Interview Lifestyle

Krismar Horse Trucks and Motorhomes, co-founded by Kris and Katrien fifteen years ago, began its journey as a producer of luxury horse trucks and horse trailers. With time, their offerings expanded to include motorhomes tailored for both leisure travelers and professional sports teams. During a conversation between Dirk De Bock, the sales manager at Krismar, and devoted customer Dominique Dedecker, the focus shifted towards the unique advantages of owning a motorhome, especially for athletes.

Dirk emphasized that Kris and Katrien’s profound understanding of the equestrian world, coupled with their inventive approach to blending functionality with luxury, paved the way for their impressive growth. Krismar has now emerged as a leading authority in professional transportation within the realms of horse riding and sports. The discussion underscored how the company has accomplished a commendable track record within a relatively brief span of time.

Hello Dirk and Dominique. Krismar has only been in existence for about fifteen years and has already achieved a particularly fine track record. From specialist in horse trucks to authority in the horse and sports world in terms of professional transport. Tell us Dirk, how did you guys grow so fast?

Dirk: At Krismar Horse Trucks & Motorhomes, we originally focused on crafting tailored, high-end horse trucks and horse trailers, catering to all aspects of equine transportation. Kris and Katrien, the visionary minds behind Krismar, have a background rooted in the world of show jumping. However, our reputation soon extended beyond equestrian circles, captivating the interest of professional sports teams, athletes, and leisure travelers.

Rather than a deliberate expansion, our product range naturally evolved in response to demand. Rising to the occasion, we leveraged our expertise in crafting horse-drawn carriages to create exclusive motorhomes. Today, we proudly serve esteemed clients like Quick-Step, former karting world champion Michel Vacirca, and the Pex family, who now oversee their own kart racing team.

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Impressive! We can imagine that your approach to the construction of motorhomes requires different insights than with horse trucks?

Dirk: It was a challenge, one that ignited our passion! Such opportunities are rare and inspiring. Given the unique nature of our motorhomes, we’ve decided to establish a dedicated factory solely for this endeavor. Alongside this, we’ve expanded our team to include accomplished interior designers and a specialized technical engineering unit, all wholly devoted to the advancement of our motorhome line.

Dominique, how did you get in touch with Krismar?

Dominique: My son Douwe (15) is a top athlete. He has been active in karting in recent years and recently got the chance to start as a race driver in British Formula 4 at Virtuosi Racing. We had owned a motorhome before, but felt we couldn’t get the service we needed from that company. Krismar did give us the service help we were looking for and we were very excited about that. Because Douwe was then abroad about 25 weeks a year for international races we decided to have a new, modified motorhome built at Krismar.

Krismar works completely à la tête du client. What did your motorhome absolutely have to meet?

Dominique: The basics like enough sleeping space, a nice spacious shower but also a limited ‘garage’ in the back for a small car. That way we could take the family out if we stayed somewhere for a while. Now that Douwe has switched to Formula 4, we asked Krismar to build a new motorhome more suited to his needs. Getting rid of the garage created more living space. In the back we now have a smaller storage area with washer/dryer combination, extra storage cabinets and room for a few bikes, among other things. I am always along for the ride as a driver and Douwe always has a companion. Then extra space comes in handy.

What makes Krismar stand out?

Dominique: What I really like about them is that they can customize almost anything. Both on an interior level and on a technical level. At Krismar we do not only work with standard models that you can choose from. You can also go completely custom-made. They also think along with you. In our new motorhome everything is provided to live for a week: space for a supply of food and water, our own generator, a dryer and washing machine, … Pure luxury! When you are on the track like Douwe and have to perform at a high level, you also want to be able to unwind in comfort.

Dirk: That’s where I come in. Customization à la tête du client and a personal service are our greatest strengths. We make the difference through a personal approach that is completely tailored to each individual client. When we build something, we want to do it as well as possible. Achieve what someone else just can’t. That’s why we always start from the customer’s wishes and needs. We use this to create a concept and adjust it until the customer is 100% satisfied. This also makes us unique in the market. Thanks to our thorough high-end customization, there is practically no competition. We have few limits!

Speaking of borders… Is Krismar also active abroad?

Dirk: Yes indeed. We are based in Zwevezele, but our production is in Hungary spread over 3 sites. We have an extensive network of dealers in various countries such as the UK, lreland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden,…. And there is also gradually more demand from Eastern Europe. Our network continues to expand.

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Many of your clients participate in international competitions. I can imagine that people want to be helped as quickly as possible if a problem arises. Can your customers abroad also call on Krismar for technical support?

Dirk: In most cases an intervention is not necessary and with some simple questions we can solve the problem by phone, from a distance. In Belgium we send out technicians in case of larger problems. Abroad, we send someone by plane to the customer. Our personal service goes a long way.

Dominique: Right! Krismar’s service is great, which is why we are so loyal to them. They are very strong in service. A motorhome has a lot of technical aspects. Then you want to be able to fall back on someone should something arise. We can reach Dirk anywhere in the world, at practically any time of the day. The combination of top-notch products and after-sales service is great at Krismar.

Dirk, your enthusiasm and service goes a long way. Have you already had customers who presented a very challenging idea?

Dirk: Definitely! One fascinating project comes to mind involving a princess from the Emirates. We were tasked with crafting a bespoke motorhome, complete with private accommodations for her, her devoted bodyguard, and dedicated staff. This meant creating distinct living spaces within the vehicle for each individual. Additionally, she envisioned a seamless access point to a second truck housing her cherished horses, and we brainstormed a clever locking mechanism to achieve this. It was a delightful challenge, but we managed to craft a design that exceeded her expectations!

How do you combine work, school and sports when you are on the track so often?

Dominique: I am self-employed and owner of 2 businesses. I have the freedom to work where I want, and the good fortune to have good wifi in our motorhome. So I’m at work, while other parents sometimes kill time between races in the cafeteria. I try to make the best use of my time. The busiest season for Douwe is actually from March to the end of October, so Douwe doesn’t take classes like he does in a traditional school year. When we are at home, he goes to a private school in Kortrijk for top athletes, among others, where there are 1-on-1 lessons. That way he gets the necessary learning material thoroughly mastered. We think it is important that he gets a diploma, but he should also have the necessary space to focus on his sport. This way works well for us.

How do you see Douwe’s future evolving?

Dominique: Of course I hope that one day he can become a professional motorsport driver and get paid for what he loves most, and what he invests so much time in. It would be great if he could move into Formula 3. That’s practically a fishing ground for big teams like Ferrari and Lamborghini. That’s why he’s now training from the UK. There is the biggest competition there, you can train in various weather conditions and the tracks are narrower than here so you have to focus more on the track.

Sounds promising… Good luck with everything that comes your way! Thanks for the nice chat Dirk & Dominique!

Image Krismar Horse Trucks

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