The Grawo Mobil camper was a handbuilt bespoke conversion and with perhaps just a dozen or so surviving examples, (none of which are in the UK), is a very rare example of a non Westfalia German camping interior, featuring a very different style of elevating roof.
spacious and features caravan style U shaped bench seating round a table in the rear, which converts to a full width double bed. By the sliding door is a coolbox / sink unit, with an extension flap worktop. The cooker is sited in a unit behind the driver, with large cupboards under and hanging space behind, accessed from the side. Extra storage is in the rear roof cupboard. Owners Ronald and Margreet say, "The layout is very
Arnold and Erika Mehl founded the family business in Stuttgart in 1960. Known then as Arcomobil, they produced high quality cabinet built conversions and were among the first to offer an elevating roof on a VYV. Gerhard Grau took over the business from his father in law Arnold in 1971, and renamed it Grawo Mobil (Grau Wohnmobil). The interiors were all bespoke and built to customer specifications, including choice of wood used, making them much more expensive than Westfalia versions and only around 600 were actually produced. Elevating roofs were fitted to sunroof models supplied by VYV (minus canvas and sliding gear) meaning no cutting of the body and thus preserving the VW warranty.
The roof is probably the most distinctive and obvious feature, when raised it moves forwards and up so there is an overhang at the front. Fold up wooden sided secure it in place, and because it is insulated, it is winter proof as well. The brochures of the time claimed that it was the only roof that had the insulation value of a cavity wall. Another plus is that because the sides are made of wood they are sturdier than traditional canvas roofs. The downside of course is the extra weight created!
The interior layout was innovative and
,1977 GRAWO MOBIL
,1977 GRAWO MOBIL
Arnold and Erika Mehl founded the family business in Stuttgart in 1960. Known then as Arcomobil, they produced high quality cabinet built conversions and were among the first to offer an elevating roof on a VW.
I looked on the different ear sile.s including Ebay and did a few unsuccessful bids. Then this bus appeared. The price wasn't sky high for some reason and although the roof construction looked a bit odd, 1 liked it. Ihe condition was good and a second bus, aka Ihe Chicken Shed, plus parts were thrown in on the deal."
When they went to see it (he condition was basically sound, il just needed a hefty dose ofTLC. 'Ihe only bad part was there was a nasty dent in the panel next to the driver's door which had happened just a week prior to putting in on F.bay when a straw hale fell off a passing tractor and smashed into the parked bus!
The bus had been built on a sliding roof. Sage Green (Taiga GrQn L83H) Kombl base on 15th February 1977, carrying chassis 2372102805. The M plate reveals a lot about its original factory spec such as Canyon Brown leatherette interior, lockable fuel cap, rubber flooring in the load area, seats will) headrest mountings and detachable headrests, hanlboard interior side panels in cargo compartment, reversing lights
(built-in with rear light units) and brake-servo »
practical with ample space to put your stuff away. We always say jokingly that the Von Trapp family will step out of it someday, it is that thai big!"
The model featured here is owned by Dutch couple Margreet Abbenes and Ronald van Eijk, though Margreet is quick to point out the she is the actual registered keeper! After doing their house up, they saved some money with the thought of'wouldn't it be nice to go on holiday in a campervan! Heading through magazines, especially the English ones, the idea grewon them until, in 2005, they decided that to track down something suitable. Ronald says, "We were looking at prices and conditions in the Netherlands and came to the conclusion that most advertised buses were either too expensive or too rotten. But more than frequently it was a combination of the two. So, I decided it would l>e the only sensible way lo go and gel a bus irnm the Fatherland.
By the sliding door is a coolbox / sink unit, with an extension flap worktop.
The front roof rack is a genuine Grawo Mobil part and was a real find!
with dual-circuit brake control lamp.
All the interior fittings were intact including the fitted optional extras of Klectrolux fridge, Trumatic 2300 heating system.
Most of the additional parts and the extra bus were soon sold on and Margreet and Ronald used the money to repair and trim the bus, though some parts like die engine were kept to use in the bus on a later date. For the first year they just drove the bus and collected ideas and knowledge to do her up. First on the agenda was to lower the bus to a sensible height and to redo the cushions. 'Ihey dropped the bus with a
Was this article helpful?