Thetford winner of the European Innovation Award with iNDUS smart sanitation system

Recently Thetford  launched iNDUS, a revolutionary smart sanitation  system for  the RV market. The jury of the European Innovation awards highly appreciates this introduction, by declaring iNDUS the winner of the category Technology 2021.

European Innovation Award for iNDUS

The European Innovation Award, that is rewarding relevant innovation in the RV industry, celebrates its tenth  anniversary this year. Judged by a jury containing the independent managing editors of 17 of the leading European RV magazines, the reward is reflecting a wide interest from the European market. iNDUS, Thetford’s smart sanitation  system, is rewarded as the winner of the category Technology. Stéphane  Cordeille, Thetford’s CEO, says: “We thank the jury for rewarding our iNDUS system. iNDUS is the result of many years of hard work of a big group of Thetford people. We are proud to receive this award and we are convinced that iNDUS will bring more convenience, more hygiene and more freedom  to many end users in our RV market.”

Life becomes much easier for those who empty the waste-holding tank. iNDUS is a revolutionary smart sanitation  system, offering RV users more convenience, more hygiene and more freedom.  With iNDUS RV users can be off grid for up to 7 days. The iNDUS discharge module supports one-stop discharging of grey and black water, in a very hygienic and flexible way. No more walking around with the waste-holding  tank is needed, and iNDUS prevents  the risk of splashes and malodors. The iNDUS toilet is an innovative macerator toilet with a soft close seat and cover. A great amount of fresh water is saved by an efficient toilet flush and by re-using grey water to flush the toilet. The three  specially developed additives are dosed automatically via the iNDUS dosing module, using exactly the amount  needed. All actions are supported by the Thetford iNDUS app, giving RV users a complete  real time overview on tank levels, cartridge levels, off grid time and discharge locations. Sanitation has never been easier.

iNDUS, smart sanitation  system is lifting RV sanitation  to the next level, and bridges the gap to the next generation of RV users. Sanitation has never been easier!

iNDUS. More convenience. More hygiene. More freedom.

Especially in these extraordinary times we want to provide a platform for the travel industry. If not the actual trade fair in Stuttgart then at least in a digital way. This is how we want to connect our exhibitors with media, B2B visitors and insiders. 

On january 26, you will find a virtual program filled with news and insights of the travel and caravaning industry. Participate via smartphone or computer and use #CMTdigital to get in contact with relevant players. The program is currently being expanded on an ongoing basis. Afterwards, recordings of the presentations will be available on this page until mid-February. The caravaning program will also be translated in english, you can choose your preferred language as soon as you start the stream. 

January 26th is approaching – and with it the premiere of CMTdigital! Participants can expect a day full of innovations and information. Exactly what they can expect from a regular CMT. “We are delighted that so many of our exhibitors are taking up the offer of a digital presentation as part of CMT, the novelty show at the beginning of the year. At CMTdigital, we are showing a cross-section of what usually takes place in our halls and our conference rooms in January,” says Guido von Vacano, member of the Board of Management at Messe Stuttgart.

Especially in these extraordinary times we want to provide a platform for the travel industry. If not the actual trade fair in Stuttgart then at least in a digital way. This is how we want to connect our exhibitors with media, B2B visitors and insiders. 

On january 26, you will find a virtual program filled with news and insights of the travel and caravaning industry. Participate via smartphone or computer and use CMTdigital to get in contact with relevant players. The program is currently being expanded on an ongoing basis. Afterwards, recordings of the presentations will be available on this page until mid-February. The caravaning program will also be translated in english, you can choose your preferred language as soon as you start the stream. 

Some caravaning novelties will also be presented in our hall 2 at Messe Stuttgart. Register yourself in advance and get exclusive previews of next season’s new models and vehicles. 

He was an engineer and an inventor who largely shaped the recreational vehicle industry: Helmut Knaus (24.7.1920 to 21.5.1991) was an architect with a degree in engineering and master builder technology. In 1960, together with his sons Helmut and Albert, he founded KNAUS KG in the town of Marktbreit, which is located near the city of Würzburg. During the peak of Germany’s post-war economic boom (“Wirtschaftswunder”), an increasing number of Germans had the financial means to purchase a vehicle.

Going on a holiday in one´s own car became a reality for many Germans – with a majority of them driving a VW Beetle. Even during the years of World War II, Helmut Knaus had the idea to construct a caravan for the new Volkswagen. It has to be compact, comfortable and lightweight. And round like a swallows’ nest, which was the name it was given.

Helmut Knaus


When the KNAUS SCHWALBENNEST was introduced in 1961, the world of caravans was enriched by another top-selling model. And this was despite the fact that it wasn’t exactly cheap. With a price tag of 3,000 German Marks, the caravan cost only 800 Marks less than the standard model VW Beetle 1200 at the time. Helmut Knaus also created the matching corporate logo: a flying pair of sparrows – a logo that adorns the body of every motorhome and caravan made by KNAUS to this day. When the first Caravan Salon trade fair was held in Essen in 1962, Helmut Knaus took it a step further. Along with the MONSUN, the launch of the SÜDWIND introduced a further iconic caravan to the market. Today, both are among the best-selling models of KNAUS caravans.

Years later, the SCHWALBENNEST experienced a rebirth: In 2011, the recreated caravan based on the original model was built in a limited edition of 150 units as a fitting celebration of 50 years of KNAUS.
Due to the enormous success of the KNAUS products, new production capacities, in addition to the plant in Marktbreit, were added in the neighbouring town of Ochsenfurt. In the 1960s, a modern plant, which also included its own fire brigade, was constructed. Naturally, the chassis for the fire hose trailer was designed and constructed in-house. In 1969, Helmut Knaus continued with his expansion course. In Jandelsbrunn, near Passau, the company investeds five million German Marks in a new main plant. The plant began operations in 1970. Initially, the KNAUS Jet was manufactured here. Furthermore, Helmut Knaus continued to drive the expansion of the European sales and services network, which today includes about 600 partner companies. The competitor EIFELLAND was acquired in 1973. In 1974,

KNAUS acquired the caravan manufacturer WOLFBART. In 1973, Helmut Knaus was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his courage and his entrepreneurship.
In the 1980s, KNAUS harvested the fruits of this tireless effort. In particular, the SÜDWIND and AZUR were sales drivers that helped KNAUS advance to become one of the leading caravan manufacturers in Europe. Today, KNAUS is one of the industry’s most successful brands and has been building both caravans as well as innovative motorhomes for over 30 years. In 1988, the TRAVELLER become the first KNAUS motorhome and immediately received the coveted title ”Motorhome of the year”, which was awarded by the trade journal “PROMOBIL”. In 1996, the TRAVEL LINER was introduced as the first fully integrated motorhome and became an immediate success. During the same year, the traditional companies KNAUS and TABBERT began a cooperation that ultimately resulted in their 2001 merger. This led to the founding of the Knaus Tabbert Group GmbH in 2002.
In 2004, KNAUS set another milestone and, with the SUN TI, redefined the vehicle class of partially integrated caravans featuring a large skylight. The following year, KNAUS launched its first camper van, which is known as a CUV (Caravanning Utility Vehicle) today.


As a result of the global economic crisis in 2008, the company filed for bankruptcy at the end of that year. However, with strong financial backing, the company restarted its operations in 2009. This was only possible because a shrewd executive team and a prudent worker’s council set the proper course. For example, the employees terminated their employment contracts voluntarily, thus enabling Knaus Tabbert GmbH to start anew.
In 2012, with the introduction of the SKY I, KNAUS set new benchmarks in the fully integrated vehicles segment and completely redefined form, function and quality. In 2013, the CARAVISIO concept designed by KNAUS introduced an entirely new streamlined design, thereby anticipating a completely new design language for caravans.

In 2015, with the SUN I, the Jandelsbrunn-based company made an impressive return to the liner luxury segment. In 2016, the TRAVELINO signalled the next step in the future of caravan construction. It was the first ultralight caravan by Knaus Tabbert to that feature a revolutionary fibre-frame basis.

The flexible and variable DESEO, which was launched in 2017, was designed using the same ground-breaking construction principle. Furthermore, in 2016 the partially integrated motorhome SKY TI by KNAUS was introduced. Beyond this, with its programme THE MISSION, the company is paving its future course – with the major focus being on innovative lightweight construction. Following the introduction of the L!VE model series in 2017, the largest and most attractive range of models in the company’s history has been completed. In the same year, an extensive cooperation with VW is launched and in 2018 a similar cooperation with MAN. The BOXDRIVE based on the VW Crafter and the VAN TI PLUS as the first motorhome on MAN TGE basis are the successful results of this pioneering cooperation. In being awarded the ”Golden Motorhome 2019” by trade journal Auto Bild Reisemobil, the new KNAUS VAN TI PLUS 700 LF immediately won the special editorial prize for the “best new vehicle in 2019” – just one of numerous prizes with which the quality products made by KNAUS have been awarded and that also demostrate the extraordinary team spirit of the Knaus Tabbert employees.


To celebrate the anniversary year 2020 in fitting style in keeping with its slogan “Freedom that inspires”, KNAUS is travelling several thousand kilometres across Germany from June until the end of the year: The tour includes some of the most beautiful “meinPLATZ” camping sites. The Anniversary Tour team is bringing its expertise about caravanning topics, information about the #KNAUS brand world as well as an entertainment programme of comedy, live music and culinary delights from the KNAUS home of Lower Bavaria – naturally, all in compliance with the required hygiene measures. Many people currently consider caravanning to be the safest type of holiday anywhere, #At home everywhere in your own mobile home – the KNAUS anniversary tour celebrates this lifestyle with “mein PLATZ”.

The new top model from MORELO

At this year’s Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, luxury motorhome manufacturer MORELO will present their new flagship product: the MORELO GRAND EMPIRE. It will be the largest and most luxurious model that MORELO has built to date and will thus represent the new top product of their model ranges. According to managing director Reinhard Löhner, MORELO has set themselves the objective: “(…) to produce the most beautiful motorhome of all time”.

The idea

Over the past decade, MORELO has not only challenged and significantly advanced its own development, but also that of the entire luxury motorhome industry. In addition, there has been a lot of movement in the market in recent years and the needs of customers have also changed. The requirements for space, comfort, performance, safety and design have increased steadily. In order to respond optimally to this demand, MORELO has decided to launch a new model. The result of all considerations was the MORELO GRAND EMPIRE, which, with its exceptional quality and great attention to detail, should overshadow everything that existed before.

The creation process

At the start of implementation, the question of the right chassis was raised. Due to the large size of the MORELO GRAND EMPIRE, aspects such as travel comfort, safety and, of course, simple handling of the vehicle had to be ensured when selecting. MORELO also did not want to compromise in construction and equipment. The MORELO GRAND EMPIRE was to become a motorhome redefining standards.

Finally, a luxury motorhome was built on the large-format truck chassis “Actros 1853” from Mercedes-Benz with 531 hp, an engine volume of 12.7 l with a torque of 2400 Nm, which impresses with its maneuverability comfort, exceptional safety and state-of-the-art technology and, ultimately, by ist convincing, exceptional design in all areas.


The result

The incomparable MORELO exterior design line has been constantly developed and sets new standards throughout the segment. Instead of conventional mirrors, the Mercedes-Benz MirrorCam system makes maneuvering, cornering and changing lanes even safer. In addition to the established standards, MORELO only uses the latest technologies inside the GRAND EMPIRE. All kitchen appliances are of domestic quality and operate at 230 V. In addition to the solar technology and the generously sized battery system, an autonomous and above all powerful power supply is ensured via a diesel generator. In terms of comfort too, much can be expected from the new model. Among other things, there are ergonomic lounge chairs in the living room that can be adjusted individually at the push of a button. So there are no limits to relaxation.

The première

The prototype will be presented at this year’s Caravan Salon from the 4th tot he 13th of 2020: a MORELO GRAND EMPIRE 110 GSO – with a Mini Cooper garage and a slide-out for the living room and the kitchen.

The special

The biggest highlight is an unprecedented value for money for a vehicle in this category. The price range should be between 600.000 € and € 650.000 €. This range is so unusually short because the basic equipment of the MORELO GRAND EMPIRE already includes almost all the available extras, so that practically no wish can be left unanswered.

With the new GRAND EMPIRE, MORELO proves once again that there are no limits to the innovative power of its own manufacturing in Schlüsselfeld.