Rear kitchen campervan layout 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.
- Why choose a rear kitchen layout?
- Our top tips
- Top choices for rear kitchen campervans
- Rear kitchen campervan videos
- Reviews of rear kitchen campervans
- About Campervan magazine
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:
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).
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.
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
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.
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