Automotive

Tonke turns the new VW T6 into versatile camper van

The all-new Tonke Van
The all-new Tonke Van
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The kitchen includes a two-burner stove, sink and fold-up table/counter
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The kitchen includes a two-burner stove, sink and fold-up table/counter
The Tonke Van is one of the new campers based on the VW T6 platform
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The Tonke Van is one of the new campers based on the VW T6 platform
Options include a pop-up roof with mattress and swing-out kitchen module
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Options include a pop-up roof with mattress and swing-out kitchen module
Two lamps come standard
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Two lamps come standard
Out and about in the Tonke Van
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Out and about in the Tonke Van
The Tonke can carry up to six while driving and sleep four or five
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The Tonke can carry up to six while driving and sleep four or five
Tonke believes its van captures the essence of the iconic VW camper
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Tonke believes its van captures the essence of the iconic VW camper
Everyone ready for bed
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Everyone ready for bed
The indoor/outdoor kitchen option gives you versatility in food preparation and dining
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The indoor/outdoor kitchen option gives you versatility in food preparation and dining
The Tonke Van starts at €40,000 without the pop-up roof, swing-out kitchen and other optional equipment
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The Tonke Van starts at €40,000 without the pop-up roof, swing-out kitchen and other optional equipment
On the road
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On the road
A backside counter provides more work space
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A backside counter provides more work space
The all-new Tonke Van
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The all-new Tonke Van
At camp
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At camp
Kitchen with table folded over the front
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Kitchen with table folded over the front
Not only does the swing-out kitchen allow for outdoor cooking, it frees up interior space for relaxing
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Not only does the swing-out kitchen allow for outdoor cooking, it frees up interior space for relaxing
Inside the Tonke Van
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Inside the Tonke Van
Swivel front seats make for a comfy space to eat and spend time with family and friends
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Swivel front seats make for a comfy space to eat and spend time with family and friends
The rear-seat bed
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The rear-seat bed
The rear-seat bed
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The rear-seat bed
The pop-up roof adds headroom when the mattress is not in use
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The pop-up roof adds headroom when the mattress is not in use

Volkswagen introduced the sixth-generation Transporter van back in April, and camper van converters quickly got to work showing their new T6 camper van packages. We saw the new California from Volkswagen itself, and now Dutch converter Tonke, best known for its stylish wood and aluminum-skinned camper modules, has transformed the new VW into a slick, versatile explorer.

The simply named Tonke Van isn't the first van conversion we've seen from Tonke, we checked out a Sprinter conversion complete with the outfit's signature wood styling at the 2013 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. With the T6 camper, Tonke focuses its van conversion experience on bringing the VW camper back to its simple, free-spirited roots. Its aim is to give buyers a well-equipped, functional interior without unnecessary frills.

The Tonke Van drives five and has an option for a sixth seat. It includes a folding rear-seat bed and available mechanical pop-up roof with mattress, sleeping four to five people when equipped with the pop top.

The versatility of Tonke's design comes to life in the kitchen module, which can optionally be designed with swing-out hardware for inside/outside use. The kitchen includes a dual-burner gas stove and sink below a tempered glass cover. A removable compressor refrigerator sits behind the kitchen, left of the three-seat rear bench.

The indoor/outdoor kitchen option gives you versatility in food preparation and dining
The indoor/outdoor kitchen option gives you versatility in food preparation and dining

Instead of a separate dining table, the gas strut-actuated table top is built into the kitchen unit, doubling as the front wall. This layout keeps things clean and integrated while still giving you a place for dining and food prep. The table has multiple folding panels for added versatility in space usage.

The rail-mounted rear bench slides the length of the cabin floor and removes easily, providing an interior space that adjusts to your needs for people and cargo hauling. By removing the bench completely, the camper van can be used as a cargo or gear hauler when it's not being used as a family camper.

The under-bench drawer is also removable, allowing one to fit oblong items like surfboards below the rear bench. The interior includes a cabinet just inside the tailgate, which is within reach of the rear-seat bed.

Everyone ready for bed
Everyone ready for bed

The VW camper lacks the warm wood interiors of other Tonke products, but Tonke is careful to point out that the furniture is made from real birch plywood and not fiberboard or other substitute. The van includes a 16-liter (4.2-gal) fresh water tank and 16-liter gray water tank and Tonke offers up to 255 Ah of battery power, along with a solar panel option. Two standard lamps provide interior lighting.

The Tonke Van starts at €40,000 (approx. US$45,000), and Tonke tells us that an average van with the pop-up roof, swing-out indoor/outdoor kitchen option and other optional equipment will run to €60,000 ($68,000). It offers a full selection of engine, mechanical (including 4Motion 4WD) and camper cabin options. Unfortunately, like the van it's based on, it won't be coming to the United States.

Source: Tonke

1 comment
Oun Kwon
It reminds me their Vanagon I loved many decades ago. It had a Camper version.