There is half-a-hall’s worth of campervans at this year’s Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at Birmingham, and that’s only counting the smaller, VW T6-style campers. Add in the slightly-larger panel-van-conversion styles and they probably number in the hundreds.
Alongside the classic Volkswagen California, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, you’ll find plenty of interesting siblings.
If you’d like a new VW camper but cost is an issue, the Zermatt from Volksleisure comes in at less than £40,000. It has a fixed seat and no extra bed in the roof – or even a heater – but it’s still a fully functioning camper that’s ready for action.
At the other end of the scale is the amazing Special Edition 10 from Rolling Homes. A unique van created to celebrate the company’s tenth anniversary, but you won’t get any change from £100,000 for this truly ‘no expense spared’ vehicle.
You might think that after 60 years there’s not much new to put in a camper, but CMC Reimo manages to fit two sliding doors on the Hembil Drift, with a clever kitchen that swings out so you can cook inside or out.
And it’s not all straight lines, squared off cupboards and squeezing in as much kit as possible.
Inside Three Bridge’s Infinity models, for example, you’ll find a beautiful curved kitchen and a remarkable feeling of space.
Don’t be fooled into thinking VW is the only option for a camper. You’ll find many conversions on other base vehicles and probably pay a good £5,000 less without the VW badge.
One option is Ford’s latest smaller Transit. This is a lovely vehicle to drive and tends to have a bit more room inside than the equivalent VW.
Wellhouse Leisure’s Tellaro is based on the Ford Transit Custom and has a very different layout. It’s lost the rear forward-facing seat in favour of a lovely long sofa, a corner kitchen and even a separate toilet compartment. All for an on-the-road price of £47,000.
The choice of ready-built campers is already immense but if you can’t find the perfect one you can choose a camper built to your own specification, either on a new or used base vehicle. As always, you’ll normally get what you pay for and if you’re buying from a converter it’s worth checking it meets all the appropriate safety standards so you can live inside with confidence.