If you like to travel in a motorhome or caravan, you are automatically choosing a certain level of independence and freedom that allows you to get in, drive off and just enjoy! Places to stop, the ability to change the route spontaneously, constant beautiful views and no time pressure – these are just some of the benefits of travelling by motorhome or caravan. There are numerous models for this type of accommodation on wheels. From a simple, small campervan to a spacious family-sized caravan or an exclusive dream motorhome, the model best suited to you depends on your personal ideas of how you want to spend your vacation.
Increasing numbers of new registrations reflect the boom in the RV industry
The figures from the CIVD (Caravanning Industry Association) show that the number of new registrations for motorhomes and caravans is up for the sixth time in a row. By relatively early in September of this year already, more vehicles had been newly registered than ever before in a calendar year.
What is the CIVD?
CIVD stands for the association’s German title of “Caravaning Industrie Verband”. The association has been representing the interests of manufacturing industrial companies in the caravanning industry since 1962. It counts among its 139 members almost all German and European manufacturers of recreational vehicles (RVs) as well as high-profile suppliers and service providers, public institutions and affiliated associations from all branches of the industry. The figures evaluated for the European and global markets are an integral part of the work of the global caravanning industry and international analyses. The international CIVD is also a sponsor of Caravan Salon, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for leisure vehicles, which provides important impetus for innovation and sales for the European caravanning industry and takes place every year in Düsseldorf.
Comfortable and customised RVs with compact fittings
The rise in popularity in recent years is prompting companies to bring new designs to the market that feature a high level of comfort and technical mod cons. There is a huge emphasis on the design aspect, for both exteriors and interiors. In addition to comfort, weight also poses a challenge for the designers, who are exploring new materials and production techniques in order to bring forth innovative design approaches. For example, heavy built-in wooden elements are being replaced by alternative designs using paper and synthetic foams, while built-in metal parts are giving way to ground-breaking, more stable adhesive bonds.
Furthermore, the vehicles are offering more scope for personalisation than ever before. The compactly designed fittings provide excellent comfort where no-one has to forego exclusivity and functionality. These range from a fully equipped mini-kitchen with a fridge, hot plate and coffee machine to differently arranged beds and seating groups or flat-screen TVs and compact sound systems that can be integrated in the vehicle interior in an ever-increasingly space-saving and harmonious way. With choices that range from granite floors, high-quality real wood or brushed aluminium, there are no boundaries to individuality. As the products grow more and more complex, so too do the environmental requirements. The use of LED lighting in vehicles not only conserves energy but also opens up completely new avenues for lighting design.
New motorhome designs are geared to connectivity
The buzzword “connectivity” is taking centre stage in new motorhome designs, with an ever-larger focus on the integration of driver assistance and smart home systems. To this end, the CIVD has initiated a standardised data transmission system accessible for all peripheral devices where the devices can communicate with each other. Similar to in the home, this allows users to check the level of the water tank and battery or control the heating even while on the go via a smartphone app or tablet. Voice control has also long since become an established function.
Motorhome versus caravan – what will be in fashion in 2018?
Deciding on the ideal RV depends on the personal wishes and needs that can be served by a certain model. Each model has its own specific advantages. Among the smaller models, like pick-ups, box vans or alcove motorhomes, the campervan is seen as the classic choice, with its simple and functional design. The range of more comfortable and large models includes integrated and semi-integrated motorhomes alongside dream motorhomes that offer the ultimate in luxury. Caravans likewise encompass smaller models that do not show off their full potential until they are extended (folding flap), but also large-scale models presented as family-friendly space marvels and sporty versions.
But not every model will be in fashion in 2018. The online portal Promobil and other providers in the RV industry have already published their initial forecasts. There is one thing they all agree on, which is that the trend is moving toward digitisation and more vehicle safety. In terms of models, the providers are predicting a rise in smaller motorhome and caravan models that are still considered affordable even with their tailored and innovative fittings. Family models with a kid-friendly footprint are also set to increase.
New category in the design competition reflects the rise in popularity
The motorhome and caravan industry not only informs the emerging travel trends for single people, couples and families but also sets new design standards. And rightly so. The renowned design competitions in the field of product design scrutinise the latest developments on the market and assess them in terms of their design quality. For example, the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018 will feature a dedicated category for “Motorhomes and caravans” for designers and companies in 2018. You can find further information on the competition and on registering here: Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018.
Posted on 30.10.2017