Often coach-built motorhomes are accused of being a bit dull, bland or generic, but with British company IH Motorhomes this is not the case. They’ve jazzed up the interior in their latest model, the 680CRD, creating a spacious rear lounge with a vibrant color scheme inside the latest VW Crafter van.
Since the creation of the original VW Crafter in 2006 it has become one of the quintessential large panel vans alongside the Mercedes Sprinter and the Ford Transit, rising into its place as the T6’s older, bigger brother as a less stylish but more spacious option for van conversions. Now with the release of the new Volkswagen Crafter 2nd generation this year, conversion companies have been itching to get their hands on it and kit it out. You may remember this summer’s biggest camper van announcement with the VW California XXL set to go into production, now renamed the Grand California; well IH Motorhomes have gone in a different direction with their latest conversion, creating a homely and colourful interior with a wraparound rear lounge, fully equipped kitchen and spacious double door wet room in their latest model.
The base van is a 2018 Volkswagen Crafter, seen here in silver but hopefully available in a range of colors, with a 2.0L TDI engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox. It measures an impressive 6.8m (22.3ft) long making it the longest in IH Motorhomes’ range and giving them plenty of room to play with inside. It’s got all the mod cons and safety features like city emergency braking, crosswind assist, park assist, cruise control and an Electronic Stabilisation Programme, as well as plenty of storage in the cab. In fact, it practically drives itself, especially with the options of trailer assist (to park your van with a trailer attached for you), side protection and a Car-Net Discover Media system.
The 680CRD sleeps two and seats many more, and what’s immediately striking about it is the interior decor, featuring bold colors and a blend of dark and light wood across the kitchen and cupboards. The red pleather and red and brown striped fabric seats hover somewhere between the aesthetic of a classy upmarket bar and a condo from the 1970’s, teetering precariously between stylish and old-fashioned. However, the interior fabric and cabinets both come in a range of options, as does the exterior van color, as well as whether you would like glossy cabinets or not.
The rear of the van is engulfed by a large and comfy wraparound lounge/diner which transforms into either a double or two single beds at night. There are overhead lights and a large skylight in the roof, and speakers for entertaining as well as a TV. Behind the TV you’ll find 12V, USB and mains charging ports, as well as a control panel for the van’s electronics. A small cargo area lies underneath the seats, accessible via the rear doors. Driver and passenger swivel seats create a second lounge at the front of the van, minus a table, although there is one you can attach to the kitchen units for use outside.
The kitchen comes complete with a combination gas and 230V induction cooktop, oven, compressor fridge, glass top sink with mixer tap, three drawers and a worktop extension, all lit by under-cabinet lighting.
Disguised as a twin door cupboard is actually the 680CRD’s surprisingly spacious wet room, accommodated by the van’s extra length, which houses a portable toilet, a stainless steel sink with small countertop space beside it, and a central shower unit sandwiched between the two in the middle of the room. A unique design, and far less cramped than your typical camper van bathroom which usually offers little in the way of countertop space or elbow room for showering.
Exclusively available in the UK, IH Motorhomes is retailing the 680CRD at £65,995 ($84,550), perhaps a little towards the high end of the market, but for a van offering a lot of space and a homely interior.
Source: IH Motorhomes