The European motorhome market is flush with modular camper vans, but more models than not are midsize and smaller vans with simple, compact interiors. Vans like the Pössl Vanster and Terracamper VW Terock do a great job of transforming between camping, passenger-hauling and work van duties, but they lack some of the comfort, style and amenities of full-size camper vans, most notably a proper bathroom. German RV materials specialist Vöhringer has taken the next step in modular camper van design, sizing its ConceptCamper 2021 up to a full-size 6-m (19.7-foot) Ducato with a classic European layout capable of clearing out completely to turn the van into an empty cargo van or large passenger shuttle.
Vöhringer used the Covid-19 pandemic as a jumping off point to explore the future of modularity, stating that RV buyers are on the lookout for better modular solutions in response to the flux and uncertainty we’ve seen throughout 2020. A full-size camper van for everyday driving or work use that doubles as a vacation tourer during shaky times when flying, hotels and large, crowded spaces in general remain unattractive seems like the exact type of modularity that could benefit many buyers in 2020 and beyond.
Not all camper buyers are eager to sacrifice comfort and luxury to obtain flexibility, however. Some will not be willing to squeeze into a cramped midsize or compact van, modularity or not, opting instead for the space, comfort and full amenity suite of a class-leading Fiat Ducato camper.
But why can’t they have both?
Vöhringer explores how its suite of lightweight interior building materials and hardware can be used to create furniture modules that are fully functional on the road but also easily removable at home. The floor plan is the classic layout we’ve seen more times than we can count in European camper vans: rear bedroom, front dinette, and central bathroom and kitchen. The big difference is that every component removes completely from the van, freeing it for cargo carry or the installation of extra rows of seating.
A critical cornerstone of Vöhringer’s work is the light, simplified plug-and-play kitchen. Like the other modules, it attaches to the floor rails, bringing everything onboard cooks need, without the size or clutter of a permanent in-van kitchen. The sunken dual-burner stove and sink unit stretches nearly the full width of the countertop, so cooks need to rely on the flip-up worktop extension and stove/sink lid for cutting and other prep work. A refrigerator at the front end of the kitchen block is positioned for indoor/outdoor access.
The compact kitchen block falls short of what gourmets on the move might desire, but the advantage in cutting its size lies in opening up enough space for a pair of longitudinal rear beds, a feat that might otherwise necessitate a move up to a larger 6.3-m+ (20.1+ ft) base van. Each of the ConceptCamper’s beds offers at least 2 m