Introduced earlier this year, the Volkswagen California has just touched down in showrooms and is now available at your nearest Volkswagen dealer, as well as motorhome specialists.

This gives it a key advantage over the competition, as the VW has the largest dealer network of any motorhome on sale in the UK. The California is not strictly speaking a new model. It’s new in terms of the fact that VW has not previously brought the model to the UK, although left-hand drive personal imports have been available through Deepcar Motorhomes in Sheffield. Deepcar is now importing the right-hand drive versions, too, and that’s what we are reviewing here.

The California has another huge advantage: the camper conversion is carried out by Volkswagen itself, so all of the materials and fittings should live up to the German firm’s deservedly high reputation for excellence. We’ll come to that in a minute, but let’s take a quick look at the base vehicle. The Volkswagen Caravelle is one of the most spacious MPV people carriers on sale, offering up to seven seats, so it’s the ideal vehicle on which to build a camper, especially with VW’s heritage stretching back to the Type 2 campers.