The class B Hymer Aktiv made its debut in 2016 soon after Canadian manufacturer Roadtrek was acquired by German RV maker Erwin Hymer Group. The acquisition created Erwin Hymer Group North America headquartered out of Ontario, Canada. EHGNA boasts that the merger unites “European design, German engineering and North American technology.”
Hymer, while not the most recognizable name in the North American RV market, has been producing a variety of Recreation Vehicles since 1956. The new EHGNA features four brands and 11 models in their lineup of motorhomes, caravans and camper vans.
Shea and Erin Laughlin stumbled onto the innovative Hymer Aktiv 1.0 while searching out their second rig.
“When we originally hit the road in Spring 2016,” recalled Erin Laughlin, a health insurance professional, “we had a goal of visiting all 50 states in roughly two years, but as most travelers do, we fell in love with the lifestyle and made the decision to slow down (a tiny bit) and continue our journey for as long as we can.”
Although the full-time RVers were enjoying their traveling combo of a Ford 150 pickup and 19-foot Winnebago Minnie Winnie travel trailer, they found that it limited their ability for spontaneous exploration.
“Even being as nimble as we were with a small trailer,” recalled Shea Laughlin, “we found that unhooking and hooking back up so frequently was becoming tedious and eating into our time to get out and about. With a van, we are able to change up our itinerary on a whim if we see something that we would like to visit, whereas on days when we had the trailer in tow we would have to assess the parking lot situation and potentially miss sites.”
The mere 19.7-feet footprint of the Hymer Aktiv van enables the Laughlins to safely maneuver along the narrow back roads of national park lands or through crowded urban streets of major cities such as Washington, D.C.
In their early 30s, the outdoors enthusiasts “absolutely love primitive camping on public lands “where you simply roll onto the beach and pick a spot to settle in for the night.”
They discovered just such a place at Lone Lake Beach on Lake Powell in Utah. “Not only are you on a gorgeous lake, you could paddle board right out your front door,” said Erin Laughlin. “And, just a few miles south in Page, Ariz., you have a plethora of outdoor activities at your fingertips.”
For all three installments featuring Shea and Erin Laughlin talking about their Hymer Aktiv click here.
Photos: (Top) Millennials Shea and Erin Laughlin of Minnesota, live full-time in their 2017 Hymer Aktiv 1.0. They visit and camp near places like the Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. (Bottom) The Laughlin’s first RV, a 19-foot Winnebago Minnie Winnie travel trailer. (Courtesy of Shea and Erin Laughlin)