How do you transport a 6-meter-high and 5-meter-long boat in a HYMER motorhome? Very simple: rear garage open, boat in, door closed!
This answer can only be given by Smartkat, the world champion for inflatable sailing catamarans and SUPs (= stand up paddle boards). It’s water sports equipment is designed for performance and a small packable size. Perfect for transport in the camper.
Of course, we could also test our latest water sports equipment for the next season in the warm Caribbean. But we prefer to expose them to the toughest forces of nature in the far north. A real practical test. So off to Sweden and Norway - more precisely to Lofoten and Senja - to the last real adventure areas that are not yet to be found in every travel guide.
Even in the warmer months, there is strong wind in Sweden and Norway, plenty of ice and snow on the glacial lakes and fjords. Ideal for heading north with the winter-ready HYMER Exsis-t. in Richtung Norden aufzubrechen. The rough plan: Get out of the comfort zone during the product test in the force of nature, then into the warm motorhome.
But from the front: First we stow our treasures in the rear garage. 2 catamarans and 6 inflatable stand up paddle boards easily disappear into the spacious storage compartment. The space is impressive because there is even plenty of space for camping chairs with a table and a grill.
Then: Just don't lose any time! We drive non-stop to the harbour pier in Kiel. Watching the locking of the container ships from our motorhome directly at the waters' edge - that's a true spectacle!
After just one night in Copenhagen, we leave Denmark behind and head straight for Sweden. (On the way back, we will take the ferry from Trelleborg to Rostock to save some time.) A little tip: exploring Copenhagen by boat is highly recommended.
The next stop is far to the west, where the archipelago ends, and the sea takes over. It is a sailing and bathing resort with cosy neighbourhoods, car-free streets, and it’s pretty name, Marstrand. It is undoubtedly Sweden's sailing capital, which annually attracts the best sailors in the world as well as a huge audience to spectacular competitions. Almost everything is about sailing and boats. The perfect place to test sailboats and SUP in the archipelago. We gather insider knowledge from the local kayak rental company, who give us their most beautiful spots. Then arise very early in the morning - 5 o'clock! – This is the way to avoid the busy tourist periods.
The next day we are a country further on, Trollstigen (Norwegian for troll ladder), one of the most famous routes in Norway, about 20 km south of Åndalsnes. It is the north side of a pass road that leads south from the Romsdalsfjord to the Norddalsfjord, a branch of the Storfjord. Eleven hairpin bends with a gradient of around twelve percent up to the pass and the 320-meter-deep Stigfossen waterfall are among the many highlights.
Equipped with a powerful engine, our HYMER Exsis-t pulls up the mountain in a relaxed manner. We are enthroned in comfortable seats and let the landscape rush past with delight.
The Trollstigen was opened to traffic by King Haakon VII on July 31, 1936 after eight years of construction. Even today it is only a few meters wide, sometimes almost single-track, so that oncoming vehicles have to be very carefully avoided. Because of the rugged terrain, there are hardly any stops. Only at the top, at the beginning of a high valley, can you linger in a large parking lot or stop in the "Trollstigen Fjellstue". A walk of a few hundred meters takes the visitor to Utsikten, a viewpoint from which the entire course of the road can be seen.
Here we test our ultra-light, inflatable stand-up paddle board SmartSUP in the river and reach the "Visitor Center" on the inlet before the river plunges 320 meters. Certainly, the first SUP the pass has seen. In a matter of minutes, the clouds reduced visibility to a few meters. What a natural spectacle in a short time!
We continue to the nearby high plateau lakes to test the catamarans. The glacier view already shows that capsizing should be avoided at this water temperature.
After a short time, we find the perfect place near the water to let the catamaran into the water. The wind quickly increases and allows us to test the catamaran to its and our limits.
Completely frozen, a luxurious, warm shower sweetens the successful product test. As every evening, the grill is taken out of the hold. But the increasing wind brings up a bad weather front. So we flee into the spacious interior and end the day while watching our film from today on the 32-inch flat screen. A blessing that we can then fall into bed exhausted without having to change anything in the motorhome beforehand.
At night the wind blows so strongly that we decide at 4 a.m. to position the HYMER in the wind direction in order to offer the wind a little less surface to attack. No problem.
In Lofoten, the choice of places for sailing and stand-up paddling is so large that we have to ignore many of them. The landscape of the fjords is even more impressive than pictures can already expect.
After a few days we continue to Senja. For passionate outdoor enthusiasts, this is the next insider tip for adventurers after Lofoten, the infrastructure here has not yet been developed for tourism.
We are completely independent with our HYMER Exsis-t. With 115 litres of fresh water on board, a spacious bathroom, a large refrigerator, a three-burner gas cooker and a powerful Truma heater with warm air system, we lack nothing. We like the light and airy panoramic roof, the countless stowage compartments and the oven the best. Warm, home-made rolls for every breakfast meaning camping de luxe for us.
The HYMER offers us the perfect way to store all sports equipment safely and easily - we can even take our sailing boats with us. Because a change of location with the camper can be done quickly and easily, we can increase the range of action for the boat greatly. This freedom applies in particular to Sweden and Norway, since the so-called "everyone's right" applies here. This means that everyone has the right to move freely. This also includes camping in the great outdoors - the best prerequisite for experiencing these countries very intensively.