A familiar quandary experienced by globetrotting motorhome owners is the problem of sourcing a secondary form of transport at your chosen vacation destination. Whilst a number of options are available to RVers - from renting a car to towing your vehicle; either four wheels down or on a trailer/dolly - you know that you’ve entered the ranks of the rich and famous (or you’re getting pretty darn close) when your rig actually incorporates its very own car garage.
Integrating a car garage into an RV presents motorhome manufacturers with a unique set of design challenges. The main hurdle is devising an internal car carrying capability that has a minimal impact on the interior living space of the motorhome - a challenge that is compounded by the diesel pusher chassis format of many larger recreational vehicles. This has, as a consequence, led to some truly ingenious car carrying solutions.
On this side of the pond American chassis manufacturer Spartan Motors Inc., in partnership with Travel Supreme, chose to transfer the diesel engine from the rear to the centre of the RV chassis and in doing so created the world’s first mid-engined RV.
The (Spartan)Travel Supreme ME (USA)
The Travel Supreme ME was a 41-foot-long Class A motorhome built on the Spartan Motors Me2 mid-engine chassis. Unlike a conventional diesel pusher the ME platform placed the engine in the middle of the coach below the frame rails thus allowing a 12-foot deep (440 cubic feet) storage garage to be incorporated at the rear. The twin slide ME was built by Elkhart, Indiana based RV maker Travel Supreme who, sadly, went out of business in 2008.
By contrast, Germany’s Volkner Mobil opted to place a car garage beneath the subfloor and between the axles of their coach. An ingenious feat of Teutonic engineering that not only won them a number of industry accolades but also gained them the BBC “Top Gear” seal of approval. Check out the slideshow.
Volkner Mobil Performance (Germany)
Gerhard Volkner’s Performance motorhome not only comes equipped with its own hydraulic drop down-slide out vehicle cargo bay but also sports a full length lateral slide. The larger Performance model can easily accommodate a vehicle up to 16 feet (5 metres) in length including a BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK or even a Maserati Quattroporte.
RV owners who don’t have the budget for the Performance motorhome can opt for the equally impressive Volkner Mobil 1050 HG – available on the MB Atego, MB ACTROS and Volvo B12M chassis -which incorporates a rear car garage that can handle most small cars including the MINI.
Another popular alternative is to mate the coach to a chassis where the engine is situated at the front of the rig like the MAN TGL or Mercedes-Benz Actros platforms.
Carthago Liner de luxe (Germany)
In 2011, German motorhome manufacturer Carthago Reisemobilbau GmbH rolled out the 82Q Pkw floor plan for its Carthago Liner de luxe motorhome. Based primarily on the MAN TGL 10.250 chassis but also available on the Iveco Daily platform the RV incorporates a rear car garage that’s big enough to house a Smart Fortwo or Fiat 500. Check out the slideshow.
Stauber Actro Liner 1200+1 (Germany)
Goddert-based Stauber Motorhomes manufacture a range of specialist RV’s which includes the 12-metre-long, triple-axle, diesel powered Actro Liner 1200+1. Built on the rugged Mercedes-Benz Actros chassis the triple slide rig not only provides a 14-foot-wide living area but also includes an extendable rear car garage that’s big enough to house a BMW 5 series. The Actro Liner’s ability to house a mid-size car is a feat that Stauber’s competitors have, as yet, been unable to match.
The 1200+1 motorhome – which more closely resembles a Panzer tank - includes marble floors, a steam shower and an incredible rising master bedroom in a centrally located vertical slide. Bloody awesome!
The RS Envoy (Great Britain)
Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire-based RS Motorhomes has been manufacturing bespoke motorhomes under the guidance of Mick Rowe for over three decades. The RS Envoy - based on a Mercedes-Benz Actros chassis – and the RS Evolution – based on the MB Atego platform – can both be modified to include a car garage that can handle a Peugeot 107, Smart Fortwo or a classic Caterham sports car. Better still, the garage also incorporates a super cool hydraulic lift gate (see video).
Unlike other major RV manufacturers, Germany’s “Most Mobile Specials” took an entirely different route by utilizing a gargantuan Class 8 tractor-trailer for their “Sports and Spa” motorhome.
Most Futuria (Germany)
Futuria’s custom built 2-berth tractor-trailer debuted in August 2010 at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany. The limited edition corporate motorhome comes complete with an entertainment lounge, an eleven foot roof terrace with its own heated Whirlpool bath and a full size car garage.
Accessed via a telescoping stern ramp, the spacious car garage – which includes a 230v winch, storage box and tie-downs – can easily handle most sports cars which makes it the ideal RV choice for the well-heeled F1 or NASCAR fan. The unit is priced at a mere $476,000 (€380,270).
Michael and Ulrike Ketterer are renowned amongst the horsey set for their luxury equestrian horseboxes but have also produced some stunning top-of-the line motorhomes for clients including the Continental 11250. The company’s recent acquisition of Schuler Fahrzeugbau GmbH a specialist tractor-trailer truck manufacturer will no doubt give Ketterer even more design options in the future.
Related: The world’s best mega RV trailers
Ketterer Continental 11250 (Germany)
Ketterer Spezialfahrzeuge AG Continental 11250 Class A motorhome includes the company’s signature 1- metre-wide and 7-metre-long (21 feet) lateral slide out, a standard 2.50m x 1.20m slide out – from their double pop out motorhome series - on the opposite side as well as a rear entry car garage large enough to handle a Smart Fortwo or similar sized vehicle. The motorhome was displayed at the 2012 Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Haulmark 3311 MG (United States)
Elkhart, Indiana-based Haulmark Motorcoach manufactures a number of motorhomes with a car garage option. The largest floor plan – the Haulmark 3311 MG – provides an 18’ 9” garage space with 14’ living quarters including a 60” sleeping area over the Command Centre Cab. The 3-5 berth rig – built on a Columbia, Coranado or Volvo chassis - can carry a car or up to 6 bikes/ATVs. Check out the slideshow.
Vario Mobil Perfect 1200 (Germany)
This 12-metre-long triple-axle motorhome - manufactured by Bohmte, Osnabrück-based VARIOmobil Fahrzeugbau GmbH - includes 3 slide outs and an integrated passenger car garage below the master bedroom that’s big enough to house a Mini cabriolet. The luxury interior includes a fully equipped kitchen, granite floors, Corian countertops and cherry wood furniture with Alcantara upholstery.
The Platinum 1200 utilizes a Volvo B12 M chassis and is powered by a 6-cylinder turbo charged diesel engine with a 5 speed automatic transmission. The rig comes equipped with a Kohler 6KW generator, 110 watt solar module and 2x12v/220AH gel batteries.
Concorde Liner Plus (Germany)
The Liner Plus - manufactured by Germany’s Concorde Reisemobile GmbH - offers prospective customers no less than 7 different garage models which can accommodate a variety of small passenger vehicles like the Smart Fortwo, Scion iQ, Fiat 500 and MINI.
At 11.5 metres (38 feet) in length and 2.49 metres (8 feet) wide the unit features a luxury interior including a full size bathroom and an elegant rear bedroom.
The Concorde Liner Plus 1150 GMINI model is listed with an MSRP of €279,700 ($350,000) on the MAN TGL chassis or €290,100 ($363,000) on the MAN TGM chassis. Check out the slideshow.