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campervan recommendations

(12 Posts)
spaceal Tue 17-Sep-13 13:36:26

Can anyone recommend a campervan which might work for sleeping 3 (2 adults and a toddler) for a few nights away and as an everyday vehicle? And isn't too expensive for a second-hand good condition one?

I've had a look at various websites and in addition to VWs, the Mazda Bongo seems like a possibility, but I don't know what else might be out there.

Thank you!

dietstartsmonday Tue 17-Sep-13 14:23:11

We have a VW T4 and love it. It sleeps two but you can get them to sleep 4.

My DP uses it as his everyday drive and if you are interested there is a great community around VW's

Happy to answer any questions about T4's if you have them

hz Tue 17-Sep-13 14:36:40

We have a Bongo. I have written loads about it here Do have a look. We use it with two adults and two kids. We have had it fully converted but if you aren't especially attached to the idea of a fridge or hob it is a great option unconverted too.
They are very useable as everyday vehicles in terms of size, manoeverability etc. However, you might want to consider carefully the engine you go for, as ours (the V6) consumes petrol at a frightening rate. Smaller engine petrol is better though you get less power for those steep hills you always find in the most beautiful places. Diesel is the best option in terms of power and economy. As with all campervans condition is very important, don't get sucked in by a super cheap one and then find you've bought a rust bucket!

spaceal Wed 18-Sep-13 14:50:15

Thank you - will explore these options a bit more. hz your blog is very comprehensive!

I've noticed with a lot of campervans they're quite old models for sale, 15-20 years old (even if you don't look at vintage vans) - does that mean servicing bills add up?

dietstartsmonday Wed 18-Sep-13 15:41:30

ours is 13 years old and mechanically has been fine. the older split screen vw's are costly and unreliable.

if you want something newer maybe look at a T5 instead of a T4. cost more to buy but more they are still making them now

Weegiemum Wed 18-Sep-13 15:45:15

We used to have an old Devon conversion vw, 1976.

Don't get one unless you can do repairs yourself!!

Lexiesinclair Wed 18-Sep-13 20:49:59

I have a T5, I love it. It has a roof bed that sleeps one adult/2 kids, and you can also get child beds that fits in the cab. It has a pop up roof rather than a high top so fits under car park barriers etc, and fits into a normal car parking space so is good to use day to day.

colleysmill Fri 20-Sep-13 21:31:08

We have a t25 vw - its fairly reliable but can be a labour of love!

spaceal Sat 21-Sep-13 10:50:45

Thanks for these - will keep checking out the options.

snowmummy Sat 21-Sep-13 19:46:45

We have a 1995 vw t4 multivan. Five of us sleep in it. Its great.

colleysmill Sun 22-Sep-13 08:12:34

I think weegiemum has a good point about older vans - ours is 25 years old and does need a good emergency fund to keep her on the road and a certain amount of upkeep mechanically. And older vans drink petrol like there's no tomorrow.

I would absolutely recommend viewing before buying and if you do go for an older van take someone with you that knows a bit about them so you can spot any obvious problems. It's often said that body work is the most important thing to look at closely and photos won't always show the right areas to look for dreaded rot in older vans.

If you've never been in one or spent a night I would also either borrow or hire one for a weekend or spend a good deal of time looking around - vans come with lots of different interiors and not every one suits everybody. But interiors can be changed if you're up for a project! We have a high top which is good for storage but doesn't fit under height barriers very easily.

Saying that we've had a really good year (despite having the AA out a few times) and done about 3000 miles in ours. Would we be without it? Absolutely not smile

bordellosboheme Thu 10-Oct-13 13:03:59

Also look at Mercedes vitos.... The older ones can be a bit rusty though

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