Without doubt, the world's largest motorhome show heralded a new era for the vibrant European motorhome industry when it opened yesterday, and the unlikely innovator set to stimulate the industry was Romanian auto manufacturer Renault Dacia. A collaboration with the Hymer Innovation Design Centre has yielded an ingenious motorhome for 3-4 people based on the super budget Renault Dacia Logan MCV with an anticipated price tag of less than EUR15,000 when it goes on sale in 2010.

Dacia is the former state-owned Romanian car company which was privatized and purchased by Renault a decade ago and became Renault’s play to compete in the extreme low-cost automobile market with a no-frills vehicle to tackle the emerging markets of central and eastern Europe.

The Dacia Logan is easily the company’s most successful model to date and has driven massive exports from the company – two thirds of production is now sold outside Romania. The station wagon version of the Logan , the five-seater MCV, sells for around EUR 8500 and was used as the base vehicle for the YAV III concept.

Tapping into the affordability and versatility offered by motorhomes on a small scale, the YAV III concept shown at Caravan Salon is a collaboration between Renault Germany and Hymer Innovation Design Center. Though presented as a concept model, the overwhelming interest shown by the public has almost guaranteed the model will hit showrooms in 2010 with manufacturing involvement from Hymer Group, Germany’s largest motorhome group.

Indeed, Hymer’s involvement makes the model very enticing because the design and fitment is excellent and a car built to the specification of the show car is expected to be able to retail for under EUR 20,000. A much lower specification budget model of the YAV III is also anticipated which might retail as low as EUR 15,000.

The concept is a winner, right out of the box as a budget camper for three adults or two adults and two children, the YAV III has a massive box on the roof which can be lifted by 80 centimeters in just a few seconds, creating another room on top of the vehicle which can be entered via a lockable hatch in the back of the Logan’s roof.

In it’s non-extended state, the Logan YAV remains below two meters in height, and can hence fit into normal garages and can certainly enter any commercial parking garage, even those in the cramped surrounds of Paris and Rome.

The most remarkable part of the design equation, no doubt due to the brilliance of Hymer IDC’s Professor Tomforte, is that the roof box can be completely removed, returning the YAV III to five-seater Logan MCV mode and making the single-purpose camper a multi-purpose vehicle of extraordinary capability. Indeed, the luggage box has many other potential uses and can be also used as a transporter of, for example, ski gear.

The modular construction of the YAV III enables many other capabilities. By folding down the three rear seats in the passenger compartment, a couch can be swung out that can sleep two children or one adult.

The YAV III’s rear seat has storage space underneath which can be partially used to house a stove and water system.

The basis for the Dacia Logan MCV with RV is the 1.6 MPI petrol engine and 87 hp. With beds for up to four passengers, lots of storage space, cooking facilities and water system, he will be fit for weekend and short breaks.

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