Organizers reported strong attendance as the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf, running Aug. 25 to Sept. 9, reached the half-way point.
“By the end of Wednesday we had 97,000 visitors, 15,000 of these from abroad. This means figures still have ground to make up and we are looking to the days ahead with confidence,” said Helmut Winkler, director for the annual show at Germany’s Düsseldorf Exhibition Center. “Our dedicated campsite is also in great demand. We have already counted 14,000 vehicles parked here.”
Overall, a total of 160,000 visitors are expected at the Caravan Salon by Sunday.
The good mood in the caravanning sector was confirmed over the first five days of the trade fair. The number of new registrations in Germany in the first half of 2012 rose considerably compared to the same period last year, in fact achieving its highest level in four years.
This year, the trend is heading towards semi-integrated motorhomes and vans using new materials that reduce weight. Efforts also continue to build more eco-friendly trailers and motorhomes.
Airstream Europe has announced a brand new addition to its iconic range of silver bullet tourers in the form of the five-berth International 685, according to a report by Caravan Times.
Due to be launched at the Feb. 14-19 NCC Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show at the London Excel Center, this model will offer a slice of classic Americana that is big enough to accommodate larger families.
The 685 is the first European Airstream caravan to feature a bunk bed arrangement and the triple bunk in this model is certainly out of the ordinary. Instead of simply stacking all three bunks on top of each other, the middle bed is set at a right-angle to the other two, resulting in more headroom for all the youngsters in the back.
The 685 also includes a bathroom door that can double up as a solid dividing door when opened by 90 degrees, meaning that parents can enjoy added peace and quiet in the front of the RV, along with Italian-made aluminum alloy-framed beds that are at least six feet long. A convertible double bed in the front end, a nearside kitchenette and an offside bathroom complete the unique layout.
The new model has been five years in the making and was designed in reaction to customer feedback from larger families, following the launch of the International 684 in 2006.
Michael Hold, sales director for Airstream Europe, said: “The interest over the years in a large family oriented European Airstream has always been there and now we can deliver a travel trailer that comfortably fulfills the requirements of a family of five.”
Caravan Times noted that the new twin-axle Airstream would require a heavier tow vehicle while also carrying a starting MSRP of nearly $81,000.
Westfalia, a well known name in European motorhome manufacturing, is celebrating a world premiere at this year’s Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany, Aug. 27 to Sept. 5.
The motorhome specialist will for the first time be presenting its new “Westfalia Columbus.” The latest Westfalia development not only represents an extensive redesign of the interior concept but is also notably the first Westfalia vehicle conversion to be based on the Fiat Ducato, according to a news release.
Compact on the outside and fully fitted within, Westfalia, like no other motorhome manufacturer, stands for utility maximization in a small space. With the “Columbus,” it is now also possible for Ducato fans to benefit from a genuine Westfalia conversion. MSRP: $49,655 U.S.
With this latest addition to its product range, Westfalia is for the first time fitting a van with a built-in rear bed.
At the same time, Westfalia’s engineers are proving that not all rear beds are created equal. Thanks to a sophisticated sledge design, the rear half of the bed can simply be folded up when more space is needed, thus providing easy, safe, secure and clean storage.
The automotive two-seater bench with its back-friendly contours and ergonomic shape also assures tall passengers a relaxed and pleasant trip. At the same time, the bench, which has undergone the toughest tensile testing, guarantees a first-rate level of safety. And with its integrated ISOFIX anchorage points for child seats, it provides support and protection for the little ones too. Thanks to the patented Westfalia bed system, just two hand movements are needed to transform this comfortable piece of furniture within seconds into an additional bed.
Besides the four sleeping berths, the Columbus is fully equipped. The side kitchenette features a high quality cooker/sink combination and a revolutionary pull-out cool box (refrigerator). The cool box can be accessed from both the inside and outside.
Another feature that is unique in this class of vehicle is the heating system. Thanks to the combination of hot-water heating and an underfloor heating system that is fitted as standard, the interior is always cozy thus ensuring a maximum in comfort. In addition to this, it will be possible in the future to order heated versions of the shower tray and rear shower wall.
All furnishings and fittings feature the familiar high Westfalia quality. All trimmings are made from aluminum and are therefore considerably more durable and of a higher quality than comparable finishes. The particularly hard-wearing covers, the real glass work surface and the floor made from a wear-resistant PVC covering likewise underscore the high quality standards Westfalia expects all of its models to meet.
The Columbus is available in October. Orders are being taken immediately.
Westfalia is one of the leading motorhome manufacturers in Europe. Besides manufacturing motorhomes and recreational vehicles for international automobile marques such as Mercedes, Opel, and Ford, the premium manufacturer has for three years now been focusing increasingly on developing its own models under the Westfalia name. After a sharp decline in orders in 2009, Westfalia filed for insolvency in January of this year. The company is taking this as an opportunity to effectively restore sustained profitability. Full production and product development are continuing.
For more information, visit www.westfalia-van.de.