This year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon had a fascinating selection of production and concept campers of all styles and sizes. We've already looked at the smallest trailers of the show; now it's time to turn our attention to the coupe-swallowing, triple-axle motorhomes, off-road expedition trucks and stretched luxury caravans. These are the most expensive, well-equipped and downright extreme motorhomes and caravans we saw during our time in Germany.
The most expensive motorhome
"Most expensive" does not always mean "most impressive," but we'd say the two matched up pretty closely at this year's Caravan Salon. With its stretched bodywork and near-full length expansion slide-out, the Volkner Performance S is a lavish jaw-dropper on its own. But slide a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, the one-time Nürburgring champion, into the slide-out garage betwixt its axles, and you have one of the most memorable vehicles of the show.
The €1.47-million (approx. US $1.7-million) Volkner Mobil Performance S was the most expensive vehicle of Düsseldorf, according to a press document put out by the show's media department. We weren't so happy about that fact when we first came upon it and its weighty sticker, since we had just spent some serious time photographing the €1.37-million ($1.6-million) Vario Mobil Perfect 1200 Platinum for this spot, prematurely naming it the price tag champion. But it didn't take long for the spacious Volkner showcasing the world's fastest 911 to win us over.
What did not win us over was the interior color and trim scheme that looked ripped out of a white camper box from the 1970s. That was a disappointment the minute we stepped on board, but we quickly remembered that it was surely but one of the many options that Volkner would be happy to dress the cabin in, to each customer's taste.
Beyond that, those customers will enjoy one of the most luxurious, comfortable vehicles to ever touch highway pavement, a 454-hp (339-kW) live-in bus with five separate heaters, air conditioning, 1,800 watts of solar power feeding a 1,800-Ah battery bank, an induction cooktop, oven, dishwasher, Dolby surround sound system, super-roomy floor plan opened up by that large wall-out, and plenty of other comforts and technologies you wouldn't expect to find anywhere outside of a sprawling home.
Those willing to forego some of the Performance S' optional luxuries can buy in at a base price of €989,000 (US$1.2 million), but we'll bet the average Volkner customer isn't looking for "entry level."
The fanciest caravan
We didn't spend quite as much time looking at pricey, stretched caravans as we did other large camping vehicles, so we might have missed an even fancier show model than the Tabbert Cellini 750 HTD 2.5 Slide Out. But no matter how you look at it, this 33-ft (10-m) caravan brings some serious style and comfort.
Much like the Performance S, Tabbert's flagship caravan features a near-full-side slide-out, creating a much roomier interior. The trailer's exterior curves and edges are nearly as smooth and sleek as Bürstner's Harmony 3, but the Cellini Slide Out is a production camper available for purchase. Run the €96,862 show model price tag through the conversion calculator and it easily leaps into six-figure territory at $112,570 ... without a powertrain or driver cab.
We found the Cellini's interior much more tastefully appointed than the Performance S', and optional features like the washing machine, induction cooktop, and tall, mirror-like 189-liter refrigerator made it feel quite luxurious. Without those options and a few other add-ons, the Cellini 750 HTD 2.5 Slide Out bases in at €71,690 (US$83,425).
The weirdest vehicle
The Swiss-designed Starliner by Mauer SL 20 Desert Falcon was one of those compact, neatly integrated small motorhomes you could easily mistake for a camper van – in this case, a 6x6 off-road camper van. We're used to seeing six-wheelers in the off-road expedition vehicle market, but usually they're big boxes on top of military truck chassis. We did a legit double-take at this fiberglass plus-size camper van with dual axles at the back and bull bar up front. It's a very different look compared with other camper vans and expedition vehicles we've seen.
The Desert Falcon is the rugged-outside, luxurious-inside model of the SL 20 range, fully supporting the auto explorer who wants the trip to extend into the dusty, rocky horizon. Toward that end, Mauer plants a fiberglass mono-shell atop a 187-hp (139-kW) Mercedes Sprinter 6x6 chassis. The floor plan includes an optional expansion slide-out and has a dinette just behind the driver cab, a rear bedroom, and central bathroom and kitchen areas. It's a bit small in comparison to most other vehicles in this gallery, but at €344,000 (US$400,000) to start and €407,685 (US$475,000) as equipped at the show, it certainly fits in with the six/seven-figure pricing theme.
That's just a taste of the vehicles on show in Düsseldorf, but there are plenty more car-hauling premium motorhomes, off-grid expedition machines, luxury caravans and vehicles that defy categorization in our photo gallery.
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