My earliest memory of going on holiday involved a small, light blue caravan in St Osyth and my nan waving goodbye to it from the car as we left to go home at the end of the holiday. I remember becoming quite attached to that caravan, so can fully understand the fascination and enthusiasm that many embrace the caravanning culture with.
Motorhomes on the other hand, make me think of families travelling across the USA in shiny aluminium automobiles that look like they’ve been based on an idea hatched from watching too many Roswell documentaries. But surely we all have a fascination with the freedom of luxury mobile living.
Der Bus (The Bus) is a German take on the motorhome, in fact it’s the biggest motorhome in the world measuring a staggering 18 metres long (that’s 59ft) and weighing in at a heavyweight 28 tonnes. It even has it’s own spot in the Guinness Book of Records.
Der Bus is a double-decker, with a casino and a VIP lounge as well as having a water tank capable of holding 470 litres. Oh and it’s also for sale..
Before you start measuring up your garage, take a look at your street as well, as this air-conditioned articulated mega-bus has a turning circle of 24 metres – large enough to annoy your neighbours I should imagine.
It does raise the more serious question of who is likely to want such a beast. With the official Der Bus site telling us that it can comfortably carry 144 passengers, plus the on-board casino, it tends to make you think that it’s best suited as a corporate weapon rather than an annual 2-week trip to St Osyth.
The driver and passenger area (which the site helpfully tells us is at the front, which is a relief) can accommodate 8 people, who will be pleased to note that on longer journeys, that they don’t have to walk the full length of the bus to get to the bar. Yes, the VIP area, situated next to the driver and passenger area, has a 5-metre long bar with a wooden floor and walls covered in luxurious white leather.
Der Bus has all the luxuries you need in fact, with a self-levelling bed, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room and a tiled bathroom with shower. It also has a garage capable of storing anything from cycles and motorbikes to a small automobile.
You might be thinking at this point that this is a brand new build, but it isn’t. Der Bus is one of 12 similar motorhomes built, and was debuted at the Frankfurt Automobile Exhibition (known to us as the Frankfurt Motor Show) in 1975 under the moniker of the Jumbocruiser. The last one was built in 1993.
Don’t think for a moment this is an old, out-of-date motorhome though, Der Bus has undergone several years of intense renovation to bring it up to date and make it the stunning vehicle that it is today.
Der Bus has a V12 Daimler engine that generates 440 PS and a 5.4 Kwh on-board generator in place of the leisure battery you might expect to find on a motorhome – its more of a small island than an automobile.
The current owner, Manfred Esterbauer, hasn’t indicated an asking price as yet, but when you consider that some motorhomes can indeed cost as much as a small island, you can bet it isn’t going to be cheap.
Images – derbus.de