Review: Hobby's motorhomes and caravans

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer


Hobby Hobby's caravan and motorhome Hobby
2015 kw vantana k65 innen einzelbetten BEAR Vantana K60: There’s an option of twin north-south singles 2015 kw vantana k65 innen einzelbetten BEAR
Vantana K60 van Vantana K60 van Vantana K60 van
2017 kw vantana k60fs innen waschraum PR Vantana K60: Bathroom 2017 kw vantana k60fs innen waschraum PR
Hobby CI Bus management system Premium 660WFU: Bus management system Hobby CI Bus management system
Caravan entrance door Premium 660WFU: entrance door Caravan entrance door
Caravan IMG 2121 Premium 660WFU: Storage space opposite the bed Caravan IMG 2121

MCD review Hobby’s two-berth Vantana K60 van and the Premium 660WFU twin-axle caravan available in NZ

German manufacturer Hobby has been a stalwart of the European caravan and motorhome industry for 50 years. Mount Maunganui’s On The Way RV is delighted to have recently added several of the innovative company’s models to its roster.

Hobby's success

German manufacturer Hobby has been a stalwart of the European caravan and motorhome industry for 50 years. Mount Maunganui’s On The Way RV is delighted to have recently added several of the innovative company’s models to its roster.

Hobby has just celebrated the 50th anniversary of production at its Fockbek factory in northern Germany.

The company has enjoyed success almost from its very beginnings. By 1972, just five years after the company was founded, its 5000th caravan rolled down the production line.

Started by Harald Striewski, the manufacturer is a mainstay of the German caravan and motorhome industry and remains a family business; Harald’s son Michael become managing director
in 2015.

Hobby can even count a couple of firsts among its development as a manufacturer, including the transportable toilet cassette and innovative caravan reversing mechanisms.

In the mid-1980s, the integrated Hobby 600 model won the ‘Motorhome of the Year’ title no less than 12 times and this classic camper still has a following in Europe 30 years on.

Today, Hobby is the largest caravan manufacturer in the world, with around 1100 factory employees and 600 dealers in Europe alone. The brand is distributed further afield too, even in territories you might not expect, such as Chile, China, and Sri Lanka.

Down here in our neck of the woods, I recently caught up with Mal and Alisha Brady at On The Way RV in Mount Maunganui, who hold Hobby distribution rights for the North Island.

Understandably, the On The Way RV team is delighted to have Hobby in the fold. They’ve plenty of models on order, but for now, were keen to show MCD readers two models from different sides of Hobby’s ledger: the clever two-berth Vantana K60 van and the sumptuous Premium 660WFU twin-axle caravan.

The Vantana K60

Vatana -K60

The two-berth Hobby Vantana K60 features one of the cleverest storage solutions I’ve seen in some time.

Kitchenette

2017_kw _vantana _k 60fs _innen _kueche _BEAR

Have a look around the kitchenette of this cleverly-compact van; it might take you a few seconds but something is missing. Where’s the fridge? What looks to be a hip-level fridge unit separating the kitchenette from the east-west bed at the rear actually turns out to be a large closet.

The answer lies at eye-level. That’s right. The cubbies above the kitchenette are actually three-segmented fridge compartments. How ingenious is that? Two of the three units are top-hinged, while the central unit is a slide-out
drawer containing handy standing
space for bottles.

Bathroom

But the innovations don’t end there. The Vantana K60 also features a novel sliding toilet. Don’t worry, it won’t slide around while you’re on it. But when you’re using the washroom to shower or brush your teeth and you’d like more standing room, the toilet slides out of the way underneath an overhang. It’s another simple but effective innovation from a company with 50 years practice in getting the details right.

Folding bed

 2017_kw _vantana _k 60fs _innen _lattenrost _BEAR

At the rear of this compact van, the choice of having an east-west double bed or twin north-south singles is yours. The bedding folds up and so can be out of the way during the day, allowing for a direct passage through the length of the van, giving the Vantana distinct day and night configurations.

The Premum 660WFU

 Mal Brady sums up the exterior look of the 8865mm-long Hobby Premium 660WFU caravan when he describes it as being "like a European Airstream caravan". I can’t argue with that; it really does and, as a result, it seems to exhibit the same retro opulence of the original.

Obviously though, inside and out, things have moved on a little from the caravan whose classic lines it appears to emulate. Although, in saying that, the use of chrome detailing inside adds a touch of nostalgia in a fashion-forward sort of way.

Seating

 Caravan _U-shaped -sofa

Upfront, a huge U-shaped sofa setting seats the entire family around a beautifully finished (and retro-styled) dining table. Opposite the kitchen, which sits amidship and features one generous benchtop, is a full-length fridge, occasional storage, and a glass-fronted cabinet for wine glasses or other ‘on show’ items. Alisha tells me you can even order Hobby-specific
wine glasses.

Kitchenette

Apartment -style -kitchen

Eye-level storage cubbies are everywhere and there is even a dedicated bread bin with roller-door above the kitchenette bench. The kitchenette also features two separate slide-out pantry compartments; it’s apartment kitchen chic for the road and indicative of this near-to-top model from Hobby’s caravan range.

Bed and bathroom

Bathroom -in -caravan

A French bed is poised to the side of the entryway to the rear bathroom.

Through the solid door sits possibly the most generously-proportioned bathroom area I’ve ever seen. It’s gargantuan, with actual floor space to cover between the toilet on one side and the shower on the other (as opposed to being able to touch every wall from a central point, which is more usually the case). Not only is there a large vanity and shower, along with plenty of knee room around the toilet, but there is also a heap of storage in here.

Stylised indents in the wall panels make for interesting but practical shelf space, while yet more cupboard space complements other cupboards (including a full-length closet) back in the sleeping area opposite the bed.

The verdict on Hobby

Hobby -together

Hobby presents good hardware, packed with innovative solutions to make life on the road that much easier. We’ve taken a broad overview of two key models from the German manufacturer’s compact van and extensive caravan lines, but there is plenty more to discover here.

I’m hoping we will get the chance to check out other examples from Hobby’s lineup in more detail in the months ahead.

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