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The Ultimate VW Campervan Guide

When it comes to road trips, there's nothing quite like hitting the open road in a VW campervan. Whether you're looking for an epic cross-country journey or just a scenic drive down the coast, these vans offer all the amenities you need for an enjoyable trip. 

But with so many different models and options available, how do you know which is the best Volkswagen Campervan for your needs? Check out our ultimate guide for everything you need to know before buying one of these iconic vehicles.

VW Campervan Conversion

What is a VW Campervan?

A VW Campervan is a Volkswagen van that has been converted into a small camper. This conversion typically includes adding a bed and kitchen. VW Campervans are popular among campers and travellers because they provide a convenient way to travel and camp without having to lug loads of gear around in your car.

VW Campervans tend to be more fuel-efficient than larger motorhomes, making them ideal for long road trips. While the basic layout of a VW Campervan is fairly standard, there is a wide range of customisation options available. For example, some campers prefer to add a kitchen with a sink and stove, while others opt for additional storage space. 

The VW Campervan uses either the VW T4, VW T5, VW T6 or VW T6.1 as a base vehicle. Converted by small one man teams, professional converters or Volkswagen themselves. 

Some models have pop-up roofs that provide extra headroom. This makes them perfect for couples or small families who want to hit the open road without roughing it too much.

History of the VW Campervan

The Volkswagen Campervan, also known as the VW Bus, is one of the most iconic vehicles of the 20th century. First released in 1950, the Campervan was designed as a compact, affordable way for families to travel. 

It quickly became popular for its versatility and durability, as well as its unique style. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Campervan became synonymous with the counterculture movement, and today it continues to be a popular choice for road trips and camping adventures. 

The Volkswagen Type 2, also known as the VW Bus or the Microbus, was first produced in 1950. It quickly became an icon of the counterculture movement in the 1960s, and its popularity has only grown in recent years. The Type 2 is instantly recognisable thanks to its distinctive design, and it remains one of the most popular VW Campervan models to this day.

The Volkswagen Westfalia Camper was introduced in 1957 and quickly gained a following among lovers of the great outdoors. Thanks to its robust construction and comfortable interior, the Westfalia was perfectly suited for camping trips and long-distance travel. Today, it remains a popular choice for those looking for a reliable and spacious Campervan.

The Volkswagen Transporter was introduced in 1993 and was designed to appeal to a more luxury market. It came equipped with features like air conditioning and captain's chairs, making it a comfortable option for longer journeys. Despite its higher price tag, the Transporter remains a popular choice for those looking for a high-quality van or campervan.

VW Campervan Conversion

Different types of VW Campervan Models

Now that you know what a VW campervan is, it's time to start thinking about which one is right for you. When you first start looking at the different options available in the vehicle it can be pretty overwhelming. We’ve written a full guide on how to choose your campervan base vehicle. Ultimately it will boil down to your budget and how long you’re willing to wait. 

The T6.1 is available in a variety of models, including the panel van, Kombi, Shuttle, and Sportline. The panel van is the basic model and is designed for commercial use. It has a maximum payload of 1,400 kg and can carry up to 10 people. 

The Kombi is the next step up and is designed for both commercial and leisure use. It has a maximum payload of 1,200 kg and can carry up to eight people. 

The Shuttle is the top-of-the-line model and is designed for passenger transport. It has a maximum payload of 1,000 kg and can carry up to 16 people. 

The Sportline is the most expensive model and is designed for sports teams or businesses that need a high- performance vehicle. It has a maximum payload of 1,200 kg and can carry up to eight people.

For your campervan conversion there is no need to look at anything other than a VW Transporter panel van. Anything else would be wasting money. 

Once you’ve chosen the vehicle itself there are a myriad of different options for the layout itself. Our advice is to find a professional campervan conversion company who can help you sort through the seemingly endless options. 

How to Choose the Right VW Campervan

The next step is to think about what kind of features you need. Do you want something simple with just the basics, or do you want all the bells and whistles? Many VW campervans come with things like kitchens and leisure battery systems, but they come at an extra cost. So be sure to factor this into your decision-making process.

Lastly, don't forget to take into account your budget. These vans can be pricey, so be sure to set aside enough money to cover all your bases. Once you've taken all of these factors into consideration, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect VW campervan for your needs!

VW Camper Interior Conversion

How much to insure a VW Campervan

Insuring your campervan can seem like a difficult task when you first start looking. Campervans are getting stolen more and more frequently. You need to make sure that whatever policy you take out that you have cover for the full value of the VW Campervan. And not just its value as an empty panel van. 

A good quality specialist Campervan insurance policy should cost you around £300 to £600 for the year. 

You need to go to a specialist insurance company who will give you a quote for the full value of the campervan. We’ve heard horror stories of vans worth £50,000 only paying out at £25,000 after an accident or theft. An insurance company who specialises in campervans might ask you for a purchase invoice from your converter or pictures showing the campervan in rear. Make sure you keep up to date images of your campervan. 

Also consider your personal belongings. If you're planning on taking your campervan on lengthy trips, you'll want to make sure that your belongings are covered in case of loss or damage. 

Don’t forget breakdown cover! You don’t want to be stuck in the Highlands of Scotland with no way of getting towed to the nearest mechanics. Be sure to make sure you’re covered if you head to the EU. 

VW Campervan Two Tone

How much is road tax for a VW Campervan?

The amount of road tax you'll pay for a VW Campervan depends on the vehicle's emissions. If your Campervan was registered on or after 1 March 2001, you'll pay according to a sliding scale based on how polluting your vehicle is - the more CO2 emissions your vehicle produces, the higher the rate of road tax you'll pay.

For Campervans registered before 1 March 2001, the amount of road tax you pay is calculated using a formula based on engine size. You can find out how much road tax your Campervan will cost by searching for your vehicle on the Gov.uk website.

Road tax for a VW T6.1 is circa £275 per annum.

What is the MPG on a VW Transporter?

When it comes to fuel economy, the Volkseagen website says the transporter delivers 40 mpg. We find that in the real world and fitted out with a campervan conversion the 150bhp VW T6 will get around 35 mpg. 

Can you live full time in a VW Campervan?

For many people, the thought of living in a VW Campervan conjures up images of cramped quarters and constant motion. It is possible to live in a VW Campervan full time. For full time living the VW Crafter might be more suitable. 

The UK has a number of laws and regulations regarding living in a campervan full time. Perhaps the most important is the requirement that all campervans must be registered with the DVLA (Driver and vehicle licensing agency). This is necessary in order to be legally allowed to drive the vehicle on UK roads. In addition, Campervans must be insured, taxed and have a valid MOT. 

The hardest element of this is finding a landowner that will allow you to stay on their land. Campsites are a good option in the summer, but keep in mind many close over the winter months. 

VW Crafter Conversion

Are VW Campervans a good investment and do they hold their value?

VW Campers continue to be a good investment. Demand is soaring and shows no sign of slowing down. In recent years VW Campers have had limited depreciation. Meaning it’s a fairly safe place to park your cash. 

How much is it to hire a VW Campervan?

It’s a good idea to hire a VW Campervan from a company or agency before you decide to take the plunge into ownership. There are companies up and down the country that offer short trips, usually with a minimum of 4 nights. Even if you only go camping to your local site, it’s really important to test it out so you know what you’re looking for. 

Assuming you would like general information about hiring a VW Campervan, the average price to hire a VW Campervan is about £100 per day. This price usually includes basics such as insurance and mileage. If you are looking to add additional features or accessories, the price will increase accordingly. For example adding a Bike Rack will add an additional £10 per day.

Don’t forget to ask about how the insurance excess works to avoid any nasty surprises. 

Do VW Campervans have toilets?

Many people assume that all VW Campervans are equipped with toilets, but this is not always the case. While some models do have toilets, others do not. Usually the toilet is a Fimma Porta Potti which is kept in a storage cupboard. You do get campervan conversions with toilets that are in fixed “bathrooms” ; this is a fairly rare layout. 

The decision of whether or not to include a toilet ultimately comes down to personal preference. For some people, the convenience of having a toilet on board is worth losing the extra space. Others find that they can get by without one. Campsites typically have facilities that can be used if needed. 

Can you fit a shower into a VW Campervan?

When it comes to campervans, space is definitely at a premium. That’s why many people wonder if it’s possible to fit a shower into a VW Campervan. Usually this is done by installing an external shower head. Which is great for washing muddy boots and dogs. 

There are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll need to have access to a sufficient water supply. An underslung water tank can handle a shower point. You’ll also need to think about whether or not you need hot water. Hot water can be a costly addition to a campervan conversion

How long is a VW Campervan?

The VW Transporter comes in 2 different lengths; long wheel base and short wheel base. The long wheel base (LWB)  is 5.3m and the short wheel base (SWB)  is 4.9m. 

When space is at such a premium it’s important to consider if you need the 400mm. It might not sound like a lot but it adds space to the interior but can make the van harder to drive for some people. 

Does VW still make Campervans?

The Volkswagen California is a campervan that has been produced by the German automaker Volkswagen since 1988. It is based on the Transporter base vehicle, and is sold in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Asia. 

The California comes in a variety of different floor plans and interior configurations, and can be equipped with features such as a kitchen, a bathroom, and a pop-up roof. It’s a great campervan but is usually the most expensive camper on the market. You also don’t get as much flexibility in the layout as you do when converting your own vehicle. 

VW Campervan Conversion

How much is a ready made VW Campervan?

If you want to buy a ready converted VW Campervan you will need to spend around £30,000 to £80,000. 

You can source pre-converted campervans (new and used) on Autotrader and Campers4Sale. You can also check out our Campers for Sale page

How much to convert a VW into a Campervan?

Converting your own VW Campervan is also an option. The conversion will cost between £20,000 and £35,000 (excluding the base vehicle) 

VW Campervan

VW Campervan for Sale - What to look for when buying a VW Campervan?

When it comes to choosing a VW Campervan, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind. First and foremost, you will want to make sure that you choose a model that is right for your needs. Do you need a van that can sleep four people, or do you only need space for two? What kind of kitchen facilities do you need? 

Will you be using your campervan for long road trips or will it mostly stay parked at your campsite? Once you have a good idea of what you need, you can start looking at specific models. It is also important to think about how much you are willing to spend. 

Newer models can be quite expensive, but they will come with all the latest features. Older models may be more affordable, but they may not have all the bells and whistles that you are looking for. Ultimately, the best way to find the right VW Campervan is to take your time and do your research. With a little effort, you should be able to find the perfect van for your next adventure. Here are our top things to look out for:

Price 

The price of a VW Campervan can vary significantly depending on the year, model, and condition of the van. It is important to set a budget before beginning your search so that you can narrow down your options.

Size 

VW Campervans come in a variety of sizes, from vans that seat two people to vans that seat up to six people. It is important to consider how many people will be using the van and what type of activities you will be using it for before making a decision.

Fuel Efficiency 

Fuel efficiency is an important consideration when choosing any vehicle, but it is especially important when choosing a VW Campervan. 

Storage Space 

Another important consideration when choosing a VW Campervan is storage space. Some campervans have very limited storage space, while others have plenty of room for all of your gear. It is important to consider what type of gear you will be bringing with you before making a decision.

Sleeping Arrangements 

Some VW Campervans come with built-in sleeping arrangements, while others do not. If you plan on using your Campervan for camping trips, it is important to choose one that has sleeping arrangements that will meet your needs.

Cooking Facilities 

Some VW Campervans come with built-in cooking facilities, while others do not. If you plan on using your Campervan for camping trips, it is important to choose one that has cooking facilities that will meet your needs.

Safety 

Make sure you use a professional conversion company. You need to ensure that all the parts you install (bed, heating system etc) meet UK standards. There are some dangerous knock offs out there. 

VW Campervan Interior

Conclusion 

If you're in the market for a new VW campervan, be sure to do your research before making a purchase. These vans can be expensive, so it's important to find one that fits both your needs and your budget. Once you've found the perfect van, strap on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

If you would like more information or to speak to someone about converting or buying a VW campervan, please get in touch. Our team would be happy to help you plan your next project.