Volkswagen California

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California Europe in Germany

The Volkswagen California is a campervan based on the Transporter by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV). It is the first campervan designed and built in-house by VWCV Special Business Unit, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Westfalia was the Official Manufacturer of motorhomes for VW. When the Westfalia-company was bought by DaimlerChrysler in 2001, VW decided to design and build their own campervan range, based on the Transporter range.

The California was launched in August 2003. In 2004 two design studies were presented at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf: California Beach and California Tramper. VWCV expanded the range in 2005 with the California (Multivan/Kombi) Beach, to bridge the gap between the Multivan/Kombi people carriers and the California.

At the 2007 Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, VWCV launched the new California Beach with pop top bed, as seen in the higher specified versions of the California range.[1]

2017: Concept vehicle California on the basis of the VW Crafter

At the International Motor Show 2017, a VW California XXL study was presented on the basis of the VW Crafter. The 6.2 m long vehicle has a standing height of 2.2 m and is equipped with underfloor heating. The series model VW Grand California went on sale in 2019.[2]

VW California (Multivan/Kombi) Beach specs & features[edit]

Australian spec Kombi Beach, known as California/Multivan Beach in Germany


The "Good Night Package" comes with curtains, and the ability to fold the seats into a bed for two.[3]

Indoor/outdoor features[edit]

A folding table integrated within the sliding door is able to be used outside and inside with two folding chairs.

Combined with the rear seats, the front seats swivel 180 degrees, so you can have a meeting/meal/break with the rear seat passengers.[3]

Other options[edit]

California Beach now has the option of the elevating "pop top" aluminium roof, with bed space of 120x200cm in Germany.[4]

VW California specs & features[edit]

T6 California in Germany (2017 model)

In 2015, following the launch of the T6 Transporter, a new version of the VW California was released to replace the older T5 version. Notable changes to the later models include a re-styled grille as well as re-designed headlamps and wing mirrors. There were three equipment levels in this lineup, including the T6 Ocean, the T6 Coast and the T6 Beach.

T6.1 California Ocean released September 2019

VW continued to update the VW California and in September 2019 the California T6.1 was released. This featured a restyled front and interior cabinets. The fragile concertina style tambour doors on the previous Ocean & Coast models were replaced with tougher rigid doors. The biggest changes were to the steering, VW completely replaced the system with an electronic fly-by-wire installation, giving a lighter feel and also allowing more driver assistance features such as lane assist and cross-wind assist to be introduced.


The California Ocean comes with an electro-hydraulically elevating aluminium roof with bed space of 200x120cm. The rear seating in the California Ocean can be arranged to make lower level double bed measuring 200x116cm.


The kitchen comprises a sink, a two burner gas cooktop powered by a 2.8 kg gas cylinder, a 42-litre compressor fridge, two kitchen storage cupboards with drawers integrated in the design are also standard.[5]

Indoor/outdoor features[edit]

A standard fitment twin water tanks both hold 30 litres of water, one for drinking water, the other for foul/waste water. There is an optional 250 cm awning which mounts above the sliding door, and a foldaway table and two chairs are hidden in the tailgate hatch.[5]

Other options[edit]

  • satellite navigation system
  • 3 Zone climatic air conditioner
  • Alcantara and leather upholstery
  • single seat for living area
  • parking sensors for front and rear
  • rain sensing wipers
  • auto dimming rear view mirror
  • headlamp washers
  • electric sliding door
  • privacy glass for rear
  • removable towbar
  • 2 tone paintwork
  • 4motion four-wheel drive system[5]


  1. ^ California Beach Poptop picture thread at VWwatercooled forum
  2. ^ VW Grand California Website of the manufacturer. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Volkswagen Kombi Beach
  4. ^ California Beach @ Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf - VWwatercooled Australia
  5. ^ a b c Volkswagen Driver, November 2006 page 27-30 -UK Publication

External links[edit]