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May 30, 2023

Rear SpaceMate Storage Drawer for the Volkswagon California Coast, Ocean, surf and beach

The VW camper has always held a revered and prestigious status and no more so than now after the lockdown taught us all about the freedom of travel. Many returned to camping and Van-life popularity has rocketed and along with it the VW California in its various forms.

Throughout the pandemic SpaceMate Materials Handling continued designing, building & installing essential recycling equipment for supermarkets. However, with long distances to travel and hotels closed a VW California fitted all the criteria as a mobile hotel and mini tool carrier.

Those familiar with the California will have quickly realised that space is at a premium. With wardrobes, cupboards and the fridge rammed to the gunnels, most tend to use the rear of the bench seat to store the cumbersome bedding on the shelf/bed extension that sits over the boot. The boot space, whilst a great full-width space and 750mm deep but only a foot tall storage at about knee height. The bedding stored above impedes lifting the rear shelf for better access it’s not the easiest of spaces to get into with dignity and adopt the use of storage boxes and as “first in – last out” policy.

With heavy site tools and muddy supermarket floors, this quickly became an issue but there was a couple of solutions available, however, they didn’t appear to be well-engineered enough or thought through to warrant the high selling prices.

The SpaceMate solution is a high-sided robust drawer that opens with one hand whilst the other can be free to hold away from muddy floors. The design also maximises 100% of the useable space back to front & top to bottom whilst also protecting the California interior. Key also is the ease of which it can be installed onto the VW rail system in just a few minutes.

We semi-launched the SpaceMate last July but, neither the product nor the e-commerce was ready. We relaunched at the end of February 2023 with help from a California-focused YouTube channel and since then we’ve made a big impact on the market. Our USP is that the quality and functionality of what was previously available is at a highly competitive price. We’ve sold into most European countries and have a dealer in Germany (home to the VW). We have also been approached by one of the bigger outdoor companies for them to sell the SpaceMate worldwide – exciting times.

The SpaceMate Subframe is made from a single sheet of laser-cut steel. Two strengthening cross members and CNC machine folded steel with only two TIG welded seams give unparalleled rigidity to protect the VW Rail System. Spacers underneath the subframe ensure it also remains flat over the raised rail system. Laser cut fixing holes to line up with the 2 or 3 Rail System in the T5, T6, and T6.1 for the Ocean and Coast. The Beach gets left, right, or central Drawer alignment holes as standard to allow long loading options. The engineered design ensures that the SpaceMate Drawer will not drag and damage this Rail System, even under maximum load.

We’re about to release an add-on attachment that we’re calling the Summer Kitchen to increase the functionality and workable surface area, taking advantage of the cover provided by the rear of the VW Campervan to be used for cooking, washing up, a bar area, etc. The VW Ocean Campervan is often fitted with a rear shower so there’s an area for the Ocean sink bowl to sit and an option for the Cadac Safari Chef ii (the go-to standard for camping). This will then flatpack away without taking up too much if any, storage space.

Our background is in Materials Handling, we used to design and build the world-leading articulated forklift where our patented designs won us a Queen’s Award for Innovation, which was presented at Buckingham Palace. Since then, we’ve focused on building space-saving recycling equipment for supermarkets, specialist forklifts for the printing and food packaging industry, as well as designing various problem solutions for people who seek us out. It felt only right to apply a bit of our experience into the SpaceMate storage system for California.

T:  07836 244524
E:  Information
W: SpaceMate Direct

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