VW camper van's Swiss Army kitchen clears space for a bathroom
Queensize Camper debuted with one of the weirdest camper van concepts we've ever seen, a VW van that slept four with help from a rotating roof box and sidewall expansion. The German shop comes back down to Earth with its newest camper van, ditching the roof box and distilling its best elements into the Inside Two. This two-person VW T5/T6 package supports everyone from rootless adventurers, to digitally nomadic couples, to road-bound co-workers with an innovative rolling, sliding, swinging indoor/outdoor kitchen, rear toilet room and forward-set bed.
We liked the multifunctional interior components of Queensize's original Galeria ForFour, but we just weren't sure about the parasitic organism it carried on its roof. The baby blue roof hut was definitely a unique attention-grabber but seemed rather inefficient, oversized and over-engineered as far as vehicular shelters go. So it's nice to see Queensize resurface with a simpler, more practical design that loses the roof box while carrying over the company's better ideas.
We'd say the Inside Two camper van actually improves upon the smart, multifunctional kitchen design of its predecessor. The new kitchen is a true Swiss Army knife, serving as an indoor/outdoor cooking space, dining area, mobile workstation and bed platform in one. As compared to the standard VW California-style kitchen, the Queensize kitchen jumps off the driver-side wall and rotates 90 degrees to find a home behind the passenger seat. Inside, it can be put to use by a sitting chef in the swiveled passenger seat (with the van windows open). Slide it out the side door and it becomes an open-air kitchen, with an extension countertop filling the space it vacated on the way out.
Queensize explains that the ball-bearing rails that the kitchen slides on prevent problems associated with more common telescoping rails, most notably sand blowing in and gumming up operation. The kitchen block itself includes a dual-burner ceramic cooktop fuelled by gas, and a stainless steel sink. The 28L fridge is located on the tall, non-sliding driver-side block, and a bottle holder at the back of the construction serves as a wine/olive oil rack.
Once the meal is ready to serve, the tall driver-side module goes to work. The countertop panel attaches to its edge to double the size of the tabletop, which slides forward to serve the two people sitting in the swivel cab seats. During non-mealtimes, this tabletop also works as a desk, perfect for getting some work done on the road.
At night, rather than folding the rear seats down to create a bed, as with Californias and other typical VW Transporter-based camper vans, the kitchen turns into a bed platform. The top of the driver-side block drops down to sit at the same level as the cooktop block, working with another extension panel and the front swivel seats to support the 58 x 79 (148 x 200-cm) folding mattress. That near-queen longitudinal bed is about the same size as the transverse bed in the Galeria ForFour but eliminates the awkward out-the-door tapered foot of the older design.
If our explanation is leaving some gaps in your understanding of how the Inside Two interior works, this one-minute video sums up the kitchen/bed/workstation transition better than words can:
In pushing the bed position forward from the rear it would occupy in other camper vans, Queensize has emptied out the load area. The resulting 31-in (80-cm) deep space could be used solely for hauling gear or luggage, but Queensize puts it to work in creating a simple toilet room. With its drop-n-swivel toilet-top sink, this rear space is similar to the one on the Galeria ForFour but eliminates the large freezer box in favor of a tall storage shelf on the passenger side. Baskets and slide-out crates provide organized storage; a mesh magazine holder faces the toilet; and a hatchet hangs off the outside of the shelving unit, serving as both rugged decor and an easy-grab camp essential.
The Inside Two loses the side shower room seen on the Galeria ForFour so occupants will have to find a different way of washing up. The water heating option utilizing waste cooking heat is included as part of the new van, though.
Queensize calls the Inside Two a concept, as it did with the Galeria ForFour, but its Instagram lists the new kit as available, starting at €7,200 (approx. US$8,000) for the multifunctional kitchen/bed module. The toilet room is sold separately. The components are designed to secure to the floor rails of T5/T6 California and Multivan models, making the kit easy to install and remove. The ForFour was quite rough around the edges, but this new kit looks like a marketable camper van package that should attract some buyers.
We'll be headed out to the CMT camper and travel show later this week and plan to take a closer look at the Queensize Inside Two there. In the meantime, the one-minute video below does a nice full-van rundown.
Source: Queensize Camper