Cars

Tonke Van XL: VW T6.1 Multivan with camper conversion

Apart from Germany, which European nation do you think of when you hear the word camping? So we immediately think of our Dutch neighbors! They are just as crazy about freedom on four wheels as we are. According to the Caravaning Industry Association (CIVD), the motorhome market there grew by a full 16 percent in 2020.

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No wonder that numerous manufacturers and factories specializing in the construction of motorhomes, expedition vehicles or camper van conversions have also settled in the Netherlands.

Just like the Tonke company from tranquil Terheijden. In addition to unusual demountable cabins in the look of construction trailers, the team mainly converts new and young used VW buses into campers with a love of detail.

If you want to drive a Tonke in northern Germany, head for the Bullibü company in Hamburg-Ottensen. Owner Thorsten Turck sells and rents out the vans. We were out and about with the largest model, the Tonke Van XL.

Tonke Van XL: VW T6.1 Multivan with a special expansion concept

That’s him: A brand new VW T6.1 Multivan with a special expansion concept. That starts with the materials. The cupboard fronts and the table are made of light and durable bamboo (978 euros), the remaining elements are made of birch multiplex panels.

The insulated floor panel is made of classic vinyl, but matches the bamboo look cabinets. Ceilings and walls are covered with felt.

Tonke Van XL

A bed with a width of 1.25 meters is created on the folded three-seater bench seat. There are two more sleeping places in the sleeping roof.


On the other hand, the floor plan seems quite ordinary at first glance: foldable three-seater bench seat, cupboard, cool box and kitchenette on the driver’s side, above the sleeping roof.

The special thing is in the detail: The commercially available kitchen can be swung out through the second sliding door (total 1785 euros). This is also the reason for the awning on the left side.

What strikes us the first time we browse, touch and fold: the incredibly stable furniture elements and hinges that look as if they will stay in place for decades to come.

Sleeping roof, kitchen, cool box: Tonke van with equipment ready for travel

He has: Already from the house a travel-ready equipment. In addition to the seat, second battery, airline rails, blackout and sleeping roof, this also includes the kitchen and cool box.

What makes our test car so expensive in the end are the numerous VW options, which alone cost almost 23,000 euros (!). At Tonke, some are available in the so-called Excellence package.

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motorization

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perfomance

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displacement

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torque

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top speed

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transmission/drive

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Tank capacity/fuel type

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Length Width Height

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wheelbase/tyres

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empty weight ready to drive/load (test vehicle)

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Trailer load (braked/unbraked)

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Material wall/roof/floor

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Lying area rear L x W

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Sleeping area sleeping roof L x W

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cooling box

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stove

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board battery

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Fresh/waste water tank

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Gas supply/heating

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basic price

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test car price

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110 kW (150 hp) at 3250 rpm

70 l/diesel + 27 l AdBlue


This is how he drives: All-wheel drive, seven-speed DSG, 150 hp diesel (together 9541 euros) and all sorts of assistance systems – the fully equipped Bulli is a real treat.

The only drawback is the roof. This results in a height of 2.05 meters, so the Tonke does not fit into most car parks. It also causes slight wind noise while driving. If you can live with that, you get an all-rounder suitable for everyday use.

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