Top five show highlights from the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon

The show organisers CIVD expect a final tally to near 170,000 visitors this year.
The show organisers CIVD expect a final tally to near 170,000 visitors this year.

Friday, 06, Sep 2013 12:45

by Chris Jefferies

From monocoque motorhomes to futuristic caravans and from space-age statics to inflatable awnings, the 2013 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon certainly didn't disappoint in terms of innovation.

The huge German market for touring vehicles has long been a source of inspiration for British designers, so this year CaravanTimes hopped across the channel to see what all the fuss is about.

The first thing that hits you is the sheer scale of the Messe Dusseldorf centre - it's so big that businessmen use Segway scooters to get to their meetings on time, and the activities spill out of the nine halls and into a huge courtyard.

It comes as no surprise then to learn that this year's show is set to smash the record attendance, with 108,000 visitors already.

The show organisers CIVD expect the final tally to near 170,000, making it almost twice the size of the UK's biggest offering.

But with so much to see, it can be quite a daunting task fitting it all in. Luckily our reporters have been scouring the halls to bring you the best of the best.

1. Knaus Tabbert Caravisio

The most hotly anticipated unveiling took place in Hall 16, where German manufacturing giant Knaus Tabbert showed off the Caravisio.

This futuristic concept caravan is the result of two years worth of research and development, working with partners such as Waeco and Dometic to create the most cutting-edge caravan possible.

Queues to enter the glamorous tourer stretched back across the hall and when our turn came we had to put on special rubber-soled shoe covers for fear of staining the immaculate interior.

Space age technology on board includes a finger scanner on the door to improve security and adjustable suspension controlled by an iPad app.

The real party piece came in the form of the video projector that descends from the ceiling and plays your favourite film or TV show on the translucent rear wall.

The projector could even be flipped, so you and your guests can watch your choice of movie from outside.

Despite offers of up to half a million euros, Knaus Tabbert insist that the Caravisio is not for sale, but it is a tantalising glimpse into what caravans of the future could look like.

2. Holtkamper Skywing

On a much more practical level, the Holtkamper stand in Hall 15 featured the very latest in awnings technology.

From inflatable awnings to inflatable trailer tents, there was plenty to attract passing punters, but it was the Skywing that really caught our eye (right).

This deceptively simple awning is half way between a canopy and a full awning, with a mechanism which is similar to a golf umbrella, meaning you can set it up in just 90 seconds.

Company head honcho Egbert Holtkamper explained that the peaked roof design should allow for fantastic views from mountainside pitches, and the design certainly stands out from the crowd.

Holtkamper trailer tents are imported into the UK through Black Country Caravans, but the Skywing awning is currently only available in continental Europe, with prices starting at 1,995 euros (£1,679).

3. Westfalia Columbus

In Hall 12 there were so many campervans built on the Fiat Ducato chassis that it could be hard to tell them apart.

But scratch beneath the surface of the Westfalia Columbus and it's easy to see why this is a standout option.

Featuring an innovative Fold-Flex bed conversion system, this four-berth model allows owners to turn two belted passenger seats into a double bed with a flick of the wrist.

What's more, this model comes with hot water central heating, which is particularly rare in the campervan sector.

Westfalia is coming to the Birmingham NEC next month for the NCC Motorhome and Caravan Show (15-20 October) and an announcement on new dealers is expected shortly.

4. Polyplastics Polyrama

Dutch company Polyplastics was the name behind the stunning vertical sunroof that Bailey has fitted to the Unicorn II, which won the CaravanTimes 2012 innovation award.

So we were keen to find out what this company has in the pipeline for 2014 and their stand in Hall 13 certainly didn't disappoint.

The Polyrama concept showed how this curved window design could be applied to the rear of a caravan, letting even more light into the interior.

What's more, a smart electric sliding sunroof was on display - we're told that this will be fitted to a production caravan before long, but they couldn't tell us any more than that.

5. BPW iTC

Elddis, Eterniti and Airstream owners will be familiar with BPW as the company that builds their chassis, trailer control systems and much, much more.

But what you might not know is that their technology has been making waves in the logistics world, with thousands of transport lorries across Europe fitted with their iTC tracking system.

And caravans and motorhomes could be getting this smart technology before long, which is much more than a stolen vehicle recovery system.

BPW's Matthias Adamsky explained that iTC can give detailed reports of the state of your van, such as its location, temperature and even whether the doors are open.

We could see this being hugely useful for owners who store their caravans during the winter months, as you can be alerted if the pipes are likely to freeze.

Best of the rest

With nine halls full of innovations and stylish designs, there is far too much to mention it all here, but we were also particularly impressed by the Oasi Grand Cru monocoque motorhome, the Coodo static caravan, the Al-Ko EM 1500 Segway scooter and the Mini Cowley Caravan.

Also special mention must go to Swift Group, who made their Dusseldorf debut by showing off the Sprite Cruzer and Alpine Sport in Hall 9.

To see more of our show highlights, click on the photo slideshow below:

Find more photos like this on CaravanTimes

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

Mercedes-Benz announces new Sprinter concept campervan in Düsseldorf

The eye-catching new caravan concept by German car manufacturers is being showcased at the Caravan Salon

Mercedes Benz has announced the Sprinter campervan concept, based on its successful Sprinter van range, and it will be on display at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, until Sunday (8 September)

Preview: Dusseldorf set to host Europe's largest caravan show

The event is billed as the number 1 caravan and motorhome show in Europe

This year, CaravanTimes will be reporting from the continental caravan convention, which is kicking off this Friday (30 August)

For Sale

Burstner Nexxo t720 - 2012 - £44995

Burnster Nexxo t720

Low Low profile chasis motorhome

Rapido A-Class 999M - 2009 - £54995

Rapido A class 999M

This flagship Rapido model is based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis (very rare) with the fantastic Mercedes 3.

Monaco Knight 38 PDQ - 2006 - £79995


THE most practical RV layout ever on the market with four slide out rooms, full cream leather interior and light oak cabinetry creates even greater feeling of space.

Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69 PL (auto) - 2011 - £61995

Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 69 PL

One of the best build qualities in the industry including aluminium sandwich construction, deep double floor and front electric thermo windscreen blind make this motorhome fully winterised.

Benimar Tessoro Part 1: The 483 Full Test

The Tessoro 483 is built on a 170BHP Ford

At CaravanTimes we recently had a Benimar Tessoro 483 on test for a couple of weeks. We have done just over 2000 miles in the Tessoro and tested in various ways - as you will find out in our inspiration features coming up. But before we give you some ideas of where and why you should use a motorhome like the Tessoro we wanted to bring some information on the Tessoro range and the very interesting 483.

Bristanbul Video Documentary Part 1

Part one of the documentary is here

So as most of our readers will know, the CaravanTimes team were lucky enough to be part of Bailey of Bristols, Bristol to the Bosphoros trip. Travelling 21 countries in 21 days the team did a fantastic job to take the 2 caravans and motorhome cross-continental.

In pictures: testing the new Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 to the extreme

Caravan Times' Favourite Adventure Couple, Simon & Faye, CHeck out the new Autotrail V-line

This weekend however, we decided to test out how sporty the Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 really is.

PLANS VETOED: Essex caravan park plans vetoed again

Possible site location at Port Flair

Plans for a 70 pitch caravan park in Essex have been rejected by the local council for a second time.