All aboard the love van. An Indonesian mechanic has built the world’s first stretch VW camper van, which can seat around 20 of his mates. Wahyu Pamungkas, from Semarang, Indonesia, spent a year creating the ultimate hippie wagon, which is now 7.6 metres long. He did have a little help from his friends though – around 30 of them. The VW fanatic spent more than £20,000 (400million Indonesian Rupiah) pimping out his stretch Kombi.
He did it by mashing together two normal Kombi vans, altering the chassis , and swapping the 1,500cc engine for a 2,000cc engine so it could cope with the extra weight.
The interiors are fitted out with cream leather and seat around 20 people. (
Naturally, there’s a fully stocked mini-bar.
It brings all the girls to the yard.
There’s even a soft-top for catching a few rays. (Picture: Barcroft)Did someone say road trip?
German camper van converter SpaceCamper offers some of the most versatile, well-packaged Volkswagen Transporter campers we’ve happened across. Its also built one of the fastest camper vans on the planet. Now it’s expanded its lineup with the LightOpen, spreading the camping equipment around the cabin for an even lighter, more versatile recreational vehicle layout. The LightOpen can haul the family to and from work, school and sports practice, go camping, and work as a mobile office, all with little to no conversion in between.
SpaceCamper already offers Light and Open models, and now it mashes them together, creating the LightOpen van. We’ve seen a lot of multiple personality vans that work as campers, everyday people haulers and/or cargo vans, including the recent Pössl Campster, but the LightOpen does it more effortlessly than most.
Like the SpaceCamper ClassicOpen, the LightOpen includes sliding doors on both sides for easy loading and indoor/outdoor access to key equipment. Like the SpaceCamper Light, the LightOpen offers exceptional flexibility for use as a camper, everyday commuter, cargo hauler and rolling office.
Key to the LightOpen’s flexible, spacious design, SpaceCamper breaks down and shrinks what might otherwise be a large, space-devouring kitchen block, moving food prep amenities around the van cabin. A 25-L compressor fridge creates a different type of center console, giving the driver and front passenger access to cool drinks and snacks, a feature that could prove handy well beyond camping, to road trips, kids’ soccer games, hiking or mountain biking trips, and countless other uses. This refrigerator can also slide back into the main cabin, giving all passengers access.
In another twist on the camper van kitchen, SpaceCamper integrates the two-burner cooktop into the removable folding table, providing meal preparation and dining space. The table can be used inside or out, and without a kitchen block limiting its size and placement, it is larger than tables in other camper vans. It also doubles as a desk when work, not food, is what’s on the menu.
Another interesting feature of the LightOpen is the housing of both a flip-out side table/outdoor worktop and a sink in a console next to the rear bench. The compact sink slides out for indoor/outdoor use and slides away when not needed, saving space. A similar console on the other side has storage space and its own side table/worktop.
In the end, SpaceCamper has taken all the standard amenities of a camper van kitchen – cooktop, counters, sink and refrigerator – and spread them around the cabin to create a freer, more functional space with seating for five people. This setup is also an advantage when it’s time to sleep because the folding mattress stretches the width of the rear cabin, creating a 5 x 6.6-ft (1.55 x 2-m) bed, versus the 4.3 x 6.6-ft (1.3 x 2-m) bed in SpaceCamper models with more traditional kitchen blocks. A pop-up roof adds a second bed, making the LightOpen a good option for families.
The LightOpen’s equipment is compact and spread out enough to make the van a practical everyday driver for five people. The rear bench and under-bench storage drawers can also be removed easily, turning it into an open cargo van.
The SpaceCamper LightOpen prices in around €69,000 (approx. US$77,250) built atop the VW T6 Transporter Caravelle Comfortline with 148-hp 2.0-liter TDI engine and including standard equipment and options with the pop-up, sleep-in roof and the layout described above.
How much do you think this would set you back? £800, £1500, £5,000…read on to find out the price.
Bun Van is a bed and room reinvented by CIRCU as the iconic VW camper, ideal for the little hippy adventurer in your life!
The whole bus is a hand made reproduction, with the exterior of this piece made in fibreglass with the use of chrome-plated parts and palisander wood veneers throughout give the Bun Van bed a true retro feel. And in addition to storage compartments hidden throughout, you’ll also find a flatscreen TV, a mini bar, a sofa and of course a bed inside.
Parents will recognize the inspirations for this piece, one of the most remarkable vehicles ever produced and at the same time, one of the most iconic and magical symbols of fun and freedom! Few other vehicles have the ability to turn heads and conjure a spirit of freedom, adventure and open roads.
Kids will also recognize another inspiration, one of the most well know characters of the Disney movie “Cars”, Fillmore, the 1960’s hippie bus. This bed is perfect to bring some fun and imagination to rooms!
Measuring 400 x 185 x 220 cm, the Bun Van bed adds a statement to your kids’ living space with impressive artwork and sophisticated furnishings. A true and genuine piece of art, the bed pays homage to the hippie lifestyle and motoring heritage.
So how much?
Over £30,000 – you do need to have everything…
For VW Microbus enthusiasts, the 23 window Microbus is considered the Holy Grail. Today, we are sharing a very special unicorn: the world’s only 1965 Volkswagen Microbus stretch limousine, complete with 33 windows as well as a ragtop sunroof.
The one-of-a-kind Microbus was custom built by a VW-only restoration garage in Southern California (where else?) and took two years to complete. The result is stunning: the India Ivory-on-Tropical Turquoise bus features safari windows, front and rear; 14 side pop-out windows with large spoon latches; chrome front door frames; polished trim pieces on beltline and bumpers; and original 15-inch “crows foot” wheels in a white powdercoat.
Underneath the skin is a 2074cc VW engine that has been completely rebuilt. In fact, the engine, transmission, and gear reduction boxes have all been completely disassembled and rebuilt using only brand-new authentic components. Additional mechanical upgrades include front disc brakes, Gene Berg performance shifter, Vintage Speed exhaust system, and Blaze-Cut auto fire suppression system. The restored stretch Microbus also features LED headlights, custom LED taillights, as well as an LED third-brake light.
The cabin is undoubtedly the VW’s party piece. The Volkswagen Microbus stretch limo features two-tone brown benches with white piping and hidden pleats, which seat up to 12 passengers. The Microbus also boasts a custom wood floor, wood interior, and a high-end sound system featuring 6 JBL speakers, an Alpine amp, and Alpine head unit. RGBW LED light strips run across the entire length of the interior of the bus and can change to any color!
Following the extensive two-year restoration, the stretch Microbus finally arrived to Maui, Hawaii (where else?), to enjoy its new life as a special VIP limo for Endless Summer Limousine. Maui is long known as a popular wedding and tourism location with over 7,000 weddings booked every year.
Unfortunately, a sudden family emergency will require the owner and operator of Endless Summer Limousine to relocate, which means leaving the Microbus, the business, and the island behind. According to the eBay listing, the beautiful Microbus sold for $220,000. Despite the astronomical price, we’re sure it is money well spent for the right owner.
Who wants a princess bed when you can have an awesome VW camper van replica to lay your head down in?
Reddit user inexplorata, aka the world’s number one dad, built his daughter this incredible bed-cum-playhouse for her third birthday after he saw an ad on Craigslist for free VW Beetle parts – namely, a bumper, hubcaps, and some interior door pieces.
After picking up a $30 bunk bed, also on Craigslist, the enterprising dad set to work.
The construction, as detailed on his blog, took him four months.
He did have the occasional extra pair of hands.
The build cost him a total of $100, or £65 (much cheaper than those custom-made kids’ furniture places charge we’re guessing).
The camper bed has working headlights and a horn that makes driving sound effects.
It also has a colourful 60s style decor, as befits the iconic van’s hippy heritage.
As well as a hammock. Obviously.
And one careful owner.
Excellent work dad.
In fact, she said, people have been “open and kind and welcoming” everywhere
they’ve gone on this odyssey. “You hear bad things in the news, but overall
people are willing to help. They’ll drop everything they’re doing and invite you
Vought was quick to ascribe their cordial reception to the vehicle. “It’s the
bus,” he said. “People in all countries seem to love the VW bus. They’re already
kind of looking at you anyway, and when they see the bus, it’s like instant
smiles and instant friends.”
The bus at “Mano de Desierto,” a large sculpture of a hand in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
Dillon Vought and Tessa Ely didn’t know each other when they attended Service
High School at the same time. Big school, different classes, different crowds.
You know how it goes.
But they’re plenty familiar with each other now. For the past year, they have
traveled 26,000 miles throughout the Western Hemisphere in a Volkswagen
Westfalia pop-top camper bus.
“We just got the idea that we wanted to do some long-term travel,” said Vought.
“We did a few road trips around Alaska and it sort of evolved into this.”
The Alaska Dispatch News contacted the couple in Tierra del Fuego, the
southernmost part of South America. Ely said the place felt a little like
“There’s free camping everywhere,” she said. “It’s very safe. And everyone’s
Vought, 29, got a degree in marketing at a college in Reno, Nevada, before
moving back to Anchorage, where he has worked in logistical support for the oil
industry. Ely, 27, studied at UAA and became a special-education teacher with
the Anchorage School District. Of course, for the last 13 months they’ve been on
what can only be described as an extended leave of absence.
“It’s more like two years,” Vought said. But during the first year of the
adventure, the bus didn’t go anywhere as they rebuilt it.
They bought the broken-down 1975 Westfalia for $500. “It was the only one for
sale two years ago,” he said. They found it slowly weathering away in Hope. It
took a year of busted knuckles and “a lot of duct tape” before the thing was
ready to roll. In the process they added insulation, an RV furnace and changed
the horrible orange paint to a classic green and white two-tone.
Most important, they replaced the old air-cooled engine, a 1960s design, with a
modern Subaru Boxer 2.2 water-cooled engine. The original could churn up 66
horsepower and was famously underpowered, particularly on hills. The Boxer
produces 100 horsepower or better and is more fuel efficient than the vintage
It was time well spent, Vought said. “It’s really a blessing that we rebuilt the
entire thing, because now we know what’s going on with it. We can do most of the
fixes ourselves. You don’t need to worry about finding a good mechanic.”
They had considered taking a year to drive around Asia, but decided South
America would be easier, more right-in-the-neighborhood. “Tessa knew some
Spanish,” Vought said. “It was a more reachable trip.”
The journey began with a long drive down the West Coast. “We were hoping to ski
quite a bit,” Vought said. “But it was a bad year for skiing all over. We didn’t
actually get out and do anything until we got to Vancouver Island. And then it
was surfing. In February.”
They did manage to find snow in Montana. Then they joined a couple of other VW
buses for a mini-caravan drive down the Baja Peninsula, where they spent a
month. From there, the couple ferried the bus to the mainland, headed down the
west coast of Mexico, cut over to the Yucatan and proceeded through Central
America, surfing and camping on beaches as they went.
The Panama Canal brought a gap in road travel. The bus was shipped to Colombia
and the travelers followed by sail. After another month in Colombia, they
continued into the Andes, traveling through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
The southern terminus of the trip came at the end of the Pan American Highway,
just past Ushuaia, Argentina, latitude 54 degrees and change. It’s sometimes
referred to as “the end of the world.”
“We considered going further by boat to Antarctica,” Vought said. But “the
cheapest tour would still have been $5,000.”
Though the trip has been decidedly frugal, it hasn’t been free. The travelers
are already contemplating their return to home and jobs.
“We’ll cruise around Patagonia for a few months, then ship the bus to Florida
from Buenos Aires,” Ely said. While the bus is on the boat she’ll come back to
Alaska to work and Vought will backpack. They’ll reconnect with their trusty
transport in mid-June and drive through the U.S. and Canada “and see how long we
can make our money last,” she said.
The last logical leg will come after they return to Alaska, a run up the Dalton
Highway to Prudhoe Bay.
“I think we’re going to do a photo book,” Vought said. “But we probably won’t
actually complete it until we’re back in Anchorage.”
They’ll come home with a log-book of white-knuckle experiences. “Bolivia has the
worst roads,” Vought said. “We came out there with suspension issues. I’ve had
to replace the shocks and replace the clutch cable five times now.”
“And we’ve gotten a few bouts of stomach illness,” he continued. “Times when you
have to hole up in a hotel for a while and just pray you’re going to get
“I was getting pretty sick in El Salvador,” Ely said. “Dealing with hospitals
and the language barrier is something I don’t want to relive again.”
“The good part is that the local medical care people know how to treat the
common ailments in the area,” said Vought. “They can help you get well, even if
it seems like the most horrible thing.”
The payoff has been the people, Vought said. That goal was at the top of their
reasons for making the trip.
“We wanted to get more engulfed into the culture, go places that the tourists
don’t go, talk to the locals,” he said. “It’s been great. Every time we have a
question or a loss, you don’t hesitate to ask anyone because everyone is so
willing to help. You ask someone for directions and they ask you to stay at
One question they get asked a lot is whether they want to sell the bus. The
answer is always no. “It’s our baby!” said Ely.
“Besides, if we have kids, they’re going to see pictures of this trip and
pictures of the bus,” said Vought. “And if we don’t still have it, they’ll kill
BLOG Follow the travels of Dillon Vought, Tessa Ely and their 1975 VW camper bus
There’s been a lot of talk about people taking a ‘staycation’ rather than going abroad for their holidays. Put off by the increased hassle of ever-tougher airport security checks, would-be holiday makers could be forgiven for not wanting to make a trip abroad.
Besides which, there’s plenty to see in the UK, and while many might be familiar with the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol, know nothing about the UK, and all it has to offer. After all, Chancellor George Osborne has made great play of his UK camper van holiday, so its popularity extends to the great and the good.
It’s surprising more classic enthusiasts don’t consider a classic camper van for a great way of seeing more of this country. There’s the opportunity of getting to different places, not being tied to one hotel or self-catering location, and being able to pack more into a week.
The classic camper movement might be dominated by Volkswagens, but there are many more models out there that are worth looking at – and possibly considerably cheaper too. While it’s not uncommon to see VW Type One ‘splitties’ busting the £20,000 mark and later Type Two ‘bay windows’ easily commanding £10,000 to £15,000, a Mark One or Mark Two Ford Transit won’t be anywhere near that, and Bedford CFs trail behind Transit prices.
Then there are the more unusual – a 1970s Fiat 850T camper is small, but it’s highly rare and that bodywork can suffer from terminal rot – hence the reason so few have survived. Luckily VW models are very well supported which makes ownership easier, although not necessarily cheaper, but when it comes tod riving a Mk1 and Mk2 Transit probably drives better while the Bedford CF trumps the Ford when it comes to performance and car-like all-round capabilities.
For one-upmanship in the classic camper stakes something American takes some beating, especially for fixtures, equipment and ‘furniture’, although fuel economy might not be quite so easy to stomach.
But for ease of use, good spares support but a great practical quirkiness, the Citroen C15 Romahome is one of the best all-rounders, and it’s old enough to be considered classic. With a well-fitted camper body, the C15 is relatively pokey too, and no matter how hard it’s driven, won’t deliver less than 40 to the gallon. It’s as near to a car as driving a classic camper can be, and it’s not too expensive – yet – although increasing interest will soon put paid to those pleasingly affordable prices.
The latest Westfalia expansion on the VW T6 first reminds a lot of the VW California series, which came out as the first modern Campervan variant with a retro-coloured bicolor scheme. Nevertheless, the homage to the Sixties was even more consistent with the Kepler sixty than on the bus from Volkswagen: The latest sixty comes not only outside, but also inside with red-white elements, colors the WestfaliaHier goes to matching products Amazon.de! Quite appetizingly referred to as “Candy and Rotkirsche”.
The interior of the Kepler sixty shines red and white.
But with the colors it only starts: in Chrome, there are either shiny stickers with the “Sixty” logo or shiny slats that remind of the ventilation slots of the older vehicles. Elements such as the door handles or indicators shine Chromefarben, as are the rims in chrome and white and give the modern vehicle a certain vintage feeling. The design continues with the furniture forms: here, curved edges and lines that are entirely in the vintage look dominate. Just like the white-red leather seat cushions, this will certainly make the hearts of rockabilly fans beat faster.
The layout of the vehicle is based on the Westfalia Kepler 6, which was presented in the model year 2018 with a long wheelbase. Just like the sister model six, the Kepler has sixty 5.30 meters in length. In addition, it has a continuous sleeping bench in the stern instead of two single seats, which can be folded to sleep and are anchored on two notes in the vehicle. So a total of four people can travel with the sixty.
On the way, a kitchenette and a built-in cooler will supply the crew. A table with a shiny white surface and a cherry-red edge can be attached to the kitchenette and lowered. Clothes and luggage are included in the side cabinet with Chromefarbenen slats.
The roof is also red and is shown in the front with rounded edges. The bed itself is from Flori. In winter, a Webasto diesel heater provides warmth. The engine of the Westfalia Kepler sixty brings 150 hp with
Touring the Best of Southern California in the Volkswagen T6 California
VW’s camper van is some of the sweetest forbidden fruit
LOS ANGELES, California — In case you weren’t aware (we’re guessing most of you aren’t since it’s no longer sold here) the Volkswagen T6 is the sixth generation of VW’s long-running Transporter van series. It’s a vehicle whose lineage can be traced back to that of the Type 2—otherwise known as the world-famous Microbus. We recently had a go in a version of the T6 called the California, in Southern California of all places (clever, VW, clever).
The primary reason Volkswagen shipped a group of brand-spanking new T6 camper vans to the Golden State was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the California model. Given that it was taking place in SoCal, VW thought it would be fun to let a bunch of us Americans loose with them for a couple of days. We would quickly come to curse them for letting the rest of the world have them and not us.
We got a go in an Ocean trim level, the highest spec model in the T6 California hierarchy, save a plethora of special editions. It included a stove, cabinets, drawers, power outlets, lighting, and yes, even a kitchen sink.
Our particular T6 California was a German-market specification vehicle powered by a version of VW’s long-serving 2.0-liter turbo four driving all 4Motion wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine delivers 201 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, potent enough to haul the near-6,000 pound van to 62 mph in a tick less than 10 seconds.
From the pickup location at LAX we slogged our way through some classic L.A. traffic to Venice Beach to meet up with Martin Squires, a surfer who runs a surf school out of his classic VW Microbuses. Driving a T6 in this area attracted more looks than a supercar. Windows down, an excited onlooker shouted: “Hey when are they bringing those here?!” Preaching to the choir, bud.
After snapping some shots of Squires’ classics alongside our most up-to-date Transporters, we join the traffic once more for a coastal drive to Malibu, stopping first at a Vintage Grocers store alongside the freeway, where we pick up some coffee and refreshments to stash in the on-board fridge. On the way back to the van, a pair of local boys—already stoked out of their minds to get a glimpse of our T6 Ocean-liner—almost have a stroke when we give them a tour. These campers are an extrovert’s dream.
During the final stretch of the first day’s drive, we work our way up the coast to a camping spot in Carpenteria, just south of Santa Barbara. From the ocean-adjacent site on a hillside, our hosts give us a walkthrough of our homes for the night.
After showing us around the kitchen, we learn about some of the other cool kit equipped on our California Ocean campers. The California’s signature pop-up top tent feature is electronically operated from the control unit over the driver and front passenger seats. Once the tent is up, the upper level can be raised and lowered to allow adults to stand on the bottom floor. The rear seats flip down to make a second bed.
There’s a folding table inside the van, and the front two seats swivel around to allow four people to sit around the surface. Other hidden furniture includes folding chairs stashed in compartments in the rear hatch, and a camping table stowed inside the sliding door. Hidden among the door frames are shades that allow for complete privacy. The driver and passenger windows don’t get hidden shades, but Volkswagen includes cloth window covers that stick to the steel door frames to conceal the forward cabin.
Once the feature walkthrough is complete (our VW hosts also point out the 30-gallon tank for onboard water storage, waste water receptacle, and gas tank to heat the stove), our crew enjoys a seafood dinner and a warm campfire. We use the foldout chairs from our vans and chat until it’s time to retreat to our vans. Once inside, we use the full suite of LED lighting and the onboard heater while enjoying some music using the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible infotainment system.
I personally bunk on the upper-level bed, which has a wooden slat support underneath. The thick cloth walls of the tent are wind resistant and ventilated, which kept me warm and protected for the duration of the night. The following morning we have breakfast at the camp and then break down the camper’s setup in preparation for the day’s journey.
Our next leg is a quick jaunt to Ojai, a free-spirited town inland from Santa Barbara. Along the way, we hustle the Californias along some of the area’s winding roads. For what amounts to a rolling bed and breakfast, the T6 handled the twists and turns remarkably well. Thanks in part to its optional adaptive chassis control system we tackled several aggressive corners with something actually approaching confidence.
The T6’s steering proved direct and very tactile, its powertrain accelerates smoothly, and the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters work great for picking the right gear on inclines or declines.
After a hearty vegetarian meal for lunch, we take in some local color with a visit to Poco Farm. The fields and orchards are located in the town, and farmer Grace Malloy explains how her operation varies drastically from most other farms in the U.S. because of its small size and sustainability practices.
Following a final photo shoot in Ojai, we head out to the Songdog ranch in Maricopa for another night of camping. It turns out to be a breathtaking drive, not just for its sweeping vistas but also because it cuts through land torched by California’s recent devastating wildfires. The scorched trees, homes, and road signs along the way serve as a reminder of the ferocity of nature and how it can impact our lives, as well as the importance of getting out there and experiencing the things the world has to offer.
Our camp is in the high desert and the wind rips through our campsite, causing the tiny windmill on the roof of the adobe-walled ranch to spin feverishly. We set up the exterior-mounted awning, another feature that serves as one of the biggest points of contrast between the T6 California and Volkswagen’s other Transporter variants.
A crank, cleverly stowed in one of the drawers hidden under the passenger seats, is used to unwind the canopy. The weather-resistant tarp is supported by two folding braces and a pair of legs that swing out from the outside edge and the fully extended setup holds fast in the face of the whipping winds.
Our dinner is a barbeque, enjoyable partially because of the irony of Germans grilling excellent hamburgers for Americans but also because the protein-heavy meal is a welcome contrast to our meatless lunch. We hide from the gusts in the cabin as Christian, our host from VW, regales us with stories of the previous year’s Nordic adventure.
The next day we pack up the camper and hit the road back to Los Angeles without stopping. The round trip was close to 350 miles total, and the T6 California did it all on one tank of gas. On the way back, we tested out some of the vehicle’s new school tech, including its start/stop feature, lane-keeping assist, forward collision detection, and adaptive cruise control systems.
All of them generally performed as well as similar systems we’ve sampled from other automakers. Forward collision did intervene one time and although we thought the application unnecessary, given that it never occurred again it seemed to be on the less-intense side of the sensitivity spectrum. The adaptive cruise feature proved welcome during a stretch of the infamously boring Interstate 5, easily maintaining speed and following distance.
While it certainly seems to us like a no brainer for Volkswagen to bring the T6, especially in California form, to the U.S., there are several hurdles, chief among them price. Our California Ocean vans were optioned up to somewhere in the neighborhood of a whopping $110,000 (converted from Euros to dollars by Volkswagen). That said, several, less expensive variants could probably be had in the mid $40k range if brought here, but you wouldn’t be getting the kitchen sink.
Further making the case for VW to bring the T6 to the States was that we were stopped by everyone from beach bums to the finer folk of Malibu during our journey. They peppered us with questions, wondered aloud where they could get one. It proved an eye-opening experience that reinforced just how much the Volkswagen van has been seared into the national consciousness—at least out here on the left coast. Volkswagen gave the California a proper 30th anniversary bash, and now we’re more eager than ever to see the German camper make a return. Thanks a lot for whetting our appetite, Volkswagen.
|2018 Volkswagen T6 Transporter California Ocean Specifications|
|PRICE||$43,800/$110,000 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||2.O turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4/201 hp @ 4200 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD van|
|EPA MILEAGE||19/23 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||193.1 x 75 x 78.3 in|
|0-62 MPH||9.9 sec|