The History of the Motorhome Industry



A trip to Motorhome Mecca would not be complete without a stop at the Erwin Hymer Museum to check out the more than 80 exhibits that tell the story of the history of motorhoming in Europe.

Across the road from the Hymer factory is the Erwin Hymer Museum. This purpose built 6000 square metre exhibition tells the story of recreational vehicle manufacturing in Europe - starting with the earliest caravans and showcasing the advances in design and production over the years. Interestingly, most of the stories on the panels next to the classic motorhomes and caravans began with “Mr X built a caravan for his family. His friends loved it and asked him to build one for them. And so the Y company began”.

Aside from the remarkable collection of nearly 100 motorhomes and caravans dating back to the 1920s, the museum also has many interactive displays. The computer generated “build a motorhome” application tests your knowledge of the order in which a motorhome is put together. Thankfully we had just completed the Hymer factory tour so we were well prepared.

The test of a really great museum is the amount of time you spend there without looking at your watch. Suffice to say, closing time came much earlier than anticipated. We had a much greater appreciation of where the industry has come from and a sense of what’s possible in the future of European RV industry.