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I want to be convinced to buy a Cali - help requested

I'm in the same situation (considering, having doubts).

The Marco Polo and Marco Polo Activity are here in Belgium/Germany/... and you can already compare specs.
It has more modern engines with Euro 6 and lower Co2 and tax.
It's a bit more expensive
It has no 7-seater option, which is a showstopper for me (looking at a Cali Beach).
So I stopped comparing.
T6 Cali should be earlier than 2018. They cannot keep producing T5 based calis if the rest of the production line (Transporter/multivan/caravelle) has been converted to T6.
 
Californiaman said:
Whilst all you folks on the fence about buying a Cali spend the weekend trying to work out if you should buy one or not... consider this: we're off camping tomorrow. Woo hoo. Get it spent... tomorrow may never come!!
We are currently in Majorca £36 return flights weather is 26 degrees, hotels very good value. each to there own.
:laugh2 :laugh2 :laugh2
 
Mazvw42 said:
Only you can convince yourself, we have had weekends and holidays away with lovely views and special memories and being able to not think about all those undone jobs and the daily grind you experience on that treed mill. I certainly would not have gone away so often if I had to pay to stay in a B&B. It's independence and a cosy place and somewhere just to sit in on an evening at your favourite venue after a day at work, eating fish and chips or using it as a picnic venue. It also drives very well and is a comfortable cruiser.
I went around the NEC on Sunday looking at the VW conversions, where you can pay to upgrade from 84bhp I think, to 102bhp? or something like that! no thanks ....I might be doing them an injustice but they also seem to use chipboard type stuff inside which looks like it comes from a 1970's kitchen. In my view, there's nothing in the VW market as good as a Cali, I didn't see anything I'd want instead. Yes it's had some issues, but it's a complicated thing and the corrosion is disappointing but VW are dealing with this. Would I buy it again with what I know now - yes I would.

Good post and an interesting point about feeling compelled to use a Cali - you get our more, push the boundaries a little and IMO, see more and do more.

I too can't believe how low rent some of the aftermarket conversions are for the money - especially with options of the 85PS engine which can hardly pull an empty panel T5 let alone a super heavy camper. And none seem to do the 4Motion version - a huge plus of the Cali IMO.
 
I went around the NEC on Sunday looking at the VW conversions, where you can pay to upgrade from 84bhp I think, to 102bhp? or something like that! no thanks ....I might be doing them an injustice but they also seem to use chipboard type stuff inside which looks like it comes from a 1970's kitchen. In my view, there's nothing in the VW market as good as a Cali, I didn't see anything I'd want instead.

I think I can echo the above. I did have a "wobble" once ordered but came away from the NEC last week in no doubt that the Cali was the right vehicle.

I'm looking forward to flexibility the vehicle will offer and already in the process of planning a 2 week tour of Scotland next summer with a 10hr MTB enduro event thrown in. :thumb

At the moment were trying to decide where to go first with the Cali and we have a long list! I suspect we will book a few days off from work and take a wander back from North Wales come 1st March 2015.
 
Hi

It's simple really...

All forums can be filled with lots of negatively but what it really boils down to is... You either want one or not know one can make up your mind and if in doubt then it's probably not for you...

Or go by a Beach there excellent wouldn't be without ours... :D

Shaun
 
Have to say we had exactly the same concerns as you, but finally went for it and picked up our pre-registered, low mileage, Cali last week - havn't stopped smiling since!

Like you we devoured every post on the forum, got a bit concerned about some of the potential problems, but then realized that a major part of a forum is helping resolve problems and a forum is were you hear about problems and go for help in solving them. We hired a conversion for a week, enjoyed the experience, but frankly it was agricultural in comparison to a Cali and we purchased the Cali, before we had even finished the trial! Go for it, life's far to short waiting for a new untried model which may or may not be good and may not appear for years. Owning a Cali opens up a whole new world, it's not just a vehicle.

This is our first post on the forum, which has helped us no end - thank you everyone - and the VIP discount have saved us lots already on accessories. Must remember to update our profile, but our Cali is a good spec SE 140, dark grey and our everyday vehicle. We live in Cornwall.

Kevin & Jenny
 
Hi Kevin and Jenny,

Congratulation on your new Cali and long may the grinning continue :D

Maud
 
These people chose not to buy a Cali (or a T2) and it looks like they regretted it...

YM0B1922_zpsc49ccbad.jpg
 
Siren said:
Have to say we had exactly the same concerns as you, but finally went for it and picked up our pre-registered, low mileage, Cali last week - havn't stopped smiling since!

Like you we devoured every post on the forum, got a bit concerned about some of the potential problems, but then realized that a major part of a forum is helping resolve problems and a forum is were you hear about problems and go for help in solving them. We hired a conversion for a week, enjoyed the experience, but frankly it was agricultural in comparison to a Cali and we purchased the Cali, before we had even finished the trial! Go for it, life's far to short waiting for a new untried model which may or may not be good and may not appear for years. Owning a Cali opens up a whole new world, it's not just a vehicle.

This is our first post on the forum, which has helped us no end - thank you everyone - and the VIP discount have saved us lots already on accessories. Must remember to update our profile, but our Cali is a good spec SE 140, dark grey and our everyday vehicle. We live in Cornwall.

Kevin & Jenny

Welcome! Where in Cornwall? We're in Polzeath. Wave if you see a grey Cali with side bars!
 
Hi - Thanks for the welcome. We are in Fowey, but get up to the North Coast quite often, so would be good to meet up at some point. Our Cali is also natural grey, but no side bars, 140 manual. See quite a few Calis around. but not sure if they live here or just on tour.
Will look out for you! Kevin & jenny
 
Siren said:
Hi - Thanks for the welcome. We are in Fowey, but get up to the North Coast quite often, so would be good to meet up at some point. Our Cali is also natural grey, but no side bars, 140 manual. See quite a few Calis around. but not sure if they live here or just on tour.
Will look out for you! Kevin & jenny

I'd say 95% or more are tourists!
I used to spend a lot of time in Fowey; a good friend lived there (his Mum ran the chandlery nearest the water for years); fun times!

Shout if you have any questions; had ours three years now so reasonably "experienced" I think.
 
Hi. Brilliant decision! We live in Phillack near Hayle, so if you see a blue California with a bearded chap driving, that would be me. Give us a wave!
 
Phillacks lovely too!
Used to live in Malpas near Truro so not too far away. Many nights spent "holidaying" in the Cali in our own county in various areas!
 
Slightly worried I might be leading the subject away from the original thread - but then again if you want to be convinced about buying a Cali, look no further than the enthusiasm for Cali's shared by their owners here!
Thank you both KernowLad and Mac of Phillack for your welcome, I'll look out for you both. At some point (and on a different thread!) would like to check where you go for servicing and any advise re dealer servicing. I'll post a new thread at some point - but hopefully not for a while!
 
My advice would be to buy used, see if you like camping, see if you like staying on campsites and see if you like the van.

We had lots of discussions about whether to buy a camper at all, and then if we do, which do we buy, and then do we buy new or used.

In the end we got bored of talking about it and we bought a 3 year old T5 because we were confident we could sell it for a decent price if we decided the whole camper thing wasn't for us.

We haven't had any problems with ours and we think it's an amazing machine and we love the flexibility it offers, we actually planned to go to Croatia this year, but changed our minds en route to go to Italy because of the weather forecast.

We think it's perfect for weekend tips and we probably went away 7-8 weekends this year, and once we decided to go away for the weekend when we got home from work on the Friday night.

However, after our 3 week summer holiday in Italy and we came to the conclusion that the campervan / campsite thing isn't entirely for us. We actually find it all a bit too hard work and stressful at times, and somehow there doesn't seem to be anytime to just relax. My main problem is the setting / packing up, it’s a good hour of work, and is a miserable experience if it’s cold and wet.

I want to go away and relax and come back feeling refreshed and like I have had a holiday, and I came back ready for a holiday. We now need to think whether it's worth having out T5 only for weekends, because I want a proper holiday next summer.
 
Gilesyboy said:
However, after our 3 week summer holiday in Italy and we came to the conclusion that the campervan / campsite thing isn't entirely for us. We actually find it all a bit too hard work and stressful at times, and somehow there doesn't seem to be anytime to just relax. My main problem is the setting / packing up, it’s a good hour of work, and is a miserable experience if it’s cold and wet.

People's perception on this is really quite varied and I guess a lot comes down to what you take and how you pack it.

We've got it so that we can be sat relaxing in around 15 minutes from arriving if we want to. Of course that doesn't include putting up an awning but it could include putting the pop up storage tent up. Of course it does take a little longer if I'm having a beer at the same time :laugh2

We also make things somewhat difficult for ourselves as our little boy sleeps in the 'boot' so that has a bearing on how we pack the van.

What do you do that takes you an hour?

For us we like the flexibility to pack away the beds, throw the loose stuff into the pop up, drop the roof and drive away for the day. Or if we are moving across country we can drive all day, stop for a few hours sleep in an Aire or something and then move on again until we get to where we want to be.
 
What do you do that takes you an hour?

Maybe we're lazy and slow, but from the time we finish our breakfast and coffee, we need at least an hour to be ready to leave the campsite, in no particular order, we:
- Wash-up breakfast stuff and previous evening's wine and whisky glasses :D
- Put / tidy away everything from inside i.e. charging cables, ipad, clothes, laundry, cutlery, crockery, bedding, toiletries, towels, blinds, window screens, turn the chairs, etc.),
- Unpeg everything outside, roll in awning, fold awning side covers and floor covering and put back in bags
- Put bikes on (we carry 2 that won’t fit on without turning handle bars) unlock, get ready, put on, relock
- Close the roof
- Move the van to get off the chocks, pack the chocks
- Put away, and clean if it needs it, everything from outside (table, chairs, gas cooker, electric hookup cable, leveling chocks, awning sides, awning floor cover)
- Quick clean inside (brush the dust out, wipe stuff etc)
- Take the bin bags, wine bottles to the recycling etc.

I am sure I have forgotten something, but nevertheless it’s a fair to do list.

What don't you do?
 
We don't,

Use bicycles
Have awning sides
Have awning flooring
Have levelling chocks
Use hook up cable, unless staying more than 2 nights.

We used to camp on motorcycles so the Cali is absolute luxury, we are not needing a lot of the extra stuff that people carry about.
 
Hi Gilesyboy,
That does sound like a lot of faffing around each day and I can see how that would take you a good hour to do. You may have already considered this (and ruled it out), but could you try a drive-away awning instead of the awning side panels? That would then eliminate the need to do many of your morning jobs and you could just 'unhook' the awning, leave things in there that you don't need for that particular outing, lower the roof and go. This is what I plan to do (we already have a touring caravan so we are used to leaving stuff in the caravan/awning and just driving away for the day).

Just a thought as it seems a shame to give up on it before trying every option...

Maud
 
Gilesyboy said:
My advice would be to buy used, see if you like camping, see if you like staying on campsites and see if you like the van.

This is good advice.

We bought the cheapest Westfalia Cali we could find, with a view to keeping it for a year to see if we liked the camper van life and if we had the time to really use it. Then we were going to sell it and either go back to the tent or buy a newer van.

Three years later we still have the same van. It turns out that it does everything we want. We can drive it places and camp in it. It carries the bikes and the walking kit. I can drink tea until I drown in it.

I'll admit that this year has been a bit trying, amazing how many problems the failure of a £5 component can cause…

With regards to campsites - you don't actually need one every night when you have a camper van do you? When you wake up to this, why the rush to leave?

file_zpsd6b76d22.jpg
 
leave things in there that you don't need for that particular outing, lower the roof and go
I am actually just talking about when you're leaving the campsite and not coming back. The thought of packing up, going somewhere for the day and then returning to the same spot and the unpacking again has never actually crossed my mind, well until now, and I don't want to think about it :D
 
Hello, having recently joined the forum, it didn't take me too long to make my mind up about placing my order for my new Cali. I've had an old camper van (not a VW) now for some 6 years , using it frequently over the summer with the wife and kids. We have found a mutual love for the outdoor life and the joy and freedom that it brings. Life is far too short to ponder about such things, if you can afford it- Do it! Catch the bus now, there may not be another one around the corner.

DESMODOM. Red 180 on order.posting.php?mode=reply&f=8&t=8281#
 
Gilesyboy said:
What do you do that takes you an hour?

Maybe we're lazy and slow, but from the time we finish our breakfast and coffee, we need at least an hour to be ready to leave the campsite, in no particular order, we:
- Wash-up breakfast stuff and previous evening's wine and whisky glasses :D
- Put / tidy away everything from inside i.e. charging cables, ipad, clothes, laundry, cutlery, crockery, bedding, toiletries, towels, blinds, window screens, turn the chairs, etc.),
- Unpeg everything outside, roll in awning, fold awning side covers and floor covering and put back in bags
- Put bikes on (we carry 2 that won’t fit on without turning handle bars) unlock, get ready, put on, relock
- Close the roof
- Move the van to get off the chocks, pack the chocks
- Put away, and clean if it needs it, everything from outside (table, chairs, gas cooker, electric hookup cable, leveling chocks, awning sides, awning floor cover)
- Quick clean inside (brush the dust out, wipe stuff etc)
- Take the bin bags, wine bottles to the recycling etc.

I am sure I have forgotten something, but nevertheless it’s a fair to do list.

What don't you do?

Ok, well that's quite comprehensive!!

Some of the things you list I would not factor in simply because I consider them to be routine daily tasks and not related specifically to the Cali. For example the washing up, putting every day things away - We tend to put something away once it's been used.

We have never found a need to use chocks, don't even carry them now.

We don't always put the awning out.

We have a dustpan and brush but also carry a handheld Dyson. We try to keep on top of the cleaning throughout the stay.

If you're going out for the day you don't need to pack up the EHU cable. Ditto the bikes, if you don't plan to ride them don't take them (assuming there is a secure place to lock them).
 
This is my 3rd VW T5 camper van and my 2nd Cali, its my daily drive, its 13 months old and 15000 miles on the clock. People tend to get a bit ++++ about their Cali's, its a vehicle and it does exactly as it says on the tin.Some people have 5 year old Cali's with 5000 miles on the clock whats the point of that. Buy one, use it and enjoy it!
 

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