Counter to COVID - MTDC flags-off its motorhome and campervan
Ever since the appearance of COVID-19, we in India have seen a growing interest in caravans, campers , and other such "Homes on Wheels", as they enable holidays with proper social distancing. Given this, we at Overdrive are doing a series of stories on various kinds of motorhomes that are available in India and how you can go on a "Holiday with a Home on Wheels".
Aaditya Thackeray, Minister of Tourism and Environment Government of Maharashtra, flagging-off the motorhome and campervan.
On 6th September, Aaditya Thackeray, Minister of Tourism and Environment Government of Maharashtra, launched a motorhome and campervan, in association with Motohom and tweeted "Flagged off MTDC and Motohom's caravan vehicles for those who love their holidays in the outdoors and independently. Inviting those who want to spend their "me time" in the wilderness, exploring the beauty of Maharashtra".
Sachin Panchal, who heads the Maharashtra based startup Motohom, likes to describe it as "Moving Hotels on Wheels". Motohom has begun operations with two vehicles - a Mahindra Marazzo converted into a campervan, and a motorhome based on an Ashok Leyland. Sachin says, "Our vehicles can simultaneously be your means of transport and your sleeping quarters too."
This Mahindra Marazzo Campervan can be rented from MTDC for a self-drive motoring holiday.
The Mahindra Marazzo campervan is given out on a self-drive rental basis and up to four can travel in it. The boot space has been smartly utilized to fit custom made cabinets over which the rear seat folds down into a flatbed with specially fabricated cushioning for two.
The rear seat folds into a flatbed with specially fabricated cushioning for two.
There is also a pop-up rooftop tent for two with a ladder to climb up into it. This tent can easily be folded down when it's time to drive to your next destination.
A pop-up two person tent is fitted on the roof and a ladder is provided to climb into it.
The customized storage boxes in the boot, one of which also slides out, hold amongst other things a gas stove, refrigerator, crockery, cutlery and some ready to cook packaged food and beverages. The Marazzo campervan is also provided with a picnic table, chairs, fishing rod, sports kit and a mini barbeque set.
The boot has custom built expandable cabinets that house things like a gas stove, crockery, cutlery, etc.
A bicycle mounted on a rack behind the tailgate is part of this campervan and there is also a 35 litre water tank with a hand wash spray, fitted below the rear bumper. The one thing missing is a portable toilet, but Sachin Panchal says that MTDC has plans of setting up camping grounds for caravans and restrooms will be available there.
The cabinets also hold a refrigerator and have space for packaged food, beverages, condiments, sandwich toaster, sports kit and so on.
While the vehicles are owned and operated by Motohom, the MTDC will be providing parking facilities in their resorts where the guests can use the toilets, electricity connections, fill up water, etc. Both Motohom and MTDC have also entered into a revenue sharing agreement.
This MTDC Motorhome is rented with a driver and assistant and can accommodate five to six guests.
The much larger motorhome built on an Ashok Leyland is rented with a driver and assistant and can accommodate five to six guests. It is equipped with a kitchenette, a mini-bedroom, living room and toilet and also has a fridge, microwave, gas stove and a hot plate. There's a wash basin too and the water storage capacity is 600 litres. It has two additional batteries and one inverter to power the various accessories and when parked it can be connected to an electricity outlet at the MTDC properties.
The motorhome has a mini-bedroom, living room, kitchenette and toilet too.
One unique feature and highlight of this motorhome is the rooftop deck or terrace. Yes, the roof can be accessed via the driver's cabin and has a proper fenced seating area with a gate. This terrace area is carpeted and has enough space for few chairs and tables and is ideal for al fresco dining, or even star gazing. Motohom Pvt. Ltd says they have patented this adorable rooftop terrace.
The highlight of this motorhome is the rooftop terrace, which is ideal for al fresco dining or even star gazing.
Interestingly, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has released a draft policy to promote caravan tourism, which will soon be sent to the state cabinet for approval. As per this policy, private players can procure caravans for tourism and the government will allow setting up of caravan parks, where recreational vehicles can be parked and all the facilities, including refilling of water, battery charging and disposal of sewage, will be provided. They will also have food courts and information regarding local sights.
The pop-up tent mounted on the roof easily folds down when it's time to drive to the next destination.
A MTDC official said, "We want these parks to be set up in the buffer zone of a forest, near a dam, or foot of a fort. These are places where you will not find conventional resorts or accommodation facilities as rules don't allow for permanent construction." Apparently, the government will also help in getting government land on lease and waiver in caravan registration fee. MTDC also plans to set up caravan parks in at least five spots where it owns land, but can't build resorts or hotels due to some construction bans.
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