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Question from Beginners: Knowing what you know now, what would be your top five "must-have" accessories for the Cali?

Brino

Brino

VIP Member
Messages
6
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
We're getting our VW California Ocean in less than two weeks and are taking everyone's advice, in that, we won't be buying any accessories until we've had a few trips out in it. You know, to see what we actually need.

But I'm curious. Many of you will be lucky enough to have had a Cali or converted Transporter for a while. You've been there. You've learnt the lessons. You've camped in warm and cold weather. You've done weekend breaks and longer road trips. You've been through a lot together.

With all of your collected wisdom, what would you say are the top five accessories for the van? You know, to help the beginners amongst us.

Personally, we've got our eye on some seat covers, carpet and Portapotti all from Brandrup (and the obvious stuff like electric plug-up thingy, gas bottle, etc). But what else? Or can you confirm these are wise first investments? Cheers, Kate
 
Michael Meade

Michael Meade

VIP Member
Messages
16
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
No one has mentioned a solar panel which we have found very valuable and comforting when facing into wild camping nights. We really never need hook up power at all. Apart from the environmental benefits there is a payback calculation that might justify it too.
 
Julesa

Julesa

Messages
21
Location
Midlands
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Ridgemonkey
Cadac
Rainbow Thermal windscreen cover
Duvalay mattress toppers
Silicone mats/worktop protectors
 
Brino

Brino

VIP Member
Messages
6
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Great Question
Enjoying & Learning from the responses.

Ok...based 2 x Adults 1 x Vizsla

1. Comfortz VW Awning Kit
Started with the Vango AirHub Hexaway. OMG what a monster, great if your a family but 2 x adults way too much. Awning kit rocks, keeps agile, super quick to put up, flexible panels, quick to pack and go.

2. Cafetière French Press
Forget the dangerous glass, or the possible explosion of Italian express maker, keep it simple. Amazon link below
French

3. Cornillon Seat and Storage
Fits perfectly behind passenger seat when driving. Make no mistake get one ☝
Seat and Store

4. Premium Dog Tie-Out stack
Enough said

5. DAB radio to power off the leisure battery BT to speaker
DAB
 
Agnes

Agnes

Messages
7
Location
Nottingham UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
We're getting our VW California Ocean in less than two weeks and are taking everyone's advice, in that, we won't be buying any accessories until we've had a few trips out in it. You know, to see what we actually need.

But I'm curious. Many of you will be lucky enough to have had a Cali or converted Transporter for a while. You've been there. You've learnt the lessons. You've camped in warm and cold weather. You've done weekend breaks and longer road trips. You've been through a lot together.

With all of your collected wisdom, what would you say are the top five accessories for the van? You know, to help the beginners amongst us.

Personally, we've got our eye on some seat covers, carpet and Portapotti all from Brandrup (and the obvious stuff like electric plug-up thingy, gas bottle, etc). But what else? Or can you confirm these are wise first investments? Cheers, Kate
Shelf above the kitchen gives sooo much more room for stuff when cooking and even when roof is down.
 
F

Ferring-about

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
27
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Ask 100 Cali owners and you,lol get 110 different opinions, all completely subjective.

Here’s mine. Not sure of the logic of having seat covers AND carpet. Presumably you want seat covers cos you’re messy, have mucky pups etc.? If so, do you really want carpets, to catch all that crud, rather than brush-out, wipe clean flooring.?

(Rather than carpet, We just have a nice Welsh woven rug, that we shake out every morning, and goes in the washing machine once in a while).
We use old towels, dog towels to be precise, as the dogs sleep in between the front and rear seats mostly. Two over the rear seats and a couple on the floor to absorb the inevitable moisture brought in! We are thinking about front seat covers but are not yet sure.
 
F

Frans_T5

Messages
16
Location
Netherlands
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
We're getting our VW California Ocean in less than two weeks and are taking everyone's advice, in that, we won't be buying any accessories until we've had a few trips out in it. You know, to see what we actually need.

But I'm curious. Many of you will be lucky enough to have had a Cali or converted Transporter for a while. You've been there. You've learnt the lessons. You've camped in warm and cold weather. You've done weekend breaks and longer road trips. You've been through a lot together.

With all of your collected wisdom, what would you say are the top five accessories for the van? You know, to help the beginners amongst us.

Personally, we've got our eye on some seat covers, carpet and Portapotti all from Brandrup (and the obvious stuff like electric plug-up thingy, gas bottle, etc). But what else? Or can you confirm these are wise first investments? Cheers, Kate
One of our best investments
Mosquito net sliding door and sliding window.

Two of the 110 opinions

Greets from the Neterlands...

20190703_210241.jpg
 
Houchen

Houchen

VIP Member
Messages
7
Location
Somerset
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
  1. Carpet for the front of the van - the brandrup one is good - could live without but it’s the first thing we bought (protects that area between the front seats that is not particularly well carpeted)
  2. Cadac stove/portable bbq - it’s superb
  3. Ridge monkey
  4. Outdoor mat/rug
  5. Levelling ramps
Other things worth a mention.

  • Coleman event shelter if going away with other a nice place to sit and chat in the evening - without the dew soaking you.
  • We have a beach - we use a Coleman insulated cool box. This is excellent and does not require power - just swap out of ice packs.
  • A decent windbreak.
  • Jetboil for quick brews.
  • Small trug for washing up.
  • Some lights to hang off the awning - for the festival vibe
Things I’d like to get but haven’t yet - calitopper, van cover (as it won’t fit in the garage), in our beach an alternative to the standard vw ‘comfort mattress’ - as the one that comes with the van is about as comfortable as a brick.
 
DavidGPhillips

DavidGPhillips

David
VIP Member
Messages
11
Location
Isle of Harris
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
We're getting our VW California Ocean in less than two weeks and are taking everyone's advice, in that, we won't be buying any accessories until we've had a few trips out in it. You know, to see what we actually need.

But I'm curious. Many of you will be lucky enough to have had a Cali or converted Transporter for a while. You've been there. You've learnt the lessons. You've camped in warm and cold weather. You've done weekend breaks and longer road trips. You've been through a lot together.

With all of your collected wisdom, what would you say are the top five accessories for the van? You know, to help the beginners amongst us.

Personally, we've got our eye on some seat covers, carpet and Portapotti all from Brandrup (and the obvious stuff like electric plug-up thingy, gas bottle, etc). But what else? Or can you confirm these are wise first investments? Cheers, Kate
My list would be seat covers, porta potti, collapsible kettle, levelling Ramos and awning tie-down.
 
threetone

threetone

Messages
23
Location
Belgium
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
1. Upgrade for the matresses.
2. Little garbage bin that fits behind the seat.
3. Ikea boxes for organising the kitchen and boot.
4. Vw Monster mats for the front section.
5. Still looking for a similar quality rubber mat for the living room section.
 
F

Frans_T5

Messages
16
Location
Netherlands
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
Netherlands pffff sorry...
Ahhhh forgotten to mention,
Besides all the seat covers we have, we also have the Brandrup seat pockets.
A must to have, highwind guidelines for the awning.
Make sure you have the roof rail on both sides.
I have fabricated a transparent rain protection which I can slide in the rail above the sliding kitchen window, so we can leave this window open during rainfall. It is simple but most effective.
We also have a small electric heater 300-600Watt, we use our axillary diesel heater but she is noisy.. so not convenient over longer periods.
I probably have forgotten something..items

20190702_193439.jpg

20190702_193349.jpg
 
J

Jill&Graeme

Messages
8
Location
Perth
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
We are newbies and the Cali we bought had carpet and seat covers and would highly recommend.
Next would be the electric hook up cable - 25m, with winder; travel adaptor with USB; chargeable mosquito with light.
If sleeping downstairs topper is a must.
Washable double duvet set with small double fitted sheet.
Kettle, collapsible bucket.
 
RichardH

RichardH

VIP Member
Messages
79
Location
West Yorks
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
We're getting our VW California Ocean in less than two weeks and are taking everyone's advice, in that, we won't be buying any accessories until we've had a few trips out in it. You know, to see what we actually need.

But I'm curious. Many of you will be lucky enough to have had a Cali or converted Transporter for a while. You've been there. You've learnt the lessons. You've camped in warm and cold weather. You've done weekend breaks and longer road trips. You've been through a lot together.

With all of your collected wisdom, what would you say are the top five accessories for the van? You know, to help the beginners amongst us.

Personally, we've got our eye on some seat covers, carpet and Portapotti all from Brandrup (and the obvious stuff like electric plug-up thingy, gas bottle, etc). But what else? Or can you confirm these are wise first investments? Cheers, Kate
Persian Rug (to go on top of fitted carpet).
Faux wolf-skin throw (to go on top of duvet in winter).
Stove-top expresso coffee maker.
Porcelain cups and nice wine glasses.
Fitted sheets.
Water filter (for making drinkable tea once your tankful of Yorkshire water runs out).
ACSI and France Passion memberships.
Carbon Monoxide sensor (just in case).

Plus all the usual necessities such as collapsing kettle, collapsing bucket, plug for overseas sinks, long electrical connector lead, water hose pipe, loo that fits under the sink, Cadac / Cobb, covers for mattress & rear luggage cushion, mat for outdoors and door-mat, tool-kit.

Don’t bother with seat covers (the originals are robust and easy to clean), toppers, levellers, extra storage units.

But that’s just the way we like it. For others it will be quite different. That’s one of the great things about the Cali - it’s flexible and competent enough to fit into many different life-styles, it doesn’t force you into its own!
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

VIP Member
Messages
176
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Agree with @andyinluton and if you take the spare wheel safe to your collection our dealer fitted it for me on the spot (saved me bodging it later)
I bought the cadac and so far not used it but I’ve used my little cartridge stove extensively £10 in go outdoors sale and £10 for 8 cartridges versus £135 for the cadac safari chef - just saying. :thumb :thumb
I love my decathlon cheap cartridge stove, but it’s useless outdoors if it’s a little windy.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

VIP Member
Messages
176
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
  1. Carpet for the front of the van - the brandrup one is good - could live without but it’s the first thing we bought (protects that area between the front seats that is not particularly well carpeted)
  2. Cadac stove/portable bbq - it’s superb
  3. Ridge monkey
  4. Outdoor mat/rug
  5. Levelling ramps
Other things worth a mention.

  • Coleman event shelter if going away with other a nice place to sit and chat in the evening - without the dew soaking you.
  • We have a beach - we use a Coleman insulated cool box. This is excellent and does not require power - just swap out of ice packs.
  • A decent windbreak.
  • Jetboil for quick brews.
  • Small trug for washing up.
  • Some lights to hang off the awning - for the festival vibe
Things I’d like to get but haven’t yet - calitopper, van cover (as it won’t fit in the garage), in our beach an alternative to the standard vw ‘comfort mattress’ - as the one that comes with the van is about as comfortable as a brick.
Do you have it upside down? Tapered edges go down to even out the seat, soft flat side goes up to sleep on.
 
peregrinus

peregrinus

VIP Member
Messages
69
1: 5m length of water hose
2: Ladder - convinced me only after we had both fallen whilst climbing into the roof (sleepy or drunk or both)
3: Ikea toppers for the beds
4: Silver screen for the front windows
5: Folding rubber bucket for washing up, recycling, whatever
 
Eber123

Eber123

VIP Member
Messages
354
Location
Kilcock, Kildare, Ireland
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Good evening,

I forgot one item which is vital for us - the "Brandrup Water fill-in 10 L".

I prefer to use the Water fill-in to fill up the water tank than a hose. I get the drinking water from approrpiated, most cleanest sources. Ok, I have to do this trip 3x times, but it is actually not that time consuming as it sounds.

On tour I normally top up the fresh water tank daily, which often means I have to top up not more than 10 l.

Regards,
Eberhard
 

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