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A Beginner’s Guide To Buying A VW Campervan

If you’re brand new to VW campervans, this article to purchasing a new VW campervan is designed for you.

We walk us through our steps that we followed to purchase the VW campervan and how to locate the right conversion service and what kind of bed and roof you should consider, and all other things you should take into consideration (especially in the case of a campervan with your kids) to ensure you can find the ideal VW campervan to suit your needs.

Also, you might discover these books about living in a van useful. Some are for inspiration on travel while others focus on the practicalities of owning a van making a van livable and in the van.

Are you looking for a VW Campervan suitable for you?

My first experience with living in a van is playing with my grandparents’ conversion Ford Transit as a child of just 7 (when they were living in rural areas). They’d drive across Europe for weeks at a time during the 1980s before coming to us with wonderful stories.

Perhaps it was because of my grandparents who took me on adventures that I grew my own passion for travel however, as much as I was enthralled by the idea of traveling with a house on wheels I’d never made the leap into the van lifestyle.

Due to the recent changes in travel and tourism and travel, the thought of owning our own Volkswagen campervan became an ideal. We started researching. While I was imagining images of vintage VW campervans driving on the twisting mountains roads, we quickly chose to get an easier and more reliable VW campervan transporter. We love it!

We are enthralled by the freedom it provides us, and have explored areas of the country that we’d not considered before.

If you’ve still not yet decided regarding the type of VW campervan you’re looking for Here are two reasons this VW T6 campervan a fantastic option.

Its (short wheelbase) VW Campervan is small enough to function as a regular car, which means you are able to leave the campsite and go to towns and villages for a trip.
VW T6 transporters are excellent vehicles to convert because they have value.
The VW transporter T6’s reliability is definitely worth looking into.

Do you prefer an old or new campervan?

This isn’t a comprehensive guide on how to purchase an old campervan. There are numerous articles that can help you navigate the pros and cons of buying a used vehicle. This is to offer you some direction when you’ve made your mind to purchase a New VW T6 CamperVan.

It is obvious that buying a brand fresh VW Camper Van is easier than purchasing a used campervan. Is it? With the new campervan conversion you’ll have the security of knowing that includes all sorts of warranties for converters and manufacturers However, you’re confronted with a distinct issue. Choice.

If you choose the best campervan conversion, you’ll have a variety of beds, interiors, and seats. It’s an interesting issue to face in the event that you are aware of what you would like. However, what if you’re not aware of the differences between different types of beds, or whether you should have the option of a double front or one?

While many of these issues are purely personal preference but there are some more practical aspects to take into consideration.

Finding the best VW Campervan conversion company

You can purchase an VW California (the first factory constructed VW campervan) directly from Volkswagen however you’ll have to be charged a premium. You’ll get more value for dollars if you choose the most reliable campervan conversion business. There are a lot of companies that offer van conversions, which one is the most appropriate one?

In the beginning, try looking up ‘VW Camper van dealerships near me’. Additionally, check out the Autotrader Campervan VW section to view the VW Campervans available for sale in your region. It is best to locate one that is close to your home as you will not buy a new van in your first visit. There may be a need for modifications to your van in the near future, which could cost more in the event that you travel across the nation.
Check out what others have to say regarding these conversions in the T6 Forum.
Choose a few so you can evaluate the quality of work. The majority of conversion kits will use conventional conversion kits for camping area as well as the storage It’s all about the finishing (and the bed, and the roof, see below).
Choose your spending limit, and be ready to be flexible in the event that you come across something that you want to buy. If you do go, believe your instincts. You’ll be able determine if the conversion of campervans is not just a business.
Do your research before purchasing. Some conversion companies offer the VW campervan for hire. It’s certainly worthwhile to hire a campervan in order to test whether it’s suitable for your needs and provide you with a better understanding about what you need and don’t like about the campervan.

Which size Volkswagen Campervan should you prefer?

In terms of size the two options are available. You can select between the longer wheelbase (LWB) or a short wheelbase (SWB).

When we first began with our first van, we thought that having a longer wheel base means more space in the van. This, for 4 kids is a good thing. It is indeed a benefit for some, however, in addition to more space, there are certain negatives.

If you’re trying to choose between the long wheelbase van or short wheelbase vans Here are a few quick pros and cons for each model:

Short wheelbase

it is much easier to navigate small streets in rural areas and villages
it is easier to locate parking (you can squeeze the SWB into the parking space of a regular one)
Better turning circle
less expensive than an LWB

Long wheelbase

More space in the interior for a bigger kitchen , or additional storage space for campervans (about 30 centimeters more both in width and length)
More comfortable ride when dealing with bumps on the road, however, our son, who was afflicted with terrible travel sickness for the majority of his life, did absolutely fine during our 4000km journey across France with our SWB.

So which one is the best? It’s all personal preference, but considering the price variation and the tiny amount of space added and the ability to maneuver we believe the SWB is the better choice for us.

The right fittings to choose for your campervan

If you’re looking for an RV that is fully equipped certain things are considered to be essentials. In terms of essentials, that’s the bed and pop top roof. You must determine which the brand of conversion service is used for each of these since they’re not all identical.

To a certain extent there will be a limit to what the campervan conversion business offers (and can fit). There are some that don’t provide the option and that’s why it’s important to choose an option that is able to accommodate many different types and offers you the possibility of choosing.

Here’s a brief overview of the essential campervan accessories.

Campervan bed

One of the most crucial factors to take into consideration when buying your campervan is its bed. If your bed is uncomfortable it could sour the overall experience in the campervan. There are three major kinds of beds to pick from:

Premium VW campervan bed

The SMARTBed SMARTbed evolution is the latest model of bed that is set on rails. With the bed on rails it will be possible to pull the passenger seats further forward, closer to those in the front. Your children will be close to you and there’ll more storage space at the back, rather than putting things in the middle.

Mid-range VW campervan bed

RIB crash-tested beds There are a variety of levers that allow you to flip the seats to an upright position so that you can rest on the back of your seats. This helps keep the bed tidy which is an important factor for us, considering how filthy the kids get with their food on the road! Additionally, the seats have been designed with a movable headrest which makes the seats more comfy.

Do you need Isofix? If yes, you’ll need to take a look at your RIB bed. It is important to note they are taller than normal car seats and, if you own an Maxi Cosi Stage ‘zero’ Isofix base that leg won’t be able to reach the floor.

Standard VW campervan bed

Rock and Roll – The traditional seat option includes known as the Rock and Roll bed. Rock and Roll is the initial name of campervan seats which fold flat to sleep. This is much less expensive than the two above alternatives.

Front passenger seats

Prior to getting our van, we were assuming that we’d eat in the van, and that we required the double-swivel front seats to allow us to sit on the dining table. However this isn’t very practical.

If you’re not choosing the SMARTbed which allows you to pull the rails forward so that it is closer to the seats in front and the table will be too far from a single set of seats.

You may not intend to eat inside the van if it is sunny and hot. You should ensure that an outdoor table that folds and chairs are included on your list of camping essentials.

A double-front seat less comfortable than the single seat, which is a factor to consider if you plan to take long trips. The advantage of the double front seat it offers you a second seat when you have a larger family.

Campervan solar panel

Installing a solar system on your campervan is a good idea, in our opinion. It’s a green power source and can be an excellent backup power source the times you don’t have access to an electric connection.

Pop the top of the roof

If you search for the best pop roof for camping vans’ Austops will be the first result. The company is a UK manufacturer who makes the Reimo style pop top roof that has an beds that are hydraulic. Find the front spoiler, which reduces the sound of wind. The sides are tied to make sure that the top is open.

Campervan fridge

Another thing to take into consideration is the brand of the refrigerator. The most efficient refrigerator is produced from Dometic (formerly Waeco). We like how it includes an icebox as well as it can run well for three days with our battery for leisure (topped with power from solar panel).

Other campervan accessories worth considering

Campervan awnings

As beautiful and cozy like the VW campervan can be and is, it’s an excellent idea to add some space, either in the form of an awning or a tent. The advantage of an awning that can be driven away will be that you can add it of your living space and van and is necessary when camping with kids.

It can be attached using the Reimo rail and is easily detachable and remains at the campsite in case you want to reserve your site. There are a variety of different awnings available.

Vango offers a variety of awnings and they’re highly evaluated. Take note that the awning with a packed down design requires a considerable amount of space. We chose to purchase an Vango Noosa Low awning because we needed an area on our front porch that we could use to shelter and cook during rain. It was also an affordable price.

If you’re looking for an air awning that has larger space for your awning, then we suggest an awning made by Olpro. Olpro Cocoon Breeze.

Windscreen covers

They will block out the front windscreen as well as the side windows to block the sun’s early morning rays streaming into. They are also reflective , which they will stop your vehicle from heating up too much when you can’t locate shade.

Reimo rail

If you’re thinking of using an awning for your campervan, you’ll probably require the Reimo rail. It’s not essential however for an awning to be secured with the Reimo rail, you will have to put straps on the roof to secure the other side. This could result in damage, particularly when you have solar panels installed in the roof.

Bike rack

The T6 comes with a tailgate, instead of barn doors, which means you can put in a bike rack and leave it the side when opening and closing the car. For a family of four with four bikes, we suggest this Volkswagen bicycle rack.

It is able to carry a weight that is 60 kg. You have the option of opening it by placing the rack in it (not with bikes on). It is important to talk to your converter regarding fitting this since it will require an upgrade of the tailgate struts.

Alloy wheels

There is also the wide variety of wheels made from alloy. This is only a tiny example.

Things you should be aware of prior to driving away in your van

Things you must be sure to

V5 – you’ll have to be sure that you’re not leaving without the new slip for keeper that comes with the V5; and receive the new V5C within 2 to 4 weeks.
Campervan insurance – You may either contact an insurance broker to get the insurance for your VW campervan or you can arrange it yourself. We spoke to a couple of brokers and were offered quite high prices for an annual plan. It was a campervan-specific insurance policy, which included greater coverage for camping gear that was stored inside the campervan. We called our insurance company for our car and inquired how much it would cost adding the campervan the policy. They offered one-fifth of the cost. The reason for this was that we’d keep the car we have with us and use the campervan for use in recreational activities.
Habitual check-ups is carried out through the conversion company or by a third party. You will receive a certificate to verify that the tests have been completed.
Certificate of safety for the gas supply – there’s no legally required (currently) to carry out gas safety checks, but it is recommended to get an annual gas safety check. The gas test will be part of your habitation test when you purchase the campervan.
Road tax – ensure you’ve taxed your brand new vehicle using the DVLA. The dealer might cover it for the duration of the month. However, double confirm with them.