Vanlife Concept Camper injects the Ducato with style and purpose
German camper van converter Vanlife Manufaktur aims to elevate the van life experience to a higher level. Its Concept Camper demonstrates those ambitions unequivocally, turning the cold, white walls of the Fiat Ducato into the type of warm, homey lodge-on-wheels any roadway adventurer will happily retire to each evening. Real wood, hidden components and a spacious layout combine to push Vanlife's Concept above and beyond the typical mass-produced camper van roaming Europe.
With several years of experience creating custom van conversions, Vanlife Manufaktur turned its attention toward creating more of an over-the-counter conversion package, introducing the Concept Camper earlier this year. "Concept Camper" was originally a code name but seems to have stuck, appearing across Vanlife's website, price list, inquiry form and social media presence. The project has become a Concept Camper that's more than just a camper concept.
Open the the Concept Camper's sliding door and the kitchen will very likely be the first thing to catch your attention. Not only is it straight across the aisle, but it's the inarguable highlight of the conversion, anchored by a countertop and backsplash handcrafted from natural oak wood.
Thanks to the long build of that counter, the Vanlife Concept doesn't rely on a flush-top sunken stove, instead cooking with a dual-burner gas unit that rises above counter level. A designer sink next to the stove and a 45-L compressor fridge below the counter complete the kitchen equipment package, while overhead cabinets and under-counter drawers and cabinets provide plenty of storage.
The driver-side location of the kitchen differs from many full-size German-built camper vans, and that's because Vanlife eliminates the two-seat passenger bench/dinette that would usually occupy the space behind the cockpit. Instead, it seats two on a longitudinal cushioned bench on the passenger side. They're served atop a swiveling central table that can also serve as an extra kitchen worktop or a desk.
The fixed bed fills out the rear, raised above a central passthrough storage area with available slide-out cargo bin. The transverse bed pairs a slatted frame with a 160 x 190-cm (63 x 75-in) cold foam mattress. Buyers can also request a split-folding bed for more cargo flexibility.
Vanlife does not attempt to install a bathroom, instead leaving it up to the buyer. A portable toilet can be added on, as can an outdoor shower plumbed to an 84-L expansion fresh water tank and available boiler.
Finishing off the design is wood ceiling paneling and interior trim, PVC flooring, fabric wall trim, and plenty of storage under and over the furniture. Power comes from a 100-Ah lithium battery with 50-A charger, and buyers can add on 90 to 400 watts of solar charging.
The Concept Camper package was designed around a 599-cm (236-in) Fiat Ducato L4H2 and naturally fits the Ducato's Sevel factory siblings, the Citroën Jumper and Peugeot Boxer, in the same size. Vanlife can upgrade the van with an optional suspension lift and BFGoodrich AT tires for improved all-terrain capabilities.
The Concept Camper package starts at €34,900 (approx. US$41,175) before options. That price does not include the van. Vanlife can also adapt the package around other full-size vans, like the Mercedes Sprinter or MAN TGE/VW Crafter.
Source: Vanlife Manufaktur
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You can get a 4X4 crew cab, long bed, dually, diesel truck, and a Host Mammoth truck camper for that much money. And the Host camper comes with a choice of three different solar systems a 65-gallon freshwater tank, a 35-gallon grey water tank, a 35-gallon black water tank, a full-size shower with skylight. 3 slide-outs, king or queen size bed. and on and on and on. And it will go places that van can't even dream about going.