Ventje turns VW’s ID Buzz into a very charming camper

May 26, 2024
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Volkswagen’s ID Buzz now has a custom camper build-out that’s just as clever and charming as the electric microbus. It’s called eVentje, and it’s now available for general sale in Europe.

Designed and sold by Ventje, a small but rapidly growing company based in the Netherlands, the eVentje conversion is as good as it gets until VW finally releases a California edition of the ID Buzz — which is still a few years away at least. That long delay since European sales began in 2022 has made room for a burgeoning aftermarket for ID Buzz camper products, including the excellent and relatively inexpensive Ququq camping box I previously reviewed.

I first tested a Ventje camper built on top of a VW Transporter T5 cargo van in 2022, before living and working from an ID Buzz for a few weeks in 2023. In 2024, I finally got to test the union of the two for a weekend. And let me tell you, this is definitely a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The ID Buzz has always been a showstopper when driving past onlookers — now, the show continues when the doors open to reveal that wonderfully adaptive Ventje interior.

The overall design of the Ventje camper still relies on more than 100 magnets to keep all those wooden surfaces aligned and locked in place. There’s still a kitchen accessible from inside and out, a pop-top tent, and a multipurpose interior that converts from a lounge to a bed to a luxurious outside furniture set in minutes. Only now, things have been refined throughout with one big addition: a folding table and hidden stools to create an outside bar. Swoon.

The kitchen has seen several improvements that provide more adaptable prep surfaces — always a challenge in a small space — and smarter use of storage. Ventje also moved to not one but two induction cooktops thanks to the inclusion of a 2200W inverter and 2160Wh leisure battery that charges from the VW’s driving battery, a 350-watt solar panel, and a mini shore-power outlet located on the lower backside of the van.

All of the kitchen’s surfaces exposed.

The highly adaptable interior where you can stand.

Ventje also makes it easier to keep all your own gear powered with eight USB sockets (4x USB-A, 4x USB-C), a 12V car jack, 3x wireless charging surfaces, and 3x 230V AC sockets for anyone looking to take advantage of their company’s hybrid office policy. There are also more lighting options including dimmable LED light strips and a closable sunroof in the pop-top tent.

VW’s poorly designed software still frustrates the otherwise exceptional driving experience, which remains rattle-free even with all of Ventje’s customizations. One would expect VW to eventually enable a camping mode on the ID Buzz, a feature already found on its existing California series campers. That would make heating and cooling the ID Buzz more intuitive when parked and allow owners to more easily disable the interior motion alarm when locking all the doors at night. 

The eVentje can sleep four but is currently highway legal for only two people. It’s built around the regular-wheelbase ID Buzz, not the long-wheelbase model coming to Europe and the US (finally!) later this year. Nevertheless, my wife and I didn’t want for more space, even with the dog coming along on the trip. 

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Building the outdoor furniture set.

The eVentje, like the ID Buzz, isn’t cheap, and soon, in Europe, it will have to compete with VW’s new PHEV “T7” California camper going on sale in June for what’s probably about the same price. But that model lacks the retrofuturistic appeal of the all-electric ID Buzz, and its interior is arguably less flexible — and definitely less fun — than Ventje’s warm custom design.

The modified eVentje ID Buzz starts at €95,000 (about $103,000) in Europe. An order placed today will ship in nine months to customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Ventje says that it’s also planning to expand to the UK and US in time.

Importantly, Ventje is doing what VW hasn’t since first teasing the ID Buzz all the way back in 2017: deliver a worthy all-electric successor to the iconic Type 2 camper.

Photography by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

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