Hymer DuoMobil is an embodiment of two, more and more clear trends in the design of camping vehicles. Apparently, manufacturers are more often willing to prepare motorhomes for couples, but they are also asking users themselves to help in the design process.
Motorhomes for four, six or eight people? These kinds won’t probably ever disappear from the market, but honestly, they’re are losing on popularity. What’s the most important for customers now is the convenience, and it’s difficult to achieve it, when one car has to fit a lot of people. Hence, the manufacturers decided to create vehicles and caravans for couples, who want to travel without children. Such approach forces a new way of designing the space – it’s no longer about squeezing as many packages and places to sleep, but to provide practical solutions that go hand in hand with the comfort of use.
Hymer decided that this time they‘ll design a vehicle for couples traveling together. But it wan‘t, however, about creating another one out of the many variants of the interior, but to devote as much attention as possible only to one arrangement. Therefore, the producer invited the couple to cooperate - Heidi and Lothar Schleinkofers, who have a whole lot of experience in the caravanning industry.
Schleinkofers love caravaning, and since they‘ve retired in 2007, they began to intensively think about the concept of a motorhome ideal for traveling couples. They put the concept together in 2009 and presented it to Dethleffs company. They appreciated the idea and during fair in 2011presented a demonstration model Alpa, which uses a lot of ideas of the retired couple.
The motorhome has been noticed by the media and potential customers as evidenced by the fact that it took the second place (in its category) in the poll on the motorhome of the year organized by the magazine "Promobil". Later, Dethleffs introduced Alpe into production and sold about 300 vehicles. It's a pretty good result!
Nonetheless, Schleinkofers wanted to develop their project and at some point they decided to look for a new partner. In the end they came across the company Hobby, who decided to change the concept used by the competitor and realize the idea of a car for a couple on the basis of a fully integrated vehicle (Alpa was a semi-integrated model).
Hymer B-Class, equipped with an engine capacity of 2.3 liters with 140 HP, became the basis for DuoMobil. Traditionally, the construction was based on Fiat Ducato.
1001 ideas for the interior
Schleinkofers didn’t interfere in technical solutions, but had a huge impact on the interior layout and lots of clever storage solutions.
The interior can be accessed by a wide, 70-cm door. Already on the left side of the entrance you will find a very comfortable cupboards and shelves. There were placed, among others, hooks for small items and two shoe cabinets.
Opposite the entrance there’s a kitchen with unusual arched shape (with a convenient recess). The heating plate was placed obliquely, deep in the countertop. In the ceiling above the kitchen you can find a fan.
The bathroom was placed very untypically - on the right side of the kitchen. Separate shower cabin with usual, home sizes, is located in front of the toilet. On the right side of the toilet and shower were placed cabinets and many other compartments, including three convenient drawers for underwear and additional compartments for shoes (they can supposedly fit up to 12 pairs!).
The bed has been suspended over the driver and passenger seats. It can be lowered down, so that there’s one meter of a free space overhead. The bed itself is also surprising - you can lie on it either across, treating it as a double sleeping place, but you can also lie along the center. In such arrangement the bed gives the impression of two single beds.
Standing in the front of the kitchen, the seating area will be located on the left side. Extensive couch around the rotary table can have (for a surcharge) rounded corners. But what is particularly interesting, can be found between it and a panoramic window. In the corners there were placed two lit cocktail cabinets, and between them a large table top, which has 4 sockets 230 V mounted in it. So you can connected a toaster, kettle and use them during the meal at the table.
But that's not all! In the middle of the table top there’s a deep, lockable storage for laptops and chargers, and inside another 4 sockets 230 V and 2 USB ports. In the whole motorhome there’s up to 18 sockets 230 V and 4 USB ports.
Several compartments were placed in the floor. One of them acts as a... chute for dirty clothes, which lands directly in a suitable container. Double floor was also used in the closet. More precisely, the bottom of the closed is located below the floor level, so that the whole closer has a height of 228 cm.
However, there’s much more of interesting things, including an electrically retractable shelf with a coffee maker, the ability to transform the two couches in a full-size seats with safety belts for two passengers, electric shutters and a garage with a height of 121 cm, from which bicycles can be pulled out on a "tray" (wheels are placed in special trays).
The price for DuoMobil with basic equipment in Germany amounts 109,990 euros. Are these nifty amenities prepared with the participation of the retired couple worth this price? Everyone has to judge themselves.