Located in Bad Waldsee, Germany, the Erwin Hymer Museum invites you to explore the fascinating world of recreational vehicles, particularly the history of the motorhome. This extraordinary museum spans over 10,000 square meters across two floors, showcasing an impressive collection of caravans and motorhomes, tracing their evolution over the decades.

A bit of history about the Hymer brand

Hymer is considered a pioneer in the realm of motorhomes and caravanning in general.

The story began in the 1950s, when Erwin Hymer developed his first caravan as part of a project assigned by his father, who owned an agricultural vehicle company at the time. Erwin Hymer quickly sold several hundred units.

By 1961, Erwin Hymer launched the brand’s first motorhome model, the “Caravano,” produced in very limited numbers in a highly artisanal manner.

The brand’s significant milestone came in 1971 with the introduction of the first “Hymermobil,” laying the foundation for modern motorhomes.

Since then, the brand has continued to innovate, establishing new standards such as the development of the PUAL structure (Polyurethane/Aluminum) in 1978—a construction combining aluminum, polyurethane foam, and plywood, known for its strength and excellent thermal insulation properties without thermal bridges.

Since this technology has evolved, it is still used in modern vehicles, and here are its main advantages:

  • Wood-free construction (no wooden frame)
  • Excellent thermal insulation against cold and heat
  • The insulation of a 3 cm PUAL panel is equivalent to that of a solid brick wall 68 cm thick
  • Polyurethane foam is hydrophobic, rot-proof, and lightweight
  • Significant torsional strength and rigidity, resistant to high loads
  • Better durability and increased resistance to winter conditions

In 2018, the family-owned Erwin Hymer Group was acquired by the powerful American conglomerate Thor Industries, merging the two companies to create the largest motorhome manufacturing group!

Which brands are part of the Hymer Group?

Today, Hymer is a group encompassing several brands such as Bürstner, Dethleffs, Eriba… making it one of the most important players in the caravanning world.

The main brands of the Erwin Hymer Group include:

  • Carado
  • Dethleffs
  • Eriba
  • Etrusco
  • Hymer
  • Sunlight
  • Bürstner
  • Crosscamp
  • Laika
  • LMC
  • Niesmann+Bischoff

Presentation of the Erwin Hymer Museum

The museum features over 200 exhibits, mostly restored or displayed in their original condition: motorhomes, caravans, vintage cars, motorcycles… all presented through an engaging journey that traces their evolution over the years.

The vehicles in their original state are quite amusing because they are decorated and equipped with plenty of original period objects from the vehicle’s era—items that were used and therefore have a story. Some vehicles are accompanied by a plaque with a brief note about their former owners, their journeys, stories, and travels… offering a more immersive dive into their everyday lives. One can easily imagine how they traveled, what they experienced, and what they went through!

Among them are vehicles outfitted for everyday people, family vehicles, and others belonging to true adventurers!

For example:

  • Explore the creation of the very first caravans: discover the initial models developed, from compact designs to larger ones like the iconic American Airstream trailers!
  • Experience the introduction of vans, including the Volkswagen Combi!
  • Step back in time with the first motorhomes from the 1960s, such as the pioneering Hymermobil and others.

t’s noteworthy that visitors can climb aboard certain vehicles for a complete immersion in the era! This includes a beautiful Airstream caravan, a rare opportunity worth highlighting.

The museum’s thematic thread is centered around travel. Throughout your visit, you’ll journey across continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. For a more immersive experience across these continents, you’ll encounter unique tents along the way. These tents will transport you into the atmosphere of different countries. For instance, in the African section, you’ll step into a tent immersed in Moroccan sights and sounds—people speaking, the bustling noise of souks… The auditory immersion in these meticulously crafted settings is complete!

Visiting the Erwin Hymer Museum with kids

The museum visit, designed to be fun and immersive, is perfectly suited for even very young children. Throughout the tour, there are designated areas specifically for them. One such area is the SpieleHaus, a giant motorhome where children can slide, climb ladders, and explore.

Next, there’s another motorhome featuring a reading space and even a ball pool! Further along, there’s a tent where kids can crawl inside and play at camping.

These play elements are integrated throughout the entire museum tour, allowing older children to thoroughly enjoy their visit and take their time.

It’s worth noting that admission is free for children, with adults priced at 14 euros each.

How to get to the Erwin Hymer Museum and where to park

  • The museum is located north of Bad Waldsee towards Ulm, not far from the Hymer dealership. Once in town, the museum is well signposted.
  • For parking, the museum has its own spacious parking lot that can accommodate even motorhomes. Parking is free.

Our review of the Erwin Hymer Museum

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the museum; it is beautiful, modern, and very well-maintained. The children had plenty of opportunities to play, making it a museum that’s perfectly suited for families.

The only drawback is that all the explanations and written elements are in German! We recommend asking for a tablet at the reception desk, which provides explanations in English (only). A translation into multiple languages would be welcome.

What to do around the Erwin Hymer Museum

A 10-minute drive from the Erwin Hymer Museum, you’ll find the Tannenbühl nature reserve. We discovered this reserve by chance while looking for a spot to spend the night. You can park and stay there, provided you do not camp and respect the area.

The reserve is free and open to the public, accessible at any time of the day.

Located deep in the forest, you’ll encounter woodland animals such as wild boar, deer, and mouflon. It offers a beautiful hiking trail where you can observe these animals in their enclosures.

The Extra for Children: For just 50 cents, you can access an automatic dispenser of small pellets to feed the animals! While it’s forbidden to feed the animals anything else to avoid illness, this allows children to experience being a caretaker for a day.

We loved this beautiful reserve; the hike through the woods is very enjoyable, and the place is quiet and not crowded during the week—a truly wonderful discovery.

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

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