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New VWT6 Campervan Order

Discussion in 'Camper/Day Van Conversions' started by Bill Heath, 1 Nov 2016.

  1. Bill Heath

    Bill Heath New Member

    Map
    Hi all, just joined your group, just about to place an order for a T6 camper van & looking for ideas.
    Looking at - Autohaus, Camelot - Danbury, Royale - Hillside, Cromford. Any suggestions on what additional essentials to have on the vehicle at the ordering stage would be most welcome as its a first of us.
     
  2. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Grape Yellow Beach VIP Member T6 Guru

    Do you need all the stuff in the van to start with is what I'd ask. Second the cost of a camper from all those firms is more than a Cally from VW.
     
    Polzeylad likes this.
  3. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    We are new to this as well having only recently taking delivery of our Hillside Birchover - I wish I had been on this group prior to ordering so that I could of tweaked some of the things on the base vehicle a bit more.

    All 3 look nice but the layout, with the bathroom at the rear, etc., was not for us - depends how you are going to use and whether you really need a bathroom on board. To accommodate the layout all 3 are long wheel base - with a LWB van you will lose some of the flexibility of where you can park the van.

    Ensure that you get a base van that can carry everything you want - we upgraded to a T30 but, with everything we sometimes carry and tow, are wishing we'd gone for a T32 (for most conversions a T28 or T30 will suffice but once you start going for Highline spec, DSG, bike racks, tow bars, etc.. they all add weight which will eat into what you can carry).

    Everything will be a bit of a compromise - you will struggle to get one conversion that gives you everything you want so weigh up the things that are important to you, e.g. water capacity, heating, gas capacity, double beds, hot water, etc..

    Good luck.
     
  4. Bill Heath

    Bill Heath New Member

    Map
    Hi Both, many thanks for taking the time for your answers: Being wildlife photographers we do need a toilet being as we get in some remote areas and as such would need this facility. We would go for the larger engine as well as automatic, we were thinking of the longer wheelbase but understand what you say about parking etc. We are going to VW at Hull on Friday to check out the California Ocean, and as you say comes in at a lesser cost than the others, although this does not have a toilet we will see how we could incorporate one. Our main concern as mentioned in our first post was making sure we order the correct vehicle before the build. Thank you.
     
  5. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Our Birchover came with a porta potti - first thing we did was stash it in the garage to gain some storage space as I can't see us ever using it - if we get more into wild camping we can always dig it out. We do have a nice collapsable bucket together with a "bog in a bag" we can carry for emergencies :)

    You are doing the right thing taking time to get the base vehicle right and there are people on here that can give you a lot more advice than me. If doing again I would probably be starting with a T32, to cope with what we carry and tow, and seriously considering 4 Motion. Power wise, I am more than happy with the 150 DSG I have but others swear by the 204 (maybe consider if going for 4 motion?). Trim level, I would stick with Highline as it includes quite a lot of nice extras.

    One thing to be aware of with all the convertors you are looking at is that their advertised prices tend be based on the lowest spec vehicles - by the time you start looking at the above together with metallic paint, sat nav, awnings, tow bars, bike racks, solar panels, etc., etc., you can easily bump these up by £10k+. Go armed with an up to date T6 price list and be aware that the convertors will be buying the base vehicles significantly below this (it seems that people haggling are getting discounts of around 12% without trying too hard so I would expect the convertors, buying in larger numbers, to be getting somewhat better deals than this).

    Good you are looking at the Californias as well - some people love them, others hate them. Contrary to above though, I think you will struggle to get a similar spec Cali for less than a conversion? I know when I initially did the sums, even allowing for around 12% discount on advertised prices, the Cali was more expensive. That said, I would expect the Cali to retain significantly more of its value if/when you come to sell.

    Take your time and don't be pushed into jumping too quickly.
     
  6. Bill Heath

    Bill Heath New Member

    Map
    Hi Dave, thanks for your reply and useful advice. Its a big outlay and we want to get it right.
     
  7. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Grape Yellow Beach VIP Member T6 Guru

    Portapotty is what we used to have, I still have the old callys on in the loft as well as slightly bigger one we had when we first went camping. So a couple of twitchers then, I dabble at it with the kites that fly round our garden, just need a longer lens the 200mm does not quite cut it.
     
  8. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad California 204 4motion VIP Member T6 Legend

    We've done three long trips (plus many shorter ones) in our old and current T6 California which has included a lot of free camping.
    The toilet issue is a tricky one - we took a "Bog in a Bag" this time just in case but never used it - we didn't have anything before. The issue is, you still need somewhere to use a portaloo - not sure about anyone else but the thought of sitting in a van, all doors and curtains closed then going to the loo just does NOT appeal! So it's a case of either going fully "wild" or finding public loos. We're very outdoorsy people but outdoor toileting will always be pretty unpleasant so the best option is a public loo and even better is one open 24/7.

    To get a proper loo unit in a VW, you'd definitely need LWB but then I'm pretty sure you can't have 4motion?

    The great thing about the Cali is that they start with a Caravelle/Multivan base (not a Transporter) and they put proper engines and the option of 4motion in - I see too many expensive conversions with the low powered engines (some are even the base 85PS unit!!!) and I just cringe.
    The Cali Ocean is a really refined vehicle - it's bordering on a luxury car. Very quiet, well insulated (double glazed in all but the cab, massive amounts of floor insulation, etc) and even without any options, it's well specced. Then there's the warranty - we extended our to 5 years for just £350 - that's a proper factory warranty that even covers the tap! Then there's the nifty control panel in the roof - really handy. And the weight also seems lower than many conversions too. And the final plus is resale values - they are incredible, especially on 4motion vans.

    So while the Cali IS compromised, its a far nicer thing to drive than a motorhome (whizzing past them up loooong Spanish mountain autoroute type roads is always amusing), everything is really well designed, you can get some serious discounts (often impossible on conversions - we got £7k off ours) and they are simply brilliant.

    We had a lot of issues with our last (2012) one but despite almost giving up on them, we returned, got the much improved T6 and are loving it.
     
    DaveBos likes this.
  9. ecowagon

    ecowagon Account Closed

    Whats the pay load on the 4 motion cali ?
     
  10. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    About 400kg (between 381 and 411 depending on engine/DSG), allowing for 75kg driver and 90% fuel, if you don't add extras, less if you do. Probably plenty for a couple but if you have kids, want to carry bikes, tow something, etc. etc. you could soon go over this.
     
  11. ecowagon

    ecowagon Account Closed

    Have a look at the 2015 T5 camper van showdown on Youtube some great vans and ideas on there . Also Which Motorhome mag have done a T6 showdown that will be out in December .
     
  12. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad California 204 4motion VIP Member T6 Legend

    About 400kgs. Not even slightly an issue for us on our 5 week Euro tours.
    The roof will carry (and lift electrically) 50kgs too so you can put boards/kayaks/whatever up there if needed.
     
  13. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    But that 50kg will come out of the payload along with bikes on racks/towbars, etc..
     
  14. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad California 204 4motion VIP Member T6 Legend

    I do think you worry too much!

    As mentioned a few times, we've done almost four years of California trips all over Scotland and Europe and not had any payload issues. If I was carrying a particularly porky set of adults, a large anvil or maybe a pallet of bricks I might worry but with general kit needed for a long trip away, 400kgs is more than enough. And I'm sure going say 20kgs over wouldn't cause any issues at all.
     
  15. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Maybe, but I do like to stay safe and on the right side of the law. 400kg sounds a lot but with 2 (porky!) passengers, dog, bikes, etc. etc. you soon eat into it - Mrs H could take up half of that with what she puts in the kitchen cupboards lol
     
  16. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad California 204 4motion VIP Member T6 Legend

    Our one "comedy" heavy item is a Le Creuset cocotte - brilliant for camper cooking but it's rather heavy...
    Everything else is clothing, surfboards (which don't weigh a lot), shoes, wetsuits (can be a bit heavy when wet) and about 30 paper maps,
     
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  17. Vinci

    Vinci Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    Map
    I have just ordered a T6 H150 lwb with a few extras eg swivel seats, reversing camera and have until March to work out a layout and find a custom builder, and have found a couple within easy reach of me near Bristol. My wife and I favour a rear indoor loo with screen for emergency night use (it's an age thing, and years aren't counting backwards!) and going outside in pouring rain and howling wind doesn't appeal. Clearly fair weather trips using well equipped camp sites negates the need for such provision.
     
    Polzeylad likes this.
  18. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Grape Yellow Beach VIP Member T6 Guru

    I would have thought you would be using digital maps, I have the whole of the UK on my laptop and on my tablet I take around when needed. I also print off the areas I need. Not bought a paper map in years even though I like looking at them
     
  19. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad California 204 4motion VIP Member T6 Legend

    We use satnav but still like having "proper" maps to plan routes. Also handy for my trail running habit.
     
  20. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Grape Yellow Beach VIP Member T6 Guru

    @Polzeylad Get a Garmin Handheld GPS, I have a Origon 350 with full GB mapping on for going out on hikes with. I use the maps on my Laptop and Google Maps to plan where I'm going with, same as when I drive places
     

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