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Hymer and BASF team up for a radical camper to redefine van life

Glamorous and sustainable -- you name it and the Hymer-BASF camper probably has it.

Hymer-BASF VisionVenture concept camper van
This is one fancy camper.

Even if you're not fond of the van life, a new concept from camper van-maker Hymer and chemical concoctor extraordinaire BASF may make you take a second look. It's called the VisionVenture concept, and it's chock-full of good stuff that make this more like a rolling five-star hotel with a touches of 21st-century wizardry.

It's not clear what forms the basis of this concept camper, but overall, it takes the look of a standard camper and modernizes it overall. The powertrain is also unclear, but that's alright because the devil is in all the incredible details. Both companies partnered to create 100 3D-printed components, including the wheel arches, some body components and small interior parts. The 3D-printed parts help keep the weight down and give designers more creative freedom for the final package.

Inside, the glamorous interior is complete with a kitchenette, dining space and a staircase that leads passengers to a pop-up tent bedroom. The area, which opens up in 60 seconds, is complete with a bed frame and mattress. While the spaces aren't atypical to campers, the BASF materials are totally new.

All the nifty materials in one infographic.


For example, the mattress and pillows feature a memory-foam effect and an Elasticoat Spraygel provides the mattress with a cooling effect. The outer portion of the pop-up tent is covered in a material that blocks noise from thunderstorms and regulates the bedroom's temperature. There's nothing worse than trying to fall asleep in a tent that's either too warm or cold.

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Elsewhere, a new imitation leather does its best impression of the material with the added benefits of no organic solvents. Wood and chipboard are out and natural elements like hemp and slate combine with plastics to create the cupboards. The staircase even includes the "Energy Boost" material from clothing and shoemaker Adidas for a little more pep while walking up the stairs.

Back to the exterior: a few new advances help create a more efficient camper. While most campers feature a light color to help keep temperatures cooler inside, the VisionVenture is dark green and black. Heat remains no match, thanks to temperature-management technology within the finish material; it actually reflects the sun's infrared light, which keeps the camper cooler even with dark colors. BASF said this technology can help reduce the temperature by as much as 39 degrees Fahrenheit inside.

While all of this stuff sounds incredibly futuristic, Hymer and BASF promise it's coming soon. Neither company provided a timeline, but the VisionVenture concept is supposedly a "near-production" vehicle.

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