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Vintage-style H1 travel trailer by Happier Camper

HC1 travel trailer combines modular convenience with vintage looks

By – May 12, 2015 10 Pictures
The Happier Camper HC1 travel trailer is due to go into production

The Happier Camper HC1 travel trailer is due to go into production

Style may not seem like a priority in many travel trailer and caravan designs, but the HC1 from Happier Camper has oodles of both functionality and personality, combining a highly versatile modular interior with a rather eye-catching vintage look.

The HC1 design incorporates an “Adaptiv” interior made up of six base components – a bench, kitchenette, table, cushion, floor panel and lid. The components are slotted into place on a Lego-like floor to create a variety of interior layouts, or can be used as outdoor furniture.

Possible interior layouts include leaving the trailer empty for haulage, a bed and kitchenette combo for camping, a kitchen-only setup for commercial catering or a “mega bed” setup that can sleep up to five people.

Other accessories include a Bose sound system, built-in USB and AC power sockets and a tablet docking station. The HC1 also features a 100 W solar panel for generating power, a heated shower, an awning and optional outdoor lighting.

The trailer itself is designed to be lightweight and weighs in at just 1,100 lb (500 kg). This means it can be towed by a wide variety of cars and helps to minimize additional fuel usage. To keep the weight down, the shell is made of fiberglass, as is the modular furniture.

At 13 ft long (4 m) and just under 7 ft (2.1 m) wide, the HC1 will fit into a standard single parking space. There is just over 6 ft of headroom inside the trailer and 42 sq ft of walkable floor space. Access to the HC1 is via a side door or a large hatch at the rear. Windows on each side allow plenty of light in, whilst snap-down blinds offer privacy.

The HC1, which is reminiscent of the old VW Camper Van with its half-and-half color scheme, rounded edges and beveled wheel flares and taillights, has been designed over the course of five years. It is currently at prototype stage and Happier Camper says final refinements to the design are being made.

The base model will cost US$13,950 in the US, and there are plans to roll-out of the HC1 to Europe and Asia next year. A new HC1 website is due to launch next month.

Source: Happier Camper


#TBT Concept: 2001 Volkswagen Microbus

#TBT Concept: 2001 Volkswagen Microbus

In the auto industry’s annals of missed opportunities, few stand out quite like the 2001 Volkswagen Microbus concept. In an era where people movers were gaining in popularity, and Volkswagen held a cachet among young and wealthy Americans for a certain Germanic coolness, the Microbus concept was an outright hit upon its debut at the 2001 Detroit auto show. Retro-themed concepts were quite the rage at the time, and the Microbus successfully recalled its forebears while offering all the amenities and space a modern family could want.

#TBT Concept: 2001 Volkswagen Microbus

Designed in VW’s California studios, the Microbus had a lot of show-car flourishes, but also accurately forecast what people would want from their family haulers — three rows of seats, and lots of screens, with monitors in the back of the first and second row of seats, along with pop-up screens for the third row.


Why was it never built? VW knew it had a potential hit on its hands, and had slated the Microbus for production in 2004 — but getting the concept’s shape to meet modern safety standards and fit onto the corporate van chassis proved too difficult, and the idea was scuttled. (That lack of front overhang that’s a key trait of the old Microbus look would likely fail most crash tests.)


VW has continued to play with the idea — and even had Chrysler build a version of its minivans, the unsuccessful Routan. In 2011, VW showed off an electric concept van dubbed the Bulli, one with a longer nose than the Microbus, but still very much in the same vein. Last year, analysts forecast that VW would finally pull the trigger on a Microbus-like vehicle in 2019. Meanwhile, the demand for classic Microbuses has grown so much that pristine copies now sell for more than $200,000. Maybe someday families will have a way to feel so groovy again at a much lower price


Vintage van hire company reports surge in bookings

Richie Baird and Ishbel Moffat with their iconic VWs at Callander House. Picture: TSPL

Richie Baird and Ishbel Moffat with their iconic VWs at Callander House. Picture: TSPL

AN EDINBURGH couple have turned their love of classic camper vans into a thriving business driven primarily by the power of the internet.

Ishbel Moffat and Richie Baird struck out on their own after both were made redundant from their jobs in hospitality. After settling on Falkirk as their business base, Vintage VW Campers began hiring out vehicles in April last year.Since then, the firm has expanded from one to six vehicles, while reservations in the first five months of this year have surged by 60 per cent. It is now almost booked solid through the summer season by holidaymakers seeking modern comforts with classic style.

“There is a real love for Volkswagen campervans, and what some people have called ‘modstalgia’ – this idea of taking the kind of holiday you might have had in the past, but with modern elements like a TV or DVD player,” said ­Moffat.

She attributes the firm’s success to digital know-how acquired through Business Gateway Falkirk, which has helped Vintage VW to build an online presence.

“Despite a delay with the website that meant it didn’t go live until we began trading, the skills I learned at the workshops enabled me to begin marketing on Facebook, ensuring we had plenty of interest and advance bookings when we officially launched,” said Moffat.

“With our bookings for 2015 up so dramatically on 2014 already, a total increase of 100 per cent by the end of the year is looking promising.”

The company’s rare and classic VWs from the 1960s and 1970s have been hired for trips across Scotland, though the majority of customers head to the north. Vintage VWs have travelled as far as Islay and Harris.

Moffat and Baird have also developed a sideline in wedding hires after taking “Meg” – a 1965 VW Split Screen – to the Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC in Glasgow.

Unique and quirky places to go camping in Coventry and Warwickshire


Wigrams Canalside

Wigrams is situated on the junction of the Grand Union Canal and the Oxford Canal.

The house was built in 1798 as a Toll house for the Warwick and Napton Canal.

Today it stands in fifteen acres surrounded by breath-taking countryside, and offers guests both cottage stays and camping.

Mousley House Farm

Mousley House Farm

Grab an escape from the daily grind with Mousley House Farm, where you can camp up and pitch up in the gently rolling hills of Warwickshire.

This family-friendly, spacious site offers an idyllic four acres for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents, all with glorious, uninterrupted views of the countryside.

Mousley House Farm is also a haven for wildlife lovers and those who want to get as close to nature as possible.

Cost: Luxury Bell Tent £80 per night/Retro Caravan Hire £45 per night

Contact: 07443 475434

Somers Wood

Somers Wood

Somers Wood is an adult only caravan park offering 5-star luxury facilities.

Somers Wood is part of the Forest of Arden, ancient woodlands that separate Birmingham from Coventry.

The site is adjacent to Stonebridge Golf Club and 20 acres of Packington Somers’ fishing lakes.

Meriden’s Village shops, country pubs and restaurants are within a mile of the park.

Cost: £23 per night in July and August

Contact: 01676 522978

Warwick Racecourse

The Warwick Racecourse Caravan Club Site is set on a grass and tarmac enclosure within the grounds of the racecourse itself and is a mere 15 minute walk from the town centre of Warwick.

You can also enjoy a lovely walk along the Grand Union Canal at picturesque Hatton Locks and perhaps stop for refreshments at the Hatton Lock Café.

Close to the historic Hill Close Victorian Gardens and the award-winning iconic Warwick Castle.

Cost: £10 per night.

Eriba Glade

Heading to the NEC? Check out Eriba Glade, then.

A small friendly site located in beautiful woodland glade in the heart of Warwickshire, with ten pitches helped by electric hookup and shower blocks.

The site is quiet and dogs are welcome.



If owning a Type Two wasn’t enough – the new T6 will have motorbike carrying options!

Volkswagen MultiVan PanAmericana teased for Frankfurt motor show

Volkswagen will reveal a new spin on its latest-generation T6 Transporter van this week, dubbed Multivan PanAmericana.

Unveiled in April, the new ‘T6’ van range will again be offered in Transporter, Caravelle and Multivan forms, and it’s that latter variant that forms the basis of this new concept.

Teased today ahead of an unveiling at this week’s Frankfurt motor show, the new PanAmericana concept claims to combine the passenger comfort of the Multivan with a dash of unique load-hauling ability.

In this case, unique load-hauling means motorcycles, with the PanAmericana conceived as a means of transporting one’s two-wheeler across the country, from track to track.

To that end, the Multivan PanAmericana is equipped with a powered ramp to get your weighty bike in and out, along with a series of hooks inside to keep it secure during transit.


On the styling front, the PanAmericana will feature large multi-spoke alloy wheels (although this artwork likely exaggerates their proportions), combined with PanAmericana badging and new red, black and silver highlights inside and out.

Power in the concept is provided by Volkswagen’s EA288 Nutz turbo-diesel engine, producing the same 150kW offered with the top model in the new T6 range. A seven-speed DSG auto sends power to the van’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Watch for the PanAmericana to debut in the coming hours, ahead of what is reported to be a limited-edition production run

This VW Type 2 Sidecar is the Most Vantastic Way To Ride Shotgun



Back in 2007, a quirky three-wheeled concoction was featured in Scootering magazine, and the sidecar game hasn’t been the same since. Paired and color-matched with a Lambretta, this minature Volkswagen Type 2 Bus creation is the perfect transportation for a kid, a dog, or maybe a tasty pizza pie.

This car was built and is owned by a man named Jay Dyer. He built it so his then 11-year-old son could come riding with him. A long-time enthusiast, he wanted his kid to enjoy that part of his life with him. So, Dyer came up with the idea to make this. According to Geeky Gadgets, it took him about seven months to weld, paint, and craft the whole thing after buying the shell.



“We get absolutely mobbed by people when we take it to shows and journeys can take ages because we’re constantly stopped for photos,” Dyer said in his interview. “No one has ever seen anything like it and it’s a great feeling to see the look on people’s faces once they realize it’s a miniature camper van. I’ve had scooters for 27 years and see them as an iconic part of British culture. I’m glad to make my contribution.”

The project reportedly took about 2,500 British Pounds, or $3,800 by today’s conversion, and he has had plenty of offers exceeding 8,000 pounds, or more than $12,000. He said he’d never sell it, though. Let’s hope he’s maintained that attitude


Camper van fans revving up for celebratory festival in North Yorkshire

FESTIVAL: VW Camper Vans

FESTIVAL: VW Camper Vans

VINTAGE camper van enthusiasts will be revving up for an annual festival in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Dubs In’t Dales VW Festival, at Camp Katur Glamping Village in Bedale from September 25 to 27, is a celebration of the much-loved classic vehicle.

This year’s VW-fest at Camp Katur will be bigger and better than ever, with all new elements including a family-friendly dedicated campsite and an all-new all weather barn.

The camp out will also include a pamper parlour nail beautician and holistic therapies alongside a sauna cabin, hot tubs and a hay bale plunge pool with pre booked sessions available throughout the weekend and of course, the ever-popular Show ‘n Shine competition, where owners can display their pride and joy, will round-off the weekend in style.

Owner of Camp Katur Kerry Roy said: “Every year the Dubs In’t Dales festival attracts more VW fans and this year with our added attractions and new facilities, we are really setting the bar high and will ensure that the 2015 Dubs In’t Dales festival is one to remember.”

The weekend will be packed with family friendly activities including access to the adventure playground, segway tours, Aerial Extreme high ropes course and taster activity sessions including archery, bushcraft and dance workshops.

Dubs I’nt Dales is organised by Dubtricks and Classic Volks with a percentage of this year’s proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Care and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

For more information or to book visit

Volkswagen T6 model range is hybrid-ready but customers aren’t, according to the company

Volkswagen T6 model range is hybrid-ready but customers aren’t, according to the company

The new-generation Volkswagen T6 model range could be sold with a hybrid drivetrain at a moments’ notice if there was demand for it, according to insiders.

At the launch of the new-generation Volkswagen T6 models – which includes the Transporter commercial van and the Caravelle and Multivan people mover models – it was confirmed to CarAdvice that a hybrid powertrain is developed and ready to be implemented.

There is no problem fitting in any batteries or additional electric motors, but there could be an issue finding buyers who want such a thing, according to the brand.

Gisela Golling, head of systems and functions at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, told CarAdvice the T6 was developed as a hybrid-ready model, but the time isn’t right to launch such a drivetrain in the vehicle.

Volkswagen T6 Caravelle

“I think hybrid is a thing which depends on the customer,” Golling said. “We have to have a big market for hybrids, then we can offer a hybrid.

“We’ve got our chefs in the kitchen, we’ve got something which we can put in if we want to do it, but it depends on the customer [and] when he wants to have it,” she said.

“If we have the customers we can do it. We’re able to do it,” she reaffirmed, although there was no specific mention of what hybrid system Golling was talking about.

The plug-in system pairs a turbocharged 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 75kW/330Nm electric motor, which combine to produce 150kW of power and 350Nm of torque in the Golf GTE, where the Passat gets a higher tune, with 160kW/400Nm. In the Golf, fuel use is claimed at 1.5 litres per 100 kilometres; the Passat claims 2.0L/100km.

“We can put it in if we need, yeah,” she said. “That’s possible.”

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles press manager of product communications (Caddy/Amarok), Andreas Gottland, said that pricing was the main thing holding potential buyers back at this stage.

“It’s a very price-sensitive segment, especially in Europe, the commercial vehicle segment, and so the price is mainly the decision making tool for our customers,” he said.

“So when they don’t see there is a commercial use, in terms of their total cost of ownership, then it’s very hard to sell that. But we could do this easily,” he said of offering such a model in the range.

“The systems are all there and they’re already tested, already with our customers as you know, especially in Europe. And we have to see what is the request.

“You see how big or how small the request is in terms of hybrids and in terms of pure electric cars at the moment, because of that price difference, and at the end someone has to pay the price,” he said.

Golling suggested that ever-tightening emissions regulations could eventually play a part in forcing the hand of the German brand, although there is European talk of a revised consumption cycle test that better mimics everyday driver behaviours.

Volkswagen Transporter T6_2

“Now we use a very easy driving cycle. People say that they want to be nearer as the customer with the driving cycle, so that’s a proposal,” Golling said, indicating that a decision is likely before 2019.

“I think it’s similar to the American testing cycle,” she said, referencing the regime used in the US which is far more akin to how many drivers spend their days behind the wheel.

“I think we will see it in 2020 or 2021, we don’t know when it comes. There are many discussions what the routes will be.”



Tight squeeze: This is the moment 51 bus enthusiasts brought a new meaning to the term people carrier as they set a new world record for the number of people crammed into a classic VW Campervan

Breathe in everyone! People of all ages packed into the 1974 vehicle during the Busfest van festival in Malvern, Worcestershire, yesterday

A MECHANIC from Clacton has set a new world record by cramming an astonishing 51 people into his classic VW campervan.

Jamie Bakker, 26, of Coppins Road, was joined by friends Christopher Dee, Phillip Perry and 48 other enthusiasts for the attempt, which took place during the Busfest Van Festival, in Worcestershire, at the weekend.

Hop in: Bus enthusiasts also piled into the VW Campervan via the boot (pictured). The  Guinness World Record helped raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions

The bid was part of a charity fundraising event for the Make A Wish Foundation, which makes the dreams of youngsters fighting life-threatening conditions come true.

Jamie, who works for Ace Autos, in Crossfield Road, said: “I restored the campervan myself and modified it myself – it was a project over ten years.

The attempt, recognised as a Guinness World Record, also helped raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions such as cancer.

james Lewis, from BBC’s Flog It and Bargain Hunt, was there to witness the record-breaking attempt organised by Comfort Insurance.

He said: ‘I’ve been involved in quite a few world records in my time but this has been one of the most exciting yet, especially as it has never been done before and for such a worthy cause.’

One of those who took part, Calvin, added: ‘I didn’t think we’d do it at first. People’s hands and arms were squashed in my face. When it came to the last person, everyone joined in to pull him in. What a great atmosphere!’

Peter Cue, founder and director of Comfort Insurance, which organised the record attempt, said: “Our customers enjoy having fun with their campervans and we wanted to do the same. What better way than getting everyone involved in trying to set a world record, whilst helping families and children across the UK!”

Busfest saw around 25,000 campervan enthusiasts and 5,000 vehicles visit the festival over the weekend.

Give us a push! It was a snug fit but those who crammed into the VW Campervan set a new world record, even if they did need a bit of help

“I have loved VW campervans since I was a kid, so bought one when I had the chance.

“My partner, Lauren, saw something on the internet about the show saying that Comfort Insurance wanted a pre-1975 campervan to volunteer for something.

“We agree to do it and when we got there, we found out it was to set this world record and raise money for charity.”

He added: “It was crammed. It was comfortable to start with, but it got a bit claustrophobic in the end.

Giving the thumbs up: Packed in like sardines, there wasn't much room to breathe for the 51 bus enthusiasts who took part in the attempt

“They only had 40 minutes to complete it and after about 30 minutes they were getting a bit desperate and were shoving people into the gaps.

“I’m so pleased we were part of it – it was brilliant.


In total, 51 people squeezed into Jamie’s 1974 Type 2 campervan, helping to set the official Guinness World Record.

“There has never actually been a record set before – Guinness basically made it a challenge for 51 before they would consider it a record, said Jamie
Record-breaking moment: Two men help close the VW Campervan's doors to complete the attempt and allow everyone to get out again

Celebrating their success: Busfest saw around 25,000 campervan enthusiasts and 5,000 vehicles visit the festival over the weekend


VW van centres celebrate caddy and transporter launch


We’ve come a long way since 1954. From the original T1 and the Caddy pick-up, the Transporter and Caddy have evolved into the most versatile and technologically advanced vans you can buy. And with BlueMotion Technology available across the range, it means they’re also some of the most economical.

The Transporter and Caddy really have been perfected over generations. Why not come and experience these outstanding new vehicles for yourself? We can’t wait to show you the new safety and driver assist systems.

New Transporter: Starting from £17,745*

Raising the standards again, the sixth-generation Transporter sets the benchmark for quality, practicality and low running costs. The latest version launches with the widest range of engine, transmission and trim level options ever offered by Volkswagen. It also introduces a host of new design and engineering features, along with new assistance, safety, convenience and comfort systems.

Featuring cleaner, more efficient engines, the Transporter is available with a range of four 2.0-litre TDI Euro5 engines with outputs of 84 PS, 102 PS, 140 PS and 180 PS (Highline only) and a 2.0-litre TDI Euro 6 unit that develops 102 PS. All models benefit from Volkswagen’s acclaimed BlueMotion Technology modifications as standard. These include low rolling resistance tyres, regenerative braking and Start/Stop systems to reduce fuel consumption, meaning the new Transporter is cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing model.

In keeping with Transporter tradition, the new T6 model offers a range of body options and gross vehicle weights to suit the needs of all operators and drivers. In addition to three roof height options – standard (1,410 mm), medium (1,635 mm) and high (1,940 mm) – the new Transporter is available with four gross vehicle weights (ranging from 2,600 kg to 3,200 kg) along with short and long wheelbase options.

The latest incarnation of the Transporter boasts a host of new standard features including BlueMotion Technology, DAB+ digital radio, 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone connectivity and USB connection. Standard equipment also includes Volkswagen’s acclaimed Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, which automatically applies the brakes after a collision, reducing the risk or severity of a secondary impact.