Base vehicle: VW Transporter T6.1 Price from: £38,150 (ex VED) Berths: 2/4 Travel seats: 4/5 Length: 4.90m Width: 1.90m Height: 2.00m Gross weight: 3,000kg Payload: 800kg
Bilbo's, which has been building VW campers since 1977, offers its range in SL and HL versions, the former based on the Startline version of the Volkswagen Transporter (with 110PS engine) to keep down costs.
That means a starting price of under £40k for its most innovative model, the Space. With four individual seats up front (RIB seats for rear passengers), it’s at the back that the Space is unusual with its removable kitchen pods. These can be specified according to your requirements with a portable gas stove, coolbox, water containers, etc.
The Nexa is another Bilbo’s model with a rear kitchen and single beds made from the forward lounge with RIB seats. The latest Nexa+ version also includes a built-in cassette toilet, while all Bilbo’s campers feature the company’s own side-hinged Low-Lie elevating roof, which works especially well with rear galley layouts.
The Komba is a more conventional side kitchen model but an extra-wide rear seat makes this a five-seater camper that also offers a more generous double bed than most rivals. A past award-winner with this magazine, the Komba’s L-shaped galley includes a surprisingly generous, 65-litre compressor fridge.
Finally, Bilbo’s most popular model is the long-running Celex, which clearly shows the company’s experience and top-quality finish. Like the Komba, this is a side kitchen design but with a more comprehensive galley and a two-person rear bench. Again, this is Bilbo’s own seat system, which is ultra-simple to convert into a bed and has practical storage below (including room for a Porta Potti).
The Celex’s kitchen also includes a grill/warming oven (or optional microwave), while large drawers provide more practical and easy-to-access storage than the cupboards of most rivals.
Bilbo’s build on the VW window van, which is better suited to passenger-carrying roles than a panel van. Every model is NCC approved and has National Small Series Type Approval.