List of contents:
50 years of progress . . . . . . . . . . . 2
50 years of progress
Isabella’s founder . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Preface to chronicle . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The Isabella Chronicle . . . . . . . . . 5
Is it any wonder that we have chosen to make something of Isabella’s 50th anniversary?
Phoenix rises from the ashes . . . . 16
Ideas in stock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 We were proud when our company celebrated its 40th anniversary. But a 40th anniversary is nothing compared
25 years at Isabella . . . . . . . . . . . 20 to a 50th anniversary. Fortunately, many companies make it this far. Sadly, however, there are many others that
An awning’s road to the consumer do not.
begins with the consumer. . . . . . . 21
Camping at its best. . . . . . . . . . . . 23 We believe the reason for Isabella’s success lies in the fact that we have always been humble in the face of our
company’s achievements. We have approached every challenge we have faced with care and attention. We have
The triumphant progress of the
large Penta awning . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 taken the time to think things through carefully. More importantly, we have put our energy and resources into
Camping through the ages . . . . . . 26 manufacturing quality products.
It’s good to play. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Robert Storm Petersen, a humorist of great repute in his native Denmark, once said: “Nothing in life comes
Holidays and camping in 2031
free, except pocket ﬂuff!” We can only agree with his observation – Isabella’s success is purely the result of our
– a time travel story . . . . . . . . . . . 32
systematic approach and mutual inspiration.
Quality is not something we’re
prepared to discuss! . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Isabella and every member of the company’s staff continuously seek to improve their performance, and we are
Isabella Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
very grateful for the standing granted to us by Europe’s caravanners.
Isabella launched my career . . . . 38
Artist achieves synergy
With this 50th anniversary volume, we would like to invite anyone with an interest in our company to step into
at Isabella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
our world. At Isabella, we pride ourselves on our continuous dialogue with our customers, our distributors,
Winter camping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
importers, suppliers, business contacts and, naturally, friends of the company. In the following pages, you will
Spending time in the sun . . . . . . . 44 ﬁnd ”The Inside Story of Isabella.”
grill menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
With Isabella amongst southern
Poles and northern Poles . . . . . . . 48
Europe’s longest camping trip
was a success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Importers / subsidiaries . . . . . . . . 54
The magazine is printed on 115 g silk in
Nimbus Sans and Nimbus Roman.
Production: Isabella A/S.
Isabella Magazine :: 2 ::
By journalist and travel writer Jens Jørgen Larsen, Denmark
fulﬁlled his mission and became a legend in the camping world
ho would have thought that caravan- Highly respected
ning would become such a popular Søren Odgaard was loved by all. He was a good fa-
lifestyle choice in the new century? ther, a good employer, a good and loyal colleague and
Isabella’s founder, Søren Odgaard – that’s who! His – more than anything – a business leader who always
far-sightedness was almost legendary, and he had a kept his word. For this reason, he was loved by import-
sixth sense for seeing into a future which we can only ers, distributors and the entire camping industry alike.
rarely predict with any success. That Søren Odgaard was a good employer is evidenced
by the fact that many employees have been with the
Only the best company throughout its expansion. They knew a Søren
As you set off on a new path, it is easy to feel a lit- Odgaard who was always interested in them, and a
tle apprehensive. Not so Søren Odgaard. He believed business leader who was never afraid to praise his em- both at home and abroad. He almost lived to cel-
in his ideas, and he was true to his concept: to cre- ployees or his suppliers when praise was due. ebrate the company’s 50th anniversary – and what a
ate unique tents and caravan awnings of the high- shame he didn’t. But wherever he is today, he would
est quality in a functional and elegant design. Søren Grand old man rejoice, be proud and wish us all many happy hours
Odgaard started a small business hiring out tents, Søren Odgaard became the grand old man of the of camping in the future.
and before long he had set up his own production of camping industry, an industry which awarded him
cottage tents. These were soon followed by awnings numerous accolades. It was thus well-deserved when The camping pioneer and legend Søren Odgaard will
that rapidly became so successful that they overshad- Camping Branchen, the Danish association of camp- always be in our hearts.
owed the cottage tents, which the plant subsequently ing equipment manufacturers, bestowed its honorary
ceased to manufacture. Søren Odgaard remained award upon him. Søren Odgaard thoroughly enjoyed When Isabella celebrated its 40th
true to his interest in camping and outdoor living. the celebrations that accompanied Isabella’s 40th an- anniversary, Søren Odgaard said:
Søren Odgaard is no longer with us. He lived to be
82. He passed away in 2005, a proud and satisﬁed
entrepreneur who lived to see his company succeed “
Some would say that they could
have done it better. Some would
probably also say that they would
have done it differently. But I did it
my way. And if I hadn’t done it my
way, it might never have been done.
Søren Odgaard was awarded Camping Branchen’s
honorary award in 2003.
Isabella’s founder :: 3 :: Isabella Magazine
Preface to chronicle
ing Industri since it was to be found on the large
Danish peninsula of Jutland, at the top of the Euro-
pean continent. The awnings became a brand under
the name of Isabella. Over the past decade, Isabella
has expanded dramatically – so much so that the
company’s growth has amazed even experienced
By journalist and travel writer Jens Jørgen Larsen, Denmark
An annual production of many thousands of awn-
Measured against the endless number of stars in the universe, 50 is an ings speaks for itself. If we translate that annual
insigniﬁcant number. But if we bring the ﬁgure down to earth and look at production into square metres, the units produced
it from the point of view of the camping and leisure industry, then a 50th every year would cover an area of 687,000 m2, or the
anniversary suddenly acquires substance and signiﬁcance. equivalent of 104 football pitches.
The Isabella name has become synonymous with
n fact, the ﬁgure suddenly sounds rather im- the foundations for the company that was to become the type of awning that consumers and caravanners
pressive. Because 50 years is a long time. It’s the largest manufacturer of awnings in Europe. have come to trust. Many different types of Isabella
the number of years that have passed since the awnings may be found proudly gracing caravan sites
visionary Danish businessman, Søren Odgaard, laid The company was originally known as Jydsk Camp- around the world. They are a tasteful addition to the
holiday homes of caravanners, from the boot of Italy
to the North Cape, from Ireland to the Baltic. On
the following pages we will reveal the inside story
of Isabella and paint a portrait of its founder, Søren
Odgaard, who came so close to celebrating his com-
pany’s 50th anniversary with you and all of us. Søren
Odgaard would have loved to be here today.
Isabella Magazine :: 4 :: Preface to chronicle
The Isabella Chronicle:
From a humble beginning to
a leading position in Europe
By journalist Ole C. Jørgensen
n the mid-1950s, it seemed like a stable career enterprising Odgaard had a rewarding career ahead
in the retail trade was on the cards for the of him.
young Søren Odgaard. At that time, he ran Mrs Gustavsen in the sewing room in Grejsdalen
a successful retail chemist outlet in Vestergade in Whether it was an intuitive awareness of the explosive
Vejle. The shop expanded steadily, and at a time growth awaiting the retail trade, or the need and de- chemist shop in 1957 is a question which he himself
when the Danes hardly knew what self-service stores sire to become involved in what was then an unknown never fully answered. In reality, it was probably a bit
and supermarkets were, it seemed as if the young and industry which led Søren Odgaard to sell his retail of both. Isabella’s subsequent success certainly dem-
onstrated that his foresight, his desire to explore new
paths, his business acumen and his ability to recruit
the right people formed the basis for the astounding
growth experienced by the Isabella factory under his
leadership over the course of the next 50 years.
There were no doubt many who felt that Søren
Odgaard was about to enter an uncertain world with
the starting capital he obtained from the sale of his
chemist shop. But as far as the young man from Vejle
The factory was concerned, the world was very simple. During
at Grejsdals- primitive camping trips with his family, he had seen
vej 17 in the opportunities offered by a world of outdoor lei-
sure which, until then, had primarily attracted scouts
ofﬁces of the
Vandelbanen and the odd nature lover. He was convinced there
railroad was a huge, untapped market out there, especially in
light of the advances in welfare and the increase in
Søren Odgaard sells his leisure time experienced by the Danes at a time when
retail chemist shop
The Isabella Chronicle :: 5 :: Isabella Magazine
The Borgward Isabella and the management
team in 1997
the hardships of the post-war years were giving way It was a straightforward enough message, and it en-
to a sense of optimism and energy. ticed a steady stream of customers to visit the outlet
in Grejsdalen to try this new, exciting type of holiday
It all began in the garage in the cellar below the for themselves.
family home at Grejsdals Landevej no. 6, at the
north-western edge of Vejle. The company’s name Many were so impressed that they wanted to buy the
was Jydsk Camping Udlejning, later Jydsk Camping equipment they had hired, and in just a few short
Industri A/S. years the rental outlet was transformed into a sales
and production company.
The Isabella name
Opinions differ as to how Søren Odgaard came up By 1959, business was so good that Søren Odgaard
with the name Isabella for his products. One of the decided to manufacture the ﬁrst of his own products.
most widely accepted theories is that the name came Just a year later, his continued success led him to
from a beautiful classic car of the time, the Borgward purchase the old station building in Grejsdalen,
Isabella. Another theory is that he was inspired by which had recently been vacated by Vandelbanen’s Kongo 1960
a beautiful Spanish queen of the same name. In an railroad. The premises were modiﬁed to manufac-
unguarded moment, Odgaard himself said that he
thought the name sounded beautiful, elegant and
digniﬁed – just like his products.
In the garage in the cellar at Grejsdals Landevej, he
opened a rental outlet for tents, air mattresses and
gas heaters. Even at this early stage, future caravan-
ners were given a taste of Søren Odgaard’s ability to
communicate simple advertising messages. One of
the ﬁrst ads for his new rental business read as fol-
lows: “Go on holiday when you want, and stay where
you want, for a krone a day”.
Søren Odgaard completes
the initial production run,
and the Capri cottage tent is Isabella 7 - 1963
Isabella Magazine :: 6 :: The Isabella Chronicle
ture tents, but not before Søren Odgaard had found
a gifted upholsterer in Vejle who could handle the
technical aspects of the production process.
At this time, the company focused solely on ex-
factory sales, and the products were exhibited on the
nearby meadows in Grejsdalen.
Rapidly increasing sales, combined with the almost
insatiable appetite for camping exhibited by Danes,
meant that production and sales soon outgrew the
old station building.
The portholes that were never copied
By 1961, production was expanding at such a rate
that Søren Odgaard was forced to make a quantum
leap. He went ahead and purchased a larger plot of
land at Nørremarken near Horsensvej road in Vejle
– the area that would later be renamed Isabellahøj by
the local municipality.
A small showroom, an up-to-the-minute sewing room
and some long-awaited storage facilities were con-
Auto tent 1960
structed on the new plot.
fashioned ridge tents, cottage tents and the so-called The rapidly expanding business in Denmark led
The high quality of materials and manufacture that
auto tents, which in reality were also cottage tents Søren Odgaard to look abroad, and the ﬁrst Isabella
are still characteristic of Isabella’s products today
but somewhat easier for Danish camping enthu- cottage tents were exported to Norway in 1961.
were guiding factors in the new specially-designed
siasts to take abroad with them. 1961 also saw a They sold well and success on the Norwegian market
production area. As far as Søren Odgaard was con-
marked change in the camping equipment industry, augured well for further growth.
cerned, quality should never be compromised.
with campers rapidly abandoning the more primi-
tive forms of camping and moving instead towards
Until that time, production had included old-
The sewing room at Nørremarken
The company’s new premises at Nørremarken 1965
The new premises 1962
at Nørremarken are Products are exhibited Sprite 400
constructed in the meadows
The Isabella Chronicle :: 7 :: Isabella Magazine
tionality are continually reassessed. Experienced
caravanners will undoubtedly remember the story of
Isabella’s winter awning, which was tested in stormy
weather and arctic temperatures. The awning sur-
vived, and the story served to underline Isabella’s
reputation for quality and development.
1963 and 1964 saw a huge increase in the sale of
caravans in Europe. The Danes were no exception,
and the result was a marked rise in the demand for
awnings although the cottage tents remained popu-
lar. Jydsk Camping Industri had also begun to sell
caravans at Isabellahøj during this period. The sew-
ing room had to be expanded a couple of times dur-
ing the mid-1960s in order to keep up with demand.
Søren Odgaard at the factory
The company’s trademark, the Isabella portholes, that the portholes are the only thing that other awn-
were also introduced at the beginning of the 1960s, ing manufacturers in Europe haven’t been able to,
though the initial version was somewhat more sub- or dared, copy over the years. Isabella’s production
stantial than the ones that have characterised the gathered pace in the 1960s, when one new and ex-
awnings from Isabellahøj over the past decades. The citing awning from Vejle after another saw the light
story in the industry, usually related with a smile, is of day as the factory’s product development efforts
The result was an actual research and development
department, where design, durability and func- Søren Odgaard at the entrance to the canteen
The ﬁrst awning goes
1963-64 Søren Odgaard devises
Caravans go on sale at the so-called A-measure-
Isabellahøj ment for awnings Winter scene with awning – 1965
Isabella Magazine :: 8 :: The Isabella Chronicle
Sales of caravans continued to increase at the begin-
ning of the 1970s. The fact that many Danes wanted
more comfort on holiday meant that large numbers
of campers abandoned the cottage tents in favour of
caravans and, in some cases, trailer tents.
This period also signalled a change in the existing
conﬁguration of tent manufacturers. At the begin-
ning of the 1960s, there were about half a dozen
manufacturers of different types of tents in Den-
mark, but a drastic decrease in the demand for cot-
tage tents meant that several producers went out of
business, leaving a market that was only capable of
supporting a tiny number of manufacturers.
In 1967 Søren Odgaard devised the so-called A-
measurement (ground-to-ground measurement) for
awnings, which is still used to this day.
The A-measurement was a real milestone, for manu-
facturers as well as caravanners. In simple terms, the
system sought to standardise awning measurements.
Rather than manufacturing special awnings for the
many different types of caravans on the market,
manufacturers could produce a range of standard
awnings which were suitable for all different cara-
Isabella Lux 1970 at Rindbæklund
In 1973 Jydsk Camping Industri decided to concen-
trate exclusively on awnings, thus abandoning the
production of cottage tents and the sale of caravans.
This proved to be a winning decision, not least in
light of the drastic increase in imports of cottage tents
from countries with far lower production costs.
As interest in camping grew, the need arose for
further product development. Initially, attention
turned to the materials used in the manufacturing
process. The old cotton tents had their limitations
during temperamental Danish summers, and Søren
Odgaard therefore entered into close collaboration
Isabella 360 - 1967
with what was then Vejle Dampvæveri. The result
1971 was a new roof with synthetic polyester interwoven
Isabella’s premises are extended 1975
Isabella sets up a subsidiary in Great Britain. New into the canvas. Crucially, the new roof was far more
1969 developments in tent canvas see the introduction of acrylic
The canteen and sewing water-tight and it was also far more durable.
canvases and polyester-coated roofs.
room no. 1 are built
The Isabella Chronicle :: 9 :: Isabella Magazine
1975 saw a dramatic development in the quality of
tent canvas brought about by the need for more du-
rable awnings. The Danes, who had previously gone
on holiday for a two-week summer break and a few
weekends a year, suddenly began to view their cara-
van and awning as a kind of summer cottage, a holi-
day home to be used from early to late summer. The
cotton awnings were unable to withstand the weather
for such a prolonged period – especially during con-
The revolutionary new development saw the intro-
duction of acrylic canvas and polyester-coated roofs,
and caravanners quickly took to the new and more
Olympia Acrylic – 1979
Olympia Gold – 1972
The entire output of awnings for
1977 the 1980 season sold out
Isabella’s 20th anniversary – the brown and orange Olym-
pia Acrylic anniversary model is launched 1980
There are now more than 100
The trend-setting Isabella
beige colour is launched
The Ambassador, Isabella’s most popular awning, is launched
Isabella Magazine :: 10 :: The Isabella Chronicle
In 1977, in its 20th anniversary year, Jydsk Camping
Industri (now known simply as Isabella in camping
circles) launched an anniversary model: the Olympia
Acrylic, produced in shades of brown and orange.
It was a run-away success – not only because of the
quality, but because it encapsulated the trend-setting
colours of the day.
In 1979, the Olympia Acrylic really took off. Brown
and beige were the ‘in’ colours at the time, and Isa-
bella revolutionised the market by introducing an
awning built to a new design, where the sides and
the front could be removed or rolled down halfway
according to the needs of caravanners.
Isabella’s success almost brought the company to its
knees. Although relatively optimistic when it deter-
mined the production capacity, sales of the Olympia
Acrylic exceeded even Isabella’s wildest expectations.
The Ambassador 2502 – 1991 The joy experienced in connection with the compa-
ny’s success was somewhat overshadowed by its frus-
tration at being unable to keep up with demand.
Isabella never wanted to end up in a similar situation
again, and a rapid expansion of the production fa-
cilities was agreed. By 1980, the company had more
than 100 employees. Over the years, Søren Odgaard
created a strong team of skilled employees, not just
in production but in sales, development, administra-
tion, ﬁnance and logistics.
The best-selling awning in Europe to date was
launched in 1982. The Ambassador range, which has
undergone continuous development, is still marketed
on the basis of the original concept.
Isabella’s exports also underwent rapid growth in the
1980s. Up until this point, sales to a number of Euro-
pean countries were primarily handled by importers.
Isabella had had its own subsidiary in the United
Isabella’s ﬁrst forklift truck in the raw materials storage area in the 1970s
Campion, the new pole factory, opens
Another subsidiary opens in Norway
The revolutionary IXL ﬁbreglass pole system is
1982 The Penta, the largest awning on the market,
A subsidiary opens in the Netherlands is launched
1990 The Penta
Isabella enters the German market
The Isabella Chronicle :: 11 :: Isabella Magazine
Kingdom since 1970, but in 1982 the company set up
another subsidiary in the Netherlands, which, in rela-
tion to the country’s population, was the camping cap-
ital of Europe. In 1985, another subsidiary opened in
Norway, followed in 1990 by yet another in Germany.
Isabella continues to have a succesful working part-
nership with an importer in Sweden, which has always
been one of the company’s main export markets.
Developments in Denmark
In the 1980s, Isabella recognised that Denmark was
its most important market, not just because of the
sales volume but also because close contact with
caravanners and distributors at home meant that the
company was in a position to develop and manufac-
ture its awnings in response to the needs of the mar-
ket, and to react rapidly when new trends emerged.
It is no exaggeration to say that the entire European
The ﬁrst large sewing room in 1969 awnings market was characterised by Isabella’s inno-
vative thinking and efforts to improve quality.
Until the mid-1980s, all awnings were sold with gal-
vanised steel poles. In 1985, however, the demand
for greater mobility lead Isabella to develop a revolu-
tionary ﬁbreglass pole system, the IXL system. The
new poles weighed far less than the traditional steel
poles, and their strength and ﬂexibility meant that
the system was a very close contender in terms of
quality. The main advantage, as far as touring cara-
vanners were concerned, was that there were far few-
er kilos to carry around, and that the awnings were
far easier to erect.
1985 was also the year in which the largest awning
on the market was launched. The pentagonal Penta,
with its ingenious pole construction, did not require
a support pole in the middle of the awning to hold
Despite Isabella’s optimism and hard work, the fac-
tory found it difﬁcult to keep up with demand in the
Camping in the 1980s ﬁrst half of the 1990s. The company consequently
acquired TeltLarsen in Odense in 1995, and set
about adapting it for its own production.
Isabella celebrates its 40th anniversary 2000 The pace of progress meant that there was hardly
1995 cooperation with a time for a backward glance in 1997, when Isabella
Isabella acquires factory in Poland celebrated its 40th anniversary.
TeltLarsen in Odense
Isabella Magazine :: 12 :: The Isabella Chronicle
Juelsminde Camping in the 1990s
Toilet tent – in production for approx. 25 years
Professor Glob took a number of cottage tents with him on his desert expedition among the Bedouins
The market was in a constant state of change and
development. Suddenly, there was an increase in de-
mand for cheaper products as opposed to the high-
quality awnings that were Isabella’s trademark. As a
result, the factory began to develop a new series of
products of the same high quality but with fewer fea- 2005
Construction begins on the
tures than the traditional Isabella awnings. new buildings at Isabellahøj
The Isabella Chronicle :: 13 :: Isabella Magazine
In practical terms, this was achieved by entering into
close collaboration with a Polish factory which was
able to fulﬁl Isabella’s stringent production require-
ments. This partnership, which began in 2000, has
Despite increased capacity in Poland and in other
locations around Denmark, it became clear after
the turn of the millennium that developments in the
market demanded further expansion at Isabellahøj.
In 2005, contractors broke ground on an imposing
new project designed to house Isabella’s new up-to-
the-minute administration ofﬁces, a new impressive
showroom and a more efﬁcient warehouse.
Søren Odgaard’s spirit lives on
Isabella’s founder, Søren Odgaard, died in 2005
having remained active until the end. Over the last
dozen years or so, he had implemented a number of
measures designed to ensure the factory’s continued
existence, such as establishing the Isabella Founda-
tion and hiring a number of skilled managers and
employees. ing phase, when future growth suddenly raises differ- Søren Odgaard’s near legendary intuition has also
ent demands for management and development. meant that the company is now in a position to grow
The mix of young and experienced employees has while retaining its position as the leading awnings
been one of Isabella’s strengths over the years. A One of the most important reasons for Isabella’s re- manufacturer in Europe. Isabella’s products will still
number of vital managerial posts have been subject markable transformation from a pioneering compa- be in demand, and will continue to be copied, in the
to a gradual generation shift lately, thus ensuring ny to the largest and most advanced specialist manu- future.
sustained continuity and the continued development facturer of awnings in Europe lies in its founder’s
and expansion of the Isabella factory. ability to appoint skilled managers and to delegate Søren Odgaard knew that nothing comes of nothing
responsibility while keeping both feet ﬁrmly on the – and his spirit is alive and well at the factory at Isa-
Many entrepreneurs ﬁnd it difﬁcult to keep up once ground. And, of course, Søren Odgaard’s talent for bellahøj.
their company has made it through the ﬁrst pioneer- handling money.
Sun-Z Universal 240
Isabella Magazine :: 14 :: The Isabella Chronicle
from the ashes...
By Peder Odgaard, Technical Manager
In the summer of 2004 Isabella suffered a serious ﬁre in its
n the summer of 2004, Isabella suffered a seri- The second stage, the administration block itself, was
As Søren Odgaard stood among
ous ﬁre in its oldest showroom, and only the completed on 24 April 2006 – a day that employees
the smoking embers the day after
remarkable efforts of Vejle Fire Brigade and from Isabella’s sales and ﬁnance departments had
the ﬁre, he decided that a new
personnel from two ﬁre stations in nearby towns pre- looked forward to with a great deal of anticipation
administration block and a new
vented the ﬁre from spreading to Isabella’s produc- and excitement. They had been moved to other
warehouse should be built on the
tion hall and warehouse. attractive piece of land alongside premises, including Isabella’s existing showroom, at
the main road. the beginning of the construction process. Here, the
As Søren Odgaard stood among the smoking embers sales representatives had established makeshift of-
the day after the ﬁre, he decided that a new admin-
istration block and a new warehouse should be built
” ﬁces in the exhibited awnings, creating a small camp
site that buzzed with activity between eight in the
on the attractive piece of land alongside the main morning and ﬁve in the afternoon.
road. Three architects were invited to submit their
tenders on the basis of ideas and drawings produced ary 2006. It rapidly proved to be extremely func- Just one look at the bright, well-arranged ﬂoors that
by Isabella’s employees, and in August 2005 excava- tional and efﬁcient, much to the delight of Isabella’s house the many ofﬁces makes it easy to see that the
tions were begun for the new 4500 m building com-
distributors. The warehouse stands like a 10-metre- new Isabella building was worth the wait. Every fea-
plex designed by Westergaard|arkitekter. high black monolith above an underground parking ture discreetly reﬂects thorough planning and ﬁne
garage which is much appreciated by Isabella’s em- craftsmanship – concepts that are not unknown
As promised by the main contractor, KG Hansen, ployees since it offers direct access to the administra- where Isabella and its products are concerned.
the new 2000 m warehouse was opened on 2 Janu-
Isabella Magazine :: 16 :: Phoenix rises from the ashes...
As soon as you enter the new foyer, you are met by which to present new Isabella models. In one corner and computers to customers and business part-
a bright red 1957 Borgward Isabella coupé. Many of of the atrium is an amphitheatre which will be the ners throughout Europe – all from a corner of the
the company’s employees have enjoyed a trip in this setting for many summer events arranged by Isabel- atrium!
beautiful vehicle in connection with their service an- la’s Art Society of which some 120 employees are
niversary. Tradition has it that they are picked up at currently members. At the top of the building, with views across the town
home and driven to Isabella for a day of celebration and the atrium, is a showroom which is large enough
– a small but festive part of a big day. A new feature for users of the new Isabella build- to exhibit a small number of special models, or for
One of the favourite parts of the new building is the ing is that all technical functions are controlled by small internal events. This ﬂoor also offers direct ac-
shared café. The facility has been inserted between computer – the lights are automatically turned on cess to the partially covered roof terrace. The sail
the two ofﬁce ﬂoors and juts out above the water and and off, the doors open only with the correct code, that soars above the terrace is termed a hyperbolic
into the enclosed atrium like a giant drawer pulled the external sun shades are activated when a room paraboloid by those in the know – and Isabella’s
out of the façade. In time, the garden will become needs cooling, and the heating system takes into ac- white sun sail was indeed designed by textile archi-
a peaceful green oasis and a beautiful space with count the personal requirements of the building’s tecture experts from CENO TEC. At night it is lit
sun benches and shadow trees – the ideal setting in users. A wireless network connects the telephones in slowly changing shades of red, and the sail soars
above Isabella and rises towards the sky like Phoenix
from the ashes – symbol of “the new Isabella”.
With its new headquarters in Vejle, Isabella has cre-
ated a building for the future.
The sail on Isabella’s roof terrace was inspired by, among other things, the large sail that serves as the emblem of
the largest European music festival in Roskilde in Denmark. The sail is made of acrylic and was supplied by our
business partner Sattler’s subsidiary CENO TEC in Germany.
Phoenix rises from the ashes... :: 17 :: Isabella Magazine
Ideas in stock
By Peder Odgaard, Technical Manager
Anyone can have an idea, but great ideas take time – a lot of time.
sabella has a large team of dedicated employ- and prices… and what about the purchase of materi-
ees whose time and efforts are spent ﬁnalising als, CAD-CAM documents, brochures, translations,
the company’s new products. Before a product stock and production control, etc., etc.
reaches the launch stage, there are a great many
things to be sorted out ﬁrst: weave patterns, sewing In the midst of all these careful considerations and
methods, instructions, pole constructions, packaging calculations, the product may not even make it
IsaFix locking clamp
Isabella Magazine :: 18 :: Ideas in stock
Karen Ozmec, Lene Egly and Peder Odgaard
through all the development stages because the de- The Vision also features a host of new design ele-
mands placed on our ﬁnished products are so high. ments, and we believe – in all modesty – that we
This means that many ideas will not come to fruition have created the most attractive awning ever, whose
straight away, but may instead be ‘shelved’ and al- shape, colour and function unite to form a unique
lowed to mature. Not unlike good wines, which often product which we are sure will be appreciated by to-
improve with age. day’s caravanners.
One example of such a well-matured project is the For 50 years, Isabella has been synonymous with
new IsaFix locking clamp. The elementary sketch for progress and new developments within the camping
the IsaFix is more than four years old, but the “double- industry. In the future, we will continue to bring forth
action gear box” was only technically optimised two new ideas, large and small, which will mature and see
years ago, allowing the poles to be immobilised with the light of day – at a caravan dealer near you!
a simple 180° twist of the handle. A patented techno-
Another example of ideas maturing over time is the
Vision, Isabella’s anniversary model, which borrows
several ideas from the Reﬂex prototype (Caravan
Salon, Düsseldorf 2002), including the patterned
shade and ventilation net and the integral gutter,
which have been further developed since the Reﬂex
Ideas in stock :: 19 :: Isabella Magazine
n Isabella employee’s 25th anniversary
of service is a very special celebration
indeed. Although ofﬁcially excused from
work, employees spend the day at the ofﬁce being
celebrated in style.
At the beginning of the day, employees are collected
from their home address in the grand old Isabella
Borgward by Ivan Odgaard and driven to Isabella,
where the entire staff are waiting with ﬂags and
bunting. A reception is also held on the day, attended
by family and colleagues, and food is served in the
cafe for all employees at the factory.
Anna Margrethe Jørgensen is greeted by ﬂag-waving colleagues on the day of her 25th anniversary of service
Søren Odgaard introduced a beautiful tradition on
the occasion of the very ﬁrst 25th anniversary at Isa- part of the celebrations to mark an employee’s anni- The trees that are planted are oaks, because the oak
bella. He created a park on a piece of land adjoining versary, he or she is joined by colleagues and family, symbolises the perseverance and loyalty demonstrat-
the factory, where a tree is planted in honour of every and all pay a visit to the park to plant the tree. The ed by employees who remain with the company for
employee who has worked at Isabella for 25 years. As ceremony is accompanied by speeches and a toast. so many years. It is also the longest-living tree in this
part of the world, and therefore the one most suited
to bear witness to the event for many years to come.
There is an old Chinese proverb which says “One
generation plants the trees, another gets the shade”.
In the cafe at Isabella, there are pictures of all em-
ployees who have celebrated their 25th anniversary,
and that’s quite a few… 24 of Isabella’s employees
have, in fact, worked for the company for more than
25 years – a clear sign that Isabella is a good place
Anna Margrethe Jørgensen and
Søren Odgaard planting an oak in the park
Isabella Magazine :: 20 :: 25 years at Isabella
An awning’s road to the consumer
begins with the consumer
By Sales and Marketing Manager Carsten Dyg, Isabella
Producing, selling and servicing awnings for the caravanners of Europe
is a lengthy process – and a well-planned one, too.
apping the needs and wishes of con- Ready, steady, go! will the production department’s sewing machines
sumers is vital, so we always begin Did we get it right as regards the needs and wishes swing into action. A new Isabella awning is about to
with the input we receive from ex- of our consumers? Does the price match the quality? hit the market.
perienced caravanners. The valuable ideas garnered Do the colours follow current trends? Does the feel Once an awning has been manufactured, it is subject
from these experts, and from our dealer network, of the product match Isabella’s image? to stringent quality checks before being packed and
are combined with the technical opportunities avail- Only when the answer to all these questions is yes, sent on to our distribution department.
able to us. Next, the R&D department takes over
– and adds its own ideas. Design, materials, possible
combinations of colours, durability and strength
under different weather conditions are just some of
the applicable parameters. The design department
produces prototypes for further review and test-
ing. Next, assessments are made during an internal
presentation round, where representatives from the
sales, R&D and production departments are given a
chance to air their views.
Together with principal players from our importers,
subsidiaries and selected dealers, we carry out a ﬁ-
nal assessment and reach a decision on the actual
An awning’s road to the consumer begins with the consumer :: 21 :: Isabella Magazine
service for the lifetime of the product – and that’s a
very long time indeed!
Our motto has always been that Isabella customers
are our most important asset. And we look after the
things we value most.
Isabella drives the camping scene right across
Europe. Isabella awnings are supplied in a large
number of different combinations. All, however, are
designed with passion and a sense of the aesthetic
and the functional, built around a frame designed to
withstand the wind and the weather.
And all are created as the result of a fruitful dialogue
A new awning is marketed in several different ways ing. Isabella’s ﬂagship product, the Penta, is a case in between consumers and Isabella, in the hope of an
as part of the overall process. It is exhibited at large- point. You can read more about the Penta elsewhere enjoyable life of camping. A free life – the freest kind
scale trade events and exhibitions around Europe. in this magazine. of life imaginable.
Press releases are sent out, and our marketing depart-
ment undertakes the actual marketing campaign. Service
Isabella does not forget a customer once a sale has
What is most important to us, however, is for our been completed. Our service departments, strategi-
collection to be exhibited in our dealers’ showrooms cally positioned in local markets, ensure that our
– this is where consumers can feel the quality of Isa- customers can have their awning repaired when
bella’s products for themselves. necessary. Even though an Isabella awning is both Isabella awnings –
elegant and sturdy, and sewn with reinforcements in elegant and sturdy.
What began as an in-depth dialogue between cara- all exposed places, accidents can occasionally hap-
vanners and Isabella has now resulted in a new awn- pen. In this way, customers are guaranteed Isabella
Isabella Magazine :: 22 :: An awning’s road to the consumer begins with the consumer
at its best
By William Smesman
No matter how large, elegant or well-equipped your caravan, it should
under no circumstances lack an awning. You spend almost as many
hours in the awning as you do in the actual caravan, so you should
always choose an awning of the highest possible quality – which is
exactly what Isabella offers.
s chief editor of the Belgian camping awning offered free by the dealer when you buy your and dismantling the awning. In addition to solid
magazine ‘Kampeerwereld/Camping & caravan – you would undoubtedly regret it. Instead, poles, Isabella is one of the few manufacturers to
Loisirs’ I can only concur – an awning ask him for the price of this awning, and suggest that offer a reinforced roof canvas which prevents water
is an absolutely indispensable part of camping life. he deduct this sum from the price of the awning you from collecting on the roof.
An awning is the equivalent of the terrace in front of really want, such as an Isabella awning. With 50 And if your awning were to be damaged in a severe
a house, a welcome extension to the caravan which years’ experience, the Danish manufacturer knows storm, you can contact the Danish manufacturer’s
brings you closer to nature. You can sit here and ob- better than anyone what makes a good awning. Isa- service department for spare parts. The company
serve life around you on the camping site. On holi- bella’s products are characterised by the incredible also offers a wealth of accessories, including organ-
day, it is the ideal place to cook and eat, or to wel- quality of the canvas, and the many practical venti- izers, attractive carpets, storm sashes, etc. In short,
come friends for a chat. The awning can also serve as lation openings which largely prevent condensation. Isabella fully deserves its position as the market
a children’s playroom or as a storeroom. The caravan The corners of the seams are reinforced, making it leader in awnings.
itself is only really used at night or during the day almost impossible for them to split. The zips, which
when temperatures are low. are all of the highest quality, are protected by a ﬂap
against water and damaging UV rays. Poles are avail-
Acquiring an awning able in steel or an ultra-light carbon ﬁbre material.
A good awning usually represents an investment of Caravanners who travel regularly should choose the
around 10–15% of the price of the caravan. Be as carbon ﬁbre poles as they are considerably lighter
critical when choosing your awning as you are when (weighing approx. 7 kg less than the traditional steel
choosing a caravan. You should never accept any old poles) and much simpler to handle when erecting
Camping at its best :: 23 :: Isabella Magazine
The triumphant progress
of the large Penta awning
poles or guy ropes. 1998 saw the introduction of Uni-
Cut, which provided the optimum ﬁt for the caravans
of the day. Now, in Isabella’s anniversary year, the
Penta makes its ﬁnest appearance yet with beauti-
ful colours, the ﬁnest ever light panels in the roof, a
mosquito net panel in the left side, a door in the left
corner panel and a window in the right corner panel.
By Tommy Boisen, Isabella
An annex attachment is now also available. The at-
tachment is added at the sides as extra equipment,
Isabella’s largest awning, the Penta, has assumed a leading position in providing additional space and the option to create a
the wonderful world of camping sleeping cabin, for instance.
An inspiring tale
The following tale serves to illustrate the Penta’s stur-
diness: a camp site owner in the north of Jutland with
he Penta ﬁrst appeared in 1986 following Milestones a large number of permanent caravans purchased 19
a long creative process. Isabella’s research In 1992, an all-round canopy was added to the Penta of the largest Penta awnings in 1998 for his rental cara-
had revealed that caravanners wanted a to protect the sides from dirt and water. In 1994, the vans. He chose to leave the awnings outside both sum-
roomy awning which would be sturdy enough for Penta was further improved with the aid of an inter- mer and winter, even in the knowledge that the Penta
year-round camping, since the season then, as now, nal lifting pole at the rear of the awning, making it is not designed for winter camping. Large amounts
often began at Easter and lasted right into Septem- self-supporting without the need for external support of snow can crush the tent, and the canvas may get
ber and even longer for some.
The Penta was way ahead of its time when it was
created in 1986, and as a result the basic design has
changed very little since then. Even so, today’s Penta
is a carefully designed high-technology product
which has been tested by consumers for more than
20 years. Sometimes, however, changes are needed.
The light panels in the roof, which were introduced
in 1989 to create an indoor climate which far sur-
passes that of other high-quality awnings, are just
one example of such a change.
Isabella Magazine :: 24 :: The triumphal progress of the large Penta awning
ripped in a storm. He deﬁed all cautions, however, and for caravans, and even during this anniversary year pegging elastics, FixOn II™ screwless brackets and
equipped his awnings with steel guy ropes as well as it is difﬁcult to think of changes that would improve the latest dot jacquard curtains, as well as draught
a large number of additional support poles and roof the awning without rendering it far too intricate. The skirt, wheel arch cover, pegs and guy ropes.
poles. He also lived on site, and always made sure that advantage of the design is that the awning is always
he removed any snow from the roofs of the awnings. perfectly assembled when correctly tensioned, re- Still going strong
gardless of the caravan on which it has been ﬁtted. The Penta will undoubtedly be around for many years
In December 1999 Denmark was hit by the worst I must remember to mention that the Penta’s side and to come. Who knows – it may even live to celebrate
storm for 100 years. The awnings were particularly front panels are made of a tough 280 g dyed acrylic its 25th anniversary in 2011 – or even its 50th anniver-
exposed since the winds were strongest in the north of from Isabella’s supplier Sattler in Austria. The roof is sary in 2036. That is pure supposition, naturally, but
Jutland. The awnings made it through the worst with made of coated polyester with an attractive and prac- it is no doubt realistic given that the Penta has been
very little damage except for a couple of bent poles. tical interior pattern and light panels in the same ma- the most successful awning ever.
terial, all supplied by Ten Cate in the Netherlands.
A summer cottage The base is made of polyester/PVC and includes an
The Penta has been described as a summer cottage internal mudﬂap. The Penta is supplied with IsaFlex
The triumphal progress of the large Penta awning :: 25 :: Isabella Magazine
through the ages
By Jørgen Frölich, DCU
The days are over when camping was seen as a cheap holiday option.
Camping, more than almost any other sector of the holiday market, has
undergone extremely rapid development and is today the preferred holi-
During the post-war years, camping sites offered no
day option for Danes.
more than a small wooden hut with a toilet bucket or
a hole in the ground, along with an outside tap.
his is partly due to the fact that the camping In the beginning, a farmer or a village would have a tom of your tent. This was the height of luxury. In the
sector has demonstrated great foresight, to small piece of land where visitors could put up a tent. morning, visitors would clean up after themselves,
the extent that camping sites and caravan In the years immediately after the Second World gather up every wisp of straw and put it all back in
parks are often as comfortable and well equipped to- War, only ramblers and cyclists went camping. The the barn.
day as most homes. Not only that, but manufacturers facilities on site were few and far between, consisting
of tents, caravans, motorhomes and camping equip- usually of a tap and a single toilet with a bucket or a At this time, neither plastic or air mattresses nor
ment have succeeded in supplying products of the hole in the ground. ﬁxed tent ﬂoors had been invented, which meant that
very highest quality. rain and creepy-crawlies rapidly made their way into
There was no manager on site, but a man would the tent. This was something you simply learned to
come around in the evenings live with. If there was no straw around, you picked
at around nine P.M. and ask for some tall grass to put under your sleeping bag, and
25 Danish øre per person per a raincoat was ample protection against damp from
night. If you were really lucky, below.
you might ﬁnd a comfort camp
site with a small barn and some Water-ﬂushed toilets
straw you could put in the bot- The 1950s saw the advent of water-ﬂushed toilets and
outdoor sinks – generally installed in a lean-to. In the
They were sweet, those sixties 1960s, camping really took off in Denmark. Indoor
girls – seen here enjoying
laundry, toilet and bathroom facilities were installed.
themselves in a caravan from
that period. Hesselhus Camping was at the forefront of develop-
Isabella Magazine :: 26 :: Camping through the ages
The greatest luxury was a small barn with straw that could be used as a mattress. There were no such things as ﬂy sheets, but a cotton tent would keep out a shower provided
you didn’t touch the canvas. Otherwise, the rain simply came pouring through the material.
ments – it was the ﬁrst camping site in Denmark to Foreign inﬂuences ter facilities. The facilities, in fact, became so good
have warm water in the taps, a large playground and In the 1960s, caravans started to become popular. that sites could stay open all year round. Krakær in
a common room with a television. Little wonder, The British-made Sprite, in particular, introduced Mols was the ﬁrst site to pilot this initiative.
then, that this superb site attracted large numbers of the caravan to Denmark.
visitors. The advent of the caravan brought about a need for
These vehicles were unwelcome foreign interlopers awnings, and Isabella was part of the evolution from
at camping sites. Sitting there in the evening in his the very beginning. Since the factory already made
tent with his wife and kids, chilly, dressed in damp pyramid-shaped tents and cottage tents, it was only
clothes and with wet towels that refused to dry prop-
erly in the humid weather, it was impossible for a
man not to cast an envious glance towards the lady
in the brightly lit caravan, in her nice skirt and light
blouse, making coffee in her warm and cosy cara-
Camping takes off
It was thanks to caravans that camping really began
to take off. Suddenly, the season could be extended
If a site was near a lake, all personal and dental over and above the two weeks’ summer holiday that In the 1960s, car drivers also began to
hygiene needs were met here. Visitors could even have visit camping sites. Seen here is a white
people had at the time. Sites became more proﬁtable
a bath – something that only few were lucky enough to cotton tent along with a Volkswagen and
have at home. as a result, and site owners were able to invest in bet- an Opel Rekord.
Camping through the ages :: 27 :: Isabella Magazine
Kongo - 1960
Olympia Syntex 1977
Isabella Eskimo - 1969
natural to follow developments and begin to manu-
facture awnings. This proved to be an excellent initia-
tive, since Isabella is now one of the largest awnings
manufacturers in Europe.
The best in Europe
Although there are many excellent, well-equipped
caravan sites abroad, it is fair to say that Danish
sites, on the whole, are among the best in Europe.
There are few other places where you will ﬁnd such
a variety of comfortable, user-friendly facilities, from
well-equipped kitchens with cookers, ovens and grills
to special bathrooms for children and families which
often match or exceed the facilities on offer at home.
There are, of course, also many activities on offer
including swimming pools, large playgrounds with are being sold in huge numbers across Europe. Spe- ﬂoor-heated bathroom with toilet, wash basins at dif-
bouncy castles and cushions, a variety of playing cial facilities are being created for these vehicles, ferent heights, shower and storage facilities where
ﬁelds, etc. including level parking areas, reﬁlling and emptying they can leave their belongings and avoid having to
facilities for tanks, etc. queue or share a toilet with others. Experience shows
The future that many families are prepared to pay up to around
Progress continues apace. The latest trend to hit to- Private bathrooms are slowly beginning to appear. £7.50 a day for this luxury, and perhaps save in other
day’s caravan sites are the many motorhomes, which This means that visitors can rent their own private, areas.
Today’s caravan sites are also at the forefront of
developments when it comes to IT, with many sites
now offering Internet cafes and wireless Internet
Isabella 500 - 1970
Isabella Magazine :: 28 :: Camping through the ages
:: 29 :: Isabella Magazine
It’s good to play
welcome to join in, especially with games from their
own childhood – old-fashioned games are popular
with children. Playing is free, it gives us a fantastic
sense of closeness and togetherness and it allows us
to spend some wonderful moments together while
By Anne-Vibeke Isaksen, www.campingdanmark.dk
So-called nature playgrounds, which are springing up
We grownups should play for at least an hour a day – it’s good for the in many places nowadays, combine natural materials
body and the soul. Spending time with children makes you see how and physical challenges to form a cohesive whole. It
liberating it is to play. Playgrounds are a sure hit at caravan sites because doesn’t really take much – children can spend hours
children rapidly ﬁnd new playmates here. playing on a climbing frame if it has been creatively
designed. Nature playgrounds are also good because
they are usually located in an open area, in a forest
pending time with children makes you see children, and a caravan site is a real eldorado where or by a lake for instance, allowing the landscape to
how liberating it is to play. Playing is good they can expand their horizons. become a part of the children’s play.
for the body and the soul – whether you
are a child or a grownup. Play leads to smiles and Different playgrounds Shapes and colours
laughter, which in turn lead to a sense of security, Playgrounds differ widely in Denmark and abroad. Playgrounds which incorporate bright colours and
closeness and togetherness. Children can show us The number of stars awarded to a caravan site is of- ingenious shapes that inspire play are a sure hit with
how to escape our busy lives, with too much screen ten a good indicator of what you can expect from the children, who usually spot them at a distance and
time and too little exercise. They are the ﬁrst to seek playground facilities. One thing, however, is certain: will keep pestering their parents until they are al-
out the playground once the family arrives at the 99% of all caravan sites have a playground. lowed to play. Isabella and the Isabella Foundation
caravan site. have so far given some 60 Danish caravan sites a
Since having our children, we no longer stay in the Kompan playground, known for its colourful climb-
The playground is a sure-ﬁre hit at any caravan site, same spot on the caravan site. In the early years, ing frames and intricate shapes. Kompan are high-
because children rapidly ﬁnd new playmates here. when we brought our little tent, we usually pitched quality Danish playgrounds with a lifetime of up
And once they do, their imagination knows no it in the farthest corner, far from the facilities and to 30 years. Safety is absolute provided service and
bounds. The way in which children play differs from the other people on the site. Now that we are joined maintenance routines are observed. In Denmark,
country to country as a result of diverse traditions by our children aged one and three, we make camp consultants from the Danish Camping Board visit all
and cultures. Some will know games that others have as close to the playground as possible. That way, we approved Danish caravan sites once a year to carry
never heard of, but children are quick to accept new can sit and relax in front of the caravan while the out playground safety checks.
ways of playing as long as these provide a challenge children play. They quickly create their own universe
and bring them closer together. Camping is ideal for and their own world through play. Grownups are
Isabella Magazine :: 30 :: It’s good to play
Although legal responsibility rests with the owner,
parents should always accompany children, espe-
cially younger ones, to the playground. This is where
all the children at a caravan site meet up, and it can
get a little boisterous on summer evenings in high
season, especially on the bouncy cushions. If you
spot a dangerous object or similar in a playground
at any time, you should notify the owner or the site
manager immediately, though without restricting the
freedom of play for children.
In short, caravan site owners who build their own
Playgrounds which incorporate
playground must ensure that it is approved by the bright colours and ingenious
local authorities once it has been completed. The shapes that inspire play are a sure
owner is subsequently responsible for maintenance, hit with children.
including safety checks. Most of the larger caravan
sites that build playgrounds nowadays use a profes- ”
sional ﬁrm to do so. Responsibility for playground 2
safety rests with the owner.
Go to www.legepladskontrollen.dk, the Danish Play-
ground Control site, for the latest requirements and
speciﬁcations for Danish playgrounds.
Photos by Rasmus Schønning
1. Boys will be boys! It’s good to play – even if you’re
2. Elite Camping Bøsøre Strand Feriepark has been
designed around a Hans Christian Andersen theme
– hence the large playground with well-known
ﬁgures from the fairy tales. 6
3. TopCamp Jambo Vesterhav’s playground is
probably the most expensive in Denmark at DKK 4
1.5 million. “Come on down, kids” says the site’s
4. Isabella’s colourful playgrounds may be found at
60 Danish caravan sites – here at FDM Hegedal
5. Many caravan sites keep animals, which are
always a hit with children of all ages.
6. At Feddet Camping on Zealand, children can
become ﬁshermen for a day.
It’s good to play :: 31 :: Isabella Magazine
Holidays and camping
in 2031 – a time travel story
By Rolf Jensen, Dream Company as
Rolf Jensen, manager and founder of Dream Company as in Copenhagen, is the author
of three bestsellers: The Dream Society, published in 10 languages, Heartstorm, a book
about storytelling for the business community, and most recently Fremtidsmagerne
(due to appear in English as A Time Traveller’s Tale). The book, which was published in
December 2005 by Børsens Forlag, describes a journey in time to the year 2030. With
inspiration for the present from 2030, the book is aimed at companies that want to be
prepared for the future. Rolf Jensen is a popular and inspiring lecturer in Europe and
elsewhere, and an advisor to a number of large corporations. www.dreamcompany.dk.
Let us journey in time to the year 2031. Needless to say, the industry
rarely looks this far ahead, but just occasionally it is a good idea to get
a bird’s eye view of things in order to see the major trends.
et’s begin by asking ourselves this: Will peo- percentage share of disposable income spent on ex- to live up to the standards of beauty projected by
ple still be going on holiday by the time we periences will increase. Experiences denote all the society. Endless demands are placed on us.
have celebrated New Year’s Eve another 25 emotional things that appeal to our hearts – camping
times? In the majority of European countries, people holidays are a good example. Camping holidays are But not so on a camping holiday! When we go camp-
are working longer hours. Will we end up working so not part of the information society – on the whole, ing, we are free to do exactly as we please. Sleep until
much that we no longer take time off for holidays? we don’t go on holiday to gain knowledge or become we wake, eat when we are hungry, go to bed when
No! Although we are working longer hours, we are wiser. So why do we go camping? The ﬁrst and most we feel like it. Go exactly where we please. We can
also taking more holidays. Which is actually quite important reason is FREEDOM. change our route, change our mind, we are free… On
sensible – our busy lives and increasing stress levels the other hand, this also means that we only have
mean that we are badly in need of fresh experiences Statistics show that the lives of the people of Europe ourselves to blame if we get lost. We are free to cre-
and new impressions which we cannot get at work are subject to ever greater control. Our working days ate our own holiday experience. We are the boss, our
and therefore need to seek out during our free time. are getting longer and our free time is increasingly time belongs to us and no-one else.
If the growth in international tourism continues taken up by a variety of activities. We spend less and
apace, we will be travelling twice as much as we do less time ‘doing nothing’, relaxing and hanging out. The other major trend which points towards the in-
today in 25 years’ time. Twice as much. This presup- We are constantly in demand, continuously required creasing popularity of camping holidays is the focus
poses, of course, that we can actually afford to travel. to act and make decisions as a result of electronic on LOVE, ROMANCE and FAMILY. This is an im-
Prognoses indicate that the disposable income of gadgets, the Internet and mobile phones. There is portant aspect of the so-called ‘experience economy’.
people in the richest parts of the world will increase less freedom and more control in our lives. At the We are spending less time together during the week,
by around 60%. There will be more money for holi- same time, we are being told to eat healthily, to ex- and less time at home. Many of us see more of our
days. Tourism is a growth sector. ercise, to watch our weight, to stop smoking and to work colleagues than we do of our own families. Holi-
We are rapidly moving towards an ‘experience econo- stop drinking. To whiten our teeth, to reduce wrin- days give us a chance to make up for this, and camp-
my’, and tourism will play an important part. The kles. We are expected to look younger and prettier, ing holidays are just the ticket. Camping allows us to
Isabella Magazine :: 32 :: Holidays and camping in 2031
see each other in a new light. We can rejoice together
when we manage to ﬁnd a good site before dark, and
we can have a moan when it is cold and wet and
we’re hungry. We may quarrel and bicker, but we’ll
be together and doing things as a family. And that is
precisely what we don’t have time for normally.
So how will the camping map of Europe look in 25
years’ time? The short answer is that there will be
more to distinguish the different destinations, and
greater choice. A camping holiday will no longer just
be a camping holiday, it will usually have a theme.
Consumers will want niche destinations: love, ro-
mance, family, freedom, nature, sport, the environ-
ment, music – the possibilities are endless. Camp-
ing destinations and camping equipment must be
adapted to these requirements. As far as caravans,
awnings and other equipment is concerned, this will
Isabella Olympia 1979
mean more product variants, more choice – standard
equipment will be harder to sell.
But that’s 25 years from now – so what can we do
to attract more people to camping in the meantime? to take the children winter camping, suggest they vis-
If the growth in international
My answer would be to reinforce the story-telling as- it the nearby amethyst mine. There might even be a
tourism continues apace, we will
pect of a destination. If the aim is to attract visitors haunted house nearby – or a witch or two! The most
be travelling twice as much as we
with an interest in ornithology to Extramadura in important thing is that every story must appeal to the
do today in 25 years’ time.
Spain, you can tell them exciting stories about eagles heart. The best stories will succeed and attract the
and the great outdoors. If you want to entice people
to visit North Finland, tell them about Santa Claus
– who just happens to live near Rovaniemi. Tell them
largest numbers of visitors. Remember – a camping
holiday is an emotional experience. ”
By the North Sea, 2005
Holidays and camping in 2031 :: 33 :: Isabella Magazine
Quality is not something
we’re prepared to discuss!
By Ivan Odgaard, Production Director
As my father, Isabella’s founder Søren Odgaard, used to say: “The least
that can be expected of us is that we behave decently”.
his statement has become the cornerstone ings and camping equipment unrivalled anywhere in always been that quality should be considered our
of Isabella’s fundamental approach and Europe. main priority. This will continue to be the case in
philosophy. By complying with the above, the future.
and always doing our best, we can manufacture awn- Throughout the past 50 years, rule number one has
As a manufacturing company, we are known far and
wide for this approach, and it is therefore vital that
these quality demands are met not only by ourselves
but also – and equally importantly – by our suppliers.
Just as customer care is important, we pay great at-
tention to supplier care. Our suppliers are meticu-
lously selected, and great demands are placed on
them before we enter into a working relationship.
We maintain a close ongoing dialogue with suppliers
and their development departments in order to en-
sure that the very ﬁnest, state-of-the-art technologies
are employed in the manufacture of our products.
We meet regularly with our suppliers to discuss ways
in which we can remain at the forefront of develop-
ments and ensure the best possible quality and price.
Isabella Magazine :: 34 :: Quality is not something we’re prepared to discuss!
Once a close working relationship based on mutual craftsmen in the industry. Flexibility, stability and, We do everything we can to treat our employees
trust has been created, all parties work hard to ensure needless to say, quality are all keywords that may be decently as we are convinced this is the best way
that it can be maintained for many years to come. In used to describe Isabella’s employees. The fact that to achieve our business objectives. Quality is not
fact, many of our suppliers have worked with Isabella our employees are one of our most important assets something we are prepared to discuss – this has al-
for years – some almost from the very beginning. means that we do our utmost to treat them well. ways been, and always will be, rule number one at
We know that even the best raw materials can be Isabella.
We ﬁrmly believe that quality is of the essence, and ruined by poor workmanship. We also know that if
the best raw materials must therefore be handled we all do our best, we can achieve the quality that
with great expertise. Since our products are unique characterises all Isabella’s products.
pieces of craftsmanship, we naturally use the best
Quality is not something we’re prepared to discuss! :: 35 :: Isabella Magazine
breaks with awning traditions
urope’s largest specialist awnings manufac- But the awning’s appearance, and the many innova- light panels made of sun-reﬂecting foil above the ter-
turer, the Danish Isabella factory in Vejle, tions incorporated in its design, will make life far race, which give good light inside the awning and in
will be marking its 50 anniversary in 2007
more comfortable for caravanners. the terrace area.
with an entirely new and highly advanced awning. The
Isabella Vision also highlights the company’s position Isabella Vision’s unique shape makes it hard to over- The new window section at the front has been in-
as the leading awnings manufacturer in Europe. look. The three-metre deep awning has been extend- spired by the ﬂoor-to-ceiling glass windows in mod-
ed at the front with a one-metre wide terrace, and the ern holiday homes. The window is split into large sec-
In many ways, the Isabella Vision breaks with con- sides incorporate a wide canopy with a special water tions, and the two central sections may be replaced
ventional ideas of what an awning should look like. run-off feature. The large roof construction has roof by a ventilation net panel.
The highly advanced Isabella Vision will attract a great deal of attention at caravan sites around Europe, not least because of its unique appearance.
Isabella Magazine :: 36 :: Isabella Vision breaks with awning traditions
The sides are newly designed with a special ventila- The many innovations include a very special gutter caravanners can choose to cover the entire window
tion net panel at the bottom. The canopy has ﬁxed and run-off on both sides. The design incorporates panel, or just the top, middle or bottom section of
sides, which means that the ventilation net panel a “rain groove” in the outermost edge of the canopy, the window panels.
may be left open even when it rains. In addition to which is angled towards the centre from both sides.
the aforementioned ventilation net openings, the A rain collector which ends in a typhoon guy rope The Vision will be launched in a new colour combi-
awning incorporates two further panels in the front may be connected at this point, allowing water to be nation of tweed, copper and moonlight with pearl.
which provide additional ventilation. led away from the awning. While the roof is made of the familiar polyester-coat-
ed canvas, the copper-coloured acrylic material has
The ventilation net panels form an integral part of Internally, the new Vision awning is very house-like. been given a new water-repellent coating.
the Vision design. The newly designed ventilation This is ﬁrst and foremost the result of the square win-
net pattern is also available as removable panels in dow panels, but also because of the lack of curtains. After several years of development, Isabella is ready
the terrace sides and the corner sections at the front Shade is achieved by means of a system of blinds in to present a very handy replacement for the tradi-
of the awning. both the front and the sides, which is so ﬂexible that tional adjusting screws that form part of the pole sys-
tem. The CarbonX ﬁbre reinforced ﬁbreglass frame
features a locking clamp which is easily operated us-
ing just one hand – one touch. The new system is
known as IsaFix and is so far only available with the
Isabella Vision breaks with awning traditions :: 37 :: Isabella Magazine
Brand Manager and Chief Designer Lea Thomas Smith:
By journalist Erik Bisgaard
In the mid-1990s, Isabella helped Lea Thomas Smith by providing ﬁnan- industry, and I have therefore maintained a close
cial support and expertise. Today, he works as Brand Manager and Chief link with the company over the years,” continues Lea
Designer for one of the largest caravan manufacturers on the market. Thomas Smith, who is currently busy developing a new
series of turnkey design solutions for motorhomes.
e was very young and had trained as an the research project was therefore rapidly forged. In “Over the next few years, motorhomes will gradu-
architect in Germany and as an indus- 1994 this resulted in a collaboration project to de- ally be designed as independent vehicles rather than
trial designer in Denmark when he ﬁrst velop new ideas for the internal design of caravans, chassis with an accommodation unit attached,” he
came into contact with Isabella. Lea Thomas Smith, with possible extension options provided by awnings. explains. “They will be just as beautiful and carefully
who is British in origin but educated in Germany, was Isabella gave the young designer a free rein and pro- designed as cars.”
invited to Denmark as a guest of the Nordic Council vided him with materials, knowhow and some ﬁnan- The Brand Manager and Chief Designer believes the
of Ministers and Danmarks Designskole to contrib- cial support. EU will tighten the demands on Danish excise rates,
ute to an interdisciplinary Nordic research project in “The aim was not to create immediate solutions,” ex- putting the Danes in a position where they can afford
industrial design. He made a start alongside the Ice- plains Lea Thomas Smith. “Isabella has always taken to enjoy the beneﬁts of a modern motorhome. The
landic designer Olafur Thor Erlendsson, and today the long view in terms of development, so we focused camping industry is undergoing rapid growth across
he is a professor at Danmarks Designskole, where he on long-term ideas and solutions that have since Europe, something which is expected to continue for
trains Danish and foreign design students. Isabella been put into use in the camping industry,” says Lea several years – according to Lea Thomas Smith, a
has always maintained close ties with new designers Thomas Smith, who has gone on to enjoy a highly designer who is very fond of Denmark!
in the camping and leisure industry, and a link with successful career in the industry. First in Italy as a
designer of furniture for large luxury yachts, then at
the Hymer design centre in Germany, followed by a
number of years as chief designer at Westfalia with
his own design centre in Stuttgart. He is currently
employed as Brand Manager and Chief Designer at
one of the largest caravan manufactures in Europe, a
position that carries a great deal of responsibility.
Lea Thomas Smith “It was Isabella that got me started in the camping
Isabella Magazine :: 38 :: Isabella launched my career
Take part for a chance to win one of:
10 Flex windscreens
10 Shadow 300
10 sets of 2 Isabella microﬁbre cushions
Go to www.isabella.net to enter the competition.
You’ll ﬁnd all the answers you need in this
issue of Isabella Magazine.
1. What colour is Isabella’s old Borgward Isabella?
2. What year did Isabella ﬁrst build at Nørremarken?
3. What is the name of Isabella’s new
The answers must reach us no later
than 20 April 2007.
Winners will be notiﬁed directly.
Competition :: 39 :: Isabella Magazine
synergy at Isabella
By journalist Erik Bisgaard
Artist involved in product development looks at pattern
design and colours
anufacture and design have always Karen Ozmec took as her starting point the feeling Art and industry in synergy
been essential parameters at Isabella. that she believes lies at the root of camping life: a According to the artist, the aim was not to produce a
The company’s products must be of feeling of moving out into nature, a sense of nature new awning, but to work on a range of new ideas.
the highest possible quality, and the colours and pat- with branches, twigs and bark just like when we were “As an artist I am not responsible for the company’s
terns should ideally be eye-catching. kids building dens in the woods. ﬁnances, market share or sustainability, and this lack
A few years ago Isabella joined forces with Karen of ‘responsibility’ is a real breeding ground for new
Ozmec, an artist from Hedensted, in order to foster “I imagined a more transparent awning where you ideas.”
new ideas and impulses in the areas of manufacture could see the stars through the roof and the sur-
and design. This collaborative venture, entitled “the rounding nature through the sides. I know that to- It may be possible to further develop some of these
creative alliance”, was the result of a government day’s caravanners have to stay on a busy caravan site, ideas in connection with future products.
initiative to encourage industry to involve artists in and that they cannot set up camp in the wild. I there- In order to highlight the collaborative venture en-
the development of new products in order to achieve fore sought to design a tent pattern that would lead titled “Art & Industry”, the ten most productive
synergy. people to think about interwoven branches, grass projects were exhibited at the Trapholt Museum of
waving in the ﬁelds, a kind of organic and trans- Modern Art, and later at a camping show in Düs-
Into nature parent wall against the outside world. The awning seldorf, where the light blue awning with its inter-
Isabella was one of the organisations that welcomed serves as a substitute home during holidays, when woven pattern generated many column inches and
the initiative. Together with Karen Ozmec, the com- you move out into something temporary and mobile, attracted a great deal of attention and interest in
pany developed new thoughts and ideas designed to something which is more open to the outer world,” Isabella. The collaboration also beneﬁted Karen
contribute to the company’s product development explains Karen Ozmec. Ozmec.
Isabella Magazine :: 40 :: Artist achieves synergy at Isabella
Karen Ozmec is seen here at work in her studio.
The artist and her work may be seen at www.ozmec.dk
Exciting is a resource-rich, friendly and well-run workplace, Academy of Art. “The patterns featuring interwoven
“A large creative company like Isabella can in real- and it was great to get a chance to try new materials branches and waving grass, monotypes created with
ity manage by itself, it doesn’t really need an artist. and to get an insight into production and IT. I can foil from tent windows, have found their way into my
As an artist, however, you can learn a lot from this use this knowledge in my daily work as an artist,” world of imagery.”
kind of partnership,” says Karen Ozmec. “Isabella explains Karen Ozmec, who studied at the Vienna
The development team at the Reﬂex model
Artist achieves synergy at Isabella :: 41 :: Isabella Magazine
– the best there is!
the sun is shining from a clear blue sky, and the
only problem is deciding whether you’re going to go
downhill or cross-country skiing…
Needless to say, there are also campers who travel
around in their caravan in the winter. Families who
love to spend public holidays in a winter sports
By Lars Erik Paulsson
paradise, and the rest of the winter period exploring
wherever their fancy takes them.
Already, tens of thousands of families around Europe have discovered
that their caravan makes a great mobile hotel, even in the winter, and the Winter camping can be much more rewarding than
number is growing year by year. you might think. Maybe you’re longing to go to that
tropical swimming pool 150 km from home, or per-
haps there’s an exciting musical in town that you
would like to combine with a unique culinary expe-
rom the beautiful Scandinavian mountains often the price is no more than the cost of hiring a rience. In both cases, a caravan is the ideal choice
to the sun-kissed hills of Southern Tyrol, cabin in a popular ski resort for a week. when it comes to ﬁnding overnight accommodation.
you’ll ﬁnd them everywhere – caravanners
who have discovered they can set up camp at the foot Living in a caravan in the winter is a fantastic experi- As we have seen, there is a lot you can do with your
of the best ski runs! ence, and with all the mod cons available in modern caravan, even in the winter. But camping in the winter
caravans you won’t be cold, bored or miserable. also means that you must prepare a little more care-
They leave their caravan set up throughout the win- And just imagine raising the blind in the morning fully than if you were camping in the heat of summer.
ter season, ready to be used when they need it. And when the temperature is 15 degrees below zero and
Isabella Magazine :: 42 :: Winter camping
It is essential, for instance, that everything functions Good things to bring
100 per cent in the caravan. A broken heating sys- AWNING
tem, for instance, would mean having to cut your An awning is a covered patio that protects against
journey short and return home. the wind, and a great place to store your winter
sports equipment. You can also use the awning to
Making sure the battery is in order is just as impor- change out of your ski clothes to avoid getting snow
tant. The battery is the ‘heart’ of the vehicle, and in the caravan. The pitch of the roof on the awning
without it little works. must allow snow and melt water to run off the roof
freely. A special winter securing set will ensure the
The best thing, therefore, is to let a garage service the awning is better able to withstand the weight of the
caravan carefully before you set off. The garage will snow. A universal awning may also perform well in
check that everything is working as it should, and some cases. to choose the required length (the drop in voltage is
sort out any problems. If you know for certain that higher with longer cables). The cables must be ﬁt-
the caravan is in tip-top condition, you may be able SNOW SHOVEL and BROOM ted with a CEE plug, but a suitable adaptor may be
to get away with a few simple checks. It is always a good idea to bring a small snow shovel required if you end up at a site with the old type of
and a broom – like the one you use for your car – to outlet. Short tightening straps are cheap and suitable
Needless to say, both your car and your caravan must keep both the awning and the space where the gas for suspending the cable, and the width of the straps
be equipped with winter tyres. If studded tyres have ﬂask is stored free of snow. will ensure that the cable is not damaged.
been ﬁtted on the car, then they should also be ﬁtted
on the caravan. PIECES OF BOARD GAMES and BOOKS
You will need pieces of board to level the caravan After a long day on the slopes you will generally be
Once you have arrived safely, there are a few things and to place below the supporting legs and wheels. tired in the evening, but there may be days when the
you will need to do before you can relax and enjoy weather keeps you indoors.
your winter break: ELECTRIC CABLE
• A sudden change in the weather may cause tyres You may need a longer cable than in the summer if
and supporting legs to freeze onto the ground, and you are going to hang the electric cable to prevent
it is therefore advisable to place a piece of board it from freezing onto the ground. Ten-metre cables
below these. The pieces of board can be left be- are better than 20-metre cables as they will allow you
hind if stuck.
• The handbrake on a caravan should never be en-
gaged in the winter. The brake may freeze, pre-
venting the caravan from being moved until the
• The electric cable must be elevated to prevent it
from freezing onto the ground. Many winter cara-
van sites provide special overhead lines for this
• If the reduction valve has a ventilation hole, the
valve must be turned so that the hole is at the bot-
tom. This lessens the risk of it freezing.
• “Low cost gas” may contain water and other
contaminants that can cause problems when the
weather turns cold.
• Never pile snow against the caravan in the belief that
the temperature inside will rise. The snow will block
the inﬂow of air below the caravan, thereby compro-
mising the so-called safety ventilation system.
• Never try to stop a draft by blocking roof hatches
or other vent holes. These also form part of the
safety ventilation system.
Winter camping :: 43 :: Isabella Magazine
in the sun
By journalist and travel writer Jens Jørgen Larsen, Denmark Relaxing pace of life
Long-term campers are masters of their own destiny.
No-one tries to hurry them, there is no tour group
– it’s great to holiday in the sun, and even better when you waiting to move on to the next attraction. The pace
can stay for a while of life is slow, as slow as you please in fact. There is
always plenty to see in the new borderless Europe.
Some of our sunny countries are veritable treasure
troves of attractions that are rich in history and easy
on the eye. More enticing than anything, however, is
the opportunity to relax under sunny blue skies in
e are all drawn to the sun, and some ticular for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the shade of a palm or a cypress.
European countries have more sun the equipment used by caravanners nowadays is far We visited a site in Spain. Be it May, June or Septem-
than others. Many Europeans in par- more advanced than before. It is no secret that all ber, everything is open and the grass is green. There
ticular have therefore travelled south in search of sun the mod cons we are used to enjoying at home can are fewer visitors than in July and August, and the
in both the spring and autumn. Most ﬂy, but some now be found at caravan sites or in caravans and prices are markedly lower in the off-season.
take their own car despite the long journey. The ma- motorhomes, and an awning is almost as good as a
jority stay in timeshare apartments, in which some conservatory. The off-season in Spanish
own a share, while others spend ﬁve to eight weeks It was purely by chance that we came across the fan-
in a hotel. Usually, the sun and the off-season prices Folklore tastic caravan site Camping L’Àmfora, but then such
have been the main attraction, but the fact that older Home comforts are thus to be had even outside the chance events can often have very happy outcomes.
holiday-makers have retired or taken early retirement home. But there are other factors that also attract No doubt, we also wanted to ﬁnd what we were look-
and therefore have time on their hands has also been modern man to long-term camping in sunny climes. ing for – a site that would be suitable for the older
a major contributing factor. Lastly, some have trav- Caravan sites are rich in folklore. They attract people generation. We ﬁnally found it near Girona in North-
elled to warmer climes for health reasons. Asthma from many different countries and allow for a rich ern Catalonia, close to the French border, and we
and arthritis sufferers in particular feel much better exchange of languages and cultures. Add to this the decided to stay for a while.
in the sun. social aspects which are so unique to camping life.
Long-term camping holidays are also viable in eco- Within reach
New trend nomic terms: it is no more expensive to live on a One of the reasons for camping is that you can stay as
A new trend is now emerging, largely led by North- caravan site – especially in the off-season – than it long as you want when you ﬁnd somewhere you like.
ern Europeans. The concept in question is long-term is to live at home. And the pace of life at a caravan And as a long-term camper, you have plenty of time
camping, and I have found a caravan site which is site is usually very relaxed. Before long visitors have on your hands. If it rains, or if the site fails to live up
absolutely ideal. made new friends, be it at the swimming pool, at the to expectations, you simply move on. The Camping
The fact is that more and more people are enjoying bar, in the restaurant or with caravanners on adjoin- L’Àmfora site provides a full range of services and
their retirement on caravan sites under the southern ing pitches. facilities and offers a wide variety of activities for all
sun. Caravanning appeals to the over sixties in par- ages that will keep you busy for several weeks. Water
Isabella Magazine :: 44 :: Spending time in the sun
gymnastics, an Internet café, playing ﬁelds, a fantas- More space lot of difference since it gives a sense of space. It is
tic beach with beach-based activities and plenty of As a starting point, it is fair to say that some caravan not unusual to be squeezed onto a stamp-sized pitch
space for sunbathing. Those who want salt water can sites in Southern Europe are far too big. But Camp- at caravan sites in Southern Europe, particularly
swim in the sea, others may prefer the outdoor pool ing L’Àmfora is different: ﬁrstly, it has been split into during the high season. Visitors are packed in like
complex. different sections to suit different tastes, depending sardines, so it is clearly an advantage to come in the
There are lots of restaurants, entertainment venues on your age and the type of holiday you want. Sec- off-season.
and attractions in the area – you may well like to ondly, the site is very green.
bring your bicycle. The size of the pitches (up to 180 m2) also makes a
Peace and tranquillity
The list is endless. This is not to say that you have
to try them all, although most activities are included
in the very reasonable overnight fee. It is up to you
You will ﬁnd more information about the camping site at www.campingamfora.com (English and Ger-
to pick and choose, and it is precisely this freedom
man), including the fees for overnight stays, which start at 12 euro per night for pitches measuring
which is so meaningful. The most remarkable thing 100 m2. Add to this the price per head, which starts at 3.50 euro per night.
about this site is that, unlike other large sites of this Until the end of July, and again from the beginning of September, two adults in a caravan can stay
type, it has not turned into an amusement park. The at the site for 15–16 euro per night at a pitch with an electrical hook-up.
noisy activities are grouped in one area, and if you So-called luxury pitches measuring 180 m2 are also available, with hook-ups to electricity and fresh
want to stay nearby you are free to do so. If you want water as well as a sewer hook-up. The price is 20 euro per night, and pets are allowed.
peace and quiet you can stay near the beach or the Some of the ‘must see’ attractions in the area include Salvador Dalí’s home town and museum in
surrounding plantations. Figueres, the Aiguamolls de L’Emporda Natural Park and the monastery in Sant Pere de Rodes.
NB! Remember to check your health insurance before any extended visit abroad.
Spending time in the sun :: 45 :: Isabella Magazine
By Jesper Schytte, Chef
There is nothing like the great outdoors. Being outside is exciting and life
afﬁrming, whether you are on a caravan site in the South of Italy or in the
pending time outdoors, allowing your sens- All you need are a few kitchen utensils and some ac-
es to absorb all the wonderful elements of cessories such as a grill, and you are well on your
nature, is a balm to soothe the soul. It is way. You may also want to get a chef’s hat – just
this unique opportunity to get back to nature that we to make sure you look the part at the caravan site!
enjoy in our modern world, and that is why camping And remember to buy the best ingredients you can
has become so popular. ﬁnd. The ingredients used in the recipes are gener-
ally available everywhere.
The addition of a great meal, a good bottle of wine or Below are Jesper Schytte’s recipes for a starter, a
a refreshing glass of beer can only make the experi- main course and a dessert.
ence more perfect.
Isabella Magazine has asked Jesper Schytte, top chef
at the well-known ﬁve-star Hotel Munkebjerg near
Vejle in Denmark, to create a series of gastronomic Isabella strongly recommends
delights that any caravanner can prepare. that you do not use a grill inside
Hotel Munkebjerg is perched far above Vejle fjord on
your awning because of the
the southern side of the water at a height of no less
potential ﬁre and smoke
than 97 metres. That’s quite a lot in Denmark – but
nothing compared to the highest point in the country hazards.
which measures no less than 173 metres!
Isabella Magazine :: 46 :: Anniversary camping grill menu
Starter Main course Dessert
Grilled marinated salmon on a bed of asparagus and Grilled veal entrecote with grilled peppers, tomato Grilled pineapple with dark rum served with vanilla
rocket compote and parsley potatoes à la Munkebjerg crème fraiche and chopped pistachios
Ingredients: Ingredients: Ingredients:
4 salmon ﬁllets (approx. 100g each) 4 veal entrecotes (approx. 180g each) 1 pineapple
1 lime 1 red pepper 200g cane sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce 1 yellow pepper 8cl dark rum
1 tbsp sesame oil 1 green pepper
2.5dl crème fraiche (38% fat)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 6 tomatoes
100g icing sugar
A pinch of chopped chilli 1 onion
1 tsp vanilla sugar
Sesame seeds 1 sprig of basil
500g rocket Olive oil
12 green asparagus Salt and pepper
12 cherry tomatoes 500g small potatoes
1 lime 1 sprig of parsley
1dl sesame oil 50g butter
Salt and pepper
To prepare: To prepare: To prepare:
Mix the juice and peel of 1 lime with soy sauce, Quarter the peppers and remove the seeds. Toss in Cut the pineapple into 8 slices, remove the core and
chopped coriander, sesame oil, chopped chilli and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on coat the slices in cane sugar. Grill on low heat for
sesame seeds. Pour over the salmon and marinate for both sides until softened. Roughly chop the toma- 4–5 minutes on each side and baste with the dark
1 hour in the refrigerator, turning occasionally. toes, mix with the ﬁnely chopped onion and basil rum.
Prepare the asparagus and toss in olive oil and salt. and put into a foil tray with a little olive oil, salt and
Grill for approx. 3–4 minutes, turning halfway. pepper. Cover with tin foil and grill for approx. 30 Put the crème fraiche, the icing sugar and the vanilla
When softened, remove and cut into four pieces. minutes. Once cooked, mash with a fork, season and sugar in a bowl and whip until stiff.
Keep warm. keep warm.
Rinse the rocket and halve the cherry tomatoes. Mix Clean the potatoes and boil until almost cooked.
the sesame oil and the lime juice and season with Make four tin foil packages with potatoes, butter, To serve:
salt and pepper. Pour over the rocket, asparagus and parsley, salt and pepper. Grill for 20 minutes. Grill Arrange two slices of pineapple on each plate. Top
cherry tomatoes. the entrecotes 4–5 minutes on each side and season with an egg-shaped dollop of crème fraiche and gar-
well with salt and pepper. nish with chopped pistachios.
Grill the salmon for 7–8 minutes.
To serve: Arrange on a plate, layering the veal entrecote and
Arrange the salmon on the asparagus and rocket the grilled peppers. Add a little tomato compote.
salad and serve with rustic bread. Garnish with basil and serve with the potatoes.
Anniversary camping grill menu :: 47 :: Isabella Magazine
With Isabella amongst
southern Poles and
Frederick William IV and carefully restored. The
church tower was reconstructed using stone, how-
ever, as it was felt that the tall tower would otherwise
be unable to withstand the harsh mountain climate.
The rest is original.
Krakow very impressive
By Anne-Vibeke Isaksen, www.campingdanmark.dk
Unlike most of the other cities in Poland, Krakow
was not totally destroyed at the end of the Second
Over the past ten years, Isabella has joined Anne-Vibeke Isaksen on count- World War. This makes it well worth a visit. Krakow
less camping holidays, most recently on a trip from the south of Poland to was extensively restored in connection with its status
the country’s north. The trip was made in two vehicles, with Britta and Ole as European City of Culture in 2000. The market
Koch in a motorhome and Anne-Vibeke with her husband Rasmus Schøn- square, which dates from 1257, was one of the larg-
ning and their two children aged one and three in a car with a caravan. est in Europe for many years. Today, it remains the
very heart of the city, with specialist shops, stalls,
he idea of driving from the south to the where you stand in the town, the view of the snow- cafes and restaurants. You will ﬁnd the presentable
north of Poland was conceived a year ear- clad mountains is stunning, and the endless oppor- and elegant face of Krakow in the centre of the city,
lier, when we passed through the north of tunities offered by the mountains is no doubt what but if you have time it is well worth taking a look at
Poland on a trip around the Baltic Sea. The area was attracts the majority of tourists to the area. Artists the more remote parts, which provide a more bal-
so interesting that we decided to return when we had have been drawn here since the end of the 1800s anced impression of Poland’s third largest city.
more time to explore the country in detail. in search of inspiration for their work. Nowadays,
the main square is full of local farmers selling their Road conditions and lay-bys
Zakopane – a real mountain town produce, a variety of woollen garments and the local From the south of Poland, we head north. The lay-
At the foot of the Tatra Mountains lies the town of speciality, oscypek, smoked cheese made of sheep’s bys are relatively few and far between, but there is
Zakopane at 1,000 metres altitude. Regardless of milk and formed into decorative shapes. It is a good plenty of space at the petrol stations so we use these
idea to buy a few so you can present an unusual instead when we need to make a stop. The few lay-bys
cheese selection back at the caravan. we ﬁnd have no facilities, but we have all we need in
the caravan and the motorhome. The roads, which
Detour to a Norwegian stave church are well signposted, range from excellent to rather
On our way northwards, to our surprise, we came poor. It is obvious that the Poles are in the midst of
across a Norwegian stave church in the western part reconstructing the entire road network, and it is even
of the town of Karpacz. The church, which is more more obvious how far they have come. On the good
than 700 years old, stems from Valdres in Norway. In roads we average approx. 80 km/h, but our speed
1841 the rundown church known as Vang was moved drops to 40–50 km/h wherever conditions are poor.
to Karpacz. It was bought by the Prussian King This is quite signiﬁcant in terms of journey planning,
Isabella Magazine :: 48 :: With Isabella amongst southern Poles and northern Poles
so it is a good idea to factor additional time into your Home to the stork trasts between the past and how far they have come
schedule so that you can adapt your driving to the We continue our journey northwards through the vary greatly. This applies to both the road network
prevailing road conditions. Mazurian Lake District, which is home to a large and the caravan sites. The preconceptions we had
number of exciting historical sites, friendly little before our visit have been blown away. Meeting the
Few kilometres from Belarus towns, stunning nature and – signiﬁcantly – a huge Polish people adds an extra dimension to a visit,
After several hours’ drive through desolate agricul- concentration of storks. We decide to drive all the and your money will go far here. You can read more
tural areas and forests, we arrive at the Bialowieza way to Zywkowo, a few kilometres from the border to about the whole journey at www.campingdanmark.
National Park, home to the European Bison, the Kaliningrad. This tiny village, which consists of just dk. Two programmes in the series Anne-Vibeke Re-
largest land mammal on the continent. The last wild eight farms, has more than 50 stork nests and pro- jser [Anne-Vibeke’s Travels], also available on DVD,
bison in Bialowieza and the Caucasus died after the vides a unique opportunity to see the birds at close were ﬁlmed during the trip.
First World War, but a small number of animals in hand. The locals are happy to take you on a tour,
zoos and concentrated efforts to revive the species and tell you all about life in the countryside. In many See the website for further information.
have meant that there are now around 600 bison in places, Poland remains a primitive agricultural soci-
Poland. The largest concentration may be found in ety where the ﬁelds are ploughed with horses – an
the Bialowieza Forest. The best way to see them is absolutely idyllic sight for visitors.
to visit the animal park just north of the town. The
park is also home to Tarpan horses, wolves, deer, Poland – a new destination
wild boars and elks. Poland has a lot to offer. Its turbulent history, excit-
ing culture, stunning landscape and friendly inhabit-
Fun at the caravan site ants ﬁghting to rebuild their country is a fascinating
Much of the trip is spent enjoying each others’ combination to inquisitive caravanners. The Polish
company at the caravan sites. The sites we ﬁnd dif- people have been through a great deal, and the con-
fer widely. Some are quite advanced with excellent
facilities, others have a long way to go. We have all
we need in the vehicles, however, so we are not re-
ally dependent on the facilities. Service at the sites
is excellent though – we are met with kindness and Photos: Rasmus Schønning
hospitality everywhere we go. Minutes after arriving,
we have set up camp and lit the barbecue. We enjoy
our meal and a good bottle of wine under the sun
canopy in front of the caravan, happy and contented
at the end of another day spent exploring.
With Isabella amongst southern Poles and northern Poles :: 49 :: Isabella Magazine
Europe’s longest camping
trip was a success
By Peer Neslein
Two Danish caravanners fulﬁlled their dream and crossed Europe towing
one of the largest caravans on the market.
They had christened the project “The Gibraltar– ing out of caravanning for the past 19 years. He was
North Cape Expedition”. As the name implies, this joined by TV cameraman Jann Nielsen.
was to be the ultimate camping trip, from Gibraltar They travelled in a Hyundai Santa Fe 4-wheel drive,
at the southernmost tip of Europe to the cold North towing one of the largest caravans on the market, the Gibraltar to the North Cape since we set off from
Cape, where the northernmost road in Europe ends KABE Royal 720 TDL King Size, which measures Copenhagen. From there, we went via Paris and Ma-
307 metres above the Arctic Ocean. 820 cm in length and 250 cm in width. drid to Gibraltar and Tarifa in Spain, the southern-
The project was headed by Denmark’s ﬁrst profes- Peer Neslein recounts the trip: most town in Europe. We completed the ﬁrst 3,250
sional caravanner, Peer Neslein, who has made a liv- “Actually, the journey was longer than the trip from km in six days.”
Isabella Magazine :: 50 :: Europe’s longest camping trip was a success
Towards the north
“In Gibraltar, we turned around and set course for
the North Cape, a journey of some 6,000 km along
the length of Europe. We chose to travel along the
“Inland Road” (E45) up through the middle of Swe-
den, further up through Finland and into Norway
just south of Kautokeino. On the 20th day of our
trip, we drove the last few metres to the edge of the
North Cape plateau, 307 metres above the Arctic
Ocean. According to the odometer, we had driven
9,824 km,” explains Peer.
“Visiting the North Cape out of season was a fantas-
tic experience: a motorhome and a car were the only
other vehicles we saw apart from our own. We were
lucky, however, in that the North Cape Hall was open
between 12.00 and 17.00 on a trial basis. We were
also lucky with the weather, which was reasonably
good with temperatures a few degrees above zero.”
time, we chose to travel along the E6 down through
Along the way, we visited the
largest Norwegian camping show
South again Norway. This is a two-lane road which is used by a
in Hamar, where we were due to
He continues: “And then it was time to turn the lot of large lorries, and we often had to drive very
exhibit our caravan on Saturday
vehicle around once more and to head south. This slowly and carefully with our two-and-a-half metre
“We quickly discovered that we could only drive
around 500 km a day on this road, as opposed to ”
around 700 km a day on the motorway. Along the
way, we visited the largest Norwegian camping show
in Hamar, where we were due to exhibit our caravan
on Saturday morning.”
“After 24 days we disembarked in Helsingør, and by the
time we rolled into our parking space in Brøndby and
unhitched the caravan, we had driven a total of 12,373
km. On average, we had done around 7 km/l with our
2- litre Hyundai Santa Fe turbo diesel,” says Peer.
Europe’s longest camping trip was a success :: 51 :: Isabella Magazine
Denmark’s largest and most
“We hadn’t exactly chosen the easy option since we
had decided to tow one of the largest and most ex-
pensive caravans available in Denmark, namely the
KABE Royal 720 TDL King Size, which is more
than eight metres long and two and a half metres
wide. It costs around £27,300 and is equipped like a
holiday home with luxuries such as central heating,
underﬂoor heating and a bathroom with a shower
cubicle. It’s a huge caravan which could make even a
circus master green with envy.”
“The reason we chose that particular vehicle is that
we wanted to see what it was like to drive around Eu-
rope with such a large caravan. And it’s been abso-
lutely ﬁne. We only found two caravan sites in Spain
that we couldn’t enter. The roads and the sites were
simply too small. But you do have to think twice when
turning with a caravan of this size, because the rear
end easily swings out a couple of metres,” says Peer.
Isabella Magazine :: 52 :: Europe’s longest camping trip was a success
Equipment tested along the way
“I took the opportunity to test a range of camping
equipment along the way, including an Oyster sat-
ellite dish, a Dometic air conditioner and various
other things. It was great to be able to watch Danish
television anywhere in Europe. But the trip was also,
in some ways, an act of provocation – I wanted to
prove that it’s not difﬁcult to tow a caravan,” con-
cludes Peer Neslein.
You can read more about the trip at www.camping-
explorer.com or www.campingferie.dk
Europe’s longest camping trip was a success :: 53 :: Isabella Magazine
ISABELLA through 50 years
anufacturers across Europe have tried to copy the Isabella awn- Today, it is difﬁcult to imagine the German market without the awning with its
ing with its famous portholes for decades. Needles to say, German famous portholes. At caravan sites right across Europe you will ﬁnd huge numbers
manufacturers are no exception. Despite the efforts of the coun- of caravanners with German number plates on their cars who have chosen to erect
try’s tent-making industry, however, the “Scandinavian look” awnings never be- the Danish awning in front of their caravan.
came very popular.
Isabella’s German team has high expectations of the future, and is convinced
In 1990, a German subsidiary was established to market the compelling quality, there is scope for further expansion. This belief is supported by the knowledge
timeless design and perfect shape of the Danish awning to German consumers. that we have the best product on the market, and the willingness to give dealers
and customers the necessary service. A product is never better than the service
The Isabella awning is symbolic not just of camping, but of a special philosophy provided with it.
and a speciﬁc image. These values were convincingly promoted to German camp-
ing enthusiasts through product presentations at trade fairs around the country,
and by a select group of trusted dealers, in accordance with a carefully planned
After just four years, the German subsidiary needed its own building with the
necessary space for an administration department, warehouse facilities, logistics
and a well-equipped service department. Priority was given to the subsidiary’s
continued close ties with the Danish parent company.
Isabella Magazine :: 54 :: Importers/subsidiaries
“Thank you for 40 years of working together successfully!”
ven before his very ﬁrst holiday trip in 1958, the far-sighted Kurt
Blomqvist – Kabe’s founder – had rigged up an awning in front of his
homemade caravan to create a shady area outside. And just a few years
later, Kurt was able to offer a variety of sun canopies and windscreens for his
In the summer of 1967 the Blomqvist family set off on a caravan holiday in Den-
mark, and in Vejle Kurt heard about a small local company that produced tents.
The company’s name was Isabella, like the well-known Borgward car, and the tents
were specially designed to be mounted on caravans.
In the summer of 1986, sales of awnings and accessories had escalated to such
Kurt Blomqvist promptly went to the newly built production facilities at what an extent that Kabe decided to focus more intensely on this business area. Kama
is now known as Isabellahøj to see the slightly older Søren Odgaard with a view Fritid AB was therefore established. The employees who had worked with awn-
to buying one of these awnings for his caravan. But as so often happens in Den- ings and accessories at Kabe moved to the new company. Tommy Nilsson, who
mark, a simple transaction turned into a far more interesting exchange. The two had been taken on in February 1964 as the ﬁrst salaried employee at Kabe, was
gentlemen started talking about caravans and other shared interests, and Kurt told appointed managing director, and Kama Fritid, which was founded on 1 February
Søren Odgaard about his company back home in Sweden… 1987, can now celebrate its 20th anniversary.
The two manufacturers got on well, and knowing the Danes they probably enjoyed “Personally, I can look back at a long-standing partnership. I was made respon-
a glass or two of aquavit. sible for buying, stock and the sale of accessories at an early stage, and the sale of
Isabella products is therefore very close to my heart, explains Tommy Nilsson.
By the end of the meeting, Kabe had become Isabella’s principal agent in Sweden,
and it remains so to this day – even though no contracts or signatures have ever Since the awnings were now being sold by an independent company, Kama Fritid
been exchanged. A handshake is a handshake agreed the two entrepreneurs! suddenly found that it had extra resources available. Isabella soon gained a large
market share in Sweden, and more than 50% of the awnings seen at Swedish cara-
Later that summer, Søren Odgaard and one of his employees visited Småland van sites today are made by Isabella!
and Tenhult with the ﬁrst prototype awnings, and the partnership was launched.
For the ﬁrst few years, the awnings were sold under the name “Kabe Originaltält” In the autumn of 1969 Bo Ljungberg was employed by Kabe. Initially, Bo worked
and Isabella, but the Isabella name soon became so popular in Sweden that even in the development department, but before long Kama needed help with the sale
discerning Kabe customers opted for the new brand. of awnings and accessories. With just a few brief interruptions, Bo has been re-
sponsible for the sale of Isabella awnings in Sweden since the mid-1970s, and
In the 1950s and 1960s it was not unusual for people to build their own caravan, Isabella’s leading position on the Swedish market is in no small part due to his
and the demand for materials and parts was huge. Many also wanted to equip extraordinary efforts.
their caravans with a variety of practical ﬁttings and features. Kurt Blomqvist, who
was not just a skilled engineer but a man with a nose for business, supplied Kabe “Here at Kama, we’ve made many friends at Isabella over the years, and we al-
owners – and many others – with the accessories they needed. Kabe’s catalogue of ways look forward to our annual visit to Isabellahøj,” continues Tommy Nilsson.
accessories became something of a bible for the caravan enthusiasts of the time. “Isabella has always been very important for us, and the company is our most
important collaboration partner.”
Initially, the majority of awnings were sold through Kabe’s own distributors, but
when the “Kabe Originaltält” designation became superﬂuous, it was simpler for “Thank you for everything you have done for the camping industry over the past
Kurt and his employees to sell the Isabella awnings to distributors of other cara- 50 years. Kama Fritid looks forward to continuing our successful partnership in
van makes. future!” concludes Tommy Nilsson.
Importers/subsidiaries :: 55 :: Isabella Magazine
are able to offer customers a display of our products. This is the start of the chain
that connects us to the caravanners, and it is of great importance to us that the
products are sold and displayed in the right way. Major stockists of our products
can offer advice and supply goods instantly. During the season, we deliver goods
to retailers at least weekly, daily when required, and the sales teams usually com-
The Awning People municate on a daily basis. With modern technology, we can offer up-to-the-minute
advice on stock and availability from our warehouse or the production lines. This
ur company was founded back in 1957 by a Dane called Søren combination of high-proﬁle customer interface and technology strengthens the
Odgaard, who wanted to buy a tent for his holidays. Repeated at- trust that we have developed in each others’ businesses over the years.
tempts to ﬁnd one failed, so he made his own. It is worth remember-
ing that car travel was still a relatively new phenomenon back then, and that the Product loyalty is the mainstay of our success. Primarily, our products are second
idea of an annual holiday was still in its infancy. Before long however, he had many to none; when problems do occur, however, they are dealt with by professional
orders from fellow campers who were impressed with his work, and Isabella was retailers in conjunction with a dedicated and enthusiastic after-sales service team
born. Isabella Denmark is now one of the leading employers in Denmark with at UK Headquarters. Our market research shows us that we command massive
almost 200 members of staff. brand loyalty; many customers say they would “never buy anything else”. The sup-
port of ofﬁcial dealerships with the same high standards as our own will ensure
In 1977 the ﬁrst subsidiary was established in the UK, soon followed by others in that we maintain this unrivalled position.
the Netherlands, Norway and Germany. Most of the staff in the UK ofﬁce have
been with the company for many years, and all members of the team are valued The “Product Knowledge” sessions regularly available to all Isabella Dealers con-
for their individual contribution. Throughout the whole organisation, we call our- stitute one of Isabella’s most important customer support programmes. These
selves the ‘Isabella Family’. sessions serve to update salespeople on the latest models, innovations and acces-
sories, which in turn ensures that the information given to caravanners is correct
Isabella awnings have always been objects of desire, at the cutting edge of design and up to date. The questions most frequently asked by customers often include
and innovation. We believe that the two main reasons for the company’s long- “They’re expensive – how do I know I’m buying the right one for me?” and “How
lasting success are value and quality. We can boast 50 years of continuous develop- do I make sure mine lasts a long time?” Our aim is for all our staff and retailers
ment in design and attention to detail, and our objective is to provide caravanners to be able to conﬁdently explain all the technical details to our customers. We are
with the very best quality materials and ﬁnished products. Making a top-quality always happy to share our knowledge on materials and manufacturing processes.
awning involves employing the best workers and using state-of-the-art machinery.
Isabella workers are trained in-house, and their comments and suggestions are Although built on a solid foundation of many years’ experience, Isabella is also
always welcome. changing with the times. In some ways we are responding to the changes in cara-
vans, but we are still conﬁdent we can continue to lead the awning market in the
In 1976 Isabella was one of the ﬁrst awning manufacturers to use acrylic materials future. Sales of the larger awning sizes have increased steadily, and we can also
– slightly heavier than traditional cotton, but colour-fast, non-rotting, and quick to supply porches to those who do not want an awning that stretches the full length
dry. The following year we introduced awnings with 6-metre long zips and remov- of their caravan. We have expanded our porch range as this market has grown
able panels. In the mid-1980s came the IXL ﬁbreglass frames, stronger and lighter rapidly over the past eight years. Lately, we have also introduced the very popular
than traditional steel. These were enhanced and reinforced in 2005 with carbon Ventura range, marketed separately and distinctly from Isabella. Many ﬁrst-time
ﬁbres, and renamed CarbonX. More than 95% of Isabella awnings sold in the UK caravanners are choosing these products as an introduction to Isabella.
today have CarbonX frames.
We have a full time webmaster, and have launched two dedicated sites with up
Our awnings are made in Denmark and other EC countries, and the inﬂuences to date news and information, featuring model technical speciﬁcations and also
of all European markets can be seen in the products we manufacture. All sales containing the history of all caravan sizes from across Europe. We are working
teams meet the Danish design department every year to develop new awnings for with the latest technology in all areas, and ﬁnd many customers these days prefer
the various markets. Feedback from customers and retail outlets is an important to contact us by e–mail.
part of the agenda.
For 2007, we are delighted to introduce our vision for the future, new features
Some UK retailers have been selling Isabella awnings for almost 30 years, and they and new awnings, all designed by the Danish experts in response to the needs of
are now also selling the new range of Ventura awnings, which are made under li- the UK market.
cence to Isabella. Retailers are carefully selected and have their own exclusive mar-
ket area. Caravan companies are often family owned and operated, ensuring empa-
thy and an understanding of customers and their needs. We look for outlets that
Isabella Magazine :: 56 :: Importers/subsidiaries
Isabella Denmark celebrates its 50th anniversary
alf a century ago the founder of Isabella, Søren Odgaard, had an idea.
Today, we can safely say that it was a really good idea.
Isabella has been one of the leading suppliers of awnings for many alf a century ago, I ﬁrst came across a so-called ‘caravan’. A well-to-do
years. Isabella is always on the lookout for new opportunities, always at work on neighbour came driving down the road towing one of these contrap-
new models designed to make caravanning more comfortable and caravan sites a tions, closely followed by a whole ﬂock of children. The children were
great deal more attractive. so excited that the proud owner of the caravan parked it on a small ﬁeld nearby
and started to erect an awning in front of it. By the time this giant had ﬁnally
Over the years, the company has successfully established a number of subsidiaries been erected, the children had all gone, tired of waiting. I only remember that
in different European countries. the awning was orange. It probably wasn’t an Isabella awning, since Isabella had
only just been established in Denmark at that time. When I acquired my ﬁrst used
Isabella Nederland celebrates its 25 anniversary this year. We are a full subsidi-
caravan, some twenty-ﬁve years later in 1982, a similar orange awning was part of
ary of the parent company in Denmark, and we can always count on its full sup- the deal. And it probably took as long to set it up as it took for Isabella to become
port in the shape of a huge wealth of know-how. Isabella Nederland has its own established in the Netherlands.
service department, which enables us to supply most spare parts rapidly.
We only managed to erect our awning once, and that was enough. If it had been an
The Internet has undergone a dramatic revolution over the past few years, and Isabella awning, things would have been very different. I know, from experience,
Isabella certainly hasn’t wasted any time. A fast and attractive website with huge that they are far easier to erect. And I’ll give Isabella this: the company has always
amounts of information, background reading and technical details is now avail- been at the forefront of developments when it comes to quality and innovation.
able. The most surprising new features have almost always come from Denmark. A
real market leader. In addition to Isabella’s anniversary, this fact also merits many
Despite these technological advances, we are proud of the fact that the production happy returns. So – congratulations Isabella!
of awnings still relies largely on real craftsmanship. Thanks to stringent produc-
tion standards and the use of the very best materials, we are ready to face the Fred Voorbergen, Chief Editor
future. Together, we can make caravan sites even more attractive. Kampeer & Caravan Kampioen
Importers/subsidiaries :: 57 :: Isabella Magazine
ISABELLA NORWAY amping Distribution became Isabella’s representative in Belgium and
sabella moved into the Norwegian market in the 1960s. Isabella’s products Luxembourg at the end of 1999, and establishing a ﬁrst-class dealer
were brought to the Norwegians by one of the most well-respected members network from the season 2000 onwards was therefore the main chal-
of the country’s camping industry, namely Hans-Kristian Nielsen. He was a lenge. Initially, there were already 4 Isabella dealers in Belgium. With our efforts,
real pioneer who turned caravan holidays into a popular movement. Today, he is we rapidly established a network of 10 dealers and we now have 15 dealers ready
an honorary member of Norsk Caravan Club and the Norwegian trade organisa- to cover the Belgian market – Wallonia as well as Flanders – in 2007. At the begin-
tion. ning of 2003, it was decided that Camping Distribution should handle the French
market as well, establishing yet another Isabella network. In April 2003 we started
At the beginning of the 1970s the baton was passed to Perry Breesth, who went on working with Narbonne Accessoires as an ofﬁcial Isabella distributor/dealer in
to take the company’s products to new heights via Isabella Norway. He was joined France. Narbonne Accessoires Group sells caravan and motorhome accessories
in 1975 by Trine Lise Garberg, and on 1 October 1985, when the Danish parent on the French market, specialising in awning sales. Narbonne had 45 outlets
company chose to concentrate further on the Norwegian market by establishing a across France in 2003, a number which will have risen to 52 by the end of 2006.
subsidiary, it seemed only natural for responsibility to be transferred to her. Camping Distribution’s policy is the same as for Isabella DK, Isabella subsidiaries
and importers – namely to provide the best awning products with the best service
Progress has been steady ever since, and we can look back at many successful to our customers, be they dealers or caravanners. We also aim to expand our
years in terms of both turnover and market share. dealer network around Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
In 1994 the company moved to new premises. These were considerably expanded Camping Distribution is led by François Morici, with the assistance of his wife
in 2000. Thomas Andreasson was appointed marketing manager in 1994, and be- Véronique Morici. “Like Søren Odgaard, we started our business at home using
tween 1985 and today the number of employees has increased from two to seven. a small room measuring no more than 3.5 by 4 metres as an ofﬁce. In December
2005, we moved into new premises just behind our private home. Using modern
In addition to supplying the Norwegian market with awnings and equipment, Isa- technology, which makes communication fast and simple, we work very closely
bella Norway has also set up its own sewing room, which specialises in repairs. with Isabella DK on a daily basis. We are proud to be a part of the Isabella family,
The company has played an important role in the camping industry in Norway, and we very much enjoy our work.”
through its advertisements in national and local trade journals and magazines and
attendance at trade shows both locally and nationally.
Isabella Magazine :: 58 :: Importers/subsidiaries
porter since 1969, and has thus represented Isabella
and its products in a most professional manner for
more than 35 years.
Iceland’s geographical location makes it one of the
smallest markets in Europe, but Isabella’s products
have been available on this North Atlantic island for
several years thanks to a solid working relationship
with Gísli Jónsson. Here, camping is a way of life
s an exporter, Isabella is fully aware of events in connection with distributor meetings and and it takes many different forms – caravans are not
the importance of maintaining a good trade fairs. As a result of this close working relation- what take up the space due to the often rather poor
working relationship with its coopera- ship, our importers are often able to recognise some and impassable roads.
tion partners around the world. of their own ideas in new initiatives, helping them to
see the importance of cross-border communication Switzerland is an interesting European market in
Our importers are all equally important, whether for optimum results. terms of caravanning. A range of different import-
they come from Finland, Austria, Iceland, Switzer- ers represented Isabella until the turn of the millen-
land, Italy, Portugal, Poland or Sweden – and col- Isabella welcomes all good ideas, and we try to incor- nium, when the company’s subsidiary in Germany
laboration is the key. porate any suggestions that can improve our prod- took over distribution to the Swiss dealers. There is
ucts for the beneﬁt of caravanners the world over. no longer a Swiss importer as such, but a series of
Collaboration is absolutely essential, because col- highly professional dealers.
laboration is what allows us to inﬂuence the local Isabella therefore knows the importance of being
sales and service organisations. approachable and open to new information, and the Essebi in Bolzano has represented Isabella’s interest
value of exploiting new know-how. in Italy for over 15 years.
Isabella’s importers are therefore carefully chosen.
We ﬁrmly believe that cooperation must build on As a modern production company Isabella is, and Portugal has been a major market for the past 10
mutual trust and understanding of the product and always has been, dependent on skilled cooperation years, and Isabella is represented here by Marcampo.
the organisation. We feel our importers trust us as partners for the sale of its products. This applies both This is an achievement as the awning standard here,
much as we trust them – and this trust is the basis of to dealers at home and, just as importantly, to its for- as in other Southern European countries, is quite
our mutual success. eign contacts. Isabella has established local subsidi- different from other areas that we work in.
aries on all of its largest markets around the world,
Isabella’s importers work very hard for the company with the exception of Sweden, where sales have been The latest addition to the family tree is Poland. Fol-
and its products, and Isabella values them all very handled by an importer since the end of the 1960s. lowing its inclusion in the EU, Poland is fast on
highly. The company often works with the same busi- Part of Isabella’s success can also be attributed to the way to becoming an established market for the
ness partners for many years, and these partnerships the efforts of a handful of skilled collaboration part- well-known Isabella awnings. Isabella is currently
create bridges between countries, allowing both pro- ners that have acted as importers in their respective represented by ProCamp, a company that also im-
fessional and personal friendships to grow. countries. In Finland, Caravan Company (and more ports caravans. Isabella has also established a close
recently one of its subsidiaries by the name of Kehä working relationship with other parties manufactur-
We support many local initiatives in order to ensure Caravan Tukku) has proved an excellent importer, ing in this country, and future developments can be
that our importers feel in tune with Isabella. having represented Isabella’s interests in a highly expected.
professional manner since the mid-1970s. Isabella’s
It is important for Isabella to know that caravanners awnings and accessories have also been imported by From time to time, on a smaller scale, Isabella ex-
who purchase our products are treated well, no mat- Kama OY to Finland since the mid-1990s. These two ports to other countries and believes that wherever
ter where that purchase is made. The service custom- companies, which both function as wholesalers for there are caravanners, there are possibilities for the
ers receive from our importers must be as good as caravan accessories, represent Isabella in Finland future.
that which is provided by our subsidiaries. and do so very professionally indeed.
This is only possible if a close link is established The same is true of the largest caravan distributor in
between the different countries, with those involved Austria, Helmuth Pusch Wohnwagen. Pusch Wohn-
paying frequent visits abroad and taking part in wagen, which has branches in ﬁve different towns in
both the planning and implementation of a range of Austria, has functioned as the Austrian Isabella im-
Importers/subsidiaries :: 59 :: Isabella Magazine