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

My sister's new 2019 MY California Ocean - thoughts and observations

Ting Tong

Ting Tong

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,357
Location
South Wales
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
As mentioned on another thread, despite my better judgement that buying a Cali a few weeks after being widowed isn't a bright idea, my sister ordered a new Cali Ocean via autoebid on 5 May 2019 and I got her the loyalty discount, so not bad at £53,322 otr for a fairly basic spec red 150 Ocean DSG inc £1,400 extras (awning, privacy glass, shower, comfort bed extension, interior light concept).

Anyway it has just arrived 1 month and 22 days after ordering it (which seemed very quick)! autoebid actually put you in touch with VW Vans Liverpool (Swansway group) and the price includes delivery to your home. She lives in Kent and the very weary delivery driver simply dropped it off (with no handover) and wanted taking to the nearest station to get a train back up north to do the same again the next day.

She’s just driven it from Kent to Cardiff via a relative in Stretham (having never driven an auto and being a bit unsure of herself and it) for me to explain and check things. She got here in one piece eventually and it is all there, apart from the emergency tie down kit and the inner end cover of the rear wiper arm, which Swansway are sending. Annoyingly, the control unit was still set to the German language but this forum gave me the solution. I was surprised that there was no safe in the wardrobe….is that correct?

Being a 2019 model it has the large new opening front in the roof bellows: it seemed a nice feature at first but I’m really glad we don’t have it. Firstly, I’m not short but it’s a bit of a stretch standing on the seats and pulling the zip over the top, especially when closing as the roof is trying to separate the zip halves. Secondly, the front of the bellows now doesn’t have the vertical strip which ensures the front is deflected inwards as the roof closes, so you kind of have to pull it all in with one hand whilst holding the button with the other. Thirdly, the front unzipping section has 2 or 3 rigid horizontal ribs which make the collapsed front very bulky and stiff, and made it extremely difficult to close the shutter. In the end, I had to almost fully close the shutter before the roof came fully down. My sister will really struggle with it: it is NOT easy or elegant at all.

The only other difference I spotted was a bigger brash chromed plastic tap that clicks up and down. Perhaps it was changed because the switch problems with old one. I seemed very plasticy.

My sister is not very mobile or with-it atm and I’m sorry to say that I don’t think she’ll get on with it. However, her 3 adult children and her grandchildren will hopefully get some use out of it and it won’t up in the for sale section on here.
 
Some things like the front opening zip beeing very hard to reach for and the tap i also noticed when checking out a new T6 in the showroom recent
 
Ours has the new bellows, I cant ever see me opening it up TBH, but its better at folding in and your comment regarding being bulky is a bonus as I find it now keeps the shutter closed due to the weight (friction) sat on it when closed.
I hope your sister does get on with it.
 
Some things like the front opening zip beeing very hard to reach for and the tap i also noticed when checking out a new T6 in the showroom recent
Yes that's it but it was chrome not grey. It looks like one of those bathroom taps where the lever goes up/down and side-to-side but this only goes up/down.

I forgot it obviously has the new storage blind behind the fridge.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002NFNEJO/?tag=eliteelect-21
 
That's a good price, we paid over £58k for a 150dsg 2wd so she shouldn't lose much if she does decide it's not for her.
 
It’s like anything new, it takes time to get use to it. At least you have this cub to support with any queries. Granny Jen travels miles with her Cali and is an expert at solo travel. Might be worth sending a message for reassurance.
 
Thing i also noticed and mentiont by others here on the forum is the sliding doors under the kitchensink/coocker are not sliding that good as they used to even from new ....
They seem to have more friction in the runners ...
 
As mentioned on another thread, despite my better judgement that buying a Cali a few weeks after being widowed isn't a bright idea, my sister ordered a new Cali Ocean via autoebid on 5 May 2019 and I got her the loyalty discount, so not bad at £53,322 otr for a fairly basic spec red 150 Ocean DSG inc £1,400 extras (awning, privacy glass, shower, comfort bed extension, interior light concept).

Anyway it has just arrived 1 month and 22 days after ordering it (which seemed very quick)! autoebid actually put you in touch with VW Vans Liverpool (Swansway group) and the price includes delivery to your home. She lives in Kent and the very weary delivery driver simply dropped it off (with no handover) and wanted taking to the nearest station to get a train back up north to do the same again the next day.

She’s just driven it from Kent to Cardiff via a relative in Stretham (having never driven an auto and being a bit unsure of herself and it) for me to explain and check things. She got here in one piece eventually and it is all there, apart from the emergency tie down kit and the inner end cover of the rear wiper arm, which Swansway are sending. Annoyingly, the control unit was still set to the German language but this forum gave me the solution. I was surprised that there was no safe in the wardrobe….is that correct?

Being a 2019 model it has the large new opening front in the roof bellows: it seemed a nice feature at first but I’m really glad we don’t have it. Firstly, I’m not short but it’s a bit of a stretch standing on the seats and pulling the zip over the top, especially when closing as the roof is trying to separate the zip halves. Secondly, the front of the bellows now doesn’t have the vertical strip which ensures the front is deflected inwards as the roof closes, so you kind of have to pull it all in with one hand whilst holding the button with the other. Thirdly, the front unzipping section has 2 or 3 rigid horizontal ribs which make the collapsed front very bulky and stiff, and made it extremely difficult to close the shutter. In the end, I had to almost fully close the shutter before the roof came fully down. My sister will really struggle with it: it is NOT easy or elegant at all.

The only other difference I spotted was a bigger brash chromed plastic tap that clicks up and down. Perhaps it was changed because the switch problems with old one. I seemed very plasticy.

My sister is not very mobile or with-it atm and I’m sorry to say that I don’t think she’ll get on with it. However, her 3 adult children and her grandchildren will hopefully get some use out of it and it won’t up in the for sale section on here.
I think the Safe may be an Option.
 
Thing i also noticed and mentiont by others here on the forum is the sliding doors under the kitchensink/coocker are not sliding that good as they used to even from new ....
They seem to have more friction in the runners ...
Have you tried a smear of candle wax on the runners? Works on wardrobe doors too.
 
Have you tried a smear of candle wax on the runners? Works on wardrobe doors too.

My doors are ok , it's the ones in the showroom @CCN i found bit difficult to slide....not gonne wax those:)
 
I think also that when you lock the van for the night from the inside via drivers door - it now won’t let you open the sliding door from inside until you unlock again from the drivers door - solves the problem of locking yourself out :)
 
I think also that when you lock the van for the night from the inside via drivers door - it now won’t let you open the sliding door from inside until you unlock again from the drivers door - solves the problem of locking yourself out :)

That doesn’t sound very safe if you need to get out in an emergency but let’s not head this thread off into another discussion on how the locks work!
 
Thirdly, the front unzipping section has 2 or 3 rigid horizontal ribs which make the collapsed front very bulky and stiff, and made it extremely difficult to close the shutter. In the end, I had to almost fully close the shutter before the roof came fully down. My sister will really struggle with it: it is NOT easy or elegant at all.

When I collected my 2017 Ocean. The dealer advised opening the 3 front doors (slider) when closing the roof.
Once the roof is over half way down, pull the shutter almost closed and leave about 2-3 inches to allow the rest of the air out and complete close the shutter once the roof is fully down.

It actually works and helps to avoid the shutter catching on the collapsed bellows.
14 months on and no damage :thumb
 
I think your sister should be supported in this difficult time in whatever endeavour she chooses. I would hope that I would be brave enough to look to the future when grieving the loss of a loved one just as it seems she is doing.
 
We have a 2019 Ocean - and enjoy the large opening in the bellow. It's true that the fabric is very stiff, once you're used to it, it's not a problem. We have bought the small ladder to enter "2. floor", and using that, it's not a problem reaching the zippers.
 
Once the roof is over half way down, pull the shutter almost closed and leave about 2-3 inches to allow the rest of the air out and complete close the shutter once the roof is fully down.
Bonkers advice. It’s expecting half the volume of air to escape from a small slot. Surely hatch is designed to be closed once once the roof is fully down. It’s almost as if the dealer thinks the problem is getting the canvas caught in the sliding hatch, when if course it’s the scissors that damage the canvas and bend the roof.
 
Bonkers advice. It’s expecting half the volume of air to escape from a small slot. Surely hatch is designed to be closed once once the roof is fully down. It’s almost as if the dealer thinks the problem is getting the canvas caught in the sliding hatch, when if course it’s the scissors that damage the canvas and bend the roof.

I was sceptical myself.
But this guy seemed to know the California product very well. He mentioned a couple of things i hadn't quite twigged on 6 years of ownership.
Having had damaged bellows on my previous van (bungee cord caused complacencies) around the point you mentioned.
I decided to take his advice.

What can i say. Over 14 months so far and no damage on my bellows.
No silly bungee cord either...!!!

Im guessing as the bellows first start to lower that's the crucial point where the air needs to escape and allow them to start folding in the correct position. At the midway point the bellow straps and bellows are pulling/folding in the right direction and the bulk of the air has left the space occupied by the pop top and it follows its natural way down. Baring in mind the remaining air still has a point of escape.
 
In the 11years on and off I have owned Californias I have never once wanted a bungee and would never use one they look crap when fitted...!!!!!
They chaff the fabric and leave it looking like a chocked chicken ...
Not for me,never felt like I needed one????
in fact an ex California owner pal of mine gave me one and it’s only ever been used as a washing line!!!
All you have to do is
head in the roof space at the start until it’s folded inward then a quick walk round just past mid way through ...
always worked for me.....I ordered a 19 cali and I’m looking forward to having this zip out bit,..surly to unzip it standing on the seat is enough??
And as for folding the canvas in I make sure it folds neatly on the way down so this will limit it bulking up in the shutter area ....
 
Im guessing as the bellows first start to lower that's the crucial point where the air needs to escape and allow them to start folding in the correct position. At the midway point the bellow straps and bellows are pulling/folding in the right direction and the bulk of the air has left the space occupied by the pop top and it follows its natural way down. Baring in mind the remaining air still has a point of escape.
I don't disagree with the fact that the 'folds' should already be established by half way down, but with half the air still in the roof, I'm not sure why you'd want to risk them unfolding by pulling the hatch across to within a few inches of being closed.
WelshGas has agreed with you, so perhaps he could give his take on it too.
I've never had much trouble pulling across the hatch with the roof fully down, so a bit puzzled by the dealer's advice. I like to arrange the folded roof a little once down to create an area of bulk that mostly stops the hatch opening during driving.
 
I don't disagree with the fact that the 'folds' should already be established by half way down, but with half the air still in the roof, I'm not sure why you'd want to risk them unfolding by pulling the hatch across to within a few inches of being closed.
WelshGas has agreed with you, so perhaps he could give his take on it too.
I've never had much trouble pulling across the hatch with the roof fully down, so a bit puzzled by the dealer's advice. I like to arrange the folded roof a little once down to create an area of bulk that mostly stops the hatch opening during driving.
When the roof is fully up with canvas sides it has an internal volume of X Litres of air.
If it is lowered to 50% height AND the canvas sides remained vertical ( which they don’t ) then the internal air volume would be X/2 L, 50% volume.
But, when the roof is lowered to 50% height the 4 sides fold inwards thus reducing the Internal air volume to about X/4 L or 25% volume. So it is perfectly reasonable to partially close the hatch at that point.
Simple observation shows that the greatest airflow through the hatch occurs when the roof closes from 100 to 50% height and there is minimum flow from 50 to 0% height.
 
When the roof is fully up with canvas sides it has an internal volume of X Litres of air.
If it is lowered to 50% height AND the canvas sides remained vertical ( which they don’t ) then the internal air volume would be X/2 L, 50% volume.
But, when the roof is lowered to 50% height the 4 sides fold inwards thus reducing the Internal air volume to about X/4 L or 25% volume. So it is perfectly reasonable to partially close the hatch at that point.
Simple observation shows that the greatest airflow through the hatch occurs when the roof closes from 100 to 50% height and there is minimum flow from 50 to 0% height.
.... Goes off to find his calculus book from uni......
 
Back
Top