This is the huge (for Europe) Volkswagen Grand California camper van, which has finally been confirmed for the UK. Designed as a larger brother to the well-known California, which is based on the Transporter van, this one is based on a high-roof, long-wheelbase Crafter.
It’s big, then. Volkswagen doesn’t list specific dimensions for the Grand California yet but the equivalent Crafter measures 6836mm long, 2040mm wide (2427mm including mirrors) and 2590mm high.
It’s what VW has done with the space that we like best, though. First of all there’s a retractable, electrically-powered step up through a standard two-part mosquito net into the living space where you’ll find a toilet, shower and basin in a bathroom that also has shelves, cupboards and a skylight window for the all-important ventilation.
Two versions will be built: a 680 with an emphasis on comfort and space for two, and a 600 with a bunk bed for the kids as well as a big bed at the back for mum and dad. Either should be more comfy than a tent, you’ll be pleased to hear, which counteracts the dubious two-tone paintwork ordered straight from the 1980s.
Among the myriad options are a separate air conditioning unit mounted at the back, an awning on the side, a bike rack and a clever camping table and chairs that can fold flat and be stored in compartments within the sliding doors themselves. A gas-based heating system can be upgraded to an electric one whose power can come from a gas or diesel generator.
On the roof you can add solar panels and/or a satellite dish, because your Sky Sports subscription still has nine months to run, obviously. Internet connection duties can be taken care of by an LTE/WiFi hotspot. The interior has a butt-tonne of options for colours, details and upgrades.
There’s plenty of safety and convenience tech courtesy of the latest Crafter van. Front Assist with emergency autonomous braking, Lane Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert (you’ll need that) and Park Assist (that too) are all available. Adaptive cruise control is a must, as is a rear-view reversing camera.
The Grand California will make its UK debut at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show starting on 19 February.