Germany’s leisure trade fair, Caravan Salon, is back. With its doors opening today, a couple of weeks later this year than normal, due to Covid 19, visitors can as usual see a huge selection of manufacturers and brands across all vehicle categories, as well as accessories, technical equipment, mobile homes and more.
Reassuringly the show’s organisers have adopted stringent measures to ensure the safety and health of visitors and exhibitors alike during these Corona Times.
The wearing of face masks is compulsory throughout the show. Hand sanitiser dispensers are available at all hall entrances and stands for staff and visitors. Aisle widths have increased and more space has been allowed for stands. More staff will be present to help ensure social distancing is maintained and the number of visitors will be limited to 20,000 per day.
This year’s show runs until 13 September and spans across ten exhibition halls.
Clive Mott visited the Caravan Salon last year, in 2019 – pre-Covid of course – and here he recalls some of his show highlights, just to whet the appetite for anyone planning a visit this year. Also, check out our magazine website news over the coming days for details of exciting new products launced at the 2020 show.
Clive’s Salon Snippets from 2019
Some 16 halls were being used with more traders setting up outside between the halls but inside the massive showground. One hall is devoted to the bits that are used to make caravans and motorhomes. The main chassis makers such as ALKO, Fiat, Mercedes, Ford, VW, MAN and Iveco have their own large stands to show you what lies beneath your tardis.
One hall is devoted to component manufacturers such as Polyplastic who make windows and styling parts for the likes of Hobby. Another hall is all tents with an extensive range shown by Isabella.
We were greeted by a coffee-providing TukTuk dwarfed by a cutaway monster-Carthago (above). All the main players are here such as Concorde and Morello. Electric bikes and electric scooters abound and if you were ever thinking of air or hydraulic suspension then there was an almost bewildering choice. We ventured around and started by looking at the:-
The Chausson 778 was newly released at this show. This 130HP Euro 6D Fiat-based 7.49 M long model has ‘his and hers’ wash basins in the copious washroom.
The loo includes a small black, hand-washing basin alongside the swivel loo, and a separate square shower cubicle. Payload however is smaller at around 400KG. Base price EU 56,690 for the Ford based model and EU 57,690 for the Fiat. Premium package costs another EU4500.
VW California 6.1 Two variants of the Beach were on display. In the red was the Seriennahe Studie (below) and in the silver, the standard California Beach, both with electro-hydraulic elevating roofs but with different internal layouts. In both, the rear bench seat could be moved well back to make a large loading space. In the red, the rear bench seat was full width, in the silver, the bench seat was narrower to allow space for equipment on one side. The rear loading areas were also differently equipped.
VW offer a many body colour variants, 13 wheel variants and fifteen different variants for seat coverings, internal trim, interior colours and canvas sides. Engine variations span from 81KW 110 HP 4 cylinder TDI common rail power plant with 5 speed gearbox up to the 146 KW 199 HP unit with7 speed gearbox with DSG. All are Euro 6D diesels. Base prices span from EU 48,796 for the 110 HP diesel with 5 speed manual gearbox variant of the Beach Camper up to EU80, 605 for the Ocean Edition with 199HP with 7 speed DSG. In between there are variants called Beach Camper Edition, Coast, Coast Edition and Ocean.
Carthago E line 64 QB XL
It must be said that this model range is a tad up-market with a sumptuous front lounge which also incorporates the swivel cab seating. Upholstery was luxurious and ‘bling’ was extensive including the three ships clocks over the front cab. The stylists have had a field day, not forgetting the drop down double bed over that front lounge that was was well blended in.
Style seems to have overtaken functionality a little in the kitchen with a concave faced worktop which reduced the working area and drawer and cupboard space beneath, but it looked grand. The new Dometic fridge freezer with either side opening doors or grille on top was evident. Passing towards the rear bedroom one passes the shower cubicle and rectangular wash basin on one side and a swivel loo on the other. The island bed was truly massive with large wardrobes each side. Plenty of side lockers and a rear garage for the essential clutter.
Weights 4.8 tonne up to 5.5 tonne for the Mercedes based variant. Both Fiat and Merc are front wheel drive with ALKO rear chassis. Freshwater tank 235L and waste water 185L. Batteries two or three X 80AH. Alde heating. Length 8.99M. Width 2.270M plus mirrors.
Base prices; Mercedes 414 ALKO EU146,610. Fiat EU138, 990.
The hospitality provided by the big players was extensive as shown by the Nisemann+Bischoff area.
We also looked at some caravans and started with a monster from LMC, now part of the Erwin Hymer Group which are themselves part of Thor of America.
The LMC Exquisit VIP 685 provides a sideways Island bed (above). Oodles of lounging space in several areas so one could almost enjoy a disagreement!. All this for EU 40,650.
Slightly more within budget we looked at the Hobby 650 EFf at EU 33,578 a more traditional island bed arrangement but quite stylish.
Some of the vehicles are ‘go anywhere’ and the range from Bimobil (below) demonstrate this.