Offtrack upscales Volkswagen camper so you can live your best van life
While Volkswagen itself is considering shaking up the classic California floor plan, the layout remains an extremely popular blueprint for third-party camper builders. Rarely, however, does the side kitchen + folding bed/bench floor plan result in the most comfortable, inviting home-on-wheels. German shop Offtrack is looking to improve upon the tried-and-true layout, dressing it in decor and equipment that look plucked from the pages of a design magazine. Its lineup surpasses the ABT XNH as the most stylish T6.1 camper van of 2023, possibly ever, and even comes in full off-road adventure guise.
Midsize Class B campers based on vans like the Volkswagen Transporter or Citroën Jumpy tend to be focused on utility, incorporating removable or low-profile camper equipment that ensures the van can still serve as an effective family car and/or cargo van. That often leaves bare van sheet metal and automaker fit and finish staring back at campers, rather than more aesthetic, homey trim. Other times, the conversion shop simply covers up the base interior with something equally drab and industrial.
By contrast, Hamburg-based Offtrack has managed to create a camper with the same multipurpose utility of a traditional VW California, albeit with more of the warm ambiance and elevated feel of a larger, more upscale RV. It still relies on staples like a driver's side kitchen block that stretches back into a full-height rear wardrobe, a folding bench/bed, and a removable dining table that mounts to the kitchen, but it's selected equipment and trim more carefully to create a modern, coordinated look that vans in this category tend to sorely lack.
To start, Offtrack has finished the doors, walls and roof liner in natural, wood-style plank paneling and matched the countertop, cabinet faces and floor with wood-look trim of their own. It then follows what seems to be a rising trend of pairing that warm wood with cool neutrals, and buyer's can choose from white, gray or black furniture. The gray and black are particularly effective at offsetting the natural wood tones to create a rustic-modern feel. Those who want to go full log cabin can also select the "natural" furniture motif.
Offtrack further emphasizes the look with standard and available equipment like a vessel sink and inset ceiling lighting. The portable gas stove, optional stow-away induction cooker and under-counter top-loading fridge keep things clean and uncluttered during travel.
The Offtrack van certainly looks different, but it is still the California floor plan we've known for ages: the two-seat rear bench folds down to create the 47 x 77-in (120 x 195-cm) bed, and the single-leg table attaches to the kitchen block to serve as a dining area and workspace. There's only one sliding side door for entry into the living area, and cooking and food prep are meant to be done inside, opposite that door. A pop-up sleeper roof is available to complete a proper four-person family camper, and an onboard leisure battery and 230-V shore power hookup take care of electrical needs.
Offtrack currently builds its vans on buyer's choice of used Volkswagen T6 or brand-new T6.1. It offers a wide variety of options, starting with available all-wheel drive. Both manual and automatic transmissions are available, as are 101- and 148-hp engine options. Available camping amenities include a portable toilet, outdoor shower, awning, larger 50-L door fridge, camp heater and solar charging. Off-road upgrades, like a lift, BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires and a snorkel are also on offer.
Offtrack currently lists several available used T6 camper vans ranging between €39,000 and €59,750 (approx. US$41,350 and $63,350). Those interested in a new T6.1 camper van can use the company's detailed online configurator to choose all their desired options and have a quote sent.