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Caravelle or California?

M

MrsC

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Suffolk
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Just browsing
We are a family of 5 (2 children in high back boosters) and want to get van than can be used for long comfortable journeys.

if the California is made as a 7 seat, how easy would it be to use as a camper?

Any advice, tips, experience gratefully received.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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Royal Borough of Greenwich
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T6 Beach 150
We are a family of 5 (2 children in high back boosters) and want to get van than can be used for long comfortable journeys.

if the California is made as a 7 seat, how easy would it be to use as a camper?

Any advice, tips, experience gratefully received.
We take the two additional seats out when camping.

The lower bed is plenty big enough for 3 children.

Our two boys are in Group 2 child seats. On the bench seat there is sufficient room for an adult to sit between them.

The large bed can be made with 7 seats. Shorten the multiflex, drop the bench to bed mode, fold the single seats forward and you have a 150 x 200 double bed base. Mattress on top and you are done.

I’d still recommend removing the two additional seats for camping to give you more room inside.
 
M

MrsC

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Thanks Amarillo, do you use a side awning (not sure what to call it) when camping to give extra space?

Oldest son is 11 and the two youngest (4 and 5) are only getting bigger so I’m conscious of optimising space.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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Thanks Amarillo, do you use a side awning (not sure what to call it) when camping to give extra space?

Oldest son is 11 and the two youngest (4 and 5) are only getting bigger so I’m conscious of optimising space.
Our boys are 4 (just) & 5.

Last year we spent a full year living in our van in 33 different European countries.

We have a driveaway awning which was our kitchen, dining room and storage.

We also have side panels for the wind out awning.
 
zinglefiffy

zinglefiffy

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Lancashire
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T6 Cali On Order
Not much to add to Amarillos vast knowledge but just a :welcome - and we are in almost identical setup. Three kids, of 9,4,3 age.
We have a 7 seat Beach on order, due to arrive mid May.
One of the tests before ordering was to fir the 3 seater bench with 2 Maxi-Cosi Tobi and a Britax Romer Adventure in a row and they all fit - they don't even 'lean-in' to the neighbouring seat space so we can have an adult sat on the bench with the two Maxi-Cosis in place without them being squished at the shoulders.
Also it was pointed out on another thread that even on a one-night stopover, you'll likely want storage outside the van to stash the child seats.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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Not much to add to Amarillos vast knowledge but just a :welcome - and we are in almost identical setup. Three kids, of 9,4,3 age.
We have a 7 seat Beach on order, due to arrive mid May.
One of the tests before ordering was to fir the 3 seater bench with 2 Maxi-Cosi Tobi and a Britax Romer Adventure in a row and they all fit - they don't even 'lean-in' to the neighbouring seat space so we can have an adult sat on the bench with the two Maxi-Cosis in place without them being squished at the shoulders.
Also it was pointed out on another thread that even on a one-night stopover, you'll likely want storage outside the van to stash the child seats.
Car seats can also go in driver and passenger foot wells and under the multiflex.

We have built a multiflex extension giving us a fixed 1.0 x 1.5m bed behind the bench seat. This is plenty big enough for two little boys.
 
M

MrsC

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That sounds amazing! A summer touring Europe is the dream!
 
2haw

2haw

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Essex
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T6 Beach 150
We're a family of 5, (13, 7 & 5) and have had a 7 seater Beach for the last 3 years. It is a great everyday family MPV which can also be used as a camper when required. However, whenever we go away, we always remove the 2 single seats. I would imagine it would be very tight for space with all seats in place!

We don't camp often in it, but with the excellent residual values, I don't think you can beat a California as a great family car.

My young girls love putting the roof up and playing in it whilst my son is playing football or Karting.

We also often get a takeaway of pizza and pasta, head to the seafront, put the table and roof up and chill out. My kids love this.

I really like the Caravelle too but I would recommend you spend the extra money on the more versatile Beach. I believe that you will also get that extra cost back should you decide to sell.
 
Borris

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Your thread is entitled - Caravelle or Beach?

Unless you want two sliding doors or need a longer wheel base go for the seven seater Beach. It's much more versatile and costs about the same.

With the Beach you can have the same seven seat configuration but it's also a camper van with two double beds and blinds etc. With the roof up you can stand up in the Beach. I'd order the diesel parking heater on either vehicle as it is the best factory option man or woman can buy. It's also essential on a 365 day a year camper-van. The front seats swivel on the Beach and you also get a picnic table and chairs as standard. Order the awning as it's a very useful addition. You can also convert into an awning room with the kit from the club shop.
 
Last edited:
Perfectos

Perfectos

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397
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Hertfordshire
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T6 Beach 150
Wot Borris said and the previous posters.

Can’t really add anything else except to say I used to have a caravelle, great vehicle, I now have a Cali Beach because it’s way more flexible for camping with all the Advantages of a caravelle (except the additional sliding door) and more
 
Nolan

Nolan

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117
Location
Chichester
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T6 Beach 150
We have a 7 seater Beach and it's a very versatile vehicle, like Amarillo we take the two additional seats out when camping to free up space to use the table.

It's useful to have an additional tent or awning so camping doesn't become a sliding block puzzle of repacking stuff and you have somewhere to leave things while you're out for the day (nothing valuable of course) while also keeping your pitch. We got the cheap(iso) Decathlon air beam and it's fine.

Kids love being upstairs but we've learned not to let them get up there too soon as setting up the van (table etc) without the internal roof pushed up is a recipe for getting a bad back!

With the two seats removed we travel with the bench pushed forwards as otherwise the kids moan about feeling sick, must be a bit bouncy in the back even though we have the lowering springs fitted.
 
M

MrsC

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4
Location
Suffolk
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Just browsing
We're a family of 5, (13, 7 & 5) and have had a 7 seater Beach for the last 3 years. It is a great everyday family MPV which can also be used as a camper when required. However, whenever we go away, we always remove the 2 single seats. I would imagine it would be very tight for space with all seats in place!

We don't camp often in it, but with the excellent residual values, I don't think you can beat a California as a great family car.

My young girls love putting the roof up and playing in it whilst my son is playing football or Karting.

We also often get a takeaway of pizza and pasta, head to the seafront, put the table and roof up and chill out. My kids love this.

I really like the Caravelle too but I would recommend you spend the extra money on the more versatile Beach. I believe that you will also get that extra cost back should you decide to sell.
This is really useful and definitely makes me sway more towards the beach. Just got to convince my husband!
 
blondebier

blondebier

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408
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Sussex
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T6 Beach 150
If you need another convincing argument your husband may be able to relate to "man maths".

The residuals for the Caravelle vs California are compelling.
 

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