Dutch company Ventje might have mastered the formula for the perfect campervan. Designed with the newly mobile workforce in mind, their latest offering turns the Volkswagen Transporter van into a versatile multipurpose home base you can take with you just about anywhere. While most converted campervans have gotten bigger and more complex in recent years, Ventje’s design is refreshingly compact, but it spares no detail when it comes to comfort and convenience. It’s kind of amazing just how much they’ve managed to pack into this tiny space without making it feel cluttered in the slightest.
Winner of a 2021 Red Dot Design Award, the Ventje campervan comes complete with a flexible central space that acts as a bedroom, living room, office, and dining room, as well as a tailgate kitchen that can be used from in or outside the van. The custom IKEA-style built-in furniture found throughout folds, unfolds, and transforms to offer work surfaces and plentiful storage. Would you believe there’s a toilet hidden inside, too?
Instead of placing the bed at the rear, Ventje centers it within the main area. By day, it can either function as benches that face a fold-out table, sort of like a restaurant booth, or it can be arranged into an L-shaped sofa to lounge and watch TV. By night, you simply lower the table surface and move the cushions for a nearly queen-sized bed measuring 55 inches wide and 83 inches long. This setup might not be similar to that of other campervans, but centering it allows for what might be the Ventje’s best quality: a surprisingly spacious kitchen.
When the seating is arranged as the L-shaped couch, the kitchen set along the rear can easily be accessed from the interior. Campervans are often designed so that the kitchen is either exclusively indoors, set directly behind the cab, or exclusively outdoors, accessed by opening the rear doors and standing outside. Ventje’s design isn’t just more practical, it also makes it easier to access storage under the counter. The kitchen features a dual-burner propane stove/sink combo, a 7-gallon freshwater tank, a cutting board, a refrigerator beneath a hinged panel, and bi-directional drawers that swing in or outside the van.
The campervan even has spare flat-pack outdoor chairs stored beneath the benches, so you can pull up a seat to a removable tabletop attached to the outer kitchen frame to create an outdoor dining and work surface. Also located beneath the benches are the toilet and a 95-Ah battery for the rooftop solar panel system. Extra storage compartments can be found in the driver and passenger sidewalls, where you’ll also find 12V electrical sockets and USB charging ports. In addition to the bed for two, another two people can sleep in the somewhat narrow pop-top bed.
Ventje uses either secondhand Volkswagen T5 vans or brand new T6.1 vans as the base for their campervan builds, with prices ranging from $52,600 to $73,600. That’s not bad for a specialty vehicle, but this is where the Ventje’s compact size is extra handy. When everything is all packed up, you can use it as your everyday driver, provided you don’t need to seat more than two passengers (in addition to the driver).
As the company explains: “Ventje is an extension system for Volkswagen buses or transporters, facilitating quick and easy conversions into campervans. With this product, the manufacturers and the designers have got their fingers on the pulse of the times, as it allows people to gain maximum use from a potentially already-available or relatively inexpensive-to-buy vehicle. The effort-benefit ratio of this solution is outstanding. It is fundamentally very simple, modular and logical, with surprising details, and it is smart and practical.”