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How to camp in a Caravelle (or, heaven forbid, other people carriers)?

Neilos

Neilos

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Swivel seats and being able to stand up make the difference between feeling like you’re in a Camper van and camping in a car in my opinion.

I’d try and go for a beach. You don’t need 4wd unless you regularly drive up tracks or in snow or tow boats up slipways. Even then it’s debatable.

You’ll get more toys in a velle for sure but will you care when you’re smug face pulling the nifty table out of the door for a cup of tea in your swivelled front seat with a nice view?

Just my opinion but this is the California forum. You’re sure to get biased answers!


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WelshGas

WelshGas

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I seem to be able to get an automatic 2017-ish 4WD Caravelle with reversing camera and a few other bells and whistles for around £35k.

An equivalent Beach is looking like £45k+

If I lowered my expectations and was willing to forgo 4WD and the camera (but I do want an auto), I could get a 2017+ Caravelle for around £31k or a Beach for £41k.

Spec for spec trim/drive/engine/parking assist wise, it looks like a a £10k difference most of the time.
Not quite equivalent. A Pop top roof, Diesel Parking Heater and Mains/Leisure electrics + Comfort mattress etc:, and a Sun Awningtogether with Swivel seats and camping table & chairs + storage would be more than £10K worth of extras if you tried to add them to a Caravelle.

And you would still notice the difference - Sliding door on wrong side.:thumb
 
BeagleMum

BeagleMum

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Wirral
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Thanks for the prompt replies, all makes sense so far. The difference don't seem that big between the Beach and Caravelle (except the roof), but I can see how the stowed chairs and table and blinds make the whole pull-up-and-just-camp experience a lot easier.

I'd still be interested to hear how anyone has successfully camped in a Caravelle though, whether it can be done without purchasing extra bed supports and stuff like that, or whether they're necessary because the folding seats don't make a decent bed without extras.
Major point to remember is with the roof up on the Beach you’ve got great head height to be able to fully stand up.
 
A

anothercamper

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Not quite equivalent. A Pop top roof, Diesel Parking Heater and Mains/Leisure electrics + Comfort mattress etc:, and a Sun Awningtogether with Swivel seats and camping table & chairs + storage would be more than £10K worth of extras if you tried to add them to a Caravelle.

And you would still notice the difference - Sliding door on wrong side.:thumb
All true! But I don't think I'd start chopping up the Caravelle to add a pop-top - I'd just live without that, a heater and mains connection and live/camp with it 'as is', with no expectations of it ever been a California - just a versatile family car that can double as a place to sleep if needs be :)

I would add a bed setup and probably the awning though - which I'd be looking at £1,000k for both for as far as I can tell.

Lots of decisions to make.
 
A

anothercamper

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Major point to remember is with the roof up on the Beach you’ve got great head height to be able to fully stand up.
Yep! That's one of the major draws to a Beach at the moment I think. I mean I can get a picnic table and chairs and blinds in a Caravelle (admittedly all just in the boot, nothing fancy) - but the ability to stand up inside is a big win.
 
OGII

OGII

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T6 Beach 150
I would add a bed setup and probably the awning though - which I'd be looking at £1,000k for both for as far as I can tell.
You see a lot of people using Caravelle/Multivans in Europe as pseudo campers.

As with everything VW there are many different flavours/setups of vehicles/part/half/full conversions. Some have a multifex, others a DIY alternative. As we all know the base vehicle is amazingly versatile.

I'd not spend too much, add bits as you use it and see how you get on.

Easy and cheap enough to add a leisure battery to run a fridge/coolbox, simple curtains, the rest of the must haves aren't* (*unless you want one/some/all, in which case the Beach, Ocean, GreatWhite are probably better)

Great fun working/trying it all out.
 
Perfectos

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Welcome anothercamper

I guess your asking the million Dollar question, why own a Cali vs an other vehicle, quite simply it is a personal choice for many owners, many of who have arrived a the choice of a Cali having owned many other camping vehicles.

I have owned a T5 caravelle, it was an excellent vehicle. I tried to sleep in it once, no comfort matress, no multiflex board, it was just me and Mrs P.

Without the multiflex board the bed isn’t a bed it’s a bench seat that reclines, the bench is not sufficiently long enough to lay out without your legs dangling off the end.
The lack of black out blinds was not a major problem as I used internal silver screens to black out the whole van, not ideal from space / storage point of view, but doable all the same.
My experience was a one night only affair, I would not repeat due to the extremely poor nights sleep both Mrs P and myself had, mainly due to the discomfort of the bench seat and lack of leg / head support due to the lack of multiflex and comfort matress.
The inability to stand in the Velle was restrictive for camping, but not impossible if you don’t mind being bent over when In the van.

There was no lesuire battery or 240v hook up in the Velle, so it would have been difficult to run a fridge for more than a day, without external hook up, without fully flattening the starter battery.

I have also owned a Combi which we used for tent camping,

One of the biggest single hurdles to Cali ownership, when looking outside in, is the initial outlay and justification of the additional outlay vs other vehicles.

I own a T6 Beach, 7 seats, much as Borris , very high spec DSG 150, we are a family of four, the Beach is a Daily Driver.
There are a lot of nuances between the beach and velle.
As WG said the costs of the differences between a CaliB and Velle would account for a lot of the difference in price, but there is also an element of “scene tax” to consider, this works both ways for the Cali, high initial cost, but very very good residuals.

Being a family of four a velle would not work for us, for camping, we put two up top and two down, the ability to be able to pop the roof, stand up and move around freely and with the perception of a large space does make for a better camping environment when in the van, particularly in inclement weather.

I doubt I would consider using a Velle, for camping, other than very very occasionally, and then no more than a single night, but it is possible if you want to do that, Although I have seen people sleeping in Combis also ! Which would give you an even cheaper daily driver albeit less comfort than the velle ?

It all comes down to how and when you will use your van and what your happy with.

Im not going to try to persuade you either way, other than to say, the Beach is the best VW Transporter based van I have owned, including a T2 Devon. Would I buy another Beach, definitely.
 
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Ollie913

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Newcastle
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Just browsing
Thanks for the prompt replies, all makes sense so far. The difference don't seem that big between the Beach and Caravelle (except the roof), but I can see how the stowed chairs and table and blinds make the whole pull-up-and-just-camp experience a lot easier.

I'd still be interested to hear how anyone has successfully camped in a Caravelle though, whether it can be done without purchasing extra bed supports and stuff like that, or whether they're necessary because the folding seats don't make a decent bed without extras.
Hi , we’ve had loads of t4 campers but decided to get a carravelle t5 few years ago . We bought a 174 executive, leather , heated seats etc. It’s a lovely van to drive and over the last couple of years we’ve added curtains (German company beimix or something) a swivel to the passenger seat, bought multi flex with mattress and just use a outwell dream catcher on top, ive added a night heater, 12v and hook up. The original owner had the camping chairs (Rear door) and table in the sliding door as factory extra from new) the only thing it’s missing is a kitchen but I’m making a small pod. In terms of the additional sleeping (the full width bed can easily sleep x 2 adults and a child ) we bought a autohomes Columbus roof tent which just comes off in the winter. It’s expensive but I didn’t want to chop into the roof with all the aircom being there . Again this could sleep x2 adults and a child. We’ve also added a reiki rail and a rail sail from Kiravans which is great. Add to this the fridge and vango hex abs your good to go! We’ve been all over Europe in our van and when we’re not camping it gets used as a daily driver. I would love a California but until the kids bugger off I’m sticking to this
 
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