The Skydancer Cabrio, now known simply as the Skydancer Apero, is the world's first convertible motorhome, born from the idea of offering an unparalleled camping experience, while increasing available space and increasing safety in the event of an accident.
The vehicle was presented as a prototype in 2014, but it took another five years to reach the production stage.
Today, it can be built to order, but you'll have to shell out a good one for the privilege of owning one.
The Skydancer Apero
In 2014, a relatively unknown company made international headlines with a motorhome described as the world's first convertible motorhome.
This was the Skydancer 7.5 prototype, so named because it was built on the rolling chassis of a second-hand 7.5 ton Mercedes-Benz Atego truck.
The prototype was rudimentary, at least compared to current model development, but it served to showcase the new idea.
The initial plan was to put the Skydancer 7.5 into production and sell one of these units for €80,000, which was approximately US$ 102,800 at the time.
In addition to the open-air upper deck that would have accommodated four people, the motorhome offered another level with a kitchen and dining area and bathroom.
In total, four people could sleep and eat in the motorhome, so it was the perfect family vehicle.
It would be another five years until this jewel of a vehicle entered production and, when it happened, it had already undergone significant changes, from aesthetics to more radical ones, such as a new chassis, a new look and a new name.
In 2019, Skydancer introduced the Skydancer Apero, which used a smaller 3.5-tonne Fiat Ducato as its base and featured bespoke furniture and a more yacht-like feel to the trims.
Also then, Skydancer introduced the term 2B Concept or what they call a double-decker motorhome, which is at the base of the Apero design and is still being developed.
The Apero's successor, called SkyDiamond, comes in opposition to the now positively old Skydancer 7.5, but it's just an upgrade of the Apero, so it's also called the Apero 2.0, featuring premium options and materials, for a more luxurious style.
What the two production models have in common are the layout and amenities. The ground floor, which is accessed through a side door, includes a queen size bed to the rear, a kitchen and plenty of closet and storage options, and a wet but full bathroom.
The kitchen is tight but packed with basics and more than enough storage options.
The bathroom includes a fold-out sink, toilet and shower and is spacious enough to be comfortable.
The second level is just two steps down and has four captain's chairs under the retractable roof. Because of the elevated position, the Apero offers much better angles all around, both for the driver and for the three passengers, including those sitting in the back row.
The two front seats swivel backwards when the engine is off, but lock in the forward-facing position when turned on.
Skydancer includes tables between each row, so any of the three seats can double as a remote table or double as a dining table.
At night, using extensions not shown in any of the videos below, but depicted in the gallery, the entire upper floor is transformed into a bedroom, for those special nights when sleeping under the stars, in the open air, is desired.
The roof can also be left open during travel.
When the Skydancer Apero launched in 2019, it had an estimated value of €130,000, which is around US$ 134,000 at current exchange rates.
The SkyDiamond, which is basically its fancier and much prettier version, starts at €173,740 ($ 179,000) and goes up to €212,966 ($ 219,000) if you add a bigger gas tank, solar panels and inverter, premium seats and all more exquisite.