Ford Nugget vs VW California vs Campmobil

If you take a look around on the European market today, you will find some great buses with motorhome conversions.  All of them are more or less suitable for bad roads, but without a reduction gear they are not intended for rough terrain. None of them is available on the international market yet.

Today I would like to take a closer look at three of them and compare them, I have chosen these vehicles: California Ocean 6.1, Ford Nugget 2021 L1, Campmobil HK 4.9.

We are comparing extensions based on the VW California with different space concepts with the Ford Nugget Custom with pop-up roof (Westfalia).

Vergleich von Ford Nugget vs VW California vs Campmobil

The Ford Nugget L1 with pop-up roof has an appealing two-room concept that allows relaxed cooking without having to convert everything in the living area. The manual folding roof is also convincing with a useful width of 141 cm. Two adults can sleep comfortably there. The kitchen has a useful size and is really usable.
 With a height of 206cm, however, there are some limitations in terms of everyday usability - because some underground garages have a height limit of 2m.

There is a optional 4x4 conversion by Extrem (13`500€) as well as an optional rear differential lock (4900€), which requires a higher body (4990 €). The differential lock, on the other hand, can be ordered ex works since 2021 - unfortunately only for the manual gearbox. 

In addition to the garage restriction, one also has to make concessions with regard to safety functions such as side airbags. And in terms of comfort: automatic climate control, electric closing aid on the sliding door - the Nugget Plus L1 is a bit more rustic. 

There are great discussions and instructions in the Nugget forum. The options list from Ford and Westfalia is slim and manageable - but everything important can be found.  

Vergleich von Ford Nugget vs VW California vs Campmobil

The VW California 6.1 Ocean You can lose yourself in the VW configurator for a few days until you find out which things are important to you. From the hydraulic or electronic pop-up roof to double glazing, insulating glass and side windows with mosquito screens.

But even in the basic version, a very well thought-out electrification and a well thought-out room concept have been introduced in recent years.

What used to be individually retrofitted - in the Ocean 6.1, for example, you can fully charge the batteries at the push of a button without having to retrofit a battery booster. How the blinds and privacy screens, or how the table and camping chairs were attached and implemented - is simply unbeatable.

There are numerous upgrades and an endless stream of third party accessories. There is 4x4 and a rear differential locker option selectable from the factory. At 1.99m, the vehicle is still fully suitable for everyday use without an awning. It is easy to increase the load to 3.5 tonnes. Thin bedding can be carried in the pop-up roof.

Where there is light, there is also shadow. The 1.23m wide bed in the pop-up roof is more suitable for children. The side kitchen is more decorative than a two-course meal, but of course you can boil water or prepare ravioli.

You can read about various shortcomings, from the unintentional lowering of the electric pop-up roof, to the rattling of the blinds or the auxiliary heating, which only warms up lukewarm. In the Caliboard Forum  you will find help and lots of great implementations. The price is open upwards, you can configure the California Ocean from 60`000€ to over 85`000€.  Link:

Vergleich von Ford Nugget vs VW California vs Campmobil

The Campmobil HK 4.9 impresses with a completely new room layout. In the rear kitchen you have full standing height and in the front part of the vehicle the bench seat and seats can be converted into a great big bed.

Parts of the interior can be easily removed for everyday use. The table and the cooker can be placed outside, which is the most practical way to travel. Who really wants to cook inside the vehicle in summer when the weather is nice?

Vergleich von Ford Nugget vs VW California vs Campmobil

The interior details are great: a 30a B2B charger is at work here, the 45-litre refrigerator has a 5-litre freezer compartment, and there is also a toilet.

A propane gas auxiliary heater, on the other hand, is a somewhat more exotic solution.

According to the website, the journey starts from 60`000€ and should then be wide open upwards.


All three vehicles offer great conversions. They offer good driving comfort as well as cosy accommodation on journeys.

The VW Ocean convinces with the best detail solutions. A well-stowed outside table and comfortable chairs are already provided ex works. Privacy blinds for the windscreen integrated into the A-pillar, without mats still having to be stowed somewhere. VW has listened to the travellers and implemented important features. The vehicle can be adapted very well to one's own needs. But no cook will be happy with the kitchen. 

The Ford Nugget with its wide pop-up roof is the first to offer a bed size that is also acceptable for adults and a really useful kitchen - and at an attractive price. As a switch, the front lock could be added ex works, so that the pure 4x4 extension would also go a long way. It's not cheap either, if you compare it with an Ocean Liberty, for example.

And the HK 4.9 gets the most out of the VW Bus in terms of layout and technology, but without even coming close to covering the subtleties of the Ocean, more rustic but certainly also a bit more track-proof. Clearly more innovative than its competitors.

The agony of choice - has presumably not become smaller despite the line-up? I will even mention the Toyota-Firenze. He is a good alternative, with 4x4, rear difflock, popup roof and the optional 3.5ton factory limit, with a hymer based inner camping build. 

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