In August 2012, we used our stay in Germany to get an initial overview of the various model types of caravan manufacturers. And where is this better possible than at what is probably the largest caravan exhibition in the world, the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf.
In an article on the Caravan Salon, we had already reported extensively on the trade fair itself, which for us, in addition to the really successful conception and complexity of the exhibition models, should also meet our somewhat special requirements. After all, we were looking for a model that would serve us as a home, our daily workplace in the form of an internet office and as an area for our own presentation of the project during the three-year project phase, which should be both winterproof and at least comfortable enough to have enough space and hot water in the morning Showers are available, in short, there should be few compromises, at least in the bathroom area.
Of course, we wrote to some caravan manufacturers in advance, emailed our project concept to the relevant marketing managers of the companies and asked for initial meetings during the visit to the trade fair, which turned out to be the right approach. In this way, we were able to make initial personal contacts and also received very specific information on the individual equipment criteria that were relevant to us, shown directly on the vehicle from the respective manufacturer. It quickly became apparent that all manufacturers largely assumed that their vehicles were suitable for winter use, but more specific inquiries about the thickness of additional thermal insulation and the possible installation of underfloor heating already threw a few models of otherwise interesting concepts out of the race for our project. However, the thermal insulation alone does not make a difference, because suitability for winter use is always a question of the ability to heat and the rigidity of the vehicle in principle, here we only refer to the snow load resistance of the roof.
In addition to real winter suitability, we were understandably interested in a comfortable solution for the bathroom. Here, too, we were able to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff, because the bathrooms often only consisted of a washbasin with toilet, the shower was really only used as an emergency solution, the room was so small and narrow or the splash water protection for the other room equipment. Nobody should misunderstand this point either, because as a permanent camper with a fixed place and public bathhouses, completely different requirements apply than if you are dependent on complete self-sufficiency, at least for large parts of your planned tours, or on the partially inferior quality of the campsites.
For us, a large fridge with a freezer compartment was also an important approach in our design, which not all models were able to fulfil. Researching and sounding out all these points was quite successful at the Caravan Salon, so that the number of model factors that were important to us ultimately found space on a small note.
In the months that followed, contacts were established with other sponsors and contacts were made with various events and places that are to be visited at the beginning of the project. In autumn 2013 the start of the project in spring 2014 became apparent, so that contacts with the caravan manufacturers were refreshed.
A drive from Augsburg in the direction of Würzburg then took us right past the Fendt-Caravan factory in Mertingen, so we made a short stop at the factory gate and asked for the contact information for the marketing manager, Mr Thomas Kamm, whom we met at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf unfortunately did not meet in person. After a few phone calls, we then arranged to meet at the beginning of December for a more specific conversation regarding the presentation of detailed information about the project, which should prove to be a very pleasant basis for further planning within the framework of a one-hour conversation. What was new for Mr. Kamm with regard to possible sponsorship activities was the planned duration of the project, which is still considered unique at Fendt-Caravan. But how else should at least a large part of the Roman road system be driven off.
More emails followed with Mr. Thomas Kamm until in January, to our great delight, the confirmation from Fendt-Caravan as a caravan sponsor for the project "Understanding and cultural journey along Roman roads" was in the mailbox.
As a result, a sponsorship contract was developed and a declaration of use was formulated, which is of particular importance when entering Turkey if the owner and user data differ from each other, which is almost always relevant for company vehicles. This is important for all Turkey travelers by car or mobile home to know, as the vehicles must be entered in the respective passport of the vehicle driver. Even the managing director of a company has to prove his entry in the commercial register in order to declare his authorization to drive a company car. At first it sounds quite time-consuming and complex, but it is actually quite easy to organise. However, the declaration of use must be translated into Turkish and certified by a Turkish consulate in Germany before the start of the journey! Otherwise, only the vehicle registration document and the green insurance card are required for the tour across the Balkans.
After completing all the formalities and documents, the handover date of the Fendt Saphir Scand caravan is scheduled for March 27, 2014 as part of a caravan presentation at the Gartenbau Dehner company in Rain, from where the official opening ceremony of the project to the Goethe Institute will take place in Izmir .
THE FENDT CARAVAN COMPANY HISTORY FROM 1970 TO THE PRESENT
1970 The Fendt brothers buy the Lely-Dechentreiter plant in Asbach-Bäumenheim.
1975 The alcove-caravan "Große Reise", also called "coati", is built. It became the model for the alcove motorhomes.
1982 Fendt is the first series manufacturer to integrate the bottle crate in the front of the caravan.
1988 Fendt extends its range to include motorhomes. The Alkovenmobil 560 HK is born.
1995 Fendt celebrates its 25th anniversary. A six-year tightness guarantee is granted for the first time.
1997 The US AGCO Corporation buys the entire Fendt Group.
1998 The Fendt Caravan division is acquired by Hobby-Wohnwagenwerk Ing. Harald Striewski GmbH, Fockbek.
Product name change: Karat becomes sapphire, Joker becomes platinum. Discontinuation of the motorhome program.
1999 15.10. Groundbreaking ceremony in Mertingen. Property area: approx. 16 hectares, built-over area: 25,100 sqm, building data: approx. 200 m long, 120 m wide and 8 m high
2001 First Fendt caravanner meeting, which has taken place annually since then.
2001 23.07. Moving to the new factory.
2001 27.08. Start of production in the new plant.
2001 21.11. The 100,000th caravan rolls off the assembly line.
2002 Market launch of the "Topas" series.
2003 Receipt of the DCC Security Award.
2003 Construction of hail protection roofs in 2 phases. Storage space for around 1,000 recreational vehicles.
2004 First Fendt caravanner city tour, which has taken place annually since then.
2004 Presentation of the "Diamond VIP".
2006 Re-entry into the motorhome market with the semi-integrated models (T 580, T 590 and T 595). Production of the vehicles at Giottiline in Italy.
2006 Received the LUPO, industry Oscar of the DCHV, as well as 3 first places and one second place in the readers' choice of the trade journal "Caravaning".
2007 Market launch of the "Bianco/Bianco Classico" series.
2008 2 first places, 2 second places and a third place in the readers' choice of the trade journal "Caravaning".
2008 The new TI models (TI 640, TI 680, TI 685, TI 690) come onto the market. Production of all motorhomes at Hobby in Fockbek.
2009 "King Customer Award 2009" (overall rating) from the trade magazine "Camping, Cars & Caravans".
2009 Presentation of the "Bianco Sportivo" at the Caravan Salon.
2009 Awarded the “Job Success 2009” award. Award for the integration of disabled employees in the company.
2010 "Axia-Award" for Bavaria in the category "Customer Loyalty Management".
2010 "King Customer Award 2010" (overall rating) from the trade magazine "Camping, Cars & Caravans".
2010 Anniversary model "Bianco Rosso 445 TF" is launched in a limited edition.
2010 Market launch of the "Tendenza" model. Market launch of the "Brillant" series.
2011 First places in all price categories in the readers' choice of the trade journal "Caravaning".
2011 "Platin SCAND" model comes onto the market with special winter equipment.
2011 "König Kunde Award 2011" (overall rating) from the trade magazine "Camping, Cars & Caravans".
2012 Extension of the factory building by approx. 6,000 square meters of production and storage space.
2012 "Bianco SELECTION" appears with model-specific equipment.
2012 Two first places in the price categories up to 15,000 euros and over 20,000 euros as well as a second and third place in the category 15,000 to 20,000 euros in the readers' choice of the trade
2012 "König Kunde Award 2012" (overall rating) from the trade magazine "Camping, Cars & Caravans".
2012 Market launch of the "Opal" series.
2013 The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs honors Fendt-Caravan as the winner of the BAYERNS BEST 50 competition.
2013 "König Kunde Award 2013" (overall rating & 7 individual categories) of the trade journal "Camping, Cars & Caravans".
2014 2-time winner in the readers' choice "Caravans of the year 2014" of the magazine "Caravaning (Motor Presse Stuttgart)
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