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Just back from first night away...what worked AND what didn't.

Discussion in 'VW California Beach Chat' started by Steve39, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. capt_steve
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    capt_steve VIP Member

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    Transmission:
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    Vehicle:
    Cali now sold
    Year:
    2017
  2. Stuart
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    Stuart VIP Member

    535
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    Transmission:
    Manual
    Vehicle:
    T6 Beach 150
    Fair point. I've never used leveling ramps
     
  3. zeratul
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    zeratul VIP Member

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    Transmission:
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    Vehicle:
    T5 Beach 4Motion
    Year:
    2015
    Regarding storing and organising stuff at night.

    Ikea ALEX (see topic on this forum https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/ikea-alex-kitchen-pod-diy.13922/) works very well in the beach to store lots of stuff. You could use it unmodified (without kitchen sink) and I will do it for the next version as well. More room, less work.
    Also we have this shelve and hooks bar where we store things like sunglasses, mobile phones etc at night and towels to dry during the day : https://calitop.eu/?cat=c5_Shelves-Shelves-5.html&cPath=5

    In my experience, after a couple of nights/holidays, you develop a system that limits the amount of stuff to move around and everything finds its place. We never bother swivelling the front seat anymore. To much hassle and we use the seat to store child seats and some bags during the night. We are 5 and we sit either 4 on the bench and 1 on the passenger seat, or 3 on the bench, one on Porta potti and one of the passenger seat. We do have a EU version though so the passenger seat is near the sliding door.
     
  4. Esandar#1
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    Esandar#1

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    Location:
    South West
    Transmission:
    Auto
    Vehicle:
    T6 Beach 150
    Year:
    2017
    "Overall the van did its job as a tent on wheels perfectly". TENT ON WHEELS?!?!?!?

    What we love about our Beach (the Cali generally) is just how quiet it is when in bed downstairs. Upstairs is like a tent - in terms of noise - but downstairs is hotel-like! (Well, a little poetic licence!) The bed in the 3 seater bench is jusy huge.

    Levelling blocks are a must in my view, as very few campsites are flat and it yet with the levelling blocks (and the small spirit level that lives in our van) I can always get it flat, front to back, left to right. There are usually a few rocks or logs around that you can wedge under one wheel to allow you to take handnrake off to sweivel the drivers door.

    Storage - we bought some large long thin Asda plastic boxes with sturdy snap on lids. The four boxes store most of what we need and the beauty is that as soon as we arrive on any campsite they can either slide under the van (very easily accessible but out of sight) or go in the pop up 2-man pup tent that acts as our store area / pitch saver (if we need to take the van off during the day). We alos bought some midge net and some small magnets and made two (waterproof) screens that allowed us to leave the sliding windows open but keep the mossies out. This we thought would be esential in Italy (at the Italian lakes this summer, but there were hardly any mossies to be seen anywhere in Italy. I think they all prefer the wetter climate of the UK!

    There are some storage issues & solutions but we (2 adults, two boys aged 10 &13) toured Europe for three weeks this summer with a big fridge in the van (behind passenger seat) and managed without many rows! It was on this trip that finally we saw some value from the wind out awning.

    Enjoy your Beach!
     
    • I Like That! I Like That! x 1
  5. Steve39
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    Steve39 VIP Member

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    Location:
    Bristol
    Transmission:
    Auto
    Vehicle:
    T6 Beach 150
    Year:
    2018
    Yeah sorry, 'tent on wheels' doesn't really do it justice. We seriously love it and just wish we'd been able to buy one sooner. I haven't set foot in my other car since we got it and have taken to wearing sunglasses when driving even when the weather is [email protected]#t
     
  6. BerndRos
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    BerndRos VIP Member

    1,283
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    Location:
    Plymouth
    Transmission:
    Auto
    Vehicle:
    T5 SE 180
    Year:
    2010
    My view is sleep up top every night, in fact of the many hundreds of nights I have slept in the Cali,only one night has been down below, in a Waitrose car park along the M4 corridor on the way to a motor racing weekend meet near Oxford.

    Never again, I love the freedom of ‘up above’
     
  7. Smiffy4bikes
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    Smiffy4bikes VIP Member

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    Location:
    London
    Transmission:
    Auto
    Vehicle:
    T6 Ocean 204
    Year:
    2016
    "Windscreen was pretty misted up in the morning and there was some condensation upstairs around the metal parts on the hatch. Is this normal, will an external screen help?"

    I find the best way to avoid this is to leave the heater on overnight, and set the temp rating to 1 or 2. Its thermostatically triggered, so if the temp drops it’ll kick in automatically. The lower setting is just enough to keep the edge off at night, and, the condensation at a minimum!

    I also use a Comfortz thermo screen on the windscreen/front passenger doors which really helps with the condensation on the windscreen. The other addition you may want to consider is the Comfortz internal bellows for the pop-top bellows which for me has been a total game-changer. Not cheap but once fitted can be left in place. Works brilliantly at keeping the cold out and the heat in, all year round. Don’t forget, sleeping up top is effectively like sleeping in a tent, the upstairs temp can be pretty cold at night from about September thru to March.

    Both of these item are available from the club shop, if you’re not already then become a VIP member as the savings are well worth it.
     
  8. zeratul
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    zeratul VIP Member

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    Transmission:
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    Vehicle:
    T5 Beach 4Motion
    Year:
    2015
    This time of year, condensation is almost unavoidable IMO (at least when sleeping with 5 persons). But good ventilation and heater on (or not) are the best options. We also have a thermal external windscreen, and it makes moisture to set on metal parts instead of the front window. Which is good, when you want to leave early - the rest dries naturally
     
  9. CALI FATE
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    CALI FATE

    756
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    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Transmission:
    Manual
    Vehicle:
    T6 Beach 150
    Year:
    2016
    'And lastly a word about my loo. My god the hours I spent on here reading about people's preferences and habits'

    haha - im glad your loo is so comfy - i can only manage about 10 mins at a stretch even if the view is magnificent
     
  10. Jaunty
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    Jaunty VIP Member

    29
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    1
    Location:
    London
    Transmission:
    Auto
    Vehicle:
    T5 SE 174 4Motion
    Year:
    2015
    'And lastly a word about my loo. My god the hours I spent on here reading about people's preferences and habits'

    Steve39 - I am also reading loads about loos, as new Cali SE owner!! The Pett one looks great, and for very rare/emergency use I think better than a Porta Potti. Is it still in service, happy with it? Also, I know "inside" use is not ideal, but if it saves the Missus from embarrassing herself (and saves the interior of the Cali) do you have any idea if it will fit between the downstairs bed set up and the swivelled front passenger seat? Thanks for any info! Sean
     

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