Peek-a-Bugatti! What’s in the Belly of This Motorhome?
The most impressive rig we’ve ever seen while camping happened to be docked right in front of us. The 70-foot spectacle consisted of a top-of-the-line diesel Newmar King Aire luxury motor coach towing a matching stacker trailer. Inside the stacker was an Audi and a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. You couldn’t help but stare and wonder what they thought of our entry-level setup.
When the congenial owner invited us inside to take a gander at the glorious interior, we couldn’t resist. From heated floors to multiple televisions and bathrooms, the thing was nicer and larger than many houses. And with a seven-figure price tag, it indeed was their home. They were full-time RVers—permanent travelers, professional friend-makers, and passionate learners.
Towing a trailer with a large RV, however, can be a cumbersome task. It’s hard to back up, difficult to maneuver in adverse weather or challenging roads, and prohibitive when it comes to finding a campground that’ll accommodate such a large setup. We learned all this from our new friends. Likewise, an RV with a rear-loading garage eliminates the trailer but can gobble up a lot of interior real estate.
Is there another way to carry your daily in-town car when RVing? There’s always flat towing—and we’ve seen our fair share of RVs flat towing Ford Super Dutys—but not everyone wants to do that.
Wuppertal, Germany-based Volkner Mobil has another solution in the form of a lower-level, side-load vehicle garage nestled between the front and rear axles. A vehicle platform replaces traditional storage compartments in the belly of the coach, completely concealing the fact that there’s a car on-board. It’s like when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wedges the family wagon under the logging truck while changing lanes in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation—only on purpose. And the loading method is a tad different, of course. If you’ve seen this type of setup before, there’s a good chance it was a Volkner rig.
Volkner Mobil recently showed off some of its impressive underbelly car-carrying coaches from its performance series (Performance Perfection, Elfer Performance, and Performance S) at the 2021 Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany, where about 645 exhibitors presented various motorhomes and camper vans. These Volkner diesel pushers (rear engine) coaches feature the ludicrous “ground floor” central garage, full air suspension, slide-outs for more interior room, and ridiculously posh ultra-modern interior designs. The Volvo-based, Volkner-modified coaches also include collision warning, emergency brake assist, lane departure warning, and cruise control.
Volkner’s Performance S motor coach stole the show, however, as it glowingly stowed a Bugatti Chiron in its central garage compartment. The whole setup was reported to be worth $7.7 million dollars. The Performance S runs about $2.4 million; this particular one had a $355,000 sound system.
How’s that for one-upping your camping mates?
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