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.
- 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.
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:
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!