Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop


California Gotcha's - New Beach Owners, Things to Be Aware Of!

C

Cloud Dodger

VIP Member
Messages
77
Location
South Yorkshire
Vehicle
T6 Cali On Order
Awaiting delivery of our Beach, so I am reading a lot on the forums and I keep stumbling across stories of where *new* owners have come across common issues, problems or fallen victim to common gotcha's with their Cali's and when I stumble across them I am making a mental note.

For example just read about an awning that's been ripped when closing it, seems common sense to be careful but it appears not to be common issue.

We met *flying banana* at a VW meet and he gave us some good tips regarding owning a Cali, like carrying a battery meter and amps of certain appliances.

What have you fallen victim to or learn't from that would be useful to new Cali owners, whether it's electric hook up, ramps, pop tops, screen covers, fridges, storage, batteries, seats, bike racks, fuses, central locking, parking heaters etc etc.

Would be nice to have a concise list of things to be aware of in one thread for new owners, without too much of debate around each thing.

Not sure if a list already exists?

Daz....
 
Volkywagen

Volkywagen

VIP Member
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,199
Location
Cheshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Try this for starters. This forum is the Grand Canyon of info...

 
Sandyvan

Sandyvan

VIP Member
Messages
1,175
Location
Derbyshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Try this for starters. This forum is the Grand Canyon of info...

When Camping make sure you keep a set of keys outside the van if you shut the doors.
If bad weather is predicted (windy conditions) wind your awning in before going to bed. I only got caught out the once having to get up in the middle of the night to put it away, never again.
If I'm leaving site the next day and rain is forecast I swap my silver screens for the internal blinds and lower my roof so both are not going away wet. Also turn the seats round so the internals are not getting wet while trying to do it.
 
Borris

Borris

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
3,308
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
1. Make sure the top bed mattress is pulled forward to the hatch before attempting to lower the roof.
2. Make sure you re-apply the handbrake after swivelling the drivers seat.
3. Make sure you lower one leg of the awning if rain is due.
 
Borris

Borris

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
3,308
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
The mattress should have Velcro under it to stop it slipping back.
Oh that's what that's for. Silly me. I've always found that bit of velcro annoying. It's always getting stuck to something or other. However I can honestly say that I have never asked myself, why is it there?

And now I know. Thanks.
 
Sandyvan

Sandyvan

VIP Member
Messages
1,175
Location
Derbyshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Oh that's what that's for. Silly me. I've always found that bit of velcro annoying. It's always getting stuck to something or other. However I can honestly say that I have never asked myself, why is it there?

And now I know. Thanks.
It took me until my third van to work it out, in my defence I never go into the loft and the mattress stays in its poly cover. For this one I cut the poly to expose the Velcro and it works.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
VIP Member
Messages
396
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Don't use the key fob to lock the car when sleeping, you'll set off the motion sensor alarm (unless you deactivate it). Use the lock button on the driver's door. Take a key with you if you go out to use the loo, because if you don't remember to unlock the van first, the door can relock after you.
 
MattBW

MattBW

Here to help
Moderator
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
5,604
Location
Bedworth, United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Awning, make sure its high enough before opening the drivers door, or you may catch it and scratch it.
If you have hookup put the bag over your steering wheel so you don't forget (i've never forgotten but I know others have).

Cheap 12v plug in meter is a good idea so you can keep an eye on your battery. Charging for 24hours once a month helps keep it full.

Bellows bungee... and watch the fabric in the clamps on the manual roof, fold back to avoid micro holes in it.

Ikea is your friend ;) kuggis boxes fit in the 3 seat bench (although you may need to file the box to make it smooth).
 
babble

babble

VIP Member
Messages
229
Location
Brussels
Vehicle
T6 Coast 150
open the doors to turn the front seats round! it's tempting not too, but if you try, you may damage the door finish.
 
OGII

OGII

VIP Member
Messages
88
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Cheap 12v plug in meter is a good idea so you can keep an eye on your battery. Charging for 24hours once a month helps keep it full.
51ZYeQ+9LjL._SX569_.jpg

I find one of these more useful. Most scroll through voltage, amps being drawn and temperature. Less faff than a voltmeter and bonus of usb charging too
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
VIP Member
Messages
396
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
View attachment 51140

I find one of these more useful. Most scroll through voltage, amps being drawn and temperature. Less faff than a voltmeter and bonus of usb charging too
Does it have an on/off switch? Otherwise it will draw current even though nothing is plugged in. Have you noticed any draw on your battery?
Edit: or do you just unplug it?
 
OGII

OGII

VIP Member
Messages
88
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Does it have an on/off switch? Otherwise it will draw current even though nothing is plugged in. Have you noticed any draw on your battery?
No switch. Just unplug it. But in reality the draw would be minimal unless left in for weeks at a time
 
No_heroes

No_heroes

VIP Member
Messages
101
Location
Reading
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Edit: argh just read OP that it’s a beach. I have an ocean! Apologies. Some of it may be relevant!

Additional immediate purchases (IMO):

- Gas bottle
- International plug/usb adaptor
- 25m hook up cable
- Bellows bungie
- 1 litre of engine oil

Know how to fill and empty the fresh water.

Fridge and diesel heater are easy once you have played with the control system.

In the first 6000 miles it will need a sip of oil- easy to add a small amount at a time.

The tow ball, jack and tools are in a black polystyrene unit under the back seat accessed from the boot.

Then get away for a few days and enjoy the experience. You will learn all the little gotchas and the sequential processes in which you need to do things!

The main gotcha is worrying and panicking when something goes wrong or you don’t know how to do it. DON’T! Take your time, enjoy and have fun!!
 

Our Partners

Top