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The RoadYacht Motorhome Is the Strangest, Most Awesome DIY Conversion Ever

As great as getting to drive the car of your dreams must be, it can’t possibly hold a candle to the awesome feeling you experience at the thought that you built it yourself. Just ask Gunter Erhart.
The RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner bus 23 photos
Photo: RoadYachting (Composite)
The RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner busThe RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner bus
Gunter Erhart is the brains and the skilled hands behind one of the strangest, most bonkers, and awesome motorhomes out there. Considering the amount of frankenvehicles that live up to these descriptors, that’s saying a lot.

This is the RoadYacht, a motorhome built with the intent of creating an RV like no other, with roots going all the way back to the ‘70s, and a very colorful history.

The RoadYacht is a yacht for the road, hardy har-har. The name came only later, as the build advanced and Gunter and his team kept adding stuff – mostly features that they wanted on an RV but had never seen implemented. At the end of two decades of working, tearing down and then working some more, Gunter had his RoadYacht: a franken-bus slash motorhome that can sleep as many as eight people, and offers the strangest roof on any RV out there.

At its core, the RoadYacht is a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner NH22L that Gunter bought on the cheap from a scrap yard. Because it was completely run down and no longer repairable on its own, he bought another bus that he used for parts. Now, the RoadYacht is powered by a 6-cylinder Henschel engine mated to a ZF 6-speed transmission, but it took Gunter three years just to get it working. The build was another 15+ years, and the fact that he did not have an initial design layout, played a significant part in it.

The RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner bus
Photo: RoadYachting
If you think a project of this scale can’t be done “by ear,” the RoadYacht is proof that you can. In the video interview below, Gunter explains how the build changed over the years, as he got new ideas and wanted to integrate them. On one hand, this meant that the project spread over two decades and that was a downside he didn’t anticipate. On the other, it means that today, the RoadYacht still feels modern in functionality and comfort.

In camp mode, this motorhome can seat up to 25 people, but can only transport 8 of them seated, not including the driver. It can be used as a touring couch or mobile event center, or as a regular motorhome, in which case it could easily accommodate as many as eight people. The RoadYacht has a galley and a messroom, which are Gunter’s preferred terms for the kitchen and the dining room. After all, this is a yacht, even if it has wheels.

The kitchen has everything from glassware cabinets to a dual sink, a propane stove and an oven, and even a dishwasher. It communicates with the dining area through a partition that can be closed off by a spice rack, for when the dinette is in use as a two-person bed. The RoadYacht is a DIY (do-it-yourself) build, so details like the windshield wiper motor that lowers the table to turn the U-shaped bench into a proper bed are tell-tale signs of Gunter’s ingenuity and skill.

The RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner bus
Photo: YouTube / Peace Love and Om
There’s a lounge on the upper floor, and two more lounge-like spaces that can be turned into bedrooms. The biggest “get” with the RoadYacht is that it can be anything you want it to be, because Gunter thought to integrate multiple functionality into the spaces. The bathroom offers a tub and a shower, a toilet, and a sink with vanity, and Gunter promises that, no matter how many people are onboard, they could still use the kitchen and the restroom without bothering the other guests.

The most spectacular part about the RoadYacht is the second floor and its three-sectional roof. The latter pops up in the middle to offer standing height and optimal ventilation, which is very important since there is no AC onboard. At the front end, the entire section slides forward and opens up altogether. The four seats there recline all the way, and you can lower the fold-up beds to turn the space into proper sleeping quarters. Meanwhile, the section that slid forward becomes a netted lounge area.

At the other end of the bus is another bedroom that opens up completely to the elements, much like you pop open the trunk of a car. Gunter doesn’t recommend sleeping like that, but you could if you wanted to. Alternatively, this area can be converted into a terrace.

The RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner bus
Photo: YouTube / Peace Love and Om
The RoadYacht carries 850 liters (224.5 gallons) of freshwater in two separate tanks and has a 400-liter (105.6-gallon) gray water tank, and a separate waste tank of about 450 liters (119 gallons). Eight solar panels on the roof allow it to be self-sufficient “until we run out of water,” and there’s heating and a variety of entertainment options onboard, including a couple of Xboxes, HDTV, satellite TV, and DVD player, hooked up to “various” audio systems.

Available space can be expanded to the outside by means of awnings, or adding a trailer. The luggage compartment has a loading crane for smooth operation, and the garage has storage for two motorcycles and two bikes. The RoadYacht has served on occasions as varied as bachelor parties to summer festivals, and anything else in between, so it’s very versatile. Finishes are high quality, including real maple wood veneer, wood parquet, and genuine leather, which explains how come the interior has held up well despite the 20 years in operation.

As for the purpose behind this 20-year project, Gunter says he’s what you might call a “consumerism objector,” so he believes we should reuse as much of the old stuff as we can. This doesn’t mean living “like the poor,” but paying more attention to what is billed as scrap but still has great potential. “It’s just not right for us to be buying everything new. And that we buy the worst crap,” he explains.

The RoadYacht is a DIY motorhome based on a 1971 Neoplan Skyliner bus
Photo: RoadYachting
In 2020, the RoadYacht went through its second restoration, which we understand included upgrades to enhance comfort and functionality onboard. From what we can tell, the RoadYacht can still be rented for actual road use, or for glamping stays at Gunter’s property in Italy. For those of us not planning any trips to Europe anytime soon, the RoadYacht is a visual treat only – so admire at will!

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Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 Download: RoadYacht flier (PDF)

About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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