If you've been following our journey over the past few years, you know that we have a real passion for campervans. And while there have been many vehicles that we've loved, few have come close to the VW Caddy.
After completing 50+ conversions on this versatile and reliable vehicle, it's clear why so many people choose the VW Caddy as their go-to campervan — you can create a real off-grid machine in this tiny package.
You can easily sleep 2 people (plus a dog or two) for short or long trips. Especially in the warmer months, where you can use the outside as an extension to your van. With people becoming more and more concerned about costs, the Caddy is becoming more and more popular. Read on to learn more about why we love working with the Volkswagen Caddy for our latest vanlife Campervan Conversion projects.
The Micro VW Caddy Camper Conversion Craze
The VW Caddy Camper is quickly becoming the inspiration for creative and adventurous modifications. As those in search of a unique and compact mini camper flock to this VW model, the number of camper conversions continues to grow.
From roof racks and off-the-grid solar-powered systems, to larger beds and pop top roofs. There are more and more VW Caddy Camper conversion accessories hitting the market. Giving you lots more options for converting your VW Caddy.
With the micro camper craze taking off, it's no wonder that VW Caddy enthusiasts are getting creative when it comes to crafting their own dream campers. Whether you want to take your VW Caddy into the wilds of nature or use it at festivals throughout the summer, there's something special about these little campers.
Pros and Cons of Converting the VW Caddy into a Camper
For those looking to travel and explore while still having the comforts of home, a VW Caddy Camper may be the perfect solution. The VW Caddy offers strength, power, and durability in a compact package, making it ideal for life on the road.
With a VW Caddy camper van, you can go just about anywhere with all the necessities of home — food, water, beds, and more — all conveniently packed away. This allows you to go off the beaten path and explore different locations while still enjoying home comforts. On top of that, VW Caddy campers are both dependable and cost-effective when compared to other campers.
Pros of the VW Caddy Camper
- Compact - Probably the smallest vehicle you could use for a campervan conversion.
- Easy to drive - No where near as big as the Transporter. Much easier to drive, more akin to a car. Making road trips on tight roads much easier to handle.
- Cheaper to buy - the VW Caddy is cheaper to buy compared to the Transporters. It might mean you get a few extras (like Auto transmission, AC or SatNav)
- Cheaper to run - You will get more MPG in a Caddy vs a Transporter.
- Cheaper to convert - Less space means less stuff to go in. A Caddy conversion will probably cost you £5,000 to £15,000 less than a Transporter conversion.
- Cheaper to insure - A cheaper vehicle means less risk for the insurance company.
- Cheaper tax - Saving you a few hundred pounds a year compared with the T6.1
- Easier to keep clean + Maintain - Smaller van means less to wash.
Cons of the VW Caddy
- Smaller - The clue is in the name “micro campers” have less space to use for conversion.
- Not really suitable for families - Due to its size you will only get 2- 4 seatbelts in the conversion. There’s only really room for 1 x small bed
- Small bed - The bed area will be slightly smaller than a standard double. Ideal for a single person or a couple who is happy to be close!
- Not ideal in the winter - You need to be able to stretch out and use the great outdoors to make the most of a Caddy. For example sitting in the evening, cooking outside or using the facilities. These are much harder in the winter.
What base vehicle should I use for a Caddy VW Camper?
A VW Caddy Camper can be a great investment if you're looking for a practical yet fun way to enjoy the great outdoors. With a Caddy as a base vehicle, you'll get an affordable, reliable platform that can be converted into a Camper Van.
When choosing your VW Caddy Camper, look for one from late 2015 and newer with the 2.0 TDI engine – this will give you the best fuel economy and performance. You need to make sure you check the engine is a sufficient size. A campervan conversion can add lots of weight to the vehicle. The VW Caddy can come with a much smaller engine that probably won’t be suitable.
Additionally, it's a good idea to ensure there are no major mechanical problems before you make your purchase; a regular checkup of the brakes, clutch and other fluids should suffice. You can purchase a vehicle health check from the RAC or AA before you sign on the dotted line. These can be useful to give you peace of mind when buying a second hand vehicle.
VW Caddy Maxi Camper
We use the VW Caddy Maxi for our campervan conversions. This gives you that extra space in the rear of the van meaning you can fit a full camper kitchen in the rear. You can pretty much fit all of the appliances in the Maxi that you can in the Transporter - they might just be smaller versions!
You can convert the standard length VW Caddy into a campervan. It might be a little more basic. The Rusty Lee Caddy rock and roll bed is a great option. You might need to sacrifice on the “kitchen” element. But for some people this is fine.
How to convert the VW Caddy into a Camper
There’s nothing quite like the VW Caddy Camper for a great road trip. This small vehicle is surprisingly spacious and versatile, allowing you to hit the open road. You can either convert the vehicle yourself, commission a professional conversion company, or somewhere in between. Focusing on the main areas of the build should give you a better idea of which way to go.
- Striping the van: Depending on what your Caddy was used for before the build you will need to clear the van. If your Caddy was a Kombi or Caddy Life you’ll need to remove the rear seat. You can get good money selling second hand seats online.
- Window install: You’ll probably want to install windows in the rear of the van. Check out our full guide here.
- Choose your bed: The next step is to choose a bed and seat combination. You can build your own or choose from the options online. If you’re building your own you can use wood or metal for this, and make sure that the frame is sturdy so that it can support your weight when you sleep in it. If you’re thinking of buying a ready made system read our full campervan bed blog for more information.
- Carpet and Insulation: Insulation is important in a camper conversion, as it will help to keep the interior of your camper warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are a variety of different insulation materials that you can use, so choose one that will work best for your needs. Read our full carpet and insulation guide. You will also want to add Caddy Thermal Blinds to keep you warm.
- Diesel heating system: A heater is a must-have in a camper conversion, as it will allow you to stay warm on cold nights. There are a variety of different heaters that you can choose from, so pick one that will be able to heat your camper efficiently.
- Cooker and sink: If you want to be able to cook in your camper, you will need to install a stove and sink. There are loads of options out there.
- Gas system: Most cooking options need a gas system installed in the vehicle. This can be a dangerous element of your build if not done correctly. It might be best to look for a professional converter to help with this bit.
- Electrical system: Do you want 240v or 12v electrics in your Caddy Camper? Do you want to install solar panels? This needs thinking about right from the start.
- Pop top roof: A pop top roof turns your van into a camper. There are a few manufacturers that supply a roof for the Caddy. Although there isn’t as much choice out there as there is for the Transporter.
- External Styling: Once you’ve got the conversion down you can think about what you want the Caddy to look like. From a Caddy Swamper, Caddy splitter, to alloy wheels, there are loads of campervan accessories out there.
How much does it cost to convert a VW Caddy into a Camper?
Converting a VW Caddy into a camper is an exciting project – but it comes with one big question: how much does it cost? The answer largely depends on the specific goals for the project.
Most VW Caddy camper conversions will require specialised parts and materials such as beds, kitchen furniture, roof racks, LED lights, and flooring in order to create a cosy living space.
On top of that, some people may choose to equip their campers with external accessories like solar panels or travel showers to make it even more suitable for life on the open road.
Since there are so many variables in this type of conversion, it can be difficult to estimate the exact cost upfront; however, most VW Caddy camper conversions range from £5,000 - £25,000.
Wildworx Caddy Camper Conversion
Wildworx is a campervan conversion company with over 20+ years experience in the industry. We specialise in converting vans into off-grid machines that can be used for weekends away or long-term van life travel.
Our conversions are tailored to each customer’s needs and we always put the customer first, ensuring they get the most out of their campervan. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to explore this beautiful world we live in and our mission is to make that possible for as many people as possible.
If you're interested in getting a Wildworx Caddy Camper Conversion of your own, or are looking for a pre-made VW Caddy for Sale, or our fully converted Campers for Sale. Please don't hesitate to get in touch. We'd be more than happy to chat!