Base vehicle: VW Transporter Price from: £44,995 Berths: 2/3 Travel seats: 4 Length: 4.89m Width: 1.90m Height: 1.99m Gross weight: 3,200kg Payload: 800kg
Rolling Homes’ traditional side kitchen conversion of the VW Transporter, available in short or long-wheelbase forms, but always with the converter’s renowned real wood cabinets. Now there’s also the Columbus S, which takes aspects that customers liked in the Mercedes Vito-based Magellan and incorporates them into the more popular T6 base vehicle.
The key change is the reduced depth of full-height furniture, which thus increases the surface area of worktop and creates a more open feel inside the camper. There are other detail differences between the ‘S’ and the standard Columbus, too, including a tall door on the end of the furniture, just inside the tailgate, but the bedside table section is lost and overall wardrobe space is reduced. The gas locker also moves to the boot in this model.
Like the original Columbus, the new model has impeccably finished handmade lightweight oak furniture using solid wood. Worktops are in Corian (in a selection of colours) with an inset Smev combination cooker/sink with split glass lids and twin gas burners.
Unlike the Magellan, the Columbus S retains a conventional front-loading fridge – a compressor type with 50-litre capacity. There’s a fitted cutlery drawer above, while the majority of kitchen storage is in the really deep shelved cupboard alongside the fridge. A second drawer pulls out adjacent to the rear seat, while a particularly appealing detail is the cupboard mounted above the countertop but set back to provide worktop space in front – this unit is ideal for mugs, etc.
Behind the galley, the blackout curtains sit on a twin track system that’s concealed behind a timber window surround. The electrical installation includes a 100Ah AGM leisure battery and ultra-low power LED lighting, including spotlights over the head of the bed.
The camper is fully insulated using eco-friendly sheep’s wool.
Up top, the Columbus S is fitted with a German SCA Deluxe rising roof, which is both TÜV and VW approved. It can be fitted with a roof bed suitable for two adults.
The rear bench is the popular, crash-tested RIB two-seater with adjustable headrests and three-point belts. It converts easily into a flat double bed and you’ll be kept cosy by the optional diesel-fired blown-air heating (priced at £1,195).
The Rolling Homes conversion is NCC (National Caravan Council) approved and comes with a three-year warranty. Shown here on the last of the T6 Transporters, subsequent production will of course be on the latest T6.1.
Prices and spec here are based on the outgoing van, with the 84PS Startline spec being the starting point at £44,995. Upping that to Highline trim (with Climatic air-conditioning, cruise control, body-coloured bumpers, automatic lights and wipers, leather steering wheel, foglamps with cornering function, alloy wheels and heated front and rear screens) and the 102PS engine of this demo model increases that to £49,705. Further options included an upgrade from the T28 van to the T30 for an extra 200kg of payload (£535) and metallic paint (at £740).
Then there were various conversion options fitted here, in addition to the heating upgrade. The Lighting Pack includes rear door and roof bed LEDs (at £240), while also seen here are extra sockets, USBs, a mat set, an oak drawer divider and a table that stores in the sliding door (like the California), bringing the total to £53,404. How you spec your own Columbus S will be a very personal thing, as will the colour scheme, but you can be assured that the end result will be a top-quality camper.