It's almost unbelievable how much the RV market is exploding.

And apparently more and more young people, let's say under 30, are interested in upscale camping.

We used to go on vacation with tents and cars, all the way to Corfu.

Today, however, people in their mid-twenties want more comfort - we have pampered them - and they are seriously considering buying a motorhome.

This is made possible by the still fresh class of camper vans, i.e. delivery vans, the inner workings of which behind the two front seats are filled with all kinds of equipment for eating, cooking, sleeping and washing instead of with space for cargo.

Boris Schmidt

Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.

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Because building a conventional motorhome with its own cabin is much more expensive, camper vans are initially much cheaper. Instead of the bare chassis along with the engine and drive train (called cowl), motorhome manufacturers like Hymer get the complete van, which is then removed from the inside. In addition, the windows are cut into the outer skin, often supplemented by a pop-up roof.

A base price of 49,990 euros for a 5.93 meter long vehicle makes you sit up and take notice, especially since in this case a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has been removed. Hymer also offers something similar on the basis of Fiat Ducato, in which case the basic prices are around 5,000 euros lower. The extra effort could be worth it. The driver of the Hymer Sprinter was absolutely convincing, and it also comes with many assistants that come from the world of passenger cars, such as adaptive cruise control, 360-degree reversing camera, traffic sign recognition or the MBUX multimedia system - although there are some for a surcharge. "Hey Mercedes" works too. “What can I do for you?” “Next destination: Bad Waldsee” and the navigation system starts calculating and immediately gives instructions on where to go.

Furthermore, front-wheel drive is certainly not a disadvantage on a wet meadow, and the 2.1-liter diesel engine with its 143 hp is neither excessively loud nor does it have any problems getting the load going. Just loaded up on the mountain, he'll run out of breath. The test car had the formidable nine-speed automatic (2690 euros), which shifts gently and helps to keep diesel consumption relatively low on long journeys. We came to an average of 10.0 liters per 100 kilometers, at speeds between 110 and 120 km / h. The top is 145 km / h. In terms of driving, everything is a sprinter, the cockpit is also the same, including the unusual solution of placing the cup holder behind the (analog) speedometer unit and thus in front of the windshield.

Living in the Hymer Free begins directly behind the front seats, which can be rotated.

In the direction of travel behind the pilot on the left is a two-seater bench with a table in front of it.

Those who sit here need stamina on long journeys, especially if there are four of you and you take the seatbelt obligation seriously.

Once you have reached your destination, quickly extend the awning (990 euros), turn the driver's chair around and put the camping equipment (table, two chairs, 290 euros) next to the car, then the holiday can begin.

The pop-up roof, which in turn costs 4490 euros and makes the Hymer a four-person motorhome, can remain down for the time being.

The headroom is sufficient.

A sliding door on the right gives access to the living area from the side.

An electrically extending step is part of the basic equipment.