We didn't see as many Volkswagen campers as expected in the parking lot, but the other side of the Abenteuer & Allrad (Adventure & Allwheel) gate was a very different story. There was an entire tent dedicated to Volkswagen campers and other upfitted vehicles, and there were plenty of other VWs scattered about the show. And we're not just talking the ubiquitous Transporter camper vans and buses, but also larger Crafter campers, Amarok pickup campers and chassis-based Class C motorhomes.
Wingamm Micros T5 camper
The Micros from Italy's Wingamm seems the epitome of a Class B+ motorhome, since it's a bit larger than a Class B camper van but not quite as large as the typical chassis-built Class C. At 209 in (5,300 mm), the model on show was only slightly longer than a long-wheelbase T5 van (and 4 mm shorter than a long-wheelbase T6), but it packs plenty of space thanks to the high, wide fiberglass monocoque camper body that expands naturally out from the van cab.
Wingamm puts that space to good use, packing in a toilet room, kitchen and dinette lounge area. The drop-down bed pushes its way up to the ceiling by hand to free up space during the day.
The model we checked out at the show was based on a Volkswagen T5 Transporter with 138-hp 2.0-liter TDI engine and 4Motion 4WD. It was originally priced at €73,940 (approx. US$87,100) but was drastically dropped to €49,000 ($57,750), as shown on the window sticker. Wingamm now builds T6-based Micros models and continues to offer the 4Motion option.
GehoCab Kora Amarok camper
While the Wingamm Micros did have 4WD, it didn't strike us as the most rugged, go-anywhere Volkswagen camper around. If you want a monocoque camper built specifically for off-roading, you'd be better off looking into GehoCab's impressive Kora. Designed specifically for the Amarok pickup, the sleek, chassis-mounted Kora features a monocoque construction of carbon-aramid composite.
The Kora's design language follows the Amarok's, and the color matched to the truck cab. The baker's dozen of tinted windows looks stylish on the outside and delivers plenty of light and views inside, where GehoCab has created a functional living space with convertible dinette, alcove bed, bathroom and kitchen.
The Kora comes standard with 200 watts of solar panels, a 250-Ah lithium-iron-phosphate battery bank, heating, an 85-liter compressor fridge/freezer and an induction cooktop. As listed on GehoCab's website, prices start at a cool €134,000 ($158K) ... without the truck. Options include a suspension lift, snorkel, full-wall rear lift-gate, built-in Jura specialty coffee machine, microwave oven, hardwood flooring, air conditioning, and extra solar and battery capacity.
Chassis-mounted monocoques are cool, but the classic definition of a Volkswagen camper is still the Transporter camper van. Fischer Wohnmobile offers a compelling take on this classic concept with its multifunctional Octobus. With integrated floor rails, removable bucket seats and a removable fold-out bed, the Octobus converts easily between six-person everyday driver, four-sleeper camper van, overnight sports support van, and mobile business lounge. The sleek kitchen block and cabinet stretches from just behind the driver's seat to the load area in back, keeping equipment like the dual-burner stove, refrigerator and portable toilet organized and concealed. There's also an outdoor shower that stretches out the lift-gate.
The Octobus package is based on T5 and T6 vans and available in long- and short-wheelbase versions. Buyers can opt for high roofs with or without a bed or a pop-up roof with bed. Fischer's online price list puts starting price at €21,200 (US$25K, conversion only), and the complete model we saw on show wore a sticker of €78,990 (US$93,100).
Schwabenmobil Florida Tango
The Transporter may get all the fame, but the Crafter is the modern-day VW van that offers a roomier interior for camper van floor plans. The Schwabenmobil Florida Tango – an odd mix of German and English if ever we've read one – takes full advantage of the Crafter's space to offer an elegant motorhome with midships bathroom and kitchen area, along with a 6.6 x 5.9-foot (2 x 1.8-m) longitudinal double bed or dual longitudinal singles at the rear. Photos show that the passenger-side single bed can fold to the wall, creating room for a bicycle or two. In place of a convertible dinette, the Florida Tango has a front dining area with swivel driver cab seats ... and even a minibar alongside it!
Florida Tango amenities listed on the spec sheet include a 69-L refrigerator, 240-Ah battery and cassette toilet. There was no sticker on the show van, and the brochure does not include pricing information.
Bus-Boxx Transporter modules
Offering a fully modular take on the Volkswagen T5/T6 Transporter camper van, Bus-Boxx specializes in individual cooking, refrigerator and wardrobe modules. It offers the Naxos series for sliding beside a two-seat rear bench and the Santa Cruz series for standing in front of a three-seat rear bench. We particularly liked the Santa Cruz, which puts the kitchen module on a slide for outdoor use. The fridge module mounts next to it in front of the rear bench, leaving space for people to sit. The roll-top wardrobe goes in back.
Each module is priced individually, and the prices we've pulled from Bus-Boxx's website put the sliding kitchen at €2,039 ($2,400), a Dometic CF40 fridge with floor mount at €834 ($985), a tall, cabinet-style refrigeration module with 36-liter Webasto at €1,298 ($1,530), and the wardrobe at €849 ($1,000). Kitchen options include a sink lid, sound system and electrical hookups. The company also offers folding mattress solutions for the two- and three-seater bench vans.
Some of the fancier, more highway-oriented VW campers made us momentarily forget where we were – at Abenteuer & Allrad, a show all about off-road and expedition vehicles. Vans like the Werz Piccolo brought us right back. The rugged little T5/T6 Piccolo Slimline that Werz had on show included 4Motion 4-wheel drive, a snorkel, all-terrain tires and underbody protection to make it a more confident all-roader.
Werz offers a variety of 2-/4-person Piccolo camper van packages, and the Slimline features the pop-up roof, a sleek, compact kitchen area with slide-out stove and sink, and plenty of storage in back. Werz's website puts Piccolo packages at a starting price of €41,900 ($49,400), and the ruggedized Slimline model on display wore a delivered price sticker of €91,260 ($107,675).
Black Sheep Innovations Amarok
Not so much a fully converted camper, but a rugged expedition-ready pickup with some intriguing components, this deep-blue Amarok on display at Switzerland's Black Sheep Innovations' booth wore a variety of upgrades, including the roof lights and snorkel. What really caught our attention was the Amarok aftermarket specialist's upgraded tailgate, which replaces the simple tailgate with one that includes integrated storage. Buyers can use it to store anything from tools to recovery gear, and here Black Sheep shows it outfitted as a camping tailgate with stove, dishes and wine bottle. Combine that with the roof-top tent and you have a light, simple camping truck ready for road and trail.
The empty Tailgate Conversion kit retails for CHF1,353.76 (approx. $1,373) after Swiss VAT on Black Sheep's online shop.
Westfalia Club Joker City 4x4
Westfalia is the unmistakably timeless name in Volkswagen Transporter camper vans, and it continues to impress to this day. The Club Joker line is its modern take on the Transporter camper and the "City" variant features a pop-top that allows for a lower ride height than the standard high-roof Club Joker.
Westfalia makes impressive use of the Transporter's interior, shoehorning an open bathroom with fixed toilet and shower into the rear. It's not the most private bathroom you'll ever use, and its location next to the kitchen will definitely turn some off, but these are the sacrifices you make when loading amenities into motorhome that's small and nimble enough to navigate city centers and parking decks. The Club Joker City sleeps up to three people on its pop-up roof bed and convertible-seat bed. The model on show included 4Motion 4WD.
As listed in Westfalia's 2018 online price list, the Club Joker City starts at €52,840 ($62,300), and the 4Motion version starts at €59,340 ($70K).
Volkswagen Caddy Beach
Even Volkswagen's smallest van can get in on the camper van fun. The Caddy doesn't make for the roomiest, most feature-filled camper van, but there's no reason you can't overnight in it. Volkswagen's own Caddy Beach features a folding-seat bed, folding tables on the front seat backs, and window shades to make for comfortable, well-protected nights in the wild. Additional options include the tailgate tent, an outdoor table and chairs, and an Alltrack package with underbody protection, 17-in wheels, and plastic wheel arch and side sill trim. Best of all, this cute-as-a-button Caddy camper starts at just €21,135 ($24,925), according to VW's website.
Custom camper project builder Landmesserbus highlighted its Tectum42 hybrid roof design at the show. Created for the T5/T6, the new carbon/fiberglass van lid is a cross between a high roof and a pop-up, inspired by the hybrid roofs popular on old T3s. Even when closed, the Tectum roof provides for a clean 6 feet (1.8 m) of standing height. It has also been reinforced to carry surfboards, solar panels, or the spare tire it held at the show and includes a sleeping area with integrated storage.
Landmesserbus is a custom camper module and interior specialist, and the interior on the show van doesn't come with the Tectum42 roof, but we really liked how the distinctive design brought a few curves to a camper van market that's full of straight lines.
TerraCamper Terock 2.0
TerraCamper has been making its way into the American market with Mercedes campervans, but Germany is still the place to see its lineup of rugged Volkswagen camper vans. The T6-based Terock 2.0 is a follow-up to the original T5-based Terock, and the model at the show drew visitors in not only with its bright "viper green" color, but also its rugged stance and front-tilting pop top with viewing/ventilation hatch.
Inside, TerraCamper uses its signature combination of floor rails and camper boxes to create a tough but comfortable living area. The standard Terock 2.0 floor plan includes a single rear seat that folds down to create a single bed, a double roof bed, a kitchen block and plenty of storage cabinetry, including a cubby for a portable toilet just inside the load area.
The Terock 2.0 is also designed for flexible indoor/outdoor living, with an outdoor shower connected to the water tank, a slide-out fridge just inside the sliding side door, and a removable camping stove. The floor rails mean that owners can pull the camping modules out and turn the Terock into a five-seat everyday driver.
According to a news release from October 2017, the Terock 2.0 equipped with a 148-hp 2.0-liter diesel engine and 4Motion prices in at €116,000 ($137K).
We grabbed many more photos of the interiors and exteriors of those VW campers, and we've added some company photos for the angles that we couldn't quite capture at the show. We've also dropped in a few honorable mentions. So hit our Abenteuer & Allrad photo gallery for an entire summer worth of Volkswagen camper action.
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