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Help in Buying new Camper.

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    Help in Buying new Camper.

    Hello to all.
    I am in the process of buying a camper. Iv been looking at the VW Transporters, with pop up roof.
    My budget is from 10k to 25k max.
    I have been advised I am better to go to Germany to buy, cheeper, and better quality workmanship. Is this good advice ? If I was to go Germany is their any good links, for purchase, or folks that do the conversions ?
    Ideally I am looking for a 3 birth with pop up roof.
    I would need a good engine size, as I will need to do some off road driving, mostly muddy wet fields, farm tracks, and forestry roads. I have looked on you tube at the transporter off road and they are perfect for what I would need.
    I intend to use it for fishing trips off the beaten track, so will need basic off road functions.
    I am not looking to have shower and toilet fitted.
    As I intend to use the van for my every day use as well, I want keep the size down, but still be comfy for monthly long trips. For this again I thought of the Transporter, although the Merc Vito also looks good. Basically this will be my every day form of transport, shopping, work. So need something not to big for parking, and general day to day driving. I for sure want to be able stand up inside it, but don;t want one with the tall roof, therefore pop up version.
    Am I better buying from Germany ? ( The lhd is not an issue as I intend to do a lot of driving in Europe )
    Is it best to buy the camper already fitted as a camper, or is it better to buy the van and have it converted ?
    Is the VW Transporter the camper to aim for, small, compact, reliable, and holds it value, or should I look at other makes Merc, Mazda etc ?
    Basically any help much appreciated, good dealers, for conversions, good German dealers should I go that direction.

    Welcomee scotsmac

    A lot of questions there so I hope somebody can advise you.

    Buying in Germany Hmmm. What sort of aftersales service would you expect to get?


      I did several long trips into Europe including two to the SE corner of Romania in a T25, wild camping and using forest tracks and always wished that I'd had the 4x4 version because I had a few slippy moments when 4WD would have helped. That said the 2WD gearbox was tricky enough so a 4x4 'box would need to be well sorted to be reliable. I know the more modern FWD Transporters are available in 4x4. Unless you are totally fixated on VW you could go down the ex-military Landrover ambulance route in which case a visit to a ex-military supplier like Leavesley International could be an idea. That's a proper off-roader and would get you out of pretty much any situation.

      I see lots of big butch German registered ex-military vehicles up in my corner of Scotland converted to campers so there must be an outlet for them over there. BUT ... as has been observed, they might be cheaper but if they prove to be a dog, you're a bit lumbered.

      I like your style though!


        Hello and welcome scotsmac.

        A lot to consider. I can't help with buying from Germany. I feel though that it might add an extra set of hurdles to clear. If a specific van of interest turned up in Germany it might well be worth pursuing, but I wouldn't do it as a matter of course. Exchange rate not to our advantage either.

        I do agree that many German conversions are of better quality than some UK ones. But that isn't always the case and some UK converters use German made components.

        You don't mention your preferences on layout. It would be a good idea to establish this firmly in mind as it can be the factor that most affects how well the van fits your needs. It can also save time and effort by not considering unsuitable ones.

        You should find a wide variety of good vans in your price range. While VW may seem the obvious choice at first glance, I don't see any good reason to restrict your choice so early on. I would be looking for the right conversion above the base vehicle manufacturer. If any one make were clearly superior to all others, we would all have one.

        Using a van for everyday use is also very subjective. Many people are happy using medium or even larger size vans as everyday transport. Personally I would prefer not to although I do often have to.

        Three berth will be very "cosy" in anything the size of a VW and may not be practical in something like a Vito. Do you mean parents and child or three big burly fishermen?

        Getting one ready to go or buying a van and having it converted might depend on how soon you need it. Any decent convertor will have work on the books and we are just approaching their busiest time. I think you might struggle to get anything done for this season.


          Not sure about the "3 berth" - the only proper 3 berths I have seen have been on larger vans e.g. the Adria Twin, a MWB Ducato.

          Although lots of VWs say they are 4 berth (mine does) they actually have very narrow "double" beds downstairs and then some arrangement above in the roof that is really only suitable for primary age children.

          Autosleeper is reckoned to be the best UK manufacturer for quality of fittings but there are other good ones e.g. Devon, Bilbo, Danbury.

          You may be able to buy one in Germany for a bit less money but personally I would prefer to buy in UK as it is easier!


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