Berths: 2/4 Travel seats: 5 Base vehicle: VW Transporter T6 Gross weight: 3,000kg Payload: 450kg
Priced from £53,227, there are definitely cheaper options than the Cali, but few as well equipped as standard, or as stylishly appointed. No wonder that VW posted record sales, up more than 50%, in 2017 – making the California Britain’s best-selling motorhome or campervan.
A quick look at the new Lunar Caledonia is all that’s needed to spot two advantages over the king of campers, though – firstly, like any T6 converted in the UK, it has its sliding door on the nearside and, secondly, it has three seatbelts for its rear bench seat. Examine the model closer and you’ll also find a useful Porta Potti cupboard in the base of the kitchen, top lockers above the galley’s window and storage that includes two large drawers.
With white cabinets from Italian furniture specialists, Tecnoform, the Caledonia scores well on aesthetics, too, though we’re less convinced by the coloured LEDs which can be swapped from red to blue to green.
The Wellhouse connection continues with the use of top-quality German suppliers for the (manual) elevating roof and the sliding seat system mounted on floor rails. The pop-top comes with an optional roof bed on a slatted base (claimed dimensions 1.80m by 1.15m) while twin reading lights up top are another plus.
The boot area is key to any side kitchen VW campervan offering sufficient practical stowage and, here, the generous space is helped by the rearmost mattress section tipping up to accommodate taller loads. The table stores here, where it seems rather inaccessible.
Carpet trim on the side walls is no match for the California’s more automotive finish, but we can’t fault the spec: air-con, heated windscreen, 16in alloys, cornering lights, Eberspächer diesel heating and a 100W solar panel are all standard. You’ll need an extra £2,499 to upgrade to the 150bhp motor, though. Other than that, the only options listed are the DSG gearbox, metallic paint, sat-nav and a further engine upgrade to 204bhp.
That keeps things much less bewildering than the usual long list of VW extras but you might not be able to spec your ’van exactly as you want. Lunar’s prototype is now back at Tecnoform undergoing further development but, from what we’ve already seen, it’s going to be a worthy addition in this overcrowded market.