Nick HardingSee other motorhome reviews written by Nick Harding
Want the ultimate VW-based camper? This could be it. Nick Harding takes a look at a bells-and-whistles special from Rolling Homes.
Ask Rolling Homes boss Mark Cooper to describe his latest creation - the Edition 10, designed to celebrate his company's 10th anniversary as a bespoke camper producer - and he simply says: "Ridiculously expensive." Few would disagree.
It has its origins in the Columbus, starting from £44,495, but the Edition 10 is special. Very special.
Just look at those wheels, for a start. Imported from California (the state, not the VW), these 22in low-profiles (21in is usually the maximum for a T6) have been machined to perfection to complement the bodywork.
Fully adjustable suspension from Bilstein takes care of ensuring the Edition 10 is the same height as a standard elevating roof camper.
The paintwork is two-tone - the lower half is a non-VW Ruby Light Red, the upper, a VW pearlescent black.
The front and rear bumpers were custom-made to RH's specification. Note, also, the quad exhaust.
The base vehicle?
That's the Kombi version of the Transporter, with prefitted rear windows, a rear travel seat (removed during the conversion work) and the 'comfort' dashboard.
The dash was dismantled and plastic sections painted individually before being welded back together - with the original grey plastic lower sections replaced by black versions from the VW Caravelle people carrier. All of the door cards were taken out for design tweaks, too.
Alcantara leather lining was added to B- and A-pillars and the cab roof section, which also gets additional switchgear.
Meanwhile, the steering wheel had been sent to Poland to be "redesigned".
There's also some £10,000 of VW base vehicle extras, not counting the Alpine stereo (extra bass speaker in the cab passenger seat, amplifier under the driver).
Familiar items include the standard SCA elevating roof, with plastic springing under the mattress, and the RIB rear seat/bed. Indeed, this is a pretty standard side-furniture floorpan.
Rolling Homes has made its name with the quality of the woodwork in its normal conversions. It's taken things a whole lot further here. That wood is walnut, with veneer insets (look again at how it's all been painstakingly lined up) and stainless steel inserts. It's a genuine Corian worktop, too, with inset sink and loose cover (it stows in one of the drawers for travel).
There's a separate oval two-ring hob; but again, the original wasn't quite perfect enough and the stainless steel has been rebuffed (for five hours) by RH. The curve of the hob exactly matches that of the rear locker.
There is simply loads more: drawers with acrylic side sections, a drawer just inside the (auto-opening) tailgate, great interior lighting, lithium-ion battery and 130W solar panel.
And did we mention the exclusive leather upholstery? Yes, we know what you're thinking, but Mark says: "This isn't necessarily designed to be practical."
It really was no expense spared: he stopped keeping count after £110,000.
But, as he explains, this is more of a marketing exercise - a showpiece for what can be achieved with a camper.
Mark reckons, "It's done its job." And that's no doubt why you're reading this.
But there's one other thing - it's not for sale. Well, not until October, at the earliest. And business as usual after that? Mark puts it: "A few things here might be suitable for future conversions."
In fact, treat the Edition 10 as an idea of what RH could do for your next Columbus. And next up on the special projects board? A raised, four-wheel-drive model.
|Layout||Camper without washroom|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
Wow-ee. This is sensational. It proves what can be done with a typical VW T6 conversion... if you're prepared to pay for it. Or not. Treat this as a design exercise, where some of the more practical (and cost-effective) features could well appear on future Rolling Homes models.