From the Europe-only California to the upcoming I.D. Buzz, these are some of our favorite VW campers.
Beginning with the original iconic Volkswagen Type 2, known affectionately in the U.S. as the Microbus, VW camper vans have been popular recreational vehicles. With conversion subcontracted to a company called Westfalia, VW campers in various generations of the automaker’s people-mover were sold in the U.S. from the early 1950’s up to 2003, and remain coveted by outdoor enthusiasts and collectors alike. First-generation 23-window Microbus models reportedly command six-figure prices in mint condition.
VW’s camper vans are more compact and far more nimble than full-size conversion vans and even the smallest motorhomes. Unlike foldaway campers that must be towed to a campsite and stored when not in use, a VW Camper Van could be parked anywhere and double as a daily driver. Typical features included a folding table, various seating arrangements for sleeping, water storage/pump, a cold box, electrical hookup, storage cabinetry, and curtains or blinds on the side windows. Some came with attached pop-up canvas tops to create added headroom while parked, along with fold out awnings or side tents.
In fact, the automaker’s commercial-vehicle division still sells a camper van, based on the current-generation Transporter, but it’s not offered in the U.S. However, Volkswagen is planning on introducing a modern-day full-electric homage to the original Microbus for the 2021 model year to be called the I.D.Buzz, and we’d bet a Camper Van conversion will eventually surface.To help commemorate vacation season we’ve compiled the above slideshow that highlights some of the best – not to mention quirkiest – VW Camper Vans we’ve come across.