Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 472

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 487

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 494

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 530

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 611

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 728

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 425

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 623

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 15

Strict Standards: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-flickr-manager/FlickrManager.php on line 867

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method GoogleSitemapGeneratorLoader::Enable() should not be called statically in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 311
The Ultimate Question - Which Volkswagen Van to go for? | VW Camper Van Blog
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 947

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 948

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 947

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 948

The Ultimate Question - Which Volkswagen Van to go for?

Posted on May 9th, 2010

The Ultimate Question - Which Volkswagen Van to go for?

I know I have mentioned this before, but as the weather starts to warm up I am really missing my van! I had planned to put the funds which we received from selling our T25 straight in to our next van project. However, I unfortunately had an attack of the ’sensibles’ as we needed to replace my struggling second car, a 1996 Toyota Starlet.

With the scrapage deal coming to an end we decided that we needed a reliable, comfortable car and that it made more sense (at the time) to buy a new car first and then replace the van later on. So we took our little Toyota down to be scrapped and in return, got a whopping £2000 off a brand new Mini! And I have to say, I am very impressed with the Mini, it’s small, fun and reliable. OK, I know it’s no Vintage VW but it does the job for getting to meetings and will take us where we need to go with no hassle (as boring as that sounds!).

Our New Mini!!

So, back to the main topic… because of buying the Mini our van plans had to take a back seat for now (no pun intended). But as the novelty of the new car wears off combined with the nice weather we have been enjoying down our way, I am starting to get itchy feet!

As we build back up our van fund I have been spending a great deal of time on ebay, Samba.com and other VW forums trying to get some inspiration on what to go for. Deep down I want the Bay Window van I have always dreamed of. We were actually looking for a Bay when we found our last T25 so sort of sacrificed that dream for a more comfortable camper. However, I am also drawn towards the reliability of a more modern machine in the form of a T4 or T5. Sure, they do not have the style and soul that the old Bay’s and Splits (and even some T25’s) have, but they will get you to your destination quick, safe, and comfortable. We also have plans to go in to Europe next summer and what better van to do it in that a modern VW?

I have been flicking back and forth on this decision since selling my T25 in January and am no further ahead.

Our Old VW T25

So, to help me with this decision, I thought I would open up the discussion for which you think I should go for. I love early Bay Window Vans (and can’t afford a split) but I am not your ‘normal’ VW enthusiast as I know nothing about the mechanical side of things. Put me in front of a computer and I can do many a wondrous thing, but give me a spanner and shove me towards a engine and you are guaranteed to have me stumped extremely quickly.

So we have established that I am not your normal hobbiest tinkerer and I could quite frankly do without the headache of another old vehicle, but I love the thought of shooting off down to Cornwall for the weekend in my Bay! In an ideal world, I want a van with the style, soul and character of a vintage VW but with the reliability of a new car. Last year I visited and reviewed the Danbury Brazilian vans for the blog but have personally been put off by the price tag and some of the rusting horror stories. I think it is great what Danbury (and other importers) are doing but it is not for me.

The ultimate question is this… Is it possible to have a Bay Window van that is as reliable as a newer car? What if I were to put a new engine, new clutch, new gearbox etc etc in to a dry imported bus, give it a respray and keep it inside away from the cold and wet, would it be as reliable as I am expecting? Or should I just give up and buy a T5?

I am really stuck on this one so it would be great to hear some advice from the people who have been there and done it - is this really possible or am I expecting too much?

Over to you…

Posted by Steve

If you liked this blog entry you can receive updates via email or RSS.

Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
Posted In Featured, VW Discussions | Tags: , , , ,

21 Responses to “The Ultimate Question - Which Volkswagen Van to go for?”

  • Liam on May 9th, 2010 said:

    What about a 2nd hand Brazilian import. More reliable than the same van from 70’s, but less costly than a freshly shipped model. The Snail trail have some pretty looking conversions for sale.

    Or look for a T25 in better health? Always going to be cheaper than a Splitty or Bay, but with a nice westy pop, or devon style accordion for easier storage (in the right garage) than a hard-top.

    Like you I’m no weekend tinkerer - that’s what my very sympathetic mechanic is for ;)

  • Roger on May 9th, 2010 said:

    Without a doubt a T4, pre 96 and it will increase in value!

  • Tim on May 9th, 2010 said:

    Hey Steve

    (Love the MINI btw - my other ride is a 55-plate MINI Cooper S and makes for a perfect companion to my Bay!)

    I was in exactly the same situation a year ago. Do I go for a Classic Bay that someone has restored or imported or do I go for a second hand Kombi as I couldn’t afford a new one? I am fairly competent with mechanics and more so electrics but having restored 2 VWs (a ‘63 Bug and an ‘82 GTi) previously I didn’t want to do another resto and I was reluctant to trust someone else’s resto work as I know people cut corners. So having hired a Brazilian Kombi for a few days I made my mind up and went for a used T2, and I love it.

    The question of whether I go aircooled or water-cooled was void as I couldn’t afford a water-cooled and having owned a Beetle before I was happy to go for the flat-four engine - with the bonus of fuel injection. My Bay runs beautifully and seems to have an extra turn of speed. Sure there have been “issues” that I have needed to sort but nothing that makes me regret going for a Kombi over a Classic. I love the room afforded by the Rio conversion my van has and the pop top creates a spacious vehicle when we’re pitched up.

    There are a number of second hand Kombis on the market right now - some at keen prices, others overpriced. As I’ve suggested before - go hire one for a few days and it will help you to make up your mind.

    With regard to the rust - if you’re van has been cared for properly this won’t be an issue. Just be sensible and take someone along with you when viewing as a second pair of eyes. Waxoyl like crazy when you buy one and white Hammerite the insides of the roof gutters and bumper backs. Then enjoy being in a modern Bay Window Camper.

  • Tim on May 9th, 2010 said:

    Oh …. and I don’t work for Danbury btw, or VW Kampers or VW Downunder ;o)

  • Hesaidquote on Twitter on May 9th, 2010 said:

    I recently invested in my first VW van: 1970 Westy. I too would have loved a Split window but could not afford that. I found an awesome 1970 Baywindow that had been well taken care of and gently used. I do not regret it one bit, sure it dosent have all the bells and whistles of a new Westy, but what it lacks in modernization it makes up for in charm and character. Plus, it keeps us from becoming too spoiled if we still have to cook over a campfire or campstove outside. That is the point after all- being outside :) I hope you find a great van for your family

  • Peter on May 10th, 2010 said:

    also here in South Africa you could get a nice T2 for cheap and have it completely redone at a very reasonable price.

  • pmacs49 on May 10th, 2010 said:

    hi steve, well your mini looks nice,,
    would not be big enough for us maybe the clubman estate version. or even a 1.6 golf diesel 60 + on a gallon,
    well i’m sticking with my bay, as it just passed the mot last month no trouble and has been used on a 40 mile trip every day fetching stuff on with the house move,
    so i’m sure you will make your mind up eventually, most old bay owners on jk have got t4’s and t 5’s, lot of expense to having them converted….
    but do they match up to driving a bay and the waves and the looks from people ..no.

  • Paul on May 10th, 2010 said:

    I have always been looking for that perfect Bay to, but never had the money, so a couple of months ago I went for a 1991 model T4.
    Got it really cheap from a guy down the road, has a billion miles on the clock, but *fingers crossed* it keeps going.
    Which is good, as the extent of technical knowledge so far has been replacing an indicator bulb.
    I would highly recommend one, though I know they arent the classic look that everyone looks for in a VW, it seems more spacious than our friends bay, and has a lot less rust than the what we would have got for the same money in a classic.
    I can see myself have T4s for a while now, but still having the dream of a classic splitty or bay some day…

  • gordon on May 10th, 2010 said:

    how about another nice T25 with a subaru conversion and maybe an LPG conversion quick and plenty of room as you already know,I am saving up for an LPG conversion an my Autosleeper Trident and maybe one day will be able to go subaru power myself oneday

  • Steve on May 12th, 2010 said:

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Liam, As I have just sold my T25 I really want to go for something different. Do you think a classic Bay with a new engine, clutch, gearbox, etc would be as reliable as a second hand brazilian?

    Roger, Definitely like the appeal of a T4, although think I would go for a newer model.

    Tim, Like the idea of hiring a Brazilian Bay to see what it is like - might look in to this.

    Hesaidquote, do you find your 1970 Bay Window reliable? Have you had any major problems? Does it have a new engine?

    Peter, How cheap is cheap?

    Pmacs49, Well your Bay must be pretty reliable to do that trip for a few days running! Glad you like the mini!

    Paul, I know everyone who has owned a T4 raves about them. I am just worried if I go for one I would regret it and want a Bay?

    Gordon, I know a lot of people are converting their T25’s to a Subaru setup - what sort of power are you thinking of putting in your T25?

    Thanks again to all of you for a very interesting discussion!

    Steve

  • Werner on May 15th, 2010 said:
    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 947

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 948

    Hello Steve, hard to say. We had a similar problem. Not that our camper is gone, but our son finally had his license and needed a car. The son is 19 now and we have the camper (VW California Vanagon) now 21 year’s. Our son grew up with the camper so he wanted alltime for himself. We didn’t find a suitable used one for him so we decided to buy a new one for ourself and give the Westfalia to him, hope fully in good hands. (It’s like a brother for him, he say’s)
    Now we waiting for the new one. We orded again a VW California, the T5 Beach. The cheapest Model with the smallest engine and minimal accessory’s. Funny part, never seen one of these particular in real. Sure the T5, never a California Beach.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mac2214jv/sets/72157623766851244/

    Greetings from Germany
    Werner

  • Roger on May 15th, 2010 said:
    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 947

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 948

    Hi Steve,

    Was going to reply via Twitter but not enough characters! LOL

    Depends on your budget, when your going to use the van, for what purpose etc…

    Certainly looking at the past years market and trend I would say that for investment a T4 will be ideal, pre or post 96 doesn’t matter. But if your going to buy a post 96, lets say a 2001 then you might as well buy a T5 for an extra few £1k’s.

    Sticking with the T4 theme, all parts are still available, they cruise on the motor-way or main roads with ease at 55/60 mpg. And your refreshed/fresh for when you arrive at your destination - a good driving position.

    As I’ve mentioned before, a TDI T4 LWB will be a great investment. And a good place to get info from is http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk…..a really nice friendly website, brilliant advice and some cracking vans (not including mine).

    Good luck with you whatever you choose…..you will still get a wave from me :-)

  • Grumpytyke on May 18th, 2010 said:

    What on earth did you buy an oversized ‘MINI’ for? I’ll bet my ‘75 real Mini is more reliable (one failure, a burst water pipe, in 6 years), can park it where you couldn’t, cheap to maintain, didn’t lose £?k in depreciation the minute I drove it away (in fact it’s appreciating) and roomy enough inside (couple, tents and all the gear for a 5,000 mile round trip camping, no problem). Can’t advise on VW. I just bought my first, a ‘72 Bay, couple of weeks ago, only 500 miles so far including negotiating the wilds of Langdale. It cruises motorways calmly and quietly at 55mph. And it’s great to experience the same camaraderie as with the real Mini and that’s worth a bit of maintenance hassle if necessary.

  • Vintage VW Cars on May 19th, 2010 said:

    A VW lover without a van is a sad story - sorry to hear about the parting of your T25. That Mini is pretty slick looking though. I’ve always been a huge fan of split-window buses, although I’ve been collecting a few too many so I’m thinking about selling my ‘59 double door panel van - it is always a hard thing to part with a vintage van. :) Good luck in your quest to find another.

  • Gilly on June 26th, 2010 said:

    Just asking if anyone has any brill ideas on how to lighten the clutch pedal on my ‘84 T25. She’s a beauty but now have knee probs so am looking to either sell her or do something serious with the clutch pedal somehow. It has to travel so far and feels so heavy now just won’t be able to keep her otherwise!!

    Any help would be really appreciated.

  • jacqueline gleed on July 12th, 2010 said:

    we are lucky enough to own a 51 plate mini and an old 97 cooper. im a mini fanatic and love the old and new! The new one has all the thrills of the old one but without the hasssle(no power steering, rust,not being able to go over supermarket speedbumps) My husband wants to buy an old vw camper and as he has neither the time or the energy to restore one himself we are looking at one that has already be done. these do come with a price tag, but hopefully will hold there value. we are hiring a new danbury for the weekend in a couple of weeks just to put our minds at rest as to wether go old or new. at the end of the day we just want to have fun camping, good luck a happy times in whatever you decide

  • terry on August 8th, 2010 said:

    i have been reading some of the plusses and minuses about the brazillian imported kombi vans and i have come to the conclusion that they are worth a try.i am only really interested in a basic people carrier t2 but would definately want to have it wax oiled and be converted to right hand drive.i have heard that the 2010 models have a new lower grill and are painted to a higher standard to suit the british weather.i would like to see what this new lower grill looks like.can anybody help re where i can see this modifcation.as i live in suffolk it is a bit of a hack to travel all the way down to danbury factory near bristol.a nearer specialist would be nice if they are out there.kind regards terry

  • Tim on August 17th, 2010 said:

    Terry, you can see photos of folk collecting their new Kombis in the gallery section of danbury’s website or if you have a look on brazilianvwbay.com in the gallery there, under “Daytrip to Danbury” there are some close-up shots of the 2010 T2 mods.

  • Delfin on March 28th, 2011 said:

    hey dude this world largest VW is really awesome. As I think my family is world largest family. so may get you VW for my family vacation. :)

  • Asbestos Awareness Training on October 26th, 2011 said:

    I am thinking about buying a T5 to convert I have some questions
    1 Which is the best engine
    2 Should I go for LWB or SWB
    3 High top or popup top
    4 Is there any clubs I could join

    Thanks

    Neil

  • Steve on November 12th, 2011 said:
    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 947

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/vwcpblog/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 948

    Hi Neil,

    1 Which is the best engine

    Personal preference I guess - I went for a 2.5 TDI 4 motion (although I only went for the 4 motion as I liked the vehicle and it had been owned by a colleague). Whilst this is good on power, it drinks the diesel.

    2 Should I go for LWB or SWB

    Again, personal choice really - I went for a SWB so I could park easier as it is no longer than a standard saloon car.

    3 High top or popup top

    Pop top if you want it to look better, high top if you need the extra storage?

    4 Is there any clubs I could join

    There is a T5 club as part of the T4 Forum on http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=147

    Steve

Leave a Reply

Blog Archives

Categories

Links

Add me...

© 2012 vwcampervanblog.com | Website by eightyone design | XHTML | CSS