Dethleffs electric camper

Editor’s Note: The following report by MobileRVing.com, a website hosted by Southeast Publications, offers a look at the CARAVAN SALON held annually in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Innovative ideas and products captured attention at the CARAVAN SALON 2018 in Dusseldorf, Germany – the world’s largest trade fair for motorhomes and towable RVs that ran Aug. 24-Sept. 2. Tens of thousands of visitors poured through the doors every day attracted by the vast range of products and vehicles on display. Exhibitors commented that their expectations were being far exceeded in every respect.

So just what was attracting attention? This was a show which offered something different, where genuine innovations were very much in evidence.

Mercedes Concept Sprinter F-Cell

Mercedes-Benz offered forward looking ideas covering fully connected homes on wheels to alternative drives. Its Concept Sprinter F-Cell focused on the provision of emission-free driving, demonstrating the possibilities of a powertrain technology for local, emission free mobility with a long range (up to 329 miles) and quick refueling. The fuel cell can be used as a stand-alone powerful source of energy for living areas.

Dethleffs also focused on improvements to electrical drive. Its e-home coco is the first RV with its own e-drive. Equipped with high-performance batteries, two hub motors and smart control electronics, the “passive trailer” becomes an active “living vehicle.” An additional advantage is the presence of a strain relief module within the construction. The module controls the two-axle electric drive motors so that the trailer load at the coupling head of the towing vehicle is reduced considerably. This allows even small towing vehicles to tow heavy RVs and tailors possessing a total weight greater than the car’s permitted trailer load. When combined with an electric car, it means that extremely realistic travel ranges can be achieved, especially since batteries are automatically recharged whenever the vehicle is going downhill.

Truma have taken a different slant by offering a VarioHeat system that becomes part of the iNet system. Users can control the gas heating via a smartphone app and even connect it with other devices such as a Truma ai-con, and automatic climate control. Heating coils can be switched on separately allowing the vehicle to be heated up even faster on cold days making it a good option for winter campers.

Volkswagen Nutzfarhrzeuge held the global launch of the Grand California at the show. Based on the modern Crafter, this motorhome incorporates a wet room and loft bed for children in addition to the large rear berths. This 19-foot model is designed to provide extra facilities for traveling families, making it one of the most comfortable and spacious on the market.

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