TABBERT 70 years of premium caravans
This year marks the 70th anniversary of TABBERT. That’s how long ago car body construction master Alfred Tabbert (1908–1973) unveiled his first caravan prototype, the IDEAL. In 1953, he wrote the first chapter in the story of the brand with the distinctive emblem. From as early as 1934, TABBERT owned factories for trailer and furniture construction, first in Schweinfurt and later in Bad Kissingen. In the austere times after the end of the Second World War, Alfred Tabbert initially produced simple but urgently needed platform trailers for carriages. They were created in streamlined series production. With the IDEAL caravan, the then 45-year-old Alfred Tabbert quickly became a successful caravanning pioneer in a nation that was becoming increasingly enthusiastic about travelling in Europe.
By 1957, TABBERT’s range included three series. Naturally, the up-and-coming manufacturer exhibited at the first Caravan Salon in Essen in 1962. By that stage, he had 14 different models to showcase, which impressed with a unique mix of materials, high-quality workmanship and practical designs. They had glamorous names such as COMTESSE (Countess), MARKGRAF (Margrave), KURFÜRST (Prince-elector) or GRANDSEIGNEUR (Nobleman/Lord).
Since 1959, TABBERT has been manufacturing components for its product families on a site in Mottgers, Hessen. However, this quickly became too small. TABBERT was constantly expanding; and in 1971, it reached a new high point: 9,300 caravans rolled out of the factory halls, which had meanwhile been expanded several times.TABBERT offered the most varied delivery programme in Europe, and the market share was also considerable. In the early 1970s, three quarters of all tandem axles proudly bore the brand insignia, depicting the Berlin bear and the Bavarian diamonds. By the end of the decade, motor caravans (as mobile homes were known at the time), further expanded the product range. The new Tabbert Industrie AG was founded in 1987. This was followed ten years later by a collaboration, and finally a merger, with KNAUS in the Lower Bavarian town of Jandelsbrunn.
TABBERT started the new millennium on a high. In 2002, the manufacturer announced that it had produced a quarter of a million caravans. At the same time, production of the new, trendy lifestyle caravan T@B began. To this day, it remains a likeable, successful model with a modern retro design. In 2004, TABBERT took a huge creative step when the sophisticated, elegant and, above all, modern PAGANINI broke new ground in terms of style and appearance. Exactly ten years later, the CELLINI model rolled onto the market. It brought with it an electrically operated slide-out, which was a novelty at the time. It was the first German-made caravan to offer such a luxurious extra for more flexibility in the interior. TABBERT is increasingly committed to modernity. The designs of the interiors are becoming clearer and more minimalist, while the exterior continues to follow automotive elegance and dynamism ever more closely.
The jovial Alfred Tabbert died in 1973, aged just 65. Throughout his life, he was a recognised manufacturer and prominent leader in the by no means insignificant German caravan production industry. His colleagues referred to him, with admiration and respect, as “Don Alfredo” and appreciated him as a visionary with a great talent for implementation. To this day, TABBERT is both a guarantee of, and a synonym for, caravans of the best quality craftsmanship. Today, TABBERT can look back on a 70-year history. At the same time, the brand is making itself future-oriented and waving goodbye to conventionality, as its thoroughly innovative model range proves. Even the ambitious founder and successful entrepreneur Alfred Tabbert would have been satisfied with this. “Anyone who thinks progressively,” the caravan maker once wrote in a greeting to his employees, “must not ignore tradition.” When it comes to caravan construction, TABBERT is synonymous with merging tradition and progress into a modern symbiosis. In model year 2024, every new TABBERT caravan will be adorned with a lovingly designed anniversary plaque, which will make each vehicle unique.
A new class: Freshness, elegance and clarity – all in one caravan
The TABBERT developers have given the company the best present for this anniversary. For model year 2024, TABBERT surprises with a completely new series, the design of which is almost as radical as it is individual. The SENARA is a vehicle the likes of which has never been seen by TABBERT, and will in future mark the Hessian caravan brand’s entry into the premium world.
The SENARA is starting model year 2024 with seven different layouts. The range extends from the compact 400 QD 2.3, which is just over four meters long, and has room for three people, to the 620 DMK 2.5, which is suitable for large families. At 6.38 m in length, the interior space is more than generous. It even offers a cleverly separable area in which there is a bedroom, a bathroom and a separate changing room. Between the 400 and 620 there are also the 460 E, 460 DMK, 490 TD 2.3, 550 E and 550 DMK models – all of these are 2.3 metres in width – in the whole TABBERT range. Each of them has their own merits: As an example, the 550 DMK greets those who ride in it with a particularly wide entrance door (700mm), which doesn’t just make access easier, but also appears extremely inviting. In addition, it also has a separate shower room with shower tray, plastic wall panelling and an optional trap door for greater privacy as well as a particularly deep wardrobe at the rear of the camper van.
The new SENARA cleverly picks up on style-defining trends. On the outside, this new TABBERT range has a contemporary automotive design. The three-dimensional FoldXpand rear panel is particularly striking. It has been revised for TABBERT, using the very best of Knaus Tabbert’s development expertise, and gives the SENARA the decisive plus in usable space inside. The tail light design is unmistakeable. Also typical of TABBERT: The unique night signature of the SENARA is formed by striking boomerang lights, which are framed at the top by elegant chrome eyelid bezels that are also angled. The Tabbert foils on the exterior of the valuable Made in Mottgers structure have also been reduced to the essentials. In the specifications of the SENARA, as formulated by the designers, there was no mention of superfluous ornaments – just restrained elegance. And of course, the all-important 70 year anniversary badge will have pride of place on the exterior of each new TABBERT caravan made in model year 2024.
In the interior, too, the demands were high and the focus on understated elegance. The TABBERT designers relied on a precise play of light and shade, with exciting surfaces and concise proportions. Especially when it comes to furniture, TABBERT builds on clear, right-angled lines, precisely defined surfaces, and sophisticated, modern simplicity. There are no ornaments or playful flourishes on board. Instead, less is more. SENARA presents itself in a completely different light elsewhere. The rule is simple: more is more. An intelligent lighting concept combines direct and indirect light sources to create a functional, harmonious and cosy ambience. This also includes a backlit photo wall in the comfy seating area, which can be customised. Of course, the harmonious overall concept also means that the fabrics and furniture are perfectly colour-coordinated. The “handle-less” flaps of the overhead storage cupboards are noticeably inconspicuous and fit stylishly and harmoniously into the overall appearance of the new SENARA. Special features – for example in the 460 E model – include raised single beds, which are easily accessible via a safe ladder. The practical thing about these “bunk beds”: Under the resting areas (which can be extended to form a double bed), there is valuable storage space, which caravan owners can never have enough of. The 460 DMK, like the 620 DMK, offers five beds as standard. A sixth bed is available on request. The double bed in the nose of the 550 DMK provides a reclining area of 208×146 cm which is not just particularly roomy, but also ensures exceptional comfort for relaxing nights on the move.
The functional and spacious kitchen of the new SENARA is both practical and beautiful. The refrigerator in the 550 DMK has a capacity of 133 litres, ensuring sufficient space for groceries and drinks, making sure that everyone is well provided for on the journey. More than a design trick: the additional work surface can be folded up (optional, depending on the layout) or the intelligent acoustic wall in the 550 DMK: It provides a pleasant sounding atmosphere within the living area. True to TABBERT’s slogan, ‘details are not just details’. The craftsmen in the factory in Mottgers also attach great importance to the little things. For example, even the high-quality metal handles of the kitchen drawers are elaborately designed. In addition, every handle is adorned with the traditional TABBERT emblem. This is more than just a detail. It testifies to the love and dedication in the manufacture of every SENARA.
490 E, 550 TDL and 655 DMK: New layouts complete the model series
The first PANTIGA models have recently rolled off the production line, and are proving extremely popular with customers. So much so, TABBERT is already expanding the series with three more unconventional layouts. The secret to the success of these vehicles is flexibility paired with individuality.
The new series now includes the PANTIGA 490 E 2.3, which is just under 7.50 m in length and has two single beds at the front, as well as the 550 TDL 25, with a comfortable seating area in the stern and a large double bed (positioned lengthwise) at the front. Between these two areas is a spacious angle kitchen with a corner counter. However, PANTIGA’s new top model is the 655 DMK. This largest PANTIGA variant impresses with its rather extravagantly spacious living area, two wardrobes and plenty of storage compartments, as well as other amenities such as a comfort shower in the full bathroom and a 177-litre refrigerator in the kitchen. With a transverse double bed at the front and children’s beds in the stern, the PANTIGA 655 DMK offers living comfort for the whole family. It’s almost like being at home! The expansion of the model range means that it is now even easier to find the right PANTIGA model for all your caravanning needs. Despite the different formats, the multifunctional series is still united by a unique style, which is light, airy and visionary. The most outstanding feature of the PANTIGA, not only visually, are the large saloon windows on both sides at the rear. They also create a spacious atmosphere inside and even partly determine the furnishing concept. The rear of the vehicle is characterised by the fenders, between which a window in the style of a light strip is mounted (on the 390 WD and 550 E). In keeping with its
appearance, the PANTIGA comes with striking 15” white aluminium rims. To facilitate quick access from outside, the water tank and power connection have been combined in a service module. Furthermore, the new PANTIGA is based on a Dyonic chassis made of high-strength steel, in a bionic design, as standard. The innovative design with recesses in the beams saves weight while simultaneously improving stability. The chassis was mainly developed by the Knaus Tabbert team, and features rubber spring axles and an electronic stabilisation system (ETS). The chassis can optionally be equipped with a trailer control, jockey wheel with integrated nose weight indicator and a spare wheel mounted under the floor. The interior of the PANTIGA impresses with a completely new caravan design. It features two high windows on the sides in place of wall cupboards. This not only floods the living area with more light for greater brightness, but also gives it a friendlier and even more spacious feeling. The matt white wall units at the rear and in the kitchen remain visually inconspicuous thanks to their linear, handle-free design. The impression created by the comfortable, modern seating is also more apartment rather than caravan. Three upholstery combinations in warm sunset colours, cool grey tones or fabric and imitation leather deliver an individual character. Well thought-out details – such as convenience roller shades, a table with a wooden edge and fabric-covered wall elements – lend the PANTIGA a relaxed, feel-good character in combination with the embedded light panels and matching ceiling light. The standard mobile induction hob is user-oriented and extremely practical. It can also be used outside under the awning, and tucked invisibly into the kitchen block when not in use. A glass cover hides the sink and a waste separating system is available on request for the lower drawer. The 230 V and USB connections in the living area are cleverly concealed inside the storage compartments. The compartments themselves are discreetly integrated into the appropriately carved-out interior walls. The PANTIGA is available in six layouts designed for different target groups: The compact 390 WD is designed for active holidays with spontaneous location changes. It features a combined living and sleeping area for two people and has a fold-down bed instead of fixed ones, which offers far more space to move around during the day. It is virtually iconic in terms of the on-the-move PANTIGA lifestyle. Both manoeuvrable as well as convertible – with its comfortable bench sofas which can be quickly and easily converted into a spacious and comfortable 204 x 156 cm bed. The popular 550 E single-bed layout scores with a proper shower, thanks to its swivel wash basin unit. Daylight from both sides – and optionally through a panoramic roof light – floods into the light and airy forward sleeping area. The overhead lockers at the sides are matched to the flowing shape of the front to create plenty of storage space. Six spotlights cast the brand-typical TABBERT diamond pattern onto the wall. Practically thought out: For optimum storage space utilisation, pull-out boxes with handles are available for the under-bed drawers in the 550 E and 550 K. Sufficient space still remains underneath to fit a folding table and chairs or other accessories. The 550 K is best for travelling with children, because it has bunk beds that can be quickly and easily converted into another bench seat. Folding down the upper bed turns it into a backrest.
Included as standard: Soap and washing-up liquid dispensers from Bluuwater.
A small detail at first glance, but a highly practical an hygienic one: In future, Knaus Tabbert will be offering soap and washing-up liquid dispensers from Bluuwater in all series and all vehicles – whether caravan, campervan or motorhome.