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newbie with some really basic and silly questions!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mike1973, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Mike1973
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    Mike1973

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    Hi. I have been camping in UK/Europe for some years, but always with a car/tent combination. Now looking to upgrade to a camper and likely to settle on a VW California T6! However, I do have some really basic newbie questions!

    OK, first the big questions:

    0) California Ocean vs conversion

    I really think I'd like a VW build. ie. the Ocean. Am I crazy to think like this? Is it too expensive for what it is?

    1) Left hand vs Right hand drive

    Now I know this must seem like a crazy question given that I live in the UK, but the worst single drawback I see in the Ocean seems to be that in the UK right hand drive cab the seat one would most like to rotate to face the table is the driver seat which, of course is the seat that one would least like to rotate because it is the seat that will always be used to drive the car. In the left hand drive cab the passenger seat can be left rotated as the car is driven about. I hope this doesn't seem like a small deal to everyone but to me it is a major irksome worry! Any thoughts?

    2) Electrics. Can anyone give me any real world based predictions on how long leisure power will last for? If I am parked up, the fridge is on, the internal lights are on and I am charging some electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops... How long could I expect the leisure battery to last? And then, how long would I have to drive to top the leisure battery back up? Is a rooftop solar panel a good investment? Real world advice much appreciated!

    And the little stuff (but things that mean a lot to me!):

    3) In the Ocean, are there blinds on the cab left and right windows? I ask because when I saw the Ocean in the VW showroom I was told that only the Beach has blinds on the cab door windows. This seems kinda crazy to me - so I wanted to ask Ocean owners if their cab doors have blinds or not?!?! And if not, what do you do?

    4) How could the cab and the living area be divided by a blind/curtain? Any good solutions for this?

    Thanks in advance and sorry if these are stupid questions!

    Mike

    PS - sooo many of my other questions have been already answered in other forum posts, so thanks for that!
     
  2. GrannyJen
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    GrannyJen goody goody 2shoes Moderator Top Poster

    4,874
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    Vehicle:
    T5 SE 180 4Motion
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    2013
    I love conversions. I was looking at one when I saw a Cali in the same yard. I sat in the Cali and said "yes please". It's all so well integrated, and, quite frankly get a top of the range transporter and pay a decent converter for the rest and you are at Cali prices.

    2: Makes no difference except I prefer the UK side. To swivel the seat takes two minutes, to put it back where it was a little less, the passenger seat swivelled means banging your knees on the kitchen but hey-ho, it's a camper! If you want more then buy a big white.

    Electrics? I've wild-camped for days on end with no hook-up. I have moved so charged the leisure batteries on the move. Totally stationary I've managed 5 days and not been terribly worried.

    No idea about the Ocean but in my SE blind on every window except the cab but then it takes a couple of minutes to wrap an external blind all around that lot. I

    as for 4, why would you want to? The vehicle is small enough, it doubles in size when you include the cab area into the vista.

    Oh, a terribly warm welcome by the way! :D

    Why not hire one and live with it, perhaps go to somewhere where there are lots of them, and ask away?

    :welcome
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Jay586
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    Jay586

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    Not kidding about the cost of a Transporter, I've given up on a California for various dealer-related reasons & currently speccing a kombi. Looking at just under 30k, with very few options & a massive discount.
     
  4. Mike1973
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    Mike1973

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    Granny Jen - thanks! And great news re: electrics/battery life. I could certainly live with a 5 day leisure battery lifespan :thumb

    I really want blinds on all the windows - I appreciate the privacy and I have a feng shui aversion to curtains of any kind! Hopefully an Ocean owner can confirm. Sometimes I'll be in cities so I cant really put external blinds up. Which is also the reason I wanted to divide the cab / living area on occasion - because I want the vehicle to look unoccupied (ie. you can see into the cab) whilst I am in the back behind a divider. Again it's about the times I am in the city. In the country or a campsite it isn't such an issue.

    and thanks for the welcome! :thanks
     
  5. Stoneybroke
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    Stoneybroke VIP Member

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    Vehicle:
    T6 Beach 150
    Year:
    2016
    T6 Beach comes with cloth blinds to cover the windscreen (looped around sun blinds, etc.), and cloth blinds for side windows in cab, held on by stitched in magnets.
    When we looked at an Ocean the windscreen had pull across blinds mounted in the Pillars, that clip in the middle, I assume magnetic blinds for the side windows are the same.
    All the windows in the rear have pull down but in blinds - better than you would find in a conversion.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Glamper Gladys
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    Glamper Gladys

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    Vehicle:
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    2017
    Welcome :) ive literally only been an owner for 24 hours!! (T6 cali ocean)But i can answer the blinds question:) cab side windows don't have integral blinds but they DO have magnetic blinds that simply stick to the door frame. They are perfectly made to measure and take seconds to fit. I think you could put a curtain up by dropping it from the roof bed opening but i see no reason why you would do this with the blinds already provided. Hope that helps :)
     
  7. Days out
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    Days out

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    2016

    Hi. I have a California Ocean and can confirm that every window has a blind.

    The side windows in the cab have material blinds that clip using magnets to the door frame and the other windows including The windscreen have roller blinds built into the pillars so It's so convenient to just pull these down and get close to full black out.

    Both driver and passenger seat swivel as standard so you all can sit facing inwards

    You must NOT specify comfort or height adjustable seats which are options as the DONT swivel and you don't want that!

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Teejay1
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    Teejay1 VIP Member

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    already answered by Gladys and DaysOoot
     
  9. Days out
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    Days out

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    Here are a few photos of the downstairs bed area with the blinds down.

    IMG_1881.JPG

    IMG_1887.JPG
     
  10. Jabberwocky
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    Jabberwocky VIP Member

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    Buy a good spec Transporter and have it converted? Hmmmm..........I spoke to a well respected converter immediately before I went for a Cali from VW and, I quote, "Did you expect it to be cheaper this way!"
    Buy a Cali if you are going to spend that kind of money!
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. Mike1973
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    Mike1973

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    that's brill everyone - I think my blinds question is answered - they clip in with magnets. Seems like the sales guy didn't know this :talktothehand.

    And it would seem on a cost basis Ocean vs conversion is going to be similar... so I guess if I like the Ocean spec then should go for that.

    Still not sure about left hand/right hand drive though... I so like configuration better when it's left hand drive. But I just can't see if that's sensible for a UK registered car :confused:
     
  12. Mike1973
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    Mike1973

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  13. B J G
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    B J G VIP Member

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    Year:
    2017
    Agree with GrannyJen on conversions. On a new T6, not a used one, I looked into it and a good spec T6 plus a quality conversion was in the California price range. The Cali has little load capacity left after VW conversion & I couldn't find any quotes for converted vehicles but thought the parts used looked heavier than VW's. generally converters use a basic 102PS van for conversion so be sure to compare like for like.
     
  14. Teejay1
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    Teejay1 VIP Member

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    If you'd be happy with a lower spec van with a smaller engine and manual then it will be cheaper getting a conversion probably. Or as said buy the van you want and either take it to a converter and get it done in one or you can do it bit by bit.

    ...message ends...
     
  15. Days out
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    Days out

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    Sorry I don't but if you can imagine the fabric blinds are the exact shape of the can windows and have magnets sewn into the edge. You just clip them to the inside of the door frame and hey presto. They fold up small and I store mine in a little stowage bin on the side of my seat ready for next time.
     
  16. Jabberwocky
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    Jabberwocky VIP Member

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    Right or left hand drive?
    Its a question of how many days you will spend in UK v rest of Europe I guess. Right hand drive? Buy in UK, left hand drive? Buy in France. Why France as opposed to other continental European countries?? The French web site has some really cool options. Twin colours (if your budget stretches this far!), nice retro wheels....
    Sooooooo much cooler! Good luck........
     
  17. Teejay1
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    Teejay1 VIP Member

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    I've know a friend of mine was planning on getting a lefty. His plan is to move down south and spend lots of time on the continent, if this was the plan then a left hander could be a winner.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Days out
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    Days out

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    My advice would be go and look at a good conversion. And then look at the Cali again

    Look at the way the California has the gas bottle stored inside an apparure within the water tank to keep it cool and safe in case of an accident. The top is sealed so any gas leak could only exit beneath the vehicle safely.

    Look at the integrated blinds on all windows of a California (apart from cab of course)

    Table and chairs built into the tailgate and sliding door of California.

    Sliding rear bench seat....

    The list goes on.

    Many conversions don't have air conditioning either as they are basic vans converted. You need to compare like for like. Then look at second hand prices for California's.

    We went through the same thought process and in the end the California although expensive was the best value!!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    That bed looks ever so narrow.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. Mike1973
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    Mike1973

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    no worries. It sounds like a good enough solution from VW :)
     

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