Technical know-how, the pioneering spirit of the entrepreneur and a healthy dose of ambition and hard work – all of these were typical of Erwin Hymer, who died in April 2013. From modest beginnings in Bad Waldsee, Germany, he created the Erwin Hymer Group. This conglomerate of companies, which includes his iconic Hymer brand, now ranks among the leading motorhome and caravan manufacturers in Europe.
The legendary Hymer brand began its speedy rise to fame in 1956, when Erwin Hymer, a talented young engineer in the airplane industry, decided to make a dramatic career change. Shifting his focus from designing planes, Erwin collaborated with engineer Erich Bachem to develop Hymer’s first travel trailer. In 1957, after only 8 weeks, Erwin Hymer completed his prototype…and a legend was born. This new vehicle quickly went into production, launching a company that would redefine leisure travel forever.
Hymer’s next decisive step came in 1971 with the launch of the first Hymer motorhome – a key milestone in Hymer’s long corporate history. The past 60 years have seen a wide variety of series, models and layouts. Many of these motorhomes and travel trailers set standards and ushered in new trends – especially in terms of technology, comfort, quality, design and safety. As a result, the concept of mobile travel has always been inseparably linked with the Hymer name.
For decades, Erwin Hymer’s inventiveness and ceaseless creativity shaped an entire industry. For him, incorporating customers’ wishes into the development of new and improved vehicles was always a matter of principle. Today, Erwin’s entire life’s work still provides a model for the future success of the company he founded. His passion and professionalism continue to be built into the development and construction of every one of our vehicles.
HYMER opened up a new dimension in mobile holidays with the development of the “Caravano” in 1961. This panel van was to lay the foundationsboth for the company and the category of compact leisure vehicles. Thanks to its easy maneuverability, compact outer dimensions and seating arrangement, the camper was suitable not just for holidays, but also for weekend trips or everyday use as a second car.
1923 Alfons Hymer begins production of agricultural vehicles.
1957 Erich Bachem (“ERIBA”) and Erwin Hymer build the original “Troll”, the first caravan.
1961 HYMER evolves from a craft enterprise into an industrial manufacturer. The first hand built HYMER motorhome, the Caravano, makes its debut.
1975 The two camper vans 500 and 501 on a Mercedes L 206 D/L 207 base – with cara- van-style lifting roof – usher in a new product category.
1980 The Bedford Blitz-based Hymer T-Class with lifting roof offers an extra berth thanks to folding bucket seats in the back.
1982 From now on, the camper vans are known as HYMERCARS. The angular HYMERCAR 1 based on the Ford Transit has a strong visual resemblance to American vans.
1983 The semi-integrated Eribacar is a cross between the Renault Trafic transporter and the caravan body of the Touring range.
1985 The new Fiat Ducato-based HYMERCAR 2 is notable for its practical layout with separable washroom and toilet. The Fiat Ducato based HYMERCAR 3 is also launched at the same time, featuring a stylish high roof, distinctive longitudinal seats and an extra bed.
1989 Family are launched on the market simultaneously, introducing the distinctive corrugated high roof and new floor plan.
1992 HYMER gives its HYMERCAR fleet a makeover, introducing a new duo: the Magic (left) boasts a bathroom, while the Fantasy is notable for its storage space.
1993 Small is beautiful: the less than four-metre-long HYMER Van based on the tiny Fiat Talento is the ideal camper for couples.
1994 The HYMERCAR Fantasy goes out of production; only the Magic remains – and is promptly voted “Motorhome of the Year”
2008 It’s the details that count in the relaunched HYMERCAR range, with angled furniture and a folding table providing more freedom of movement.
2011 The new improved model range sets new standards in terms of comfort and spaciousness, featuring a separate washroom with shower and toilet.
2013 The HYMERCAR Cape Town rolls off the production line – the first HYMERCAR to be built on a VW T5 chassis.
2014 The models Sydney Drive (without bathroom) and Serengeti (with bathroom) boast flexible interior designs and individually organised stowage space.
2015 The latest HYMERCAR model bears the evocative name Ayers Rock. It has a fixed rear bed and comes with various heating options.
The ERWIN HYMER MUSEUM invites you to take a unique discovery tour through the history, present and future of mobile holidaying.
At the permanent exhibition covering over 6,000 square meters, more than 80 historic caravans and motorhomes are on display. Visitors can travel along the world’s dream routes. They get to know the cultural and historical background of mobile holidaying, immerse themselves in the history of the pioneers, and discover exciting things from the areas of technology, development, production and design.
The world of mobile holidaying will not only thrill travel, design and technology fans, but the whole family. The ERWIN HYMER MUSEUM is a museum where you can touch and join in, up-close through interactive media.
Click here to go to the museum site with opening times, prices and other information.