The Yacht-inspired Caravisio camper concept


September 8, 2013

Knaus Tabbert presents the Caravisio concept at the 2013 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon

Knaus Tabbert presents the Caravisio concept at the 2013 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon

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Citing declining caravan numbers in Europe, German manufacturer Knaus Tabbert decided to rethink camper design, creating what it calls "the caravan of the future." The Caravisio design study draws its inspiration from the water as well as the future, pulling some yacht-like elements onto the streets.

More than just a single manufacturer's idea, the Caravisio represents two years' worth of collaboration between more than 20 different companies and industry experts. It therefore reflects a collective prognostication of what the future camper might look like.

Unlike the tractor trailer-like boxes that the terms "camper" and "caravan" may make you think of, the Carivisio's shell design was put through intense wind tunnel testing to create superior aerodynamic performance. The pointed front-end is possible because of a unique V-shaped bed design inside. From there, side skirts, tapered C pillars and a rear spoiler help the Caravisio slice through the oncoming wind.

Inside, the two single beds laid out in a V shape turn into a single double bed with the help of a mattress extension. The front bedroom offers a cozy and scenic respite thanks to the large panoramic window.

Attempting to bring some of the comforts of a full-sized motor home to the small caravan segment, Knaus Tabbert and company skip the claustrophobic toilet/shower closet in favor of a fuller, more spacious bathroom. An intelligent water management system controls water usage with the help of its own touchscreen.

The rear of the interior opens up to a fold-out deck, a design that was inspired by yacht salons. A remote controlled deck roof offers protection from the sun and lowers for driving, protecting the dual pedelec bicycles stored in back from the elements. An integrated induction charging system charges the bikes' batteries while they're in tow.

While the living area is clearly designed for lounging and relaxing, it can also get down to business. Knaus says that the furniture can quickly be rearranged into a functional work station with supportive, ergonomic seating. Electrical hook-ups power and charge laptops and other work devices.

Both the interior and exterior equipment and settings are controlled via a smartphone app. For instance, the app can adjust the air suspension to lower the caravan body to ground level for loading. The app can also alter the appearance of the rear doors from clear to frosted. The latter setting allows the doors to serve as a projection screen for the ceiling-mounted HD projector. Carivisio's designers imagine a mirroring feature that broadcasts the picture outside, as well as inside, letting the occupants offer entertainment for other campground guests. A finger scanner locks and unlocks the Caravisio's doors.

Knaus Tabbert says explicitly that "the caravan does not claim to be reproducible nor to be suitable for series production," so it appears this design study has no production future.

Source: Knaus Tabbert

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Wonder if in the foreseeable future they will also consider electric assist so the camper can pull its own weight or use regenerative breaking on up and downs. Maybe even EBD,

Otherwise people will continue to require giant SUVs to pull these things, and they will continue to be speed limited.


I think this is really beautiful. I can see the yacht influences in it.


I didn't see a bathroom... or a kitchen sink, cooktop or microwave...

Marcus Carr

+1 Nairda on the electric assist I would also like to see a bit more ground clearance on something like this, possibly hydraulic lift for speed humps etc

Shane Shuttleworth

Hey! Give it Drive By Wire, a turbo Boxster motor and electric brakes and who needs a tow vehicle? Turn signals and headlights ec. could be blended right in.

The Skud

Put an engine in it, why won't ya??!!!!

Wejitu Geodol

No shower? No flexible solar panels? No high intensity exterior L.E.D. arrays? No exterior camera(s) with internal video feed?


Is it even amphibious? ;-))


So what is the point of this if it can't be reproduced?

Colin Fox

This ingenious new design, although extremely impressive, is very close to that of the current USA style 5th wheel campers. All they have done is taken the idea, changed the door design and fitted a standard 'A-frame' tow hitch.

Airsoft-World Scotland

Since there are no plans to produce this, the article is almost pointless. Just another unobtainable piece of eye candy to make us salivate like Pavlovian dogs.

Looks almost like a mini monorail train for the road!!

I like the look, and agree that it would be a great design for a small motorcoach/motorhome. It is futuristic looking, but so far is just a design concept. I wish some of these concepts could be brought to market, using the input from those who might actually be interested in purchasing such campers/motorhomes.

James Craft

wow, It took 65 years to upgrade the Airstream.

Rick Tabar

I'd like to see it scaled up and make a motor coach out of the design.

Bruce Williams

I can see it now lined up up cheek to jowl with the other tin cans in the KOA campground.


^^What Rick said... Airstream already has a land yacht. ;-)

Can't see why they bothered with this Caravisio concept if there are no future plans for it.


RE Comments: I think the term "design study" in the first paragraph pretty much explains the questions concerning production plans. Also the issue of "why tease us?". Why build it? Because we can. End of discussion. As with concept show cars, the plan is to gauge consumer reaction to innovative design and then determine which, (if any) features warrant further development. Unlike the 1950's though, where a fin or two might show up a few years later, today's CADD world allows quick reproduction and implementation of new design. Every year at the Auto Show I'm surprised by some production car that was (close to what was) on the concept stand the year before. So I wouldn't be at all surprised to see something similar to this Caravisio offered by other manufacturers soon, or at least some of the features. I have owned two Airstreams and love them, but they are retro-bricks compared with this design and most of the Indiana RV makers are stuck in the '70s when it comes to real innovation...


I agree with wanderkip, remember that Gizmag is showing us new technology, trends and free-thinking designs, it is not a sales catalog. The idea behind concepts like this is to stimulate thinking, which could lead to new ideas and developments.

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