There is an exhibition that excites those who are interested in RVs (recreational vehicles). And, of course, those who approach innovative solutions from a product design perspective. Therefore, there was no question that our team will also visit Germany’s largest RV exhibition, the CMT 2020 in Stuttgart organized in January.
This year, the CMT exhibition was unique not only because of the novelties that were not presented at the previous Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, but also because of the record number of participants (300,000 visitors and 2,161 exhibitors).
Caravaning, Motoring, Tourism – CMT and CAD-CAM 3000: common past, present and future
Although we visited the expo mainly because of the exciting RV innovations and products designed by our engineering office, it could not escape our attention that dozens of exciting programs and innovative leisure devices were also on display this year.
The question may arise as to why an engineering office – which is already “beyond” the related product design – wants to visit such an expo as CMT. In addition to gaining inspiration, viewing the innovations that we have designed, and gathering reactions and feedback from visitors, it is also important for us that our team members can enjoy the fruits of their professional work and develop in a more casual environment.
It is always instructive and at the same time interesting to see how an innovative development/product fits in extremely tight spaces, or how the most exclusive motorhomes and caravans, even costing millions of euros, look like in real life. Let’s take a look at the innovations that made it worthwhile for our team to travel more than 800 km.
Dometic FreshWell 3000: 21st century needs and answers
The novelty of Dometic debuting at CMT is a purely electronic under-bench air conditioning unit. The big advantage of the compact solution (unlike roof air conditioners, among others) is that there is no roof load, and the centre of gravity and outside dimensions of the vehicle remain unaffected. The Dometic FreshWell 3000 is perhaps the most compact under-bench air conditioner available in the category up to 2700 watts. Not only does it provide a 10-point solution for those for whom environmental awareness is important, but those who want comfort will also love it.
It works incredibly quietly, its air diffuser system generates a pleasant air stream, which is distributed evenly over three air outlets with the help of accessories. The outlets can be positioned in the vehicle as required – concentrated at one point, and also in different rooms. The good news is that this new cooling-heating method will also be available for the new models that we are currently designing.
Westfalia pop-out back: Addig nyújtózkodj, míg…
Who wouldn’t have dreamed of a camper van whose rear part could be extended outward for a longer interior while (sliding it back into the body) it is still easy to drive. From a design point of view, in addition to reliable operation, it is also necessary to ensure that the pop-up parts are properly closed while driving. The best option is to close these automatically, so success doesn’t depend on the memory and skills of the user. The other important aspect is proper sealing. Obviously, no one wants water to get inside when it rains outside.
The designer also had to think about maintaining the sealing even when opening and closing the pop-up parts. The direction of the design is also considerably influenced by the way of operation. Manual operation is expected to be less expensive, but proper installation and ease of use require more effort in design. Electrical operation is more convenient for both the designer and the user. Last but not least, we need to think about proper thermal insulation as well, as rest in the evening is not the best if only a thin layer separates us from the chilly outside air while lying in the extended pop-up back.
How did we design a „rolling hotel”?
Our engineering office was also involved in the design of the Weinsberg CaraOne 2020. It is not difficult to take pictures of this model family, which is available with almost any floor plan, but still with standardized design, that can make those who want to camp feel that they could spend months in it. We felt the same when designing it.
Tour and comfort: On
We have also been involved in the design of various models of the deservedly famous Vantourerers. What has changed from previous years? The freshwater tank was relocated below the floor, increasing the rear load area. From an engineering point of view, protection against frost and damage are the two most important aspects here, and from serviceability point of view, access through the cleaning trap door is critical. By utilizing the maximum space under the floor, an ideal-sized freshwater tank could be obtained in addition to meeting the above requirements.
As a result, it is not necessary to leave space for the water tank under the bed. This opened up the possibility of enlarging the loading area, so that a bicycle can fit in the back diagonally while the bed remains usable.
We have also been involved in the development of compatible beds. There are even two options for storing bikes in the new Vantourer models. If the liftable bed is raised to medium height, a bicycle can fit below, or it can be stored next to the specially designed foldable bed.
By folding the other side of the bed and raising its foot, we can also create a sofa on which we can even enjoy the surrounding landscape.
When the expectations are high
Visitors lined up all day in front of the popular Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQH with a special elevated roof. This is no wonder, as its impressive height of 308 cm and roughly 6 m length made a big splash at the expo. Not to mention the exclusive interior, which we prefer to show in photos, because in this case 1 picture (more precisely 3) says more than a thousand words…
The caravan of the future has arrived
AL-KO has been a genius in the field of increasing the range. An electric 48-volt drive was integrated in the chassis of the trailer with which the range can be increased by up to 70%. This system with automatic energy recuperation has been developed for caravans up to 3.5 tons. This solution can also be particularly beneficial for fuel-powered vehicles, where fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be greatly reduced. In addition to brake assist, we can also count on help from the electronic stability control and while driving in difficult terrain.
HYMER-Vision: The rolling dragon
Hymer Vision introduced itself with a ground-breaking floor plan and exterior. The van developed in collaboration with BASF boasts innovative details such as 3D-printed chassis parts, infrared-reflective paint and rear patio with BBQ.
The special feature of the paintwork is that it is temperature-regulating and energy-efficient. The Chromacool technology from BASF reduces the surface temperature of the vehicle by 20°C and that of the interior by up to 4°C.
We hope that our report showed why it was worth visiting the 2020 CMT. Our next team building event will be at one of the design software conferences about which we will also share a report on the blog. In the meantime, we are curious to see which RV you liked best among the ones we highlighted.