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VW, Jayco refresh Crafter Kampervan

Customer-led changes for VW’s Australia-only Crafter Kampervan in collab with Jayco

9 May 2024

VOLKSWAGEN Australia has unveiled its second take on the Crafter Kampervan, a local initiative taken on by the brand in conjunction with recreational vehicle specialist Jayco. 
The new ‘Gen 2’ Crafter Kampervan has been shaped by feedback from customers of the first-generation version, with a number of comfort, convenience and storage adjustments to make for a more enjoyable ‘habitat’ experience. 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles product manager for Crafter, Kampervan and conversions, Michael Cenci, highlighted that this second-generation take on the theme was driven by customer feedback and is expected to sell out quickly, as the first one did. 
Mr Cenci explained that importation requirements were a major reason for commissioning this Australia-specific conversion. In Europe, the equivalent factory-built Grand California is not offered with a left-side (Australia’s kerb-side) sliding door setup, so it cannot be offered here. 
“It’s obviously something we would love to import to Australia to sell here. Unfortunately, due to some regulator issues with imports, such as the absence of a left-side (sliding) door or onto the pavement side, we were unable to import this model to Australia.  
“This led us to look for a local solution and work with a local partner,” he said. “The Kampervan Gen 1 was developed with our partners Jayco, and we had around 60 vehicles in the first batch, and they were all sold successfully online, sight unseen, within about three days. 
“Due to some constraints with production availability of 4Motion, we were unable to extend the batch to as long as we (would have) liked,” he said. 
“But when production eased up on 4Motion, we took that opportunity to really nail a second generation of Kampervan … it’s better than ever, and really honed for Australia.” 
The business deal between VW Australia and Jayco is “scoped as an equal partnership”, and Mr Cenci said that the new batch of Gen 2 models will span about the same volume as the first, with 60 or so units likely to go through the process before a facelifted 2025 Crafter arrives later this year. 
With a Gen 3 Kampervan already in the business’s sights, Mr Cenci said “we’re anticipating a bigger batch than 60”. 
The Kampervan is built in Jayco’s Dandenong facility, but Mr Cenci said the brand is mindful of offering full-service maintenance, repair and parts coverage for the converted van through VW and Jayco’s network of workshops. 
“You still buy this Volkswagen through the Volkswagen dealer network, you interface with the Volkswagen sales staff. That means you get the full five years and unlimited-kilometre warranty, and five years of roadside assistance straight from the dealer with every single contract.  
“If something does go wrong with the Kampervan, however, we do have the support of more than just the Volkswagen network – we have Volkswagen, we have Jayco, and we have JARSA (Jayco Authorised Repair and Service network in Australia), all providing support if the aftersales space to get you back on the road and back on your holiday as quickly as possible,” he said. 
“We think with the support of these three networks, we pretty much have, geographically, the whole country covered in all areas that our customers would usually travel.” 
The Crafter Kampervan is based on a long-wheelbase 4Motion all-wheel-drive version of the cargo van, measuring up at 6.8 metres long, 2.0 metres in width and as high as 2.9m tall. 
Changes to the base vehicle include a gross vehicle mass (GVM) upgrade to 4300kg, which VW says other conversion houses cannot match, and yields a payload of more than 700kg. 
Two grades of Crafter Kampervan are offered for the Gen 2. The entry, on-road-focused version is known as Style, and lists at $157,990 before on-road costs. 
It comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels and Continental tyres and sits a little lower to the ground than the other model. 
The second version, and the one expected to take up the bulk of sales, is the All-Terrain, which adds 16-inch steel wheels with Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tyres, a 50mm lift kit, underbody bash plate protection from Seikel, and a snorkel for better breathing capability in dusty situations. It lists at $165,490 + ORC. 
Options are limited to paint choice. Solid paint is standard at no extra cost, while single-tone metallic paint adds $2385 to the price, and the two-tone finish expected to be most popular with buyers adds $4060.  
Both the Style and All-Terrain models run a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine producing 130kW and 410Nm, with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive. A rear differential lock is standard.  
Changes in the living space centre around improvements to storage, with extra cupboard space and a new fixed bed system with a sizeable trundle storage slider underneath, a larger (now 9kg) gas bottle, plus a more usable off-grid 12V battery system that is said to offer up to three days of power without the air-conditioning running. 
The van runs a 200-watt solar panel setup on top, and there is a new solar windscreen blanket that feeds an Anderson plug for additional battery replenishment.  
A 250-amp alternator and second battery, a 400-amp-hour lithium-ion battery and 3000W inverter to allow “completely off-grid” experiences, and a 60-amp DC-to-DC charger, not to mention redesigned control panels for electrical, and a repositioned diesel heater to better heat the entire space. 
The new slide-open refrigerator can be accessed from inside or outside the van (a Fiamma roof-mount awning is also fitted), and the brand includes a set of camp chairs and a table, which is not available to buy through retail means. When not in use, it stows in attachment bags on the rear (270-degree opening) barn doors. 
Fresh water capacity is 120 litres and there is an 80-litre grey water tank. The bathroom features a cassette-style toilet, a shower and vanity with hot water, with an outdoor shower included for use if desired. 
An array of standard active safety spec includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, hill descent and hill hold control systems, auto lights and auto wipers, front and rear parking sensors and a high-mount rear-view reversing camera.  
Seating capacity is four, with the compact second-row bench seat designed to double as a fold-out lounger or small bed for younger occupants for whom there are two top-tether child-seat attachments in the bench seat, and the front seats (with adjustable arm-rests) swivel to create a dining area with the removable dining table being usable inside and out. 
The driver cockpit remains the same as it was previously, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with buttons and dials, leather steering wheel, manual air-conditioning controls, a small part-digital component in the driver instrument binnacle, and a floor-mounted stowaway manual handbrake. 

However, a facelifted Crafter model is due to come to market in the next six months or so, bringing with it a host of major cockpit revisions, including a new media screen tech similar to that seen in the (highly criticised) Golf Mk8, electronic park brake, and revised controls.

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