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Is this travel trailer the future of RV design?

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And it’s all controlled by an app

A blue camper trailer is attached to a blue van. The trailer and van are in a large white showroom. Courtesy of Eriba/Hymer

We may not have flying cars and space vacations yet—although that’s coming—but today’s homes of the future are packed with high-tech and fresh designs. Compare that to most campers on the road, however, and it’s clear that many of our beloved homes-on-the-go are stuck in 1995. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

Head to any RV show or dealership and you’ll quickly drown in a sea of uninspired design. Beige, white, and black RVs dominate the picture, each with the same swoops, swirls, and stripes that never seem to evolve or update. Especially from the outside, it’s hard to tell the difference between the Crusader Challengers, the Mighty Winds, and the Revelation Royals—no matter their class type.

Camper interior design has improved over the years, with big-time manufacturers like Winnebago earning awards for modern interiors featuring stainless steel accents, Corian countertops, and a clean look. But it’s no wonder that the RV that has seen the most innovative changes in design—the Class B adventure van—has taken Instagram and the camper world by storm. Peruse any #VanLife feed and you’ll find Bohemian-inspired wood interiors, unique tiling, and a fresh take on what mobile living can look like.

The latest camper to impress comes out of Europe and just debuted at the CMT show in Stuttgart, Germany. Eriba’s new Touring 820 builds on almost six decades of history for a brand that is known across the pond for both functionality and reliability. Steel cage construction supports an aluminum-skinned shell, and the Touring 820 boasts wraparound front and rear windshields and a porthole-style window on the driver’s side.

The 28-foot trailer looks modern and clean, almost like an updated take on the classic Airstream trailer. Dual-tone shading and understated striping—goodbye, dated maroon swirls—add to the sleek look, and from design to manufacturing, the entire trailer just looks fresh.

Large windows and good lighting make the interior feel bright and airy.

Inside, elegant interiors offer luxuries without feeling stuffy. Rounded furniture was inspired by modern yacht design, and dark leather upholstery contrasts with the lightness of the walls and lighting. A galley kitchen gets an upgrade from the sad cooking spaces of yesterday’s RVs thanks to curved lines, recessed shelving, and a slide-out coffeemaker tray.

Likewise, a bathroom across from the kitchen includes separate shower and toilet sections, and the white and wood elements work together nicely. A rear sleeping area takes advantage of the large-format windows, and the dinette can convert to a second bed when needed to sleep four.

The entire trailer is outfitted with a new smart home system that lets you monitor the camper’s systems both from a standard interior control panel and a smartphone app. Tap a few buttons and you can manage battery levels, fresh and waste water, and gas. Other options include a solar system and an entertainment system with 32-inch TV and satellite connectivity.

The Touring 820 weighs 4,365 pounds and will debut in Europe in spring 2019 at a base price of about $85,300. And while it’s unlikely to be sold in the U.S. any time soon, what’s most important about the Touring 820 isn’t in the specs and tow weights.

Instead, the Touring 820 shows that we can rethink what RV design can look like, even in a travel trailer. Innovative camper design has most recently focused on what a camper can do; we’ve seen motorhomes covered in solar panels, a camper trailer that unfolds into a two-bedroom tiny house, and another trailer that also functions as a boat.

The Touring 820 doesn’t do anything unique. Instead, it’s an excellent example of what a 21st-century trailer can look like when manufacturers forego the clichéd design tropes of the past and focus on sleek, function-oriented, simple design.

Dining seating looks out onto the entertainment area and galley kitchen.
The rear sleeping area fits two, and the front dinette also transforms into a bed for two.
A large bathroom features a separate area for toilet and shower.
Rounded edges and a porthole give the classic galley kitchen an update.