Hymer Interview and Grand Canyon Preview

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The Class B RV world is buzzing lately after the announcement of a cooperation agreement between Germany’s Erwin Hymer Group and Roadtrek from Kitchener Ontario.  We’re just as curious as the next RV aficionados, and when we found ourselves at the Hymer booth at the 2015 RVIA show in Louisville, well, we had to ask them a few questions.

Of course, neither Stef nor I have any journalism training whatsoever.  But we didn’t let that stop us!  Fortunately, Jacqueline from Hymer was quite nice.


I expected Hymer to be a bit evasive and stick to their carefully worded press release, but Jacqueline and all of the Hymer representatives were very approachable and informative.  I had a few questions that were suggested by our readers, and I was able to get all of them answered.  I probably could have asked more and better follow up questions, were it not for my complete lack of journalistic skill.

But besides the good intel, they had a model of their Grand Canyon Class B RV on display.  While we didn’t have the time for a full review of it, we did get quite a bit of footage which you’ll see in the video.  The one thing I’m taking away from it is:  The transverse bed can be done.  It works.  (I always thought it would work, and if I had built my own next RV, that’s what I would have done, so I was glad to see it brought to life.)  Oh, and also – the wooden shower mat looks great (just like mine did)!

Hope you enjoy the video.

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    26 thoughts on “Hymer Interview and Grand Canyon Preview

    1. Weng

      Hi , Mr. Jame I been looking at hymer aktiv pop up top on YouTube that posted by rv lifestyle but he didn’t do the whole walk through like ur video so if u have a chance to see the rv can u make the video and post it on YouTube plz and thank u so much for all the video u have share I really love it

    2. Old Gringo

      The fake alternator they call a generator is what killed this one for me. We are downsizing from a class c and 4 other RVs over 30 years and cannot do without an actual generator to run the ac for long periods during 100 degree days or 30 degree days. I don’t mind only having a black water tank as dumping grey is illegal in all state and federal land because is usually has soap, nitrates, and other bad things for the water. Causes green algae to grow in a rage and causes fish kills and drinking water issues. SO, I am fine with saving the planet, Otherwise an OK van.

      1. James - Post author

        Well, it’s an actual alternator, not a fake one. 🙂
        We have the same second alternator installed on our van, and it works just fine. We got rid of our generator and have no need for it.
        Different strokes for different folks, U guess.
        For us – our battery will run the air conditioning full blast for three hours before we’d have to turn on the engine.
        Staying inside a metal box in the sun when it’s 100 degrees out for more than three hours sounds awful. That’s usually our clue to go someplace else…

    3. Doug

      Currently researching the Hymer. Amazing how many “changes” between then and now. They kept the Hymer floorplan and adopted all the Roadtrek technology as you did on Lance. Looks like the best solution for boondocking. Still a wanabee RVer so no inclination on whether I would prefer cassette or black tank (two people). Some people seem to infer if you only have a gray tank, you don’t need to use a dump station. Is that a common practice?

      1. James - Post author

        We actually (ok. it was just me) recently bought a cassette toilet with the intent of comparing it to our composting toilet.
        I have no idea how that is going to turn out…
        And if you want to start a holy war, go on another forum like rv.net or irv2 and ask about dumping grey water directly on the ground. Then stand back and watch the sparks fly!

    4. Matt

      Interesting article and interview!
      Hymer is a quality brand in Europe with excellent insulation.
      I find it interesting, that they will adapt to the US market by offering a black tank toilet. Here in Europe, we don’t get that option and still have to carry our …. to the dump station in that small cassette, which weighs 40 pounds loaded. Ok, the cassette comes with wheels.)))
      The other interesting info I got was that they will sell the van in the low 100 k range. The base models in Germany are 48,900.- but of course then you start adding a decent engine (5,000.-, only Diesel available, no gas), Automatic (just the not good Sprint shift Automatic with the Diesel available) 2,100.- and all the other goodies, where Europeans have to tick a box and pay extra for, so after a lot of nerving ticks, you will also end up at the 100 k, if you compare apples and apples.
      Keep up the great work!

      1. James - Post author

        Hi Matt! Question about they Hymer in Europe: you say they are well insulated. Are they set up for 4 season camping? (Water lines inside, tanks in heated space, etc)?

        1. Matt

          Hymer has various models, but ALL the vans have the freshwater tank inside and consequently, all fresh water lines are also inside. The waste water tanks of the Vans are ALWAYS outside and as an option can be equipped with heated pads. Since the vans don’t have any black tanks here, that does not cause any problems. I would call this a typical three season setup and would not take the risk, to use the van in very cold winters. All vans are set up like this.
          And because the heated pads under the tanks work with 12 Volts, you need to be hooked up to shore power, as generators are not used very much here for various reasons and 99 % of campers don’t have them anyway.

          The class C and larger RV’s from Hymer with the famous Pual insulation (a wood free sandwich plate that does not soak up water) all have a “double floor” in which they carry their fresh water and waste water tanks. This double floor is heated automatically when you heat the RV with propoane, so it does not need extra power, to heat the tanks. These RV’s are perfect for 4 season camping. And most of these RV’s come with large bike garages in the back, to have your bikes stored theft proof and away from the elements. That and the 4 season capability was our reason to buy a slightly larger than a van Class C.

          Maybe you want to go to the CMT Show in Stuttgart/Germany (Happening every year in January), to see the whole Hymer program as well as almost all other European manufacturers. CMT is the second largest RV show in Germany after the Duesseldorf RV Show in August and I would be delighted to see you there and take you through the show.

        2. James - Post author

          Awesome. Thanks for all the good info. Making it to one of the big European shows is definitely on our list.
          Stef – Matt says he’ll show us around. Can we go?

    5. Ian

      Neat! I like seeing some floorplans that are a bit different than the usual suspects. The layout on that one reminds me of the Safari Condo Flex. I’m still enjoying building out my own rig, but its nice to see some options out there that could work.

    6. Al and Sherryl

      Nice work! There has been lots of speculation on who Hymer was teaming up with and how they would pull it off. Thanks for breaking it first!

    7. Carol

      Checked out the Hymer USA website and they say the fresh water tank is inside and the grey water is under the van floor and is heated so you can use all four seasons. That is very interesting. I think the tank sizes are about 26 gallons for both fresh and grey, so pretty good for the Promaster. Of course, that’s without the black tank. And while we’re on THAT topic…you have promised to give us some news about how the compost toilet is working out. 🙂

      1. James - Post author

        We have started filming bits of the composting toilet video here and there. But we have a lot of time-sensitive footage we got at Louisville that’s bumped it down the queue.

        1. Carol

          Okay, that’s good to know. And yeah, I’d say your Louisville show was certainly more time-sensitive! You did a great job, by the way, for “not being a journalist.” So, thank you and keep up the good work!

    8. Chris

      Neat little coach. Not sure what is premium about it to justify the price tag except for the name.

      If they have a Fuse twin bed model at the show I hope you are able to do a short video showing the interior of that.

    9. Andy & Kim

      This has been a long time coming!
      Many questions of course arise, but here’s three.

      1. Did she happen to mention when (if) they will have a USA web page with all the options available here?
      2. Electrical … How much battery and is there a solar option?
      3. How does it look “underneath”?

      Can’t wait to see one in person, thanks for the great video peek!

      Happy trails,
      Andy & Kim

      1. James - Post author

        Well, unfortunately, I don’t have much more information than what was in the video, but to answer your questions:
        1. I didn’t ask, so I don’t really know.
        2. The coaches we saw had no provision for solar. They said they were evaluating that going forward.
        3. Since we had limited time with them, and the coaches were prototypes anyway, I didn’t go underneath.

        I will say though that their black paint job with the orange accents is really striking in person. (I mean, it’s no yellow, but still, pretty nice.)

    10. Carol

      Hey, good scooping! The Hymer looks nice with some unique cabinet designs. I’ve never used the cassette toilet, but except for the fact that it’s smaller than a traditional black tank, I don’t see that it’s all that bad. It would give you more options to dump (even a pit toilet would work). I’d like to see one of these in person.

      1. James - Post author

        For occasional use, the cassette toilet should be fine.
        But if you were full-timing with it, it would get to be somewhat of a hassle, I think.
        Their plan of making it an option gives people the choice, which is nice.

    11. Ted

      Kudos on catching up with them (all the way out in Kentucky no less). Hymer has been kind of hard to track down till now.

      I’m wondering if they have removable propane gas canisters in one of the cabinets like they do for the Euro models or if they are going with a permanently mounted tank like everybody does in the U.S

      It would be nice if they will offer the rooftop bunk as an option, but I don’t know if there will be room for that along with the AC.

      It looks like their design would be amenable to raising the transverse bed high enough to fit bikes underneath if necessary

      It looks like there is a space under the smaller upper kitchen cabinet meant to fit a microwave which is currently absent.


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