The caravan manufacturer Hobby is expanding its range of camper vans and is surprising with a new cooperation partner. Based on the VW Crafter, they want to venture into the premium segment with a "maxi van" and are clearly opposed to Mercedes and the Sprinter.
With the Volkswagen division VW Commercial Vehicles, caravan specialist Hobby has found an alternative to the previously used Fiat Ducato and its Citroën brother Jumper, which is identical in construction, when it comes to the basic vehicles for its motorhomes. In addition, the brand, which has so far mainly served the mainstream with attractively priced models, is now entering the premium class, which is one of the fastest growing segments in the booming van sector. As the first model of the cooperation with VW, a high-roof van based on the Crafter has been announced for the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf at the end of August. In the long term, however, superstructures as partially or fully integrated vehicles could also follow.
"As a base vehicle, the Crafter has all the features that our customers already know from their cars and appreciate in particular in terms of safety," says Hobby Managing Director Bernd Löher, pleased about the new cooperation partner and the new base vehicle. With the premium in mind, the Ford Transit, to which many competitors have recently switched, was not an issue. Not even the Mercedes Sprinter, which is certainly a suitable first-class partner and which recently found new customers on its tour of conquest with Eura-Mobil and the Knaus-Tabbert brand Weinsberg. However, Bernd Löher is convinced that the Crafter can do even more than the van with the star in terms of driving comfort and safety systems.
Hobby is not yet revealing much about the converted Crafter panel van, which is to celebrate its premiere at the Caravan Salon. But since it at least has the working title "Maxia-Van", it should be clear that, like the Maxia caravan, it will also represent the spearhead of the van series. In addition, the interior will also be based on the Scandinavian hut cosiness, the smart functionality and the minimalist design of the caravan.
Of course, future customers of the hobby van will benefit from the advantages of the Crafter as a base vehicle, such as the cockpit similar to that of a car or the many assistance systems. The shortcoming that the Transporter is a few crucial centimeters too narrow for a rear transverse bed of a reasonable length is irrelevant. The premiere model of the Maxia van is based on the Crafter 680 with a high roof and long wheelbase, on which a single bed floor plan can easily be implemented with a total length of 6.84 meters - the most popular arrangement in the rear in Germany anyway.
Hobby is not naming prices at such an early stage. For orientation: At VW, the price list for the VW Grand California with a long wheelbase starts at just under 70,000 euros. But there is only the bare essentials on board. With the appropriate cockpit comfort, electronic helpers, infotainment, awning, satellite system and a few other amenities for the living room, this quickly drives up the final price of the camper van by the cost of a small car. That shouldn't be any different with Hobby.