One of the reasons the VW California’s rollaway bed/back seat floor plan persists is that it so efficiently squeezes four or five people into a pickup truck, both on the ride and overnight. More creative floor plans often require legal driving seats to be removed in the back to create an open, lounge-like camping space. Such is the case with the Amstervan, which sleeps only two people on the trip to the camp while two people sleep as standard or optionally four.
But the space free from the rear seats is not sparse. Amstervan is a collaboration between campers.EU campers, designer Manon de Beer and furniture maker Tom Kooijker, and clearly benefits from having the designer’s eyes and woodworkers’ hands on board.
Cutting out the rear truck seat has freed the Amstervan team to innovatively reimagine the entire living area floor plan. It has shifted the galley to the passenger side, similar to a large camper van, dedicating the driver’s side to a unique form of lounge. The two cushioned dining chairs are divided by a wall-mounted multi-leaf folding table.
The front seat at approximately the maximum width of the truck extends and becomes a 120 cm (47 in) long lounge chair facing to the side by simply dropping a cushion in the seat back. The seat back doesn’t have enough durable length to be a side-facing lounge chair on its own, but add a removable foot extension panel and matching cushion and extends up to a 110 cm (43 in) “relax and relax” length. Then the table acts as a useful side table between the two.
The front lounge seat faces the side door, while the rear lounge chair is located near the rear doors. As long as the direct outdoors isn’t fraught with horizontal rain or huddled mosquitoes, Amstervan lifts can open all doors and enjoy a double-chair lounge area with plenty of fresh air, views of larger surroundings, and complete sun protection.
At bedtime, the table dips down to become part of the platform bed, and fills in some platform panels and pillows to convert the double chairs into a 120 x 200 cm (47 by 79 in) double bed. Since the Amstervan seats only two, the standard Pop-top is primarily designed to maximize headroom, but buyers looking for two additional berths can add the optional 135 by 195 cm (53 by 77 in) roof bed. A sleeper ceiling seems to be a good option for anyone who prefers to have two separate, permanent places for carriages: a living area on the lower level and a bedroom upstairs.
Not only does Amstervan focus on sustainable building materials like recycled upholstery content and insulation made from recycled denim and wine corks, it relies on battery power rather than LPG for its camping gear. A 100-Ah GreenPower 12V AGM battery provides LED lighting, a 50L Dometic fridge/freezer, an induction hob and a 350W heater. The battery is easily charged while driving via the car’s alternator or shore power connection.
The large, wide-shoulder Renault Trafic truck that serves as the base for the Amstervan offers plenty of cabin space, enabling the truck to offer some creative and efficient storage solutions. A large compartment under the seat inside the front recliner can store three 20-liter bins with additional space. The floating refrigerator console includes a low storage drawer that holds two 17-liter bins and does not extend all the way to the floor, leaving floor space below for taller items such as paddles or folded outdoor furniture. The kitchen area includes several cabinets, along with its structural shelves. Amstervan hangs on coat hooks and hangers to keep jackets and other clothing organized.
Amstervan received the same sustainability award as the GoCamp ebike at this month’s Camping & Caravan fair in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The model pictured is a pre-production truck, and the camper has not been added to Campers.EU’s online inventory list. A recent YouTube post from the camper agency says prices will start at €51,250 (about US$50,650) before taxes, which becomes €74,000 (US$73,125) in the Netherlands after adding the special car tax and BPM’s VAT. Campers.EU also offers Amstervan as rental for €140 per day.
The 499cc (196 in) Amstervan engine built on the all-new Renault Trafic 2022/23 comes with the buyer’s choice of a DCi engine between 109 and 168 hp. Options include a storage compartment with portable toilet and outdoor shower, off-grid electrical system with lithium battery, solar charging and inverter.