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2020 Volkswagen Grand California Hotel Introducing https://youtu.be/y7STRT9rFSY
The Volkswagen Grand California campervan is here at last to solve the only major problem with the existing VW California camper: the lack of an on-board bathroom. And now the Grand California has finally made its official UK debut at the 2019 Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show.
VW Grand California UK debut at 2019 CCM Show
Having originally been launched in production form at the 2018 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon, the 2019 CCM Show represents the first opportunity for the British public to see this new factory-built VW Grand California campervan, which is based on the Volkswagen Crafter large van.
On display in its shorter 600 variant only (there’s also a longer but lower 680 model, see below), the Grand California is an imposing sight, even in an exhibition hall already packed with 600-class campers and motorhomes.
Most of these rivals are Fiat Ducato-based (the aging Fiat does big business in this market), but there are a few alternative VW Crafter campervan conversions on show as well, just as there are many VW Transporter-based conversions to rival Volkswagen’s own well-established California model.
Even so, the appeal of a fully factory-built Grand California appears to be clear, for as soon as the CCM Show opened its doors to the public, a patient line of people immediately appeared on the VW Commercial Vehicles stand, queuing to get their first glance inside this four-sleeper machine.
The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show is on at the Birmingham NEC 19-24 February 2019. Tickets are £10 for adults, available on the door, and under 15s get in for free.
Pre-show UK premiere for VW Grand California
While the first day of the CCM Show represented the Grand California’s UK public debut, its actual UK premiere took place the day before, on a roundabout outside the main NEC Birmingham entrance.
Sounds bizarre, but the show organisers were keen to host a California-inspired cook-out with celebrity chef Martin Dorey and television presenter Matt Allwright as hosts.
Sadly, the weather wasn’t quite on-message, and instead of bright California-esque sunshine we were treated to grey skies and rain – but since that exact scenario is a big part of the British camping experience no-one particularly minded
Based on the VW Crafter large van and available in two sizes – called 600 and 680 after their lengths in centimetres – the Grand California takes Volkswagen deeply into the ‘six-metre’ campervan class for the first time, and might just be nicer inside than your house.
Moving up to the Grand California 680 (blue model, below, pictured in Dusseldorf). As the name suggests, this is another 800mm longer – in fact, it’s more than that as the total length is 6,836mm – much of which is spent making the rear sleeping area larger.
As such the bed dimensions grow to 2,000 x 1,670mm, allowing you to sleep longitudinally. But this is the only bed you get in the 680, as it’s offered as a two-sleeper only, without the bulbous roof extension of the 600 model. Instead it looks much more like a conventional van – albeit a rather long one.