Choosing An Adventure Vehicle Part V: Volkswagen T5 Doubleback Campervan with Popup and Slideout
- Category: Dad's Dirt Roads: A Blog
- on Mon Aug 20, 2012
- by Mark Stephens on Mon Aug 20, 2012 - (1) Comments
If it's one thing minivans and car camping have going for them, it's Volkswagen. From the chill vibe of the venerable microbus to the pinnacle of them all, the 4WD Syncro of the 1980s and 90s with a Westfalia camper conversion, you could stand on firm ground espousing the pure, time-honored awesome that is a minivan camper conversion. Or you could say turning a minivan into a camper is a textbook example of polishing a turd. But that's not why we're here. Pardon the coarse language, but this appears to be one badass minivan.
Doubleback is a European company selling this conversion for the Volkswagen T5, what we might know as the Eurovan in the U.S., though Volkswagen stopped selling that van on the left side of the pond in 2003. While Europeans can buy the van with an admired TDi 2.0 motor, this column, Choosing an Adventure Vehicle, is more about gushing fondness and reverie for self-sufficient travel than it is about anything else, so stick with me. The campervan conversion you see here is all about sizable comfort in a small package — one that nearly doubles in size like a Transformer at the push of a button.
A pop-top gives the van space for folks to stand, and the rear pod slides out six and a half feet for sacking out on a double bed. Dark tinted safety glass windows are on both sides of the pod, and the rear door keeps its factory function. The kitchen has a double burner stove, sink, 50-liter fridge/freeezer and dining area large enough for six. That's where things get foggy, though. When the van is closed up for travel, there are no rear seats. The bed and the benches fold up to allow the pod to stow away and give you a cavern to stash gear. An optional 3-person front bench can replace the two captain chairs in the cab. You following the math? Unless there's seating available in the rear during travel that the company isn't being clear about, this set up is really only suitable for a couple.
In the the video below you can get a walk-through with Doubleback's director Craig McCormack. Or skip to the detail pictures below.
This series, Choosing and Adventure Vehicle, is a whimsical, if not admiring, look at the four-wheeled contraptions any family has to choose from that helps get the clan from Point A to Point B. Always factual to the details of the vehicle, but also adorned with hyperbole and whimsy out of affection for the subject matter. See the other articles in this series: