Urinating out of a door, begging pedestrians for food, quizzing each other on the contents of a 1980 Buick sales brochure. These are just a few of the deeply bizarre things that the two of us, locked in a Volkswagen California T6.1 camper van for 24 hours, were led to do as madness set in hard. Just watch us slowly drift farther and farther from sanity in VW’s tiny house-on-wheels.
Last year, Jason and Jalopnik’s reviews editor Andrew Collins spent some time in the Volkswagen Transporter T6 California, a vehicle that Andrew referred to as “The Best Car That’s Also A House.” That statement still holds true for the updated “T6.1,” which adds an LCD screen to control the electric pop-up tent, interior lighting, cabin temperature, and a bunch of other functions. Plus, there’s a new face and some interior material updates. (We’ll have a full video tour of the amazing vehicle later). Otherwise, it’s the same awesome VW camper van that we know and love. And by “we,” I mean “not Americans,” because this thing isn’t for sale in the U.S. for some reason.
(Full disclosure: VW’s German commercial vehicles division flew us out to Nova Scotia to drive the updated VW California T6.1. They handed us the keys to the camper, gave us a scenic route to drive, and then brought food to our vehicle’s window. One VW representative, spotting the tray of pickle juice on the camper’s fold-out table, asked us if it was pee. He literally thought the two of us journalists were such filthy animals that we’d just sit there, chatting nonchalantly with a tray of human urine sitting on the table between us. My god.).
We think the video speaks for itself overall, a subtle yet potent reminder that deep down, we’re all human, and that thin veneer of humanity can be effectively worn away by a mere 24 hours in a van.
The 2020 Volkswagen Transporter California T6.1 is a pretty amazing little camper-vehicle, one of the few vehicles you can cook flapjacks in that’s also pretty damn easy to park, anywhere. It’s also one of the very few vehicles that you can even consider spending a full 24 hours in, and that’s pretty impressive.
That, of course, in no way suggests that you should. You’re too good for such miserable things. We’re not.