Sunday, October 30, 2016

Berne Motorhome Show 2016

It is the time of year when we visit the Berne Motorhome show and usually come away thinking that our Dethleffs T8 Motorhome still fits us better than anything that we could buy today.   What will happen this year?

Berne Suisse Caravan Salon 2016

We spent a few hours touring the halls and below are the most interesting things that we found

Dethleffs Stand

We are Dethleffs T8 motorhome owners so our first stop was the Dethleffs stand.  Our T8 is no longer manufactured, a great mistake in our opinion, and we'll rant on about that later. 

Above are the selection of Motorhomes that they now retail, some of which were on display

Dethleffs Globus I1

As displayed this is a 81K CHF (67K GBP) Integrated Motorhome.

I found after the show via Internet research that the regular T series Globus (similar to ours) is now 4cm wider (boo!) at 219 cm.  Still thinner than the regular 230-235 cm of most Motorhomes and now even further away from the 205cm of most Van based motorhomes.

Here is a link to the 2017 specs

It's almost identical inside to our T8 though being an Integrated I series the front passenger area is more spacious and the driver visibility is much better.

As with Integrated motorhome from any manufacturer I can think of there is this annoying extra, drop down double bed at the front, an extra something that surely no travelling couple ever uses.  But normally you can't option it out.  Hmmm.

La Strada Avanti EB 4x4

We were very impressed by the 90K CHF La Strada Avanti.  It's German. This is a tall van conversion at 2.92 metres tall  (our Dethleffs is a sleek 2.62 metres by comparison, we chose it specially!)

But as a van it is a greatly maneuverable 2.05 metres wide and a pretty short 6.36 metres long.

This motorhome had some features we really liked:

- 4 wheel drive
- Lots, and we mean really lots of cupboard space
- Probably room for our 2 bicycles inside at the back.  Though you'd need to take your 2 bicycles to a dealer to really check this.
- Nice touches like inverter, 2 gas bottle storage on a pullout
- Obviously comes with full bathroom and shower, we'd never consider a motorhome without a decent one.

Mounting of Fridge at waist height for easy access

At the back the bedroom base rotates up and then you can stack tall objects in the back.   We think with that down though you might still get 2  bicycles (front wheel off and seatpost removed)  in.

La Strada Avanti EB

La Strada Avanti L
For 70K CHF it was no surprise that the Avanti L is like the Avanti EB 4x4 with many features deleted.   It is 20K cheaper after all. Notably there is no 4x4 and the number of cupboards is reduced, but then it is a much more respectible 2.65m tall only and only 5.99 metres long.  The width is the usual 2.05m.

We like the much more compact design cf the Avanti EEB. However this also means the height from the top of the bed platform to the loading floor is reduced.   We think road bicycles even with wheel and seatpost would just not fit.  Hmm

Cupboard space just behind driver, so much better than the open shelf provided by man manufacturers

No cookers on European motorhomes, because they are not English crazy people.  3 hobs is one too many IMHO for anything but a boat sized motorhome.

Although one step down in trim from the EB, the Avanti L still oozes quality construction.

La Strada Avanti L

Hymer DL 504
On the face of it the Hymer 504 Dynaic Line is a new breed of Motorhome promising to give us everything we have in our current 6.7m Dethleffs T8 but in only a 6m package.  Does it deliver?  Well it tries ...

The Garage is arguably just to small to take 2 bicycles especially with the little bump at the back left.  Also the second door is too small to put a road bicycle through.

Battery and other gubbins in a lockable left compartment

As with all integrated the driving position and visibility is excellent and superior

Highly placed coach style mirrors are safer from collision with other vehicles or bashing pedestrians.

Hymer DL 504 Tour

Adria SLS Compact
We saw this last year as a prototype.  Now its officially for sale

Twin beds that we personally detest. Well, we'd prefer just a double bed and extra space for storage.

One burner too many but still a nice compact kitchen sink unit

They elegantly show here how you can have bicycles outside the vehicle even with the slideout.  Personally we'd always want our bicycles inside the vehicle in the garage.

This is the SLS but alo note the SL and SP Vehicles.

Static Homes

We've toyed with the idea of a Static Home in Switzerland.  The principle gotcha is that Swiss sites are not normally open all year and as far as we can determine in Vaud canton this cannot be your primary residence.  The following home is priced at 120K CHF

The format for most of these static homes is 1 master bedroom, 1 kids bedroom (we'd use as a study/ walk in cupboard area), combined open plan lounge and kitchen, bathroom. This design had a dishwasher but no washing machine. There is a small cupboard with a gas boiler for hot water and heating. Outside there is no shed to store anything.

The Fun Stuff

The Crazy Stuff
I am not sure who actually buys a 300K+ CHF 4 wheel drive truck based motorhome but they seem popular. Just driving one on any small road i.e. a lot of Switzerland would not be possible.

In Summary Then
We had a great time at the Berne 'Caravan Salon' show 2016.  For us we still think our Dethleffs T8 is the best motorhome for us:

- Size: 6.7m long but only 2.62m high and 2.15m thin.  
Finding any motorhome this thin except a van is basically impossible! (Carthago c-Compactlinehas the only other in production now we think)

- Garage:
Big enough to put in 2 bicycle without dismantling.   Bikes are out of the way, dry and not on show.  Also not in an open space living area that would change the character of how you feel inside the habitable space.

- Separate Shower
There is a toilet area and separate Shower area.  After a shower your toilet and sink are not covered in water.  The shower is used as a temp clothes store after sports

- Connecting Door
A sliding door can partition the bedroom/toilet/shower from the living room.  So one person can be sleeping whilst the other is working without disturbing each other

- Cupboards
A huge range of Cupboards sufficient for an active couple carrying sports equipment and clothes for at least 3 weeks

We ordered a Dethleffs T8 motorhome in 2015