|Base Vehicle||Volkswagen T6.1|
|Price From (£)||49,800|
Words & photos: Peter Vaughan
Here’s a camper which is, perhaps, undersold by its rather prosaic name. Instead of hinting at a lifestyle with a title like Adventurer or a glamorous destination, such as Monte Carlo or Mont Blanc, it simply adopts a code that explains where it fits within the company portfolio.
The first two letters (VF) are simply from the maker’s name, followed by another ‘F’ for fixed seat (‘R’ is for rail, when a sliding seat system, on rails, is fitted). The number that follows indicates the width of the seat/bed installed, so ‘1’ is a typical 1.12m seat, ‘2’ (as here) is the wider 1.30m bench and ‘3’ indicates a full-width 1.50m seat/bed unit. At least The Van Factory hasn’t adopted the seemingly random numbering of some motorhome ranges…
It sticks with Westdubs for the supply of pop-top roofs, always with the scenic, fully opening front that has become increasingly popular of late – no wonder with a summer like we had in 2022! The company adds a panel to hide the canvas above the cab seats when the roof is down, too.
The VFF2 conversion reviewed here was based on a 70-plate Transporter T6.1 with 17k miles recorded. It had the desirable Highline spec cab and the equally appealing 150PS engine, linked to a six-speed manual gearbox – that’s a much better base than you’ll often find when pre-owned vans are converted. And it looks even better with its black 20in wheels and deep front spoiler. Only the inset (rather than fully flush) sliding windows and the exposed fittings/wiring for the solar panel count against it on the exterior.
Inside, it’s the usual side kitchen format, but the wider seat of the VFF2 means that it’s a slimmer galley alongside. However, this is not an ultra-petite galley as it juts out to form an L-shape behind the cab. That allows room for a 42-litre front-loading Sanjo compressor fridge, a bigger cooler than you often find in VWs with a wide rear seat.
Above is a soft-closing drawer and it’s pleasing to note that all locker openings are flush – there are no cheap-to-build doors sitting proud of the cabinets. We also understand that the action of the roller doors has been made smoother since our test.
Set into the worktop, a glass lid hides the Dometic sink with drainer and, if you’re wondering where the hob is, lift the draining board to find a single gas ring. Alongside, on the narrower part of the kitchen, is a useful amount of worktop space with two 230V sockets adjacent; then, below, is more storage with a small cupboard and a larger opening behind a tambour door.
The 10-litre portable water carrier that supplies the sink is therein, leaving some space alongside for tall items like bottles or cereal packets.
There’s also a large shelf above the galley and tall tambour-doored lockers sit alongside the back seat and rear boot. The latter is a good size and there are cupboards (and the gas locker) under the seat, with panels that can be removed to allow long loads to slide through. The seat itself is a well-proven RIB unit here, with comfortably room for three passengers (each with a three-point belt and adjustable head restraint). This example also featured a Kiravans rotating double passenger seat, which we always find a rather awkward contraption, but it does allow five seats on site and six for travel.
The table stores clipped onto one of the rear barn doors and can be used in a choice of positions, clipped to the front of the galley. We particularly liked its forward position, where it not only serves the swivelled cab bench but also extends the galley worktop. Finally, we noted good illumination in this camper, with a long LED strip over the kitchen and spot lamps above the back doors and side sliding door.
Although The Van Factory’s factory is in Birmingham, its retail sites, where you can see and purchase a range of its VW campers, are currently in Berkshire (Wokingham) and West Yorkshire (Heckmondwike).
The former is open seven days a week, the latter is by appointment only. An additional sales site in Birmingham will open before the summer, it is hoped.
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