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Campervan - VW vs FORD vs VAUXHALL

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 inazone 15 Oct 2020

Sooo, looking to build a campervan on a LWB chassis , for a little more room. 

Is VW badge tax really worth the money? I have seen some great looking builds on Ford custom and now Vivaros are entering the field. You seem to get a lot more accessories, for the same money on non VW. 

What are folks experiences with Ford or Vivaro? 

What makes VW command the price? 

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 artif 15 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

Our neighbour is a VW van specialist, more the old stuff but he has new one for dialy driving. It's taken him months and hundreds of pounds to find the cause of a fault. I've heard many others with issues too. 

If I were looking for a van, based on first hand reports I'd go for a Ford. 

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 mattyP 15 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

We have a transit custom (it's not converted, but have 3 young kids and camp alot so sling shed loads in the boot). 

We love it. In hindsight it might be overkill for everyday but when you need to sling everything in it for a month camping in the alps with 3children under 6 its amazing. It's comfy and roomy.

I looked at VW's but they seemed considerably smaller and considerably pricier. Our custom (which is pretty plush but not a sport model) was 20k at maybe 18months old. I know they are "cooler" but I just can't see that VW's justify the horrendous price tag for what they are/do. 

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In reply to inazone:

Toyota Proace. Basically same van as the Vivaro but apparently comes with better spec (air con etc.)

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 65 15 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

I have a VW and I'm very happy with it. It hasn't given me any trouble beyond the odd thing wearing out or needing replaced as you'd expect with any vehicle of the same mileage. I thought about a Ford Transit custom but I didn't like the ride, I thought it was quite choppy on the motorway and that would be wearing on a long drive. The VW is smooth, 1000km days are not particularly arduous. They also hold their value.

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 jimtitt 15 Oct 2020
In reply to mattyP:

> We have a transit custom (it's not converted, but have 3 young kids and camp alot so sling shed loads in the boot). 

> We love it. In hindsight it might be overkill for everyday but when you need to sling everything in it for a month camping in the alps with 3children under 6 its amazing. It's comfy and roomy.

> I looked at VW's but they seemed considerably smaller and considerably pricier. Our custom (which is pretty plush but not a sport model) was 20k at maybe 18months old. I know they are "cooler" but I just can't see that VW's justify the horrendous price tag for what they are/do. 


The VW Crafter is for sure equally as big as a Transit and probably the largest version a bit bigger (also sold as MAN).

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 mattyP 15 Oct 2020
In reply to jimtitt: I’d (possible wrongly -sorry) assumed the OP had meant a Transporter sized thing.

65: you might be right about the holding value, their are a lot of customs on the road these days. Ours is a little more unique with 5seat cab and tailgate boot so hopefully won’t depreciate quite as badly. I do think the same about all vans at the minute, they are so popular the market is going to saturate.

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 kirsten 15 Oct 2020
In reply to mattyP: I love my converted VW, sold my last one for more than I paid for it three years earlier (nothing wrong with it just we’ll be in a low emissions zone soon) 

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In reply to inazone:

I've had no end of trouble with my T6 due to the ad blue system playing up. Lots of call outs and visits to the dealer for software resets and even some component replacements (one time the catalytic converter burned out, another time a NOX sensor - all apparently due to the ad blue going crazy). Eventually VW brought out a software upgrade which seems to have sorted the issue. All under warranty fortunately. It's also had a faulty battery and a faulty belt (alternator I think) replaced - those were known issues. The latest thing (it's now 3.5 years old and 40k miles) is there was soot build up on the EGR which seems to be a known issue as well but they did it for free even though it's out of warranty. So had a few issues even without the ad blue saga!

On the plus side, no other issues yet and not had to replace anything yet except wiper blades (brake discs/pads yet and all lights ok for now, though have MOT coming up so see what they say). MPG is pretty decent as well - can get well into the 50s if sitting at 60mph without too much weight in the back and can easily get high 40s or more on an average climbing trip with a combination of motorways and small roads. Don't get a 110 PSI though - they are underpowered for the weight so not much acceleration. Arguably makes me a safer, more cautious driver... 

VW seems to be a bit of a cult. Counted about 15 of them at the climbers' campsite in Pembroke one weekend (wasn't even that busy), which was more than all the other van makes put together! Surfers and general outdoorsy / van life people seem to love them - including people who are prepared to spend serious money. So that keeps the prices high, which is good for resale values. Are they actually worth it? Don't know. They certainly look good and drive very nicely.

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 kevin stephens 15 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

>  

> What makes VW command the price? 

VWs don't rust like Fords do

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In reply to kevin stephens:

Crafters do. So to T5s.  TBH, the new transit customs aren't too bad for rust. The back door hinges and under the bonnet seem to go quickly but the bodywork seems to be holding up not too bad on most.

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 Wainers44 15 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

Had the T5 for a couple of years now. Really impressed by it. Drives nicely and is comfortable on long trips.  Feels nice and robust and secure too.

Have driven Transit vans many many times and although I like them too the VW is significantly better as a drive.

The VW campers hold their value unbelievabley well. If I believe autotrader our van is worth about 10% more than we paid for it!

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In reply to inazone:

We just bought a Citroen Relay – no cool points for the badge, but it came with cruise control, air con, and reverse sensor as standard for a fraction of the price. Also pulls like a train, too. 

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 Ciro 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Georgert:

> We just bought a Citroen Relay – no cool points for the badge, but it came with cruise control, air con, and reverse sensor as standard for a fraction of the price. Also pulls like a train, too. 

I've also got a relay, had the older (x244) beforehand and now have an x250 with the 2.2 chain driven engine, it's a cracker. 

Lovely square shape - much easier to build out and use the space than a VW. There's a reason most of the European pro converters use the sevel vans...

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 65 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

> So to T5s.

I looked for a T5 partly on the basis that Honest John, Autotrader et al said that T5s didn't rust. Mine is 10 years old and has a few small bits of rust from stone chips and the like, but nothing serious or structural. I have seen a couple with serious rust but that is literally a couple out of what seems like the thousands one sees everywhere.

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 druridge 16 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

I guess the supposed 'cult' status of the VW is another reason not to get one?

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 hokkyokusei 16 Oct 2020
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 artif 16 Oct 2020
In reply to hokkyokusei:

Oooh a Loaf, legendary van

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 TechnoJim 16 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

I've got a 2007 T5 and it's been tremendous. Reliable, drives well, great build quality. 

I end up driving a lot of hire vans for work and the new Transits and Vivaros are nice, but if I had to buy again I'd go for a VW. Probably a slightly older one too, I don't even like electric windows on a vehicle - the more gizmos you have, the more sh1t there is to go wrong. 

I've had a minibus drive into the back of me and a farmer T-bone me with his Defender and both times I just had to replace the knackered doors and the van was totally fine.

Post edited at 18:40
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 WaterMonkey 16 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

I can’t be bothered replying to all the people writing lies about transporters so I’ll put it all here!

I’ve had my 2006 T5 for 11 years now. Bought it with 108,000 miles, it now has 170,000. 
No problems at all bar one sensor which was £45 to fix. Just replaced the rear brakes but that’s wear and tear.
 

They don’t rust, they have a galvanized body so if someone on here has one with rust there’s something wrong, like it has been badly damaged.

Awesome vans. Paid £10.5k for mine 11 years ago and I’d still get £9-10k now for it.

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 buzby 16 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

The company i work for uses both transits and vivaros and I've used both extensively day in day out.

Both have issues with the transit more prone to rust and the vivaro being very unreliable. out of the three types you mention if i was investing money into them i would choose the vw over the transit and not even consider a viavaro as imo its a piece of crap.

All our vans get a pretty hard life but in some ways that would be a good test of the reliability and longevity of the van itself.

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 BruceM 21 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

Traveling around I've seen way more visible body rust on VW vans (the modern looking boxy type - whatever they are) than on any Transit Custom.  Not sure why.  Maybe they get thrashed more?

Initially was put off Ford because of the rust rumor thing, but eventually decided on Transit Custom, which has been awesome for the last 3 years.  No Issues of any kind or hinge rust or anything.

Certainly enjoy NOT having a VW to get away from the crowd.  And Customs look much cooler -- like a Space Shuttle or even the more contemporary SpaceX Dragon.   What more could you want?

Resale price is never an issue as I don't intend to sell.  Maybe will only last about 10-12 years as my earlier vehicles (cars) have, but that's UK conditions for you.  Maybe some VWs can overcome that.

You can get precut plywood panels for either brand of vehicle so modding without too many tools is not a problem.  Brand just seems to be a cult thing.  Same with macs and iPhones.

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 IanNicBit 21 Oct 2020
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

> Toyota Proace. Basically same van as the Vivaro but apparently comes with better spec (air con etc.)

...or the Renault Sport which is also the same van, although our Vivaro has Air Con and only other thing is the SatNav and we just use Apple Maps, although we did get the cradle for a phone out of a Renault.

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 DaveHK 21 Oct 2020
In reply to inazone:

I'm told the new Transits have better rust protection. They would need to have really, structural rust killed out 58 plate Transit this year.  Whilst I liked pretty much everything else about it I'd  want to know for sure the rust protection was better before getting another.

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In reply to BruceM:

Having had an Android phone for 10 years then being forced to have an iPhone for work for the first time, and realising just how much easier all day to day tasks are and generally living with the phone, I've decided I'm part of the iPhone 'cult' and pity all those who have Android phones and will never see the light! haha 

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 nathan79 07:59 Thu
In reply to elliot.baker:

Forced indoctrination to a cult is probably preferable to choosing to join of your own free-will.

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 mattyP 11:07 Thu
In reply to inazone:

Might be worth being aware that if your tranny has a tailgate boot you can’t open it from the inside!

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 WaterMonkey 11:47 Thu
In reply to mattyP:

> Might be worth being aware that if your tranny has a tailgate boot you can’t open it from the inside!

By Tranny do you mean Transporter or Transit?

Transporter tailgates you can open from inside.

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 mattyP 11:54 Thu
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Oooh never heard transporters called Trannys. Good point though. I meant Transits.

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In reply to inazone:

> What makes VW command the price? 

I've got one that I'm about to put up for sale for the same price we paid for it 6 years and 50,000 miles ago. So although they are expensive up front they can work out cheaper in the long run. 

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 Wainers44 15:53 Thu
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> I've got one that I'm about to put up for sale for the same price we paid for it 6 years and 50,000 miles ago. So although they are expensive up front they can work out cheaper in the long run. 

....and like a dummy I didn't appreciate this when first looking to buy one. T5s with 100k+ miles on clock being sold privately at £15k+ had to be a mistake....?

But no, they hold their value. Cult? Maybe, but the same could be said of any successful Brand? 

We love our VW. Its built well, drives well, isn't too big and so it doesn't block up roads etc. No rust.

Again being a dummy I didn't really understand how it would keep its value (although that was pretty obvious really) so that's been a bonus. 

I have driven Transit Minibus format vehicles for many years. Rust buckets,  but I do love them too. Having grass growing around your feet in the driver foot well is a lovely optional extra! 😁

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 John Ww 19:38 Thu
In reply to mattyP:

> Might be worth being aware that if your tranny has a tailgate boot you can’t open it from the inside!

Can’t do this with our Caddy Maxi either - at least not without removing the tailgate door card.

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In reply to Ciro:

I have a Relay (L3H3), definitely an easier shape to build out than some others but has a few interesting features that may be worth factoring in:

- every blasted rib is blind at one or both ends which does make cabling a bit awkward.

- the gearbox has an incredibly long reverse gear (like 2nd rather than 1st), it really doesn't like hills. Lots of motorhome forums are full of complaints from motorhome owners.

The Relay came up in another thread fairly recently so maybe worth searching for that.

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