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Should we spend so much money on a VW California Ocean for a young family?

S

subthree

VIP Member
Messages
412
Location
England
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
There isn't a day in the last 6 months when I have not read the fantastic posts on this forum. So much good advice and help offered by so many fabulous people. At the beginning of August we ordered a T6 Ocean. This was then amended to a T6.1 Ocean which should now be sitting in Germany waiting to be shipped.

We have 2 kids aged 8 and 6. Before they arrived we travelled the world, climbed in the Alps and sea kayaked in Greenland. But now I am starting to think "Woh! This is a LOT of money!!". I know this is the same process that all of you will have been through. My wife cannot wait for it to arrive, and neither can I to be honest. So this is not a question of whether to buy a T5/T6/T6.1, or Beach vs Ocean. For those of you with young families, please just reaffirm all the fab times you have had before we hand over a lot of cash! Thank you as always.
 
Volkywagen

Volkywagen

VIP Member
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,420
Location
Cheshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Hi. Unsure how old you guys are but we took the plunge two years ago at 36 and didn’t look back. Our children are 3 and 12 weeks.
We will never look back. If you are fortunate enough to do it, do it!!
(If 36 is classed as young??!! :D :D :D :D :D)
 
Simo

Simo

VIP Member
Messages
61
Location
Hertfordshire
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
6yr old twins and an 8yr old here

They fight like buggery but have travelled extensively across Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Germany in our three years of ownership with great adventures had...

Spend it, forgot about what you spent and just enjoy it.....between fighting
 
S

subthree

VIP Member
Messages
412
Location
England
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Hi. Unsure how old you guys are but we took the plunge two years ago at 36 and didn’t look back. Our children are 3 and 12 weeks.
We will never look back. If you are fortunate enough to do it, do it!!
(If 36 is classed as young??!! :D :D :D :D :D)
Thank you. 36 is definitely young, we are in our 40s. We are very fortunate to be able to afford such a vehicle, and that's the bit that bothers me.
 
2into1

2into1

Née T4WFA. Now running 2006 LHD T5 SE 130 Manual
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Messages
3,579
Location
Glossop
Vehicle
T5 SE 130
If you've been following the forum you may have seen this, but posts like the one below, and several recent for sale ads showing 'slept in once' Cali's, can help you double check it's the right thing for you.......
 
G

greatnortherncamper

VIP Member
Messages
31
Subthree - We've a 5year old (going on 25!) daughter - like you we did a lot of adventuring and wild camping under canvas before she came along. We got our first Cali (after a few trial hires) when she was first born and have probably racked up over 200 nights since, the vast majority respectful "wild" camping both here and in Europe without issue. Absolutely no regrets, she loves it as much as we do - she sleeps perfectly and the van offers the facility for independence and load carrying more than we could achieve by other means - as she grows up we're using the van ever more as a mobile base for walks, cycling, den building and more rustic camping / hammocking so she doesn't get overly accustomed to the (ever more welcome to us ) luxuries of soft mattresses and night heaters!

Its a lot of money but many of the experiences are priceless and in any case the fantastic re-sale values mean it seems more painful up front than it actually is ....

Go for it and don't look back
 
Jay20cali

Jay20cali

VIP Member
Messages
1,377
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
It’s a lot of money but without sounding grim you never know what’s round the corner, if you have it and it’s affordable spend it,
make fantastic family memories that your children will remember and treasure.im 48 and owned a camper since I was 19 all VWs it’s a lifestyle once you own a camper you will always need one. it’s in your blood .jump in with the wife and kid’s and get away when ever you like.our daughter says she had the best upbringing traveling everywhere in our camper.
You will enjoy it .your won’t regret it.and at the end of the day the money is just sat on the drive instead of the bank!!!!!!
 
Melanie Day

Melanie Day

VIP Member
Messages
229
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T6 Beach 102
I reckon everyone on this forum will say yes go for it.

My boy is 4.5 and we have had ours nearly 2 years. I wish I got it earlier when I was on maternity leave and before he started school.

You could think of it as a saving compared to flights, hotels etc other holidays.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
Moakesy

Moakesy

Moakesy
VIP Member
Messages
473
Location
Hertfordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
A slightly different perspective of the same issue....

i first looked at getting a Cali about 10 years ago, when the kids were 8 & 10, but even though I could have afforded it, I didn’t because of the price.

I got one when the kids were no longer bothered about coming away with us and we now regret it.

You no doubt have heard that’s it’s better to regret what you did, not what you didn’t do.

You said you can afford the vehicle, and you can always sell it if it doesn’t work out, so it’s not like you will lose ALL the money. Keep the faith, enjoy it and look forward to many great memories.
 
W

Wondering Star

Messages
133
Location
Cambridgeshire
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
A young 54 here, two kids, 12yr old boy and 10yr old girl.
Once your van arrives you will not look back, be prepared for arguments (kids), we have a 2019 Beach, 3 seat bench and even then there's not enough separation room!
That aside last year they went to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria,Switzerland and Germany.
April we go to Spain and Portugal and this summer we tour Europe.
The experience and memories will last for ever and we even use the trips to educate on a little European culture, although it's not always appreciated!
If your in the fortunate position to be able to afford a Cali go for it, we did and don't regret it for a minute!
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
Top Poster
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Messages
6,952
Location
Royal Borough of Greenwich
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Amarillo is coming up to its third birthday. Our boys were 3y 3m and 1y 11m when we bought. We have had a blast since then. 33 countries and 53,000 miles. Memories are printed onto canvas and hug all up our stairwell - squelching in mud volcanoes in Romania, a rabbit city in Lithuania, swimming north of the arctic circle, an empty Pompeii in December rain.

School finishes at 2.15 on Fridays - we can be camped on the South Coast by 4pm for a weekend away ~10 weekends a year. We aim for a ten days in France/Spain over the summer half term, and a two week European holiday at the end of August. It is all so easy, and I think that we got the timing of our purchase almost exactly right. We always intended Amarillo as a vehicle to hold onto for at least ten years. I cannot believe it has already been three years!
 
Campingrookie

Campingrookie

VIP Member
Messages
76
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Amarillo is coming up to its third birthday. Our boys were 3y 3m and 1y 11m when we bought. We have had a blast since then. 33 countries and 53,000 miles. Memories are printed onto canvas and hug all up our stairwell - squelching in mud volcanoes in Romania, a rabbit city in Lithuania, swimming north of the arctic circle, an empty Pompeii in December rain.

School finishes at 2.15 on Fridays - we can be camped on the South Coast by 4pm for a weekend away ~10 weekends a year. We aim for a ten days in France/Spain over the summer half term, and a two week European holiday at the end of August. It is all so easy, and I think that we got the timing of our purchase almost exactly right. We always intended Amarillo as a vehicle to hold onto for at least ten years. I cannot believe it has already been three years!
This sounds amazing! I very much hope I can create similar memories with my family!
 
S

SpikeMcBike

VIP Member
Messages
40
Location
Surrey
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
We got our Cali Beach when the kids were 12 & 9. I had been mulling over a VW camper of some description for 6 or 7 years previously as we were avid tent campers all over Europe. I wish I had followed my instincts and just bought one when the kids were much younger. My advice is if you have the means, just do it, otherwise you will always wish you had just done it.

For us , after 3+ years of ownership and the kids into their early/mid teens, they still love our weekends away and epic summer hols in the van. As they have got older and need more space, our camping style has evolved. For example we now have a large drive away awning to give us the space we need, therefore we stay put for longer. We also punctuate our long trips with more hotel stops now. As they grow, we will continue to change how we use the van to suit their needs until its just myself and the wife, when a whole new chapter will begin!
 
Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky

Forever young (ish!)
Staff member
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Lifetime VIP Member
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3,823
Location
My World
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T6 Ocean 150
Tomorrow is not a rehearsal for Friday........
 
Lewis

Lewis

VIP Member
Messages
484
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
There isn't a day in the last 6 months when I have not read the fantastic posts on this forum. So much good advice and help offered by so many fabulous people. At the beginning of August we ordered a T6 Ocean. This was then amended to a T6.1 Ocean which should now be sitting in Germany waiting to be shipped.

We have 2 kids aged 8 and 6. Before they arrived we travelled the world, climbed in the Alps and sea kayaked in Greenland. But now I am starting to think "Woh! This is a LOT of money!!". I know this is the same process that all of you will have been through. My wife cannot wait for it to arrive, and neither can I to be honest. So this is not a question of whether to buy a T5/T6/T6.1, or Beach vs Ocean. For those of you with young families, please just reaffirm all the fab times you have had before we hand over a lot of cash! Thank you as always.
Our family is at it's absolute best when we're away together. All the stresses and strains of everyday life take their toll, long work hours, domesticity, commuting, social and psychological pressures of parenting. Every single one of these drops away when we're together on a trip, be that a 1 nighter after a National Trust visit or our 4 week spectacular through Scotland and Northern Ireland last summer. Our daughter was a tad younger than 2 when we got our van and she's just over 5 now, it has helped to shape and define the person she's becoming and her outlook on the world. A big payment goes out every month but I've never once regretted it. We make a photobook together every Christmas, over 75% of the pictures come from our Cali trips. Best decision we ever made. You are going to love it.
 
GrannyJen

GrannyJen

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Messages
8,398
Location
West Sussex
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
My children, twins, were 8.

We only once ever had a proper holiday: Abersoch, when they were 4, a chalet lent to us by my boss.

We had never settled, military, one half away for months, never really knew where until I read about it in
the papers.

Then, they were 8, friends lent us a frame tent and we went to Croyde. The mortgage, debts, loans repayments, had me in tears most days. We went on holiday. Irreplaceable memories, bonding, happiness, for two weeks we said "Eff it" to the debts, bailiffs, loan sharks.

Light years away from where I am now. He ceased to exist many tears and years ago. My children are now 48 and one is highly successful.

Sometimes I lie in Alfie, like I am now, and cry my bloody eyes out that I could not give this to my children. @Amarillo and others are my hero's for what they have given to theirs.

For goodness sake go for it. Please. You will never look back. Your children are children for such a brief period.
 
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