VW California Bellows Bungee

The bellows bungee with the roof fully extended

The bellows bungee with the roof fully extended

I recently bought a ‘bellows bungee’ for my VW California camper van and have to say that at £12.99 it’s the best insurance policy I’ve ever bought.

Let me explain.

The Cali’s electric elevating roof makes the job of setting up and packing up camp dead easy – just press a button and the roof goes up or down in a minute.  The roof tent is effectively a single-skin tent made of water resistant canvas.  VW’s design involves slightly stiffened articulated material sewn into the sides of the roof tent so that when the roof is lowered, the canvas folds in on itself and tucks under the metal roof when fully closed.

However, problems can arise.  Sometimes when windy, a sudden gust can blow the roof tent back outwards again when the roof is closing – back outwards and into the sharp metal, hinged bellows.  Sometimes, poor training and handovers means that new owners are not told precisely how to lower the roof – with the same unfortunate consequence.  (Yes, the manual does of course urge caution, and the automatic mechanism has a built-in safety feature in that the motor stops half way down and the control unit asks you to check that everything is OK.  But this hasn’t stopped many unsuspecting owners from getting the canvas torn in the bellows and having to fork out something like £800 for a new roof tent).

The new bellows bungee is extremely simple and effective.  It acts like an elastic ‘belt’, pulling the roof canvas in as you lower the roof.  A simple plastic connector allows you to tighten and secure the bungee and once fitted, the elastic bungee stays in place.

The bungee does a great job in pulling the roof canvas in tidily

The bungee does a great job in pulling the roof canvas in tidily

 

Plastic tie at the back of the elevating roof

Plastic tie at the back of the elevating roof

 

Just an excuse to show the inside of the VW California from the

Just an excuse to show the inside of the VW California from the top of the roof inside

Here’s a video of the bungee in action …

What I like:

  • couldn’t be simpler and more effective
  • stays in place permanently
  • takes the worry out of using the roof
  • for this price, why wouldn’t you ?!

What I don’t like:

  • nothing.

The Bellows Bungee is available (UK orders only) via the VW California Club accessory shop priced at £12.99.

Note:  I purchased the bungee myself.  Read more about my blog policies here.