Mahindra and an IIT-born start-up team up to build affordable Bolero-based luxury motorhomes
The RV trucks will be fully equipped with running water, a functional kitchen and even bio toilets!
As the world opens up again, car-based outdoor recreational activities such as car camping and landing are gaining momentum in India. Unfortunately, with a sparse market for RVs (recreational vehicles), Indians have little choice but aftermarket modifications to turn their vehicle into a home on wheels. Therefore, Mahindra partnered with a company called Campervan Factory to build relatively affordable motorhomes based on the Bolero Camper Gold pickup truck platform.
Incubated at IIT Madras, the caravan manufacturing company will co-develop the motorhomes with Mahindra. The automaker has also involved the International Center for Clean Water (ICCW) for plumbing and waste disposal solutions, and the Saint Gobain Research Center for glazing development.
According to the automaker, the motorhomes will have sleeping and dining space for four, as well as running water and appliances such as a mini-fridge, TV, microwave and even an air conditioner. optional. If you’re wondering how all of this would fit into the Bolero frame, check out this video of a custom-built Bolero caravan fitted with similar furnishings:
There will also be a bio shower and toilet – an eco toilet that eliminates the need for a septic tank. It stores solid waste in a separate dry tank filled with bacteria that break down the waste into methane, carbon dioxide and water. Here is a hands-on video of a bio-toilet designed for use in an RV:
Mahindra is targeting this motorhome for aggregators in the tourism industry, so it will likely be available for tourists to rent for short periods. Also, states such as Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have announced policies that will encourage motorhomes and help create caravan parks across the country.
The underpinnings of the Bolero van of the future RV will likely make it easier to drive than large bus-based motorhomes. As stock, the van comes with a 76PS, 200Nm diesel engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. Transporting the motorhome on its bed will not be a challenge for the truck, as it has a payload capacity of up to 1000 kg.
Car camping is a relatively new form of outdoor recreation in India, and motorhomes have only recently caught the attention of outdoor enthusiasts. You can’t buy a motorhome off the shelf unless you’re willing to spend as much as it costs to buy a high-end apartment in a big city. Even then, most RVs offered are modified utility vehicles such as mini-buses. The rent-based model will surely be a more viable option for most people looking for the occasional outdoor vacation.
The only factory-built motorhome you could get in India was the now-discontinued Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo launched in 2020. It cost Rs 1.38 crore (ex-showroom) to buy a new one. on the roof, an awning, a movable floor, a kitchenette and folding rear seats to form a bed!
According to KM Vandhan, director of Campervan Factory, the new Bolero luxury motorhomes will be a godsend for holidays in India. “Caravan tourism is a blessing for the sector, especially given the effects of the pandemic,” he said.
We expect caravan tourism to grow in the coming months as pandemic restrictions are eased and caravan parks appear across the country. In the meantime, what do you think of the idea of a driving holiday? Let us know in the comments.
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