German van conversion pioneers Westfalia will be launching a new elevating roof camper at this year’s Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of their first conversion.


The Wesfalia Camping Bus went on sale in 1951. Based on the Volkswagen Type 2 van, the conversion featured a rear-hinged elevating roof and the first version of the rear bench layout that is still found in many campers to this day.


To celebrate the 60th birthday of the Camping Bus, Westfalia is releasing the ‘Edition 60’, a new model that will appear first as a special limited edition camper on the Mercedes Viano base, and then later move into series production on the more compact Mercedes Vito. It features a two-tone paint job – an obvious nod to the old T2 campers – and has a rear-hinged elevating roof.


In a departure from tradition, however, Westfalia has designed an all-new, twin single bed layout for this camper. The company claims that this will be the “first in the van segment to be equipped with two built-in single beds”.


The exact layout is uncertain, though, as floorplans have yet to be released. The company has also stated that it will offer a variant with one single bed and a bench seat that converts into an additional berth.


Despite the space taken up by the twin single beds, there will be a toilet – probably a Porta-Potti – which pulls out on guide rails and stows out of the way when not required. Westfalia also claims that no complicated set-up procedures are needed to make use of the lounge seating or any of the ’van’s facilities.


Westfalia made a name for itself building campers on Volkswagen base vehicles, with VW’s sanction, until VW’s competitors Daimler-Chrysler bought the company in 2001, ending the official partnership. The firm subsequently underwent a management buyout in 2008, and was recently bought up by Rapido.