Crua creating impressive inflatable tents and others like Opus adding auto-inflation to camping trailers. In Düsseldorf, Austria's Gentletent, known for its inflatable ground and vehicle annex tents, lifted inflatable design up to the car roof.

Gentletent's GT Roof tent
Gentletent's GT Roof tent

Gentletent has prepared several inflatable roof-top tent models, and we're particularly fond of the pickup truck version that extends tent walls on the sides of the bed to create an above-ground annex room just below the roof-mounted sleeping area. We don't have all the details on that model (picture just below the paragraph), but the more basic, less vehicle type-specific GT Roof tent shown in blue above pairs an inflatable body with an inflatable floor and weighs just 44 lb (20 kg), well less than hard-framed roof-top tent weights we've seen. Set-up takes about five minutes. The tent retails for €2,299 euro and Gentletent plans to start deliveries in October.

Gentletent's pickup roof-top tent is interesting because it works as a sort of an inflatable bed camper
Gentletent's pickup roof-top tent is interesting because it works as a sort of an inflatable bed camper

Since it's visible in that same first Gentletent photo, we'll also mention that the all-new B Turtle inflatable bike camping trailer debuted at the show. We're hoping to get a little more information about this one and run a full article, but what we do know is that it hauls cargo behind a bike or e-bike and inflates into a two-sleeper complete with annex.

Tiny and towable living

Knaus Tabbert always seems to have something special in store for Düsseldorf, as evidenced by past concepts like the Caravisio and Travelino. This year it focused on its latest production models, and its Deseo 400 TR caravan was a definite eye catcher.

The newly redesigned Knaus Deseo 400 TR is billed as a comfy caravan that can double as a motorcycle trailer
The newly redesigned Knaus Deseo 400 TR is billed as a comfy caravan that can double as a motorcycle trailer

Part toy hauler, part camper, the Deseo loads two motorcycles (or a few bicycles, boards, whatever) through its full-width lift-gate, unloads them at camp, then folds and pulls into a cozy little backwoods apartment. Knaus describes previous Deseo models as transporters with living accommodations but frames the latest redesign as more a well-equipped camper with transporting capabilities. The new model seats up to five people, sleeps up to four on a combination of convertible sofa and lifting bed, and includes a kitchen and bathroom. At camp, that large lift-gate becomes a very effective way of inviting fresh air and scenic views into the living room and can also serve as the roof of a tented annex. The new Deseo 400 TR starts at €20,900.

The highlights definitely don't end there. This year's show was packed with new and intriguing motorhome and caravan designs, along with interesting hardware and accessories. You'll find all that, along with more angles of the models featured above, in our full photo gallery.

4 comments
Joshua Tulberg
I really like the micro tow setup, and the bug-out vehicles as impractical as they are. But like you claimed, nothing is as interesting as a self-driving, all-electric camper. Self-Driving is going to turn every single car into a camper, because who wouldn't want to sleep / eat / play while they travel? (Trains offer that ability already, and that's why they are *currently* my favorite way to travel)
Camperchamp
Campers get more interesting year by year. I personally prefer the smaller vehicles for the ease of driving and navigating. The campervan that has it's batteries fed by solar panels looks inventive. I just wonder how it will hold up against weathering.
swaan
The Amp-hour rating for the Volkner Mobil Performance S is quite useless without knowing the system voltage nor whether it is the total Ah rating or usable Ah. I think BMW marketed the i3 also with an Ah number which makes little practical sense for the customer. Is this a german thing?
guzmanchinky
I have a small 4x4 campervan with a pop top and a street legal off road motorcycle on the back. Still the best combo of park anywhere/go anywhere I've ever seen.