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7 year long term review of our California

Aidy P

Aidy P

Don't play that 'What If?' game, you'll never win!
Messages
1,002
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Wow!! I can't believe it is seven years this month since we picked up our T6 204bhp 4Motion DSG Ocean in Acapulco blue! My youngest daughter was 6, we only had one dog and I certainly had fewer grey hairs and less creaky joints. Now I have two teens that are both taller than their mum :)

Thank you to this forum for all of the fantastic advice and content over the years. It really is a special place!

I've written a long term review on our families travel blog if anyone would like to read it. Within this there are galleries of how we've used the van over the last seven years in case you are contemplating jumping in feet first to the VW California Club.

It has been one of the best purchases of our life and I hope that in 7 years time I'll be writing a follow up review.

Happy camping & travels for 2023 and beyond!!!

vw-california-campervan-camping-french-alps.jpg
 
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Nice! We had a t4 westfalia california for 10 years and now a T6.1 california coast for a year. Time goes fast and I can only advise the doubters to take the plunge because as you say: this is one of the best purchases of your life. We were first two, then three and now four; our kids grew up with a small campervan and love every ride with it. I'm glad I can give them this. And of course me and my wife also enjoy it immensely. Wishing you 7 more (and plus) wonderful years with you cali.
 
Nice! We had a t4 westfalia california for 10 years and now a T6.1 california coast for a year. Time goes fast and I can only advise the doubters to take the plunge because as you say: this is one of the best purchases of your life. We were first two, then three and now four; our kids grew up with a small campervan and love every ride with it. I'm glad I can give them this. And of course me and my wife also enjoy it immensely. Wishing you 7 more (and plus) wonderful years with you cali.
Thank you. Writing the blog today and sorting out photos from the last seven years has made me very happy. The kids grow up so quickly… but still love it.
 
Wow!! I can't believe it is seven years this month since we picked up our T6 204bhp 4Motion DSG Ocean in Acapulco blue! My youngest daughter was 6, we only had one dog and I certainly had fewer grey hairs and less creaky joints. Now I have two teens that are both taller than their mum :)

Thank you to this forum for all of the fantastic advice and content over the years. It really is a special place!

I've written a long term review on our families travel blog if anyone would like to read it. Within this there are galleries of how we've used the van over the last seven years in case you are contemplating jumping in feet first to the VW California Club.

It has been one of the best purchases of our life and I hope that in 7 years time I'll be writing a follow up review.

Happy camping & travels for 2023 and beyond!!!

View attachment 105945

I will have a read later, but great post. This is what Cali ownership is all about.
The greatest gift to your kids. Travelling and spending time with them.
Congrats and here’s to another 7 years :cool:
 
Great blog, we're 6 months into ours, only camped once so far (it was very comfortable), been down to the Alps in it twice (such a nice van to drive.....) and looking forward to taking it to the UK next month and camping in my homeland of Cornwall.

Then back to Europe and looking forward to weekends away and big summer camping trip.

Interested in the solar panel, are they easy to retrofit (with my previous Renault camper I was told that they couldn't retrofit)

Hoping you keep enjoying California life!
 
Great blog, we're 6 months into ours, only camped once so far (it was very comfortable), been down to the Alps in it twice (such a nice van to drive.....) and looking forward to taking it to the UK next month and camping in my homeland of Cornwall.

Then back to Europe and looking forward to weekends away and big summer camping trip.

Interested in the solar panel, are they easy to retrofit (with my previous Renault camper I was told that they couldn't retrofit)

Hoping you keep enjoying California life!
Thank you. I bought our solar set up from https://www.solarcampersolutions.co.uk It took a few hours (and I'm not a DIY expert!!). It's been on for years now and just keeps on working.

Enjoy your Cali travels @kernnowkarmann
 
Great to hear about people who are still in love with their Cali! We bought our Beach Camper from West Yorkshire Van Centre last May - noticed that it is the same place as you - and Mark also dealt with our sale and handover. Excellent service. As my husband is now semi-retired we try to get away in it every week and love the opportunities it has opened up for us!
 
Great to hear about people who are still in love with their Cali! We bought our Beach Camper from West Yorkshire Van Centre last May - noticed that it is the same place as you - and Mark also dealt with our sale and handover. Excellent service. As my husband is now semi-retired we try to get away in it every week and love the opportunities it has opened up for us!
Glad to hear that Mark is still at the van centre. He was a great person to deal with. Enjoy semi retirement and beyond! x
 
Really enjoyed reading review and photos!

We are at the start of our California ownership and in a similar position to you 7 years ago.

Our 4 and 2 year old love it. We have spent our spare time so far weekend camping in the Yorkshire dales and the Peak District.

But we are about to go to Spain for 4+ weeks for our first big adventure!
 
Really enjoyed reading review and photos!

We are at the start of our California ownership and in a similar position to you 7 years ago.

Our 4 and 2 year old love it. We have spent our spare time so far weekend camping in the Yorkshire dales and the Peak District.

But we are about to go to Spain for 4+ weeks for our first big adventure!
Thank you. Your kids will love travelling in your California and you’ll create so many memories. Good look with your trip to Spain. If you get chance go to Salvador Dali’s house in Port Ligat. The kids will find it fascinating! You can also hire kayaks in the bay and as it’s shallow, it’s safe for little ones.
 
Really enjoyed reading review and photos!

We are at the start of our California ownership and in a similar position to you 7 years ago.

Our 4 and 2 year old love it. We have spent our spare time so far weekend camping in the Yorkshire dales and the Peak District.

But we are about to go to Spain for 4+ weeks for our first big adventure!
Weather in Spain is good at present like Goldilocks said not too warm and not too cold. Snow on the tops of mountains, nights can still be cool. Enjoy your trip, cafes and restaurants are very kid friendly just watch out for a few fast electric scooter users looking at their phones while riding on shared cycle -walk area.
 
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Really enjoyed reading review and photos!

We are at the start of our California ownership and in a similar position to you 7 years ago.

Our 4 and 2 year old love it. We have spent our spare time so far weekend camping in the Yorkshire dales and the Peak District.

But we are about to go to Spain for 4+ weeks for our first big adventure!
Wow, 4+ weeks in Spain. You can do so much. If you do this in the summer, know that it will be extremely hot - especially in the south. We stay away from the too hot regions, but there are plenty who don't find this a problem. Cities like Barcelona are worth a visit. Figueres with the Dali museum is also a winner (and as someone already mentioned: Casa Dali-Gala Cadaqués Portlligat). Close to L'Escala is the Empuris: very nice to visit. In my opinion, Spain is for the most part barren and empty. Don't get me wrong: I don't mean ugly because it isn't. The North is an area that we want to thoroughly visit (Basque Country); somewhat wetter but also greener. The green lung of Spain, so to speak. I suppose that after more than 4 weeks of touring around Spain you will know more than I do about this warm country. I would like to learn some more Spanish -for now it's just the bare minimum- because the Spaniards like you to be able to say a few sentences to them in their language: this opens a lot of doors figuratively.
Have a great trip!
 
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Don’t forget to purchase an air safe for the boot so you can have some air at the back at night (and a mosquito screen for the rear door too). They may sell these in the club shop. IMG_5126.jpeg
 
Wow!! I can't believe it is seven years this month since we picked up our T6 204bhp 4Motion DSG Ocean in Acapulco blue! My youngest daughter was 6, we only had one dog and I certainly had fewer grey hairs and less creaky joints. Now I have two teens that are both taller than their mum :)

Thank you to this forum for all of the fantastic advice and content over the years. It really is a special place!

I've written a long term review on our families travel blog if anyone would like to read it. Within this there are galleries of how we've used the van over the last seven years in case you are contemplating jumping in feet first to the VW California Club.

It has been one of the best purchases of our life and I hope that in 7 years time I'll be writing a follow up review.

Happy camping & travels for 2023 and beyond!!!

View attachment 105945
read it and loved it, thanks
 
Thank you. Your kids will love travelling in your California and you’ll create so many memories. Good look with your trip to Spain. If you get chance go to Salvador Dali’s house in Port Ligat. The kids will find it fascinating! You can also hire kayaks in the bay and as it’s shallow, it’s safe for little ones.
Don’t forget to purchase an air safe for the boot so you can have some air at the back at night (and a mosquito screen for the rear door too). They may sell these in the club shop. View attachment 106046
Added Port Ligat to our wish list thanks for the tips.

We have an air safe for the tailgate. But we use a slide out tray for our beach where we have our ‘kitchen’. So a mosquito screen might not work for us. Will have a look.
 
Wow, 4+ weeks in Spain. You can do so much. If you do this in the summer, know that it will be extremely hot - especially in the south. We stay away from the too hot regions, but there are plenty who don't find this a problem. Cities like Barcelona are worth a visit. Figueres with the Dali museum is also a winner (and as someone already mentioned: Casa Dali-Gala Cadaqués Portlligat). Close to L'Escala is the Empuris: very nice to visit. In my opinion, Spain is for the most part barren and empty. Don't get me wrong: I don't mean ugly because it isn't. The North is an area that we want to thoroughly visit (Basque Country); somewhat wetter but also greener. The green lung of Spain, so to speak. I suppose that after more than 4 weeks of touring around Spain you will know more than I do about this warm country. I would like to learn some more Spanish -for now it's just the bare minimum- because the Spaniards like you to be able to say a few sentences to them in their language: this opens a lot of doors figuratively.
Have a great trip!
Thanks for the tips. Most of our trip will be in April.

We have chosen Spain because from next year we will have to stick to the kids summer holidays.

We are keeping our plan fairly loose but aim to follow the coast except where there is something worth visiting inland.
 
Wow!! I can't believe it is seven years this month since we picked up our T6 204bhp 4Motion DSG Ocean in Acapulco blue! My youngest daughter was 6, we only had one dog and I certainly had fewer grey hairs and less creaky joints. Now I have two teens that are both taller than their mum :)

Thank you to this forum for all of the fantastic advice and content over the years. It really is a special place!

I've written a long term review on our families travel blog if anyone would like to read it. Within this there are galleries of how we've used the van over the last seven years in case you are contemplating jumping in feet first to the VW California Club.

It has been one of the best purchases of our life and I hope that in 7 years time I'll be writing a follow up review.

Happy camping & travels for 2023 and beyond!!!

View attachment 105945
Spooky! 7 more years from now is 14 years, which is exactly how long I've had my Cali. If I wrote a review now, it would be just as great!
 
We're 7 yrs in too, with our T5 Cali (we were the 2nd owners of our van) and love it just as much. We've had such wonderful adventures all over the UK and in Northern Spain and France. We wouldn't have anything else, and we're looking forward to another 7 years of fun and exploring at least!
 
Added Port Ligat to our wish list thanks for the tips.

We have an air safe for the tailgate. But we use a slide out tray for our beach where we have our ‘kitchen’. So a mosquito screen might not work for us. Will have a look.
Another really useful item is a travel cool bag when your're in Spain and out and about with the kids. We bought a great one from Decathlon on our first road trip in 2016. I've just added a review to my blog as you can now buy them from Decathlon in the UK from its website. The great hack with having a California is that you don't need cool packs, you can just use cold drinks from the fridge instead.

cool-bag-rucksack-review.jpg
 
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Spooky! 7 more years from now is 14 years, which is exactly how long I've had my Cali. If I wrote a review now, it would be just as great!
I’d love to read your 14 year review if you write it. These vans will outlive us all!!!
 
Another really useful item is a cooler rucksack when your're in Spain and out and about with the kids. We bought a great one from Decathlon on our first road trip in 2016. I've just added a review to my blog as you can now buy them from Decathlon in the UK from its website. The great hack with having a California is that you don't need cool packs, you can just use cold drinks from the fridge instead.

View attachment 106094
Great idea. Just ordered one of these, a cool bag was one of the last things on our list to sort
 
Great idea. Just ordered one of these, a cool bag was one of the last things on our list to sort
If you get chance, go to a big Decathlon store in France. It has now become a family event when we drive there. I’ve bought so much camping and outdoor gear and clothes from there over the years and random things like archery sets and inflatable kids body boards too!
 
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