This woodsy “Landhaus” camper belongs in a Bavarian alpine village
When Americans dream of owning an iconic vintage camper, they generally think of an Airstream. When Germans dream of owning an iconic vintage camper, they think of a …
Any guesses? Allow us to fill in the blank. The answer—in Germany and throughout much of Europe—is Hobby. And when an unusual-looking 1981 Hobby Landhaus pops up for sale, even if it’s on the other side of the Atlantic, it’s news worth sharing.
This Landhaus is definitely unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Not only does it have a peaked roof, but the trim makes it look like it belongs in a Bavarian alpine village. And before you ask, we checked around—that’s not custom trim. Although there isn’t much information out there about this model, we found others like it in Germany and Greece.
This we know: The Landhaus is 7.5 meters long (about 24.6 feet) and has a roomy interior with dining and sleeping areas, stove, refrigerator, plenty of counter space, and a bathroom. From what we can determine, Hobby sold similar models in the 1980s, but most lacked the chalet-worthy trim.
While the Landhaus may seem like nothing more than an odd creation from a short-lived company, it’s actually an odd creation from a legendary outfit. The company has an amazing history. As a child, Hobby founder Harald Striewski and his mother and brother fled East Prussia from the advancing Russian army during World War II. They eventually settled in the small village of Nübbel, Germany, where they worked as laborers for several farmers. Young Harald worked 48 hours a week, and during his off-hours studied to earn a vocational degree, serving as an apprentice with a shipbuilding company. On Sundays he played handball, and it was there that he met Ingeborg, the woman who would become his wife and business partner.
As a young engineer, Harald saw a camping trailer—known in Europe as a caravan—at a campsite in Denmark. Little did he know that his life was about to change. “It was very simply equipped, and I thought, ‘I can do better,’” Striewski told AboutCampBtoB.eu in 2019. “So, I built the first caravan. I then sold it and built the next one. Actually, that caravan should have been for me, but it was sold immediately. I had a lot of demand right from the beginning but continued to work in my profession as a shipbuilding engineer. When I had so many orders that I could not do them all in my spare time, I asked my boss for a year’s unpaid leave. I wanted to return to the shipyard as a shipbuilder, but I never went back … That’s how the company was founded, out of a hobby.”
Harald and Inge Striewski officially started Hobby on April 1, 1967. Hobby-Wohnwagenwerk now employs more than 1100 people, builds more than 15,000 motorhomes and campers each year, and has 350 dealerships throughout Europe, as well as sales agencies in Chile, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and China. Hobby-Wohnwagenwerk has no designers. No external design office. It’s all Harald. “I do the development myself and I bring the ideas I have into the company.”
He says that at one point he and Inge had planned to retire and enjoy their success, but then she passed away in 2016 and that “changed everything.” Harald continues to lead Hobby “because that’s where my people are. That makes me feel good, and that’s my life right now.”
No word on what inspired him to create the 1981 Landhaus. This one on eBay Germany has an asking price of €4900, which is about $5700. Of course, it’ll cost you a lot more to ship it to the U.S.A., but like we say about unusual vehicles that prove popular at local car shows, this Hobby Landhaus will make you a star whatever you choose to pitch camp.