- In "Caravano" and "Wandering kidney" over the alps
- The exhibits are grouped into eight adventure worlds
- Folding tents and a "wandering kidney"
- The first post-war models were sparse
- A “land yacht” should save weight
- Coffee filters and lace doilies
- Self-made from the east
In "Caravano" and "Wandering kidney" over the alps
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Futurism in the early seventies: the 1973 Schafer Orion I is based on a Mercedes chassis. You can see it…
Here you can find more than 80 old caravans and mobile homes, many of them with a suitable towing vehicle. Incidentally, a Sportberger G2 from 1946 is hanging on the hook here. ">
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… in the Erwin-Hymer-Museum in Bad Waldsee on Lake Constance. Here you can find more than 80 old caravans and mobile homes, many of them with a suitable towing vehicle. Incidentally, there is a sports bar hanging here…rger G2 from 1946 on the hook.
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In Germany, mobile living became a trend in the thirties. The British were faster – this car cruiser from 1932 is already the product of a flourishing industry on the… Island.
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The GDR, on the other hand, knew many self-built caravans. For example this lavishly glazed piece that Matthias Bogasch realized in 1986.
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This Mikafa De Luxe cost 42,500 marks – in the fifties. But the mobile offered every imaginable luxury, even a sun terrace on the roof.
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One of the two halls of the Erwin-Hymer-Museum. It is modeled on a caravan window.
Shortly after the invention of the car, the first inventors came up with the idea of building mobiles and trailers with berths. A lot seems strange today. 80 vehicles can be seen at Lake Constance.
F.ridel Edelmann was dissatisfied. Because Arist Dethleffs, her fiance, had to travel a lot for work and was rarely at home. That is why his fiancee wrote him the following lines in 1931: "Something like a gypsy car, in which we could drive together and I could also paint, would be the right thing for us."
The Allgau whip and ski pole manufacturer fulfilled her wish: he drew, designed and built the “caravan” with his own hands, 4.38 meters long, 1.66 meters wide and 2.05 meters high. Three beds testified to plans for the future. He gave the rolling domicile to his loved one and himself for the wedding – the first caravan in Germany built in Germany.
Today you can see the "Wohnauto" in the Erwin-Hymer-Museum admire in Bad Waldsee on Lake Constance. Not the original, it is lost, but at least a copy that the trainees at the Dethleffs company built in 1971. There it is now, quite angular, with very little window area, mobile living limited to the essentials.
The exhibits are grouped into eight adventure worlds
In October last year, the museum was opened across from the production facility of the caravan and motorhome specialist Hymer. Several awards show that the chosen concept is well received: the creators have grouped more than 80 exhibits in a total of eight adventure worlds, in a suggested Arabian desert, in Indian backdrops or in an imaginary Baltic Sea, the camping Dorado of the East Germans.
Entering and looking inside is expressly desired for many of the exhibits, and suitable towing vehicles are in front of many caravans. A lot of contemporary accessories can also be admired.
The exhibition tells a lot about German caravan and mobile home history. Because without knowing it, Arist Dethleffs had hit the nerve of the times. In 1936 the "Dethleffs Wohnautobau" department already had six employees. They now made the "Tourist" – a trailer with curved frames that made something like aerodynamics possible. The model offered three beds, and thanks to a pop-top roof, you could even stand upright.
Folding tents and a "wandering kidney"
Caravans had already existed elsewhere in Europe. But the topic was new to the Germans in the 1930s. The interest was so great that others began to build caravans too.
The “Karawane S 39” model from the Sportberger factory in the Munich area was given the unfriendly nickname “Wandering kidney”, and the exhibit in the Hymer Museum on Lake Constance immediately shows why: The shape of the 4.5 meter long and 2, The 2 meter high pendant is clearly reminiscent of the body organ.
Shortly before the Second World War, Sportberger even founded its own category with the “Hausdabei” model: the first trailer for the car was built, from which a tent could be folded out in a few simple steps.
The first post-war models were sparse
Even after the war, Sportberger was one of the first to take up the subject again. However, the requirements in destroyed Germany had changed: The G2 model was a mixture of a living and utility trailer with the nickname “Shepherd’s cart”. It was popular with business travelers, who always had their bed with them.
And because the "G2" only weighed 250 kilograms, even motorcycles could pull it. The "Hirth Tramp", the first real post-war caravan, was made of plywood covered with lacquered textile. That made it light, only 530 kilograms and four and a half meters in length.
Hmer’s own early work can also be found in the museum that bears his name. Because in Dornier’s service, the engineer worked on the post-war “Dornier Delta” mobile: a small car that can be entered and loaded through two large hatches and with enough space for two to sleep in it.
A “land yacht” should save weight
In general, the 1950s were the time of the bizarre special routes, some of which can be admired in the exhibition. For example the “Land-Yacht L6” from the 1950s, a kind of residential submarine with wheels underneath and once again devised by Sportberger boss Hans Berger. The shape of the cigar should help to save weight: the trailer, which weighs only 360 kilograms and is 5.3 meters long, accommodated six people.
Others served the upper class of the economic miracle, for example with the Mikafa motorhome “de Luxe”, which can also be admired on Lake Constance: for the small amount of 42,500 marks, the mobile offered every imaginable luxury, including a car roof that could be used as a sun terrace.
Coffee filters and lace doilies
Anyone who traveled in the 1950s liked it to be cozy. You were out and about in shiny wood, with lace doilies and porcelain coffee filters, when, like many people back then, you wandered across the Alps to Italy. During this time, Hymer itself also presented its first mobile home, the "Caravano", which was based on a Borgward panel van.
But it wasn’t until the 1970s that the company boss constructed his most famous piece: the “Hymer Reisemobil”, which was built on a Mercedes van chassis, as an integrated model in which the driver’s cab was also part of the living area.
However, someone else in Germany was the first to produce mobile homes: The “Camping Box” from Westfalia presented in 1952 turned the first VW bus into a rolling apartment.
Self-made from the east
Friends of mobile living also found offers in the eastern part of the country. The “Dubener egg”, which Max Wurdig had developed as early as 1936, became most famous. But the museum in Bad Waldsee also shows a roof tent for the Trabant as well as impressive self-builds that hobbyists realized when the socialist market did not produce what they wanted.
Hymer also collected something like this and bought many pieces after the fall of the Wall. Incidentally, only a small part of the collection can be seen in the museum. It comprises around 250 pieces in total, many of which are still slumbering in barns and halls in the area. So if at some point everyone should have had enough of the treasures from around 80 years: there would still be material for an expansion.
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