Imagine being camped up at a beautiful spot. On the beach overlooking the sea, or on the top of a mountain with a beautiful view…

When you wake up, the first thing you want to do is open up the tailgate and enjoy the view, right? But having to get out from under the blankets and even worse, leaving the comfort of the van to do so, isn’t very appealing is it? Some Transporter vans have a lever to open up the tailgate from the inside. Our T4 Westfalia California Coach did not.

At night we prefer to sleep with our heads at the back of the van. Sometimes we use the Brandrup Air-safe but of course that’s not the same as having the tailgate wide open.


The ‘airsafe’ that holds the tailgate slightly open to let fresh air in, but still keeps it locked.

Now, how do you make it so the tailgate opens from the inside? It’s a small and simple job, that pays of.

Start by removing the tailgate trim. It’s much easier then it might seem. You just need to keep in mind a few things. Lees hier hoe je dit aanpakt. Now you’re looking at the inside of the tailgate.

The lock is situated in the middle of the tailgate. When you push the gold colored lever up, you release the lock. Whether you open it with a key, your finger or a cable, makes no difference.

I connected a steel cable (diameter: 1mm) to the lock’s lever, and guided it upwards. It’s best to use a steel cable that’s plasticized to prevent the inner workings of the tailgate. I guess you could also use electric wire.

I connected a steel cable (diameter: 1mm) to the lock’s lever, and guided it upwards.

Create a loop in the steel cable and fold it around the lever of the lock. Do not use wire clamp type 1 as pictured below. It will be in the way of the innner workings of the tailgate lock. Use type 2 as pictures below. You can squeeze it with normal pliers, so you dont have to go out and buy special pliers.

Guide the cable upwards. I used a tie-wrap roughly half way to keep it in place. Connect it loosely, or the mechanism won’t work. Eventually the cable then ends up inside the van.

The steel wire attaches to the lever and is guided upwards.
I used a tie-wrap to loosely hold the wire in place.
When you put back the trim, this is the result. A steel wire running into the van.

To finish the job, you’ll want to create a neat looking handle. You can use a loop like I did, or a ball, or some other solution that works for you. It would probably look best if you’d use an orignal VW handle. I wanted to finish the job quickly as we were preparing for a holiday. So I never got around to using the original VW handle. But it sure does the job.

The end result. For now…