Curbed is no stranger to the camper beat, covering everything from amazing vintage trailers to tiny teardrops that still sleep a family. We also, however, cover innovative concept campers from around the world, leaving some to covet a camper from afar. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
In fact, one of the drawbacks for Americans looking to invest in an RV is a more limited—or perhaps less creative?—supply of campers and vans. Europeans have long been a leading consumer of leisure vehicles, especially in Germany, and many of the big car manufacturers like Volkswagen and Mercedes produce camper-specific models that are only available in Europe. It’s also incredibly difficult to import a new, foreign-made car thanks to U.S. regulations.
That’s a bummer for anyone stateside, as traditionally the camper tradeshows in Europe often debut the most innovative designs. There are still plenty of great American RVs out there, but today we’re spotlighting five of the best campers sold in Europe that we wish we could buy here.
Cost: Starting at €45,000 including VAT
Details: Volkswagen has made a name for itself with top-notch campers, but most of their camper models aren’t sold in the United States. Based on the VW’s Transporter van, the California can comfortably sleep four people, two in the elevated roof and another couple in a convertible lower bed.
The camper comes stocked with an array of thoughtful amenities, like a full kitchen, ceiling storage box, a drop-down dining table, and LED lighting on both the interior and exterior.
The California has been so popular in Europe it’s also the inspiration for a new Volkswagen concept van: The California XXL. Head over here for info on the XXL and a look at the camper’s panoramic roof. Read our review of the California van, here.
Cost: Debuting this spring for around $85,300
Details: This camper just debuted at the CMT show in Stuttgart, Germany, and builds on almost six decades of history for a brand that is known across the pond both for functionality and reliability. A steel cage construction supports an aluminum-skinned shell and the Touring 820 boasts wraparound front and rear windshields and a porthole-style window on the driver’s side.
The 28-foot trailer looks modern and clean, almost like an updated take on the classic Airstream trailer. Dual-tone shading and understated striping—goodbye, dated maroon swirls—add to the sleek look, and from design to manufacturing, the entire trailer just looks fresh. Head over here to read more and see interior photos.
Cost: The pricing of the Fiat Campers depends on which combination of factors you choose. Head over here for more.
Details: The Fiat Ducato rules the roadways in Europe, as a huge number of camper vans use it as their base. A front-wheel drive Ducato van first debuted in 1981, but now Fiat has made the vans tougher with a 4x4 version that offers customers an endless array options: five different wheelbases, six different chassis lengths, and four types of engines.
Interiors boast neutral cabins in browns or grays, two retractable flat-screen televisions, a convection stovetop for cooking, a sink, and a king-size bed that easily sleeps two. The best part? Fiat offers roadside assistance everywhere in Europe—that’s 51 countries—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Cost: Starts at €65,000 including VAT
Details: Mercedes markets the Marco Polo as the “stylish camper van,” and the luxury car maker teamed up with Westfalia to offer three different trim options. Based on the V-Class, the Marco Polo uses yacht-like finishes and can sleep two on the roof bed and two on the sleeping bench down below.
The Marco Polo also packs in a full kitchen and a folding table that can serve both the bench and the swivel captain’s chairs. It’s similar in design to the Volkswagen California, but at a higher price point and with more luxurious finishes.
Cost: Prices start $25,165
Details: Debuting at the recent Madrid Motor Show, the e-NV200 is a zero-emission, factory-built camper that’s completely electric. It’s powered by a 40kWh battery—backed by a five year guarantee—that can be charged up to 80 percent in under an hour. A full charge using Nissan’s 6.6KW onboard charger would take about 7.5 hours.
Photos released by Nissan of the new NV300 model show a pop-up sleeper roof and a bench seating that can fold into a second sleeping space. A compact kitchen with stove, sink, and refrigerator sits adjacent to a removable table and swivel front seats, and window shades allow for privacy. A large rear picture window will provide great Instagram shots, and a Webasto heater keeps things toasty in the cold.
The biggest drawback? With its current set up, the e-NV200 will have a 124-mile range before it needs to charge. Read more, over here.