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Knaus Tabbert Caravisio: The shape of caravans to come?

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Jandelsbrunn, Bavaria-based Knaus Tabbert GmbH are best known to North American RVers for their stunning T@B travel trailer (manufactured in the U.S. by Pleasant Valley Trailers). This year the design team at Knaus Tabbert have managed to live up to their towering industry reputation by delivering yet another striking travel trailer, the twenty-six-foot-long twin-axle Caravisio, which debuted at the 2013 Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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With a fingerprint entry system, fully-controllable air suspension and a frosted (smart glass) dual-paned sliding door leading to a drop down rear veranda (all of which can be controlled via a smart phone app), the prototype Caravisio -- which represents a serious attempt to arrest the decline in the European caravan market -- certainly lives up to its billing as “the caravan of the future.” According to Alexander Wehrmann, Knaus Tabbert Group Spokesman, the immediate reaction to the Caravisio has been “overwhelmingly positive,” with visitors to the Caravan Salon “fascinated by the exterior and interior design and the functionality of the unit.”

With a two year lead time, from the first sketch to the assembled prototype, the Caravisio is brim full of state-of-the-art technologies from its panoramic stem to its elegant stern. According to Wehrmann, the vessel’s smooth exterior lines and the stunning marine inspired interior belies the difficulty of the design challenges that engineers at Knaus Tabbert had to overcome, not least the creation of the large disc shaped bow and the construction of a classic maritime-style rear transom (see video for a walk through of the Caravisio).

In the bow, and further evidence of the unit’s nautical design cues, Tabbert has provided two single beds -- configured in V-shape -- which can be combined to form a large double bed. The stylish panoramic windows -- similar to those employed on the TripBuddy or Evergreen Element -- not only provides the trailer with its distinctive appearance but also improves the trailer’s aerodynamic handling characteristics and, perhaps most importantly to the camping and RVing fraternity, presents occupants with an unparalleled view of their surroundings once at their destination.

The Caravisio’s spacious salon, with its real wood parquet floor, also includes a full-HD projection TV (integrated into the ceiling) which beams pictures directly onto the rear sliding doors (see slideshow), thus instantly elevating the Caravisio (at least in the eyes of the male population) from a cool concept caravan into what has to be considered one of the world’s best tailgating vehicles.

There have been a few stand-out travel trailer designs in the past few years including Britain’s TripBuddy (Bill Davis), America’s Earthbound and Evergreen Element Travel Trailers (Dan Rodabaugh), Australia’s Bolwell Edge, France’s Beau ER (Eric Beau) and Canada’s Alto Safari Condo (Daniel Nadeau) which have all eloquently demonstrated the need for innovation in the global travel trailer industry. Prototype or not, the Knaus Tabbert Caravisio can indubitably count itself amongst that select pantheon of recreational vehicles.

Caravisio Specifications: Total length 801cm • Internal width 234 • Total height 260cm/ internal height 194cm • Tyre Size 235/45 R17 • Fresh water capacity 50 litres • Black/Grey water capacity 45 litres • Whale (Webasto) Hot Water Heater • 105l Fridge with ice box and wine cooler • Creative LP gas Hob •

Contact: Knaus Tabbert, Helmut-Knaus-Straße 1, 94118 Jandelsbrunn, Germany • Tel: +49 8583 211 • Website: www.knaustabbert.de

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