Westfalia Camper Vans Are Returning To North America In 2024
Nothing evokes quite as much nostalgia as a vintage camper van! These rounded little vehicles are the pinnacle of van life, and you can see them featured in all sorts of blogs and photo shoots. However, it’s often hard to find a genuine Westfalia camper van in the U.S. because they stopped selling here decades ago.
But this year, it was confirmed that Westfalia camper vans are coming back to the U.S. They may look a bit different than in previous years, but the brand is well-established on principles of style and design integrity. Volkswagen won’t be part of the equation anymore, but it will always be an important part of Westfalia’s history and of van life as a whole.
There aren’t too many details about the new vehicles yet; however, we can expect to see the camper vans hitting the U.S. market in the next few years. These campers will feature the same pop-up roofs that made the original models so popular, as well as upgraded amenities and flexible floor plans. The initial details were announced at the 2023 RV Dealer Open House.
The return of an old favorite
Many people in the RV world are familiar with the Westfalia brand. It’s a company that heavily influenced the early days of van life in the U.S. with the pop-top Volkswagen models. But for the past 20+ years, Westfalia models haven’t been available anywhere in the country.
Instead, they focused their production on the European market. The French Groupe Rapido is the owner of the brand nowadays. Although they still create some Volkswagen models, their main product lines were built on the Mercedes Metris van chassis. But even these vehicles are no longer being produced in America.
However, the company owners saw the potential for a new release in America, so they have decided to move back to the states. The new project is known as the New Westfalia-Americas company, and they expect to start selling vans sometime in 2024.
The new headquarters for this project will be in Ontario, but they plan to establish a network of dealers throughout North America. Soon, you won’t have to import a vehicle from another country if you want to enjoy one of these classic models.
The new face of Westfalia
Although the Westfalia brand name is familiar to many, the campers will look quite different during this new phase. As mentioned previously, Volkswagen vans aren’t going to be the base vehicle anymore. Although they will still be made in other countries, the company is moving forward with a modern flair as they re-enter the American market.
The new Westfalia Class B motorhomes will be built on Ram ProMaster chassis. These are sturdy, powerful, and perfect for supporting the weight of the new camper vans.
In addition, this brand will partner with another company to perform the conversions. Roadtrek Inc. operates in the United States and Canada, so they’re the perfect brand to create and distribute the new vans. Roadtrek specializes in Class B motorhomes, and several of their models are already built on the Ram ProMaster chassis.
With the combined expertise of these two companies, you can expect the new Westfalia camper vans to pack a punch!
An early look at the new models
Although the new Westfalia camper vans should be available for sale in 2024, the company is keeping most of the details under wraps. The biggest insights we gained were from the 2023 RV Dealer Open House in Elkhart. At this show, Westfalia and Roadtrek debuted a pre-production display model of one of their new vans.
The overall look and performance of this brand has also changed quite a bit during their hiatus. The old Volkswagen vans were certainly nostalgic and adorable, but they were also quite slow and lacked the refinement of a modern RV.
Therefore, the U.S. relaunch is focused on creating a faster, more modernized design. With the help from the Ram ProMaster base, they’re already well on their way!
These vehicles will still have a more sloped/rounded profile compared to many other Class B motorhomes, but they’re not as cutesy and curvy as the old Volkswagen vans. Instead, these new ones are built for action.
Floor plan details
A single Westfalia model was unveiled at the Elkhart Open House, but it has such an adaptable design that it is practically multiple floor plans in a single unit! Astonishingly, one of these camper vans can sleep up to six passengers without any issues.
This is thanks to the variety of bedding options. For starters, there’s the rear bed at the back of the floor plan. This can transform into a queen-size or king-size bed, plus the sleeping pads can also be moved to the side to form a pair of double beds with space in the middle. There are so many configurations to choose from!
Next up, there are the bench seats near the front of the cab. When you need another bed, the seats can tip forward and reveal a fold-out mattress that can sleep two additional people. It’s very easy to switch from one form to another, and there’s extra storage underneath the floor as well.
Finally, the new model features the signature pop-top that made the original Westfalia models so popular. This roof section provides a tent-like enclosure for additional sleeping space, and it doesn’t intrude on the rest of the floor plan.
Bathroom and kitchen
All the lifestyle necessities are also covered here. Behind the bench, there’s an enclosed wet bath with a cassette toilet, a shower head, and multiple shelves built into the walls.
Across from the bathroom, you have a full kitchenette. This has a sink and a multi-burner stove so you can cook on the go. When it’s time to clean up, a cover folds down and provides a smooth countertop.
A mini-fridge and freezer sit on the far edge, right next to the entrance door. This makes it easy to access food whether you’re inside the van or cooking outdoors!
Last but not least, there’s a good amount of storage space in this new model as well. That’s another thing that sets it apart from the old-school Volkswagen conversions. Overhead cabinets line several walls in here, and the kitchenette has multiple drawers and shelves as well.
There’s also a large storage compartment underneath the rear bed. This can serve as a gear locker for bulky items. Furthermore, a pass-through door allows you to expand the storage into the main living space if you choose.
What’s next for Westfalia?
The new camper van debut was a smashing success. Several visitors who saw the display were excited about the idea of Westfalia models returning to the US. The excitement was palpable, and we’re confident that there will be great demand for these campers once they roll out.
So far, it seems like the company is on track to release their new vans in 2024. Because the conversions will be created in Ontario, it’s possible that they’ll only be available in Canada at first. But the dealer network should be up and running soon so they can sell these RVs throughout the U.S.
Just remember that a lot of things can change between the planning stage and the actual release. Prototypes and promo materials have been released for the new vehicles, but the final product may look a bit different once they hit the market.
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