Are you in the market for a new Volkswagon camper? Our article will walk you through the steps of purchasing your VW campervan.
- Your first concern, as with any large purchase, will be your budget, so always refer back to your maximum spend. What can you afford, how much can you spend, and how much are you prepared to spend?
If you’re buying used from a dealer, we advise that you get to know them.
- Is the VW campervan something they’re passionate about?
- A company that is proud and passionate about campervans will simply not cut corners or accept “that will do” as an answer.
Different VW campers have three different styles. This is a matter of personal preference. A pop-top campervan provides more headroom without being permanently attached to the vehicle. However, because bigger models have more moving components, there is a greater chance that something may go wrong, which can be costly to fix or replace.
Maybe you’d rather have a high-top? These are also useful for adding extra headroom, but because they are permanent, you won’t be able to drive in most height-restricted regions. You’ll almost certainly have to store your campervan outside, which will add to the security concerns and expenditures.
A conventional hardtop might be more appealing to you. These are simple to use and store, and they come in a variety of models. The van’s downside is, of course, the lack of headroom inside.
VW Campervan Essentials
Although some people will simply use their campervan as a day van, it is a good idea to incorporate the necessary equipment in your conversion. Even if you don’t intend to drive it, the van’s residual value will increase, and the more features it has, the easier it will be to sell.
The following are the basic equipment you should look at:
The greatest beds are double and pull out. A “rock n roll bed” is a seat that changes into a bed in a campervan, and one of them will provide you with a nice night’s sleep in your campervan. Investing in a rock n roll bed not only helps you to sleep easily but also allows you to sit comfortably during the day and in the evenings. When it comes to beds and styles, there are many alternatives we can explain the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can make an informed decision.
You probably won’t worry about heating in the summer, but having the option to heat your campervan is a necessity even in the spring and autumn, let alone when camping in the UK during the winter. Electric supply heating can be installed in your VW transporter camper, but you must be linked to a main electric supply in order to use it. This eliminates any overnight or isolated stays, as well as wild camping without electricity. Gas heating is the most popular option for conversion campers; if you have a gas cooktop, you’ll always have gas, so it’s a no-brainer. Again, if you choose gas, it’s a good idea to buy a van with or have a gas propane tank installed under the vehicle, which is less expensive to refill than a separate gas bottle.
Water tanks of various sizes can be installed in a campervan conversion. When your water tank is full, your van will be heavier, which means it will be more expensive to operate. However, if you intend on doing a lot of wild camping for a few days at a time with no access to water, a larger tank is a smart alternative to have. It’s a good idea to install an onboard water tank, so you can fill it up before heading out for the day or a camping trip. You wouldn’t fill up a water container before leaving if you were headed somewhere with a water supply.
I know you fantasise about eating fish and chips while gazing out at the sea, but when hunger hits in the middle of nowhere and all you have onboard is a tin of beans, a hob will come in handy. Electric hobs are fine, but you must always be linked to an electrical supply in order to use them. A double gas hob is standard in most campervans. As long as you have a gas cylinder with you, you can use these when out and about. This makes them ideal for overnight stays as well as day trips to the countryside or the beach, even if all you need is a cup of tea. If you choose gas, it’s a good idea to buy a VW transporter camper that has a gas propane tank installed under the vehicle, which is less expensive to refill than a separate gas cylinder.
Whether you use it as a day van or a campervan, a fridge that operates on mains or solar power, if you have it, is probably essential. Having a fridge installed provides you more versatility and makes it more appealing to buyers when and if you decide to sell it – once you fully own it of course.
Whilst we discuss the kitchen area, for those coffee lovers, we have put together a list of the 4 best coffee machines for motorhomes and campervans.
If your VW campervan is for a single person or a flexible couple who are fine to eat on their laps, you can get away without a table. You can always rest your laptop tray or plate on your lap. A compact table or swing-out single tables, on the other hand, are frequently favoured because they provide you with more options and make your campervan more versatile.
VW Campervan - Body
Always try before you buy. When you have decided on the Volkswagen model you wish to purchase and go for a test drive, you should make a few observations. VW campervan chassis are a source of concern, and welding can be costly if necessary. As a result, it’s best to buy the cleanest you can find.
The two chassis rails that go from front to back, the jacking points, and the outriggers that run from left to right of the vehicle are all important parts of the chassis. Avoid campervans with rust, and if they’ve been patched, make sure the welding is good. You’ll have issues if the patch is fused with rusty metal.
The front beam is an important part of the MOT. This beam, which sits in front of the car, is an MOT failure and thus not safe if it is rusted or fixed using spot welding. The front beam is a crucial structural component, therefore any welding done on it should be seamed rather than spot welding. Click here if you need to register your van as a motor caravan.
Examine the body panels as well. Some problems can include the corners of the windscreen, under the wheel arches, the bottoms of the doors, and behind the bumpers. It’s also a good idea to look for evidence of rust underneath the front mats. If the drain holes in a VW campervan become blocked, they are also prone to rotting under the sink.
An inspection is always recommended whether the van has a tin roof, a high-top, or a pop-top. Tin tops are prone to rust, particularly around the gutters; fibreglass high-tops can split and let water in; and pop-tops may have issues with their mechanism, fabric, and rusty arms.
Check the engine
Inspect inside and under the engine compartment carefully. Make sure to inspect the Volkswagen campervan on a dry day, as certain oil leaks may not be visible in damp weather. Make the obvious checks of the ground beneath the car (although keep in mind that it may have been relocated) and keep an eye out for unusually clean engine areas. If you discover a leak, don’t immediately assume it’s a ‘Don’t Touch’ situation; instead, investigate the cause of the leak to determine the likely repair cost.
Check the oil dipstick; if the level is low, it could be a sign of a leak or the owner’s negligence.
Listen to the sound and keep an eye on the exhaust when starting the engine. It’s always a negative sign if there are strange sounds, knocks, or smoke coming from the exhaust.
Check the head gasket on a regular basis. There are several methods for doing so. First, check the dipstick and open the oil filler cap to see if there is any white residue on them. Before and after you test drive the van, make sure the expansion tank is full of water. If the water level has fallen, it’s possible that you have a blown head gasket.
Other things to look out for include examining all pipes for any signs of wear and looking out for any leaks in the gearbox.