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Why did you choose California instead of a bigger panel van conversion?

chockswahay

chockswahay

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T6.1 Coast 150
Wow really.
Mine lasts 40/50 days cooking daily and having 4/5 cuppas, do you not turn it down or maybe it’s 20cuppas a day;)
We do drink a lot of tea that’s true :oops: and we use the oven every day also so I suppose we would use more gas. On a boat it’s all about keeping up morale (especially when sailing the West Coast of Scotland!):)
 
4x4 joker

4x4 joker

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We do drink a lot of tea that’s true :oops: and we use the oven every day also so I suppose we would use more gas. On a boat it’s all about keeping up morale (especially when sailing the West Coast of Scotland!):)
I missed that, thought you were in a camper with a two burner, using a ridge monkey as oven like I do.
Yes a gas oven on 907 is mad!
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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I have a Cali because in the ancient Roman historical center of Barcelona where I live I can park anywhere a car can, and I can take it on mountain tracks that no larger vehicles could contemplate. I have a Beach because about 50% of the time I’m out with 6 from my mountain/ski/bike group. The rest of the time it quickly converts to an Ocean with all the amenities, but with a much larger lower bed.
 
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Jay20cali

Jay20cali

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Had campervans for the last 30 years,
Started with t2’s all the way through the T’s always enjoyed owning campers and in the last 15yrs many California’s and it was always a good decision money wise, as they sell quick and for a premium,definitely the best on the market.
But I doubt I’ll own another being honest…
There a wknd van in reality for me,
Sleeping well is important when you’re away.
In the se/ocean..
The arm space was a problem in bed …
And
Shuffling everything around the van to get in a cupboard to make a brew ect ,,
having to put the roof down in bad weather ect was a pain when our son was younger and came away with us ..
That said I do think there great and still carry a lot of love for a California .
But
we have a sideways bed in our crafter and it’s just bliss, add to that a loo hot water standing up no canvas roof to stress about ect it’s just a better experience in my opinion..
So California’s …..
been there done it got many tee shirts with many California’s but I don’t think I’ll go bk .
But never say never .
It amazes me now that people are paying way north of 70k for a van that was half the price in 2007/08….
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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But never say never .
It amazes me now that people are paying way north of 70k for a van that was half the price in 2007/08….

That says it all really.
There’s people on this forum that paid £35k for a van and 10 years later bought another at £70k+.

I’m on my second, and as much as the pricing pains my sensible head. I know it’s the right decision, because I wouldn’t want to own anything else…
 
4x4 joker

4x4 joker

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Had campervans for the last 30 years,
Started with t2’s all the way through the T’s always enjoyed owning campers and in the last 15yrs many California’s and it was always a good decision money wise, as they sell quick and for a premium,definitely the best on the market.
But I doubt I’ll own another being honest…
There a wknd van in reality for me,
Sleeping well is important when you’re away.
In the se/ocean..
The arm space was a problem in bed …
And
Shuffling everything around the van to get in a cupboard to make a brew ect ,,
having to put the roof down in bad weather ect was a pain when our son was younger and came away with us ..
That said I do think there great and still carry a lot of love for a California .
But
we have a sideways bed in our crafter and it’s just bliss, add to that a loo hot water standing up no canvas roof to stress about ect it’s just a better experience in my opinion..
So California’s …..
been there done it got many tee shirts with many California’s but I don’t think I’ll go bk .
But never say never .
It amazes me now that people are paying way north of 70k for a van that was half the price in 2007/08….
Westys have gone up just the same, and the housing market has too.
It’s just what happens, the older we get the more we notice it;)
 
4x4 joker

4x4 joker

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That says it all really.
There’s people on this forum that paid £35k for a van and 10 years later bought another at £70k+.

I’m on my second, and as much as the pricing pains my sensible head. I know it’s the right decision, because I wouldn’t want to own anything else…
Maybe that joker too;)
 
chockswahay

chockswahay

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So then, here we are in the Haute Alps in our Cali parked up by a lake over 5500 ft above sea level in the (relatively) middle of nowhere. We have now managed over 56 nights in the van since buying it in February and slept 25 of those’upstairs’. On this current trip we are 16 days and 1352 miles into our French tour.

Now I feel in a stronger position to comment on what our Cali means to us and why we feel vindicated in our purchase decision.

It is without doubt a fantastic vehicle for road tripping! Comfortable, fast when needed, the auto gearbox is an absolute delight and the ACC just makes cruising soooooooooo relaxing. It is very good on fuel averaging just under 40 mpg on this trip and that includes a truck load of high alpine passes!

We have been able to drive anywhere, park anywhere and never yet had a problem finding a space to park and sleep even in the busiest of French Aires. My GPS seems to delight in sending us down the odd crazy small and narrow lane and yet this still has not stopped us (whereas the Fiats would have been stumped).

For the two of us we have all the room we need including space for our two Brompton’s and the Porta Potti (which funnily enough we have only need once each on this trip……. there always seems to be a loo just around the corner, even the composting Bio Loos up in the mountains!).

We have learnt the fine art of carrying and cooking only what is needed. The Grill Monkey is indeed a game changer and with my ‘DIY’ gas filling at home we’re not even bothered now about the cost of gas now.

The pop top is more spacious and comfortable than I would have thought and indeed the only time we do not use it is due to high winds or really cold temperatures (up here in the mountains!). We love the near 360 panoramic views and the spacious living area that the Cali offers compared to the small dinettes in our previous Fiat campers.

Unlike other vans we get really excited about taking this van out for a road trip, it always feels like a grand adventure and sometimes we feel like a pair of kids that have just been let loose with a luxury expedition wagon!

In summary, we love it! It’s (near) perfect!
 
soulstyledevon

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That says it all really.
There’s people on this forum that paid £35k for a van and 10 years later bought another at £70k+.

I’m on my second, and as much as the pricing pains my sensible head. I know it’s the right decision, because I wouldn’t want to own anything else…

Just ignore my ramblings.
I bought a bigger van…
:Iamsorry

:D:D:D
 
bob_summers

bob_summers

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Donosti, Basque Country
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T6.1 Ocean 150
We have a California because we need to park it on the street in London, it's our only vehicle, and the sort of places we like to go (down narrow lanes) a bigger van might not fit.

We came from tent camping (small tent) and we live in a small flat, so the California still feels luxurious and comfortable. Ok, some fiddling around is needed keep out of each other's way eg when cooking, but we sleep 'upstairs' so there are effectively two rooms to use.
Could have written all of that except San Sebastián instead of London - and there are three of us. Still love tent camping though!

I think the van came into its own this summer. 3000km round trip to Wales and England, three weeks in the van, minimal packing down time when moving on or having a day out, even scraped into a 1.9m hotel carpark stopping off in Bordeaux on the way home. You manage in whatever vehicle you have: I’ve had campers from little air cooled VWs to knackered old 609 Mercs but the new van is the first that whips around almost like a car, but is ready to sleep in 10 minutes after parking up…
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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T5 SE 174
Hi Team, this is a genuine question. I (we) have previously owned 2 panel van conversions and now a recently purchased 2020 Coast. I am curious as to why people buy the VW.

First van…… 2013 6m Globecar based on Fiat Ducato bought new and sold 3 years later with 38000 miles for £8k less

Second van……2018 5.4m HymerCar based on Fiat Ducato bought new and sold one year later with 8000 miles for £8k less

Current van …..2020 VW Coast bought 2 months ago ……. Still in use ;)

Now here’s the thing…… we used to go on long adventures for about 8 to 10 weeks at a time all over Europe. In each case the Fiat vans were completely self contained, had inbuilt shower and toilet, full size fixed double bed, truck loads of storage space and enabled us to fully and properly go off grid. No need to keep messing about with pop up roofs, making up the bed etc etc.

We chose a VW this time as we wanted something a little bit more ‘car like’ to drive and we only intend to go on trips that last 4 to 8 weeks max.

I see that many people with VW’s tend to either still be working, settle for higher utilisation of camp sites, probably only go away for short breaks.

I could go on and on but this might lead to you (reading this) either losing the will to live ;) or resenting me and every word I’ve said:eek:

So then, what made you choose a VW with all of its associated limitations compared to something a little bigger, more comfortable, more space, standing room throughout, and generally more practical and suited to the purpose of going away for a few weeks in comfort?

I am not seeking agreement or condemnation, just curious (hard hat on and ducking for cover:D)
“only 4 to 8 weeks max”
Living the dream!
17 days most, so far

In our mindset we were changing up to something much more comfortable and convenient than a tent. Plus something with a seductive lifestyle narrative attached to it.

Caravans make tons of logical sense for what we need but, you know, no way! Same for giant vans. They miss the point. You might aswell put a tv in it and then you might aswell stay at home.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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“only 4 to 8 weeks max”
Living the dream!
17 days most, so far

In our mindset we were changing up to something much more comfortable and convenient than a tent. Plus something with a seductive lifestyle narrative attached to it.

Caravans make tons of logical sense for what we need but, you know, no way! Same for giant vans. They miss the point. You might aswell put a tv in it and then you might aswell stay at home.

If you’re after one vehicle that does it all.
The California is the very best out there, nothing comes close to it’s practicality & usefulness…
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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Team Stormy Blue :thumb

I wonder if admin can stick a Hymer group on here.
There’s a few Ex-Cali owners now, who have moved to the dark side…;)
 
chockswahay

chockswahay

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Scotland
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T6.1 Coast 150
I wonder if admin can stick a Hymer group on here.
There’s a few Ex-Cali owners now, who have moved to the dark side…;)
If I were to think for one minute that as an ex HymerCar owner who bought a California and joined this forum only to find a group for Hymers ………………. :eek::eek:

Haha…….only joking of course ;)
 
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