The idea of an enlarged California camper, based on VW’s bigger-boned, third-generation Crafter panel van rather than the current Transporter T6, first emerged in 2017 when VW Commercial Vehicles showed off the California XXL concept. That show car was close in layout and execution to the production-version Grand California that went on sale last year; so much so that if you’d simply edited out the XXL’s bulbous stepped rear end from your mind’s eye, you might have been viewing the finished article.
This is what motorhome experts call a van conversion – and sadly, an optional two-tone paint job doesn’t exactly make it attractive. As distinct from something with a commercial backbone chassis and a third-party body, then, this is effectively a Crafter van that has been slightly modified and refitted internally.
Unlike most motorhomes, it has full-height twin back doors and a full-height sliding side door. On the inside, meanwhile, you’ll find an adult-sized double bed and lots of storage space at the rear; ‘dinette’ living quarters at the front immediately behind the swivelling front seats; and kitchen and – for the first time in a California – on-board bathroom facilities in between.