Most motorhome builders use the chassis that comes with the base vehicle for their motorhomes, or buy a separate chassis from suppliers such as. AL-KO.
Erwin Hymer Group has decided to develop and build their own chassis for motorhomes. This gives an even larger share in the motorhome’s total value chain, makes it possible to adapt the chassis even better to its own needs and wishes and responds more flexibly to developments.
The latter is especially important. As a motorhome builder, you are usually dependent on what the suppliers have to offer. This means that you order a combination of chassis and towing head from a manufacturer of basic vehicles, or that you only buy the separate towing head there and purchase a chassis elsewhere. But in either case, you are dependent on what is on the market. And sometimes, as one currently plays with the Fiat Ducato, there is just very little available on the market.
If you had to produce the chassis yourself, you could make them exactly as it suits the production of the motorhomes. You can also adapt them very flexibly to market developments and you are less dependent on any problems with the suppliers.
Therefore, the Erwin Hymer Group has decided to (also) manufacture these chassis from now on. After a construction period of about two years, Hymer was able to open the new production hall for the ‘Super Light Chassis’ (SLC) in Bad Waldsee. This makes Hymer the first motorhome builder to start series production of its own chassis in June.
Hans-Georg Rauh, Technical Director of Hymer GmbH & Co. KG .: “We decided to have our own SLC production at the Bad Waldsee plant in order to be more independent of suppliers and to be able to respond flexibly to new technological trends in the future. Our own production also allows us to coordinate the chassis and bodywork even better and develop us further as a unit. ”
Latest technologies of 3,100 m²
Thanks to its own chassis factory, Hymer can for the first time offer recreational vehicles that, in addition to the drive itself, come from one and the same source. The new production facility covers an area of 3100 square meters and combines a modern production line with adjacent logistics areas.
The design of the production processes was based on proven LEAN methods and the most modern manufacturing and assembly concepts. This will further optimize the production of recreational vehicles in the Bad Waldsee area. In the future, customers will receive recreational vehicles of even higher quality. This is because the chassis can be tuned and optimized more directly to the body and can also be further developed.
An important part of the process design is the automated solutions for safety-relevant activities. For example, they invested in assembly technologies that live up to the high demands of process speed and safety. The ergonomic design of the individual work steps also played an important role in production planning.
A further addition to the traditional manufacturer’s existing production processes are the various test benches at the end of the chassis’ main assembly line, which in the future will be used for quality testing and quality assurance of the self-produced chassis.
Initially, Hymer will use the new production facility for the production of the SLC chassis with five different wheelbases – starting with the short variants from 3.90 meters up to the tandem axle for, for example, the B-Class MasterLine I 890.
Christian Bauer, Chairman of the Board of Hymer GmbH & Co. KG: “Hymer has been known as a pioneer in the motorhome and caravan industry for over 60 years. We are proud that with the opening of the SLC hall, we are now the first bodybuilder to actively enter chassis production and thus take a future-oriented step. ”