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VW Long Wheel Base VS Short Wheel Base – which is right for me?

There are a number of factors that come into play when deciding which size VW Transporter to purchase for your campervan conversion:

  • Price: The SWB vans are about $2000 cheaper than the LWB.
  • Availability: If you are looking for a used Transporter there are a lot more SWB vans available as opposed to LWB.
  • Internal space: 30cm does not seem like a lot, and it isn’t. However in such a small space it does feel like you are in a larger area with this extra 30cm, PLUS you get an additional 30cm wide storage area.
  • Your driving ability: Do you live in the inner city and use your campervan as your everyday vehicle? Think twice about a LWB. Yes it’s only 30cm but this small amount of space makes a world of difference when parallel parking on busy city streets or squeezing into the last spot available at the supermarket carpark.

We’d suggest – take a test drive at your local VW dealer of both the SWB and LWB and do some parallel parking of your own to see if you are comfortable in the larger van.

One last thought – having travelled in both many times, we do love the larger feel of a LWB, especially if you are travelling for extended periods of time in colder weather (and spending longer periods of time ‘living’ inside your campervan. HOWEVER, you will not miss the additional 30cm if you get a SWB.

CHOOSING YOUR VEHICLE: The Hyundai Campervan VS the VW Campervan

We are often asked which van we would recommend for a campervan, the Hyundai Iload or the VW Transporter.   There is obviously no easy answer and lots to consider when choosing between the two.

THE ORIGINAL CAMPERVAN

As the VW has historically been used as a campervan in the UK and Europe, there are a lot of accessories readily available and made specifically for this type of van. Check out Just Kampers Australian website for a glimpse of what is available to purchase for the VW (but not the Hyundai.) Most notable here is the passenger swivel seat base which to date we cannot source for the Hyundai.

Another point to keep in mind is that the step into the Hyundai is higher and the sliding door opening smaller than in the VW, this makes it slightly more difficult to step into a Hyundai campervan.

Winner: VW

THE UP FRONT COST

If you are purchasing new, the price is like for like. Although if you have a limited budget and can only afford second hand, Hyundai vehicles drop far more in price than the VW once they leave the showroom.   For $28K you could buy a Hyundai Iload with low kms and still under warranty, however would not find anything similar in this price range when looking at used VW Transporters.

Having said that, Ronny our German Achtung Camper director would 100 times over tell you there is no comparison between German and Korean workmanship.   Achtung Camper can also get a good discount on new T6 vans purchased through us to convert into a VW Campervan. These two points lead us to the following conclusion:

Winner:

Hyundai if you are purchasing second hand.

VW if you are purchasing new.

 THE ONGOING COSTS

Regardless of whether you want your van to be a campervan or a normal passenger vehicle, Hyundai vs VW comes down to a few deciding factors:

  • A 5 year warranty on Hyundai vans as opposed to 3 years with VW.
  • Cheaper ongoing servicing and parts with Hyundai.
  • More mechanics in Australia are able to service/repair the Hyundai than a European model.

Winner: Hyundai

 For more information on our campervan conversions visit http://achtungcamper.com.au/conversions/

 

All about awnings

Awnings – do you need one, when do we use our awning and what options are there?

Let’s first discuss the wind out awnings permanently attached to your van such as the Fiamma or Dometic awnings we fit to our campervans.

These are handy to have however their use is more limited than most people first think.   Without two privacy walls (which are purchased as additional accessories) the awning will offer little protection from rain or sun. The walls can be purchased online from CaravanandRVworld quite cheaply:

http://www.caravanandrvworld.com.au/coast-v2-sunscreen-w2805mmxh1800mm-t-s-10-cf-awnin

Set up time for the awning alone would be about 3-5 minutes for one person (if tying it down). Add about 10 minutes to set up the two privacy walls.

The downside is that once it is set up you cannot then drive away without packing up the awning and walls. Having said that, this type of awning is an extremely common industry standard and you would be lost without it if there is no other sun shelter nearby.

 

There are also cheaper ‘drive away’ style shelters available at BCF for 4WD camping which offer their own type of weather protection at a cheaper price.

We personally find the Dometic awning useful.  Having said that, we spent years campervanning without any type of awning at all and could always find a nice shady tree to sit under!

VW Campervan for sale

The Dometic awning.