16/08/2021
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Rear kitchen campervan layout guide

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  Complete campervan layouts guide

A rear kitchen campervan layout offers some fantastic benefits over more traditional side kitchen layouts. Here, we take a look in detail at the benefits of a rear kitchen campervan layout.

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Introduction to rear kitchen campervans

Here we're looking at smaller VW-sized campervans, often with a pop-top rather than a high roof, and not the larger Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer size of van conversions. If a side kitchen layout isn't for you, this is the key alternative in VW T6, Ford Transit Customs or similar-sized vans.

Why a rear kitchen layout?

There are various reasons why you might prefer a rear kitchen layout to the side kitchen design. Firstly, and perhaps the key reason to choose it, is the availability of single beds rather than a double. But, secondly, you can have a little more independence from campsite facilities, something that's become more important in recent times because of Covid. Instead of a Porta Potti kept in a cupboard, these models often have a built-in cassette toilet at the rear. There may be a screen or curtain to give some privacy for its use, too – so it's more than just an emergency-only toilet.

Rear kitchen variations

There's still plenty of choice of these layouts, with most of the major VW converters offering a version. If you're buying used, though, choice will be less because these campers sell in much smaller numbers than side kitchen layouts. It's worth noting, too, that rear kitchen models are more likely to be based on a long-wheelbase van, as it's a struggle to get this design into a sub-5m camper (although some firms have managed it).

A typical rear kitchen campervan layout:
Rear kitchen layout campervan

More often than not, there are two forward-facing seats behind the cab seats (both of which should swivel). At the back of the camper, there are normally kitchen/storage units on either side. Often a fixed cassette toilet is hidden away, disguised as part of the galley furniture.

The seats should make into twin single beds, but check bed lengths (especially on the driver's side, where the steering wheel may restrict space) and how flat these beds are. Sometimes the singles can be adapted into a double bed but this is likely to be quite a compromised arrangement. If you want a rear kitchen layout with a double bed, it's better to look to models that were designed with that intention, such as Ford's Nugget (see our video review below).

Storage considerations

Look carefully at storage space in these layouts, as it tends to be much less in comparison to side kitchen models. Losing that rear boot means that you may struggle to find somewhere to keep outdoor chairs and the like. Consider where you'll store bedding, too.

The slightly more spacious Ford Transit Custom is worth considering as an alternative to a VW. Dreamer and WildAx offer Ford-based rear kitchen models and Devon's Firefly (SWB or LWB) seems perennially popular.


Why choose a VW-sized rear kitchen campervan layout?

Rear kitchen campervan layouts provide a seperate lounge and kitchen area, often with a self-contained washroom and toilet cubicle. This type of campervan is popular with those seeking two single beds instead of a double.

Choose because:

  •   It's my only vehicle and I use it daily

  •   We will mainly travel and camp as a couple

  •   Having two single beds is really important

  •   I like the kitchen and lounge to be separate

  •   We need a separate washroom cubicle


Our top tips for buying a rear kitchen layout campervan

Look carefully at how much storage is available, including under the seats. Check how private the toilet is in use and consider whether you want a pop-top or a high-top. Note that pop-tops are front-hinged in order to allow standing room in the rear kitchen and washroom, so make sure you still have enough room to stand up in the lounge.


Our top picks of rear kitchen campervans

Although VW has nothing like this in its own campervan range, all the leading Volkswagen converters offer a rear kitchen model. Take a look at the Bilbo's Nexa+, CMC Multi-Style, Rolling Homes Livingstone and the Hillside Cromford. If you would prefer the Ford Transit Custom, consider Ford's own Ford Nugget or Devon's Firefly.


Rear kitchen campervan videos

Here are some of our Campervan magazine videos featuring rear kitchen layouts. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them. It you like them and want to support the making of more videos like these, then don't forget to 'Like' or 'Subscribe' as it really helps us - thank you!

Ford Nugget four-berth rear kitchen campervan review

Auto Campers Day Van modular campervan review


Reviews of rear kitchen campervans

Here are some of our Campervan magazine reviews of some popular rear kitchen campervans.

Bilbos Nexa Plus Campervan Review

Bilbo's Nexa+ campervan review

As ever with Bilbo's, it eschews flashiness for down-to-earth practicality when camping, mated to top-notch build quality and safety. Like the VW Transporter it is based upon, it has evolved, not radically but with useful improvements.

View full review
Simson Campervan Review

Hillside Cromford campervan review

The Hillside Cromford is ideal for those who love the VW T6 base vehicle but hanker after the amenities usually found in larger campervans, like a real washroom and a proper kitchen.

View full review
Simson Campervan Review

Devon Firefly campervan review

The long-wheelbase version of Devon's best-selling model has air-conditioning, parking sensors, reversing camera and airbags for driver and passenger and a large rear kitchen.

View full review

Did you know?

We have created a fully searchable library of every issue of Campervan since the magazine was launched in 2014.

Our archive partner provides the searchable database to help you find, download and read any and every issue instantly, on any device, on any topic, wherever you may be, including the latest editions!

Why not try searching for more great campervan articles now?


Finished reading?

Find out more about campervan layouts with our complete campervan layouts guide.

Back to:   The complete campervan layouts guide


Expert Campervan advice to your door!

Campervan Magazine

Campervan is the exciting monthly magazine that will give you all the inspiration you need to explore the world in your campervan. Every issue is packed with real-life campervanning experiences, inspiring travel ideas in the UK and further afield, the best campsites to stay on, campervan road tests and reviews of the latest models, and much more!

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