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Sales of the Beach soar

soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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We had a t6 lbw which we had converted. The extra space was in the area between the end of the bed and front seats. The rear seat was further back giving better vision out of the side rear windows.

Why did you move to a California.
Just out of interest
 
GraemeP

GraemeP

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65
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Isle of Wight
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Looking to buy
The Beach would work better as a 3 seater with twin sliding doors. The side storage in the old Beach was next to useless and I can’t see the appeal in the tiny mini kitchen thing...

The problem I had when changing vans, was that the standard spec of a Beach was miles off a standard spec of an Ocean.
It didn’t make financial sense to add options to the Beach spec which then made it cost similar to an Ocean.

Im sure Volkswagen could offer the Beach with a better standard of kit and a lower price point.
But as with all these German car brands, they over squeeze the Lemon.
I had this quandary last year, did not want a camper but a daily driver that I can camp in. I wanted good spec, and my list price was up over an Ocean. I just balanced the decision with an expected good residual price down the road, plus a high spec beach would be desirable as there won’t be many around.
 
Borris

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I originally started out looking to buy a LWB Caravelle with the bed pack; I don't even know if that's still and option. Since the majority of our use involves carrying our grand children here and there, the extra interior space would have been very useful. However, since owning Californias I've often wondered just how useful a LWB model would be.

If such a version existed it would no doubt be less convenient to park. I used to own a LWB T4 van so I can tell you that the extra length was a problem from time to time. So whilst not being a major issue it could be said that it might be a potential disadvantage.

Then there's the interior camping function to consider. In order for the occupants to use the interior camper van facilities properly, they have to be seated so that they can all reach the table to eat comfortable. So unless all the occupants are seven footers then ergonomically the current interior layout has to be the best solution.

So that leaves storage space. Personally, I feel that the campervan concept works best when you distill what you actually need to take with you down to the bare essentials. Too much stuff and the whole thing starts turning into a bit of a pain. So I do think there's a potential danger in having that extra boot storage space, especially in our case as Mrs B would take that as a green light to fill it with all kinds of unnecessary stuff.

Don't get me wrong though. If you can resist the urge to take extra gear with you, I do feel that having the bench seat further back when travelling would be an advantage especially in the case of the seven seat Beach. The SWB Beach in seven seat guise has enough leg room already but a little bit more legroom never does any harm. Also for those with kids and dogs I'm sure that the extra floor space would be very useful either side of meal times.
 
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Karlos

Karlos

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Fowey
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Cali now sold
Why did you move to a California.
Just out of interest
We sold the conversion after a year as we were not using it enough when mrs ks father was ill. I always found the van conversion dark inside, not that we sit in much unless it's cold and wet but I did like the extra internal space. You can see in the pic below how much space there was between the rear seat and the front seats.
I had always liked the Cali and it's fit and finish. I also like the idea of the hydraulic roof for solo trips and was hoping to take some sort of early retirement this year spending lengthy periods in the Med with Mrs K either flying out for long weekends and or working from the van but Covid has scuppered that.l also like the extended warranty and the overall feel of the Cali.20170508_123459.jpg20170508_123314.jpg
 
kp64zl

kp64zl

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1,118
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United Kingdom
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T6 Beach 150
Yes- extended warranty and not having to deal with a separate conversion company (or get caught in blame war between converter and VW) clinched the Cali for me.

The Conversion companies I dealt with were poor at returning phone calls, even though I was potentially going to pay them large sums of money.
 
Karlos

Karlos

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Yes- extended warranty and not having to deal with a separate conversion company (or get caught in blame war between converter and VW) clinched the Cali for me.

The Conversion companies I dealt with were poor at returning phone calls, even though I was potentially going to pay them large sums of money.
I took a lot of time to find a company that I felt I could trust and would build what I wanted on budget.

The build took about 4 weeks in total with regular progress updates and weekly visits by ourselves.

After completion we had 2 issues one was where the roof wouldn't latch when in southern France. I was left to resolve that myself as there was no way the UK converter or roof supplier were going to fly out or had any contacts in the area.

The other issue was during the winter on frosty mornings, when the sun had been on the van for around half an hour the alarm would go off. Took it into Liverpool who diagnosed a faulty rear door lock which they replaced. I was a little sceptical but it did fix the issue.
 
RoB5urf

RoB5urf

Beach with 2-seat bench
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381
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Kent
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T6 Beach 150
As always it’s down to personal requirements & choice, not necessarily cost. We went from a 7 seater Landcruiser to the Beach. We actually like the storage box in the 2 seater, we get oodles of stuff in it & have the benefit of extra space over a 3 seater which we don’t want.
Agreed. Personally I wouldn't buy the 3 seater unless I really need those 3 seats.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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Some who have very expensive bicycles find LWB very useful to keep the bikes inside the van when not in use.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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I see why you changed Karlos.
The amount of times I’ve heard people say their conversion is just like my Cali.
I have to correct them. It’s nothing of the sort. The way the kitchen cupboards open, the lack of storage and the inflexible interiors make conversions a PITA.

It’s the non obvious stuff which makes the Ocean an incredible tool.

Also why I don’t need separate awnings and can live on the road with just the van.
 
hirsty

hirsty

Two Seat Beach DSG
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It's crossed my mind to source a RHD replacement Beach from Ireland when the time is tight, but no urgency - mines barely run in after 4.5 years & I'd far rather retire a year earlier than pay top dollar for more or less the same bus I have.

I think the odd (to us) choices VW make on UK versions will be solely down to margins & minimising agg running multiple product lines (or SKUs, if you fancy another acronym ...)
 
Wildcamper

Wildcamper

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Can't think why anyone buys a Cali. They are well made but overpriced and under-deliver. We looked at Cali's for over 6 months, tried them out and concluded the above. Purchased a new top spec DSG LWB T6 van with swivel front seats, no bulkhead, rear camera and window wiper. Then took it to a converter in Minehead and got exactly what we wanted. 4 travelling seats, twin bed, fridge, hob, stove, gas storage underneath the vehicle, integrated Thetford cassette toilet, BBQ point, external shower, hot water (to shower and sink) either from gas or electric, gas cabin heating & masses of storage. With the converter's input we went for the fixed high top, same price as pop top. Overall the total cost was thousands less than any Cali. and it does a lot more, but importantly exactly what we wanted. Also no issues with VED changing from Panel Van to Motor Caravan. For the purist, ours is not a Cali. Oh well.
 
Borris

Borris

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Can't think why anyone buys a Cali. They are well made but overpriced and under-deliver. We looked at Cali's for over 6 months, tried them out and concluded the above. Purchased a new top spec DSG LWB T6 van with swivel front seats, no bulkhead, rear camera and window wiper. Then took it to a converter in Minehead and got exactly what we wanted. 4 travelling seats, twin bed, fridge, hob, stove, gas storage underneath the vehicle, integrated Thetford cassette toilet, BBQ point, external shower, hot water (to shower and sink) either from gas or electric, gas cabin heating & masses of storage. With the converter's input we went for the fixed high top, same price as pop top. Overall the total cost was thousands less than any Cali. and it does a lot more, but importantly exactly what we wanted. Also no issues with VED changing from Panel Van to Motor Caravan. For the purist, ours is not a Cali. Oh well.
As long as your happy then that's all that matters.

However, one reason people buy Californias are their very strong residual values. There are very few vehicles that come even close in this respect. Another is that it's made solely by VW so no buck passing between the manufacturer and the converter if things start going bandy. Oh and then there's the fit and finnish. There are some very good converters out there producing some very slick and imaginative conversions and then there are others. As for the Cali under delivering, I tend to agree with you in one respect. When most convertions boast hot water, VW must still feel that their customers are a hardy lot so don't need it.
 
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WelshGas

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Can't think why anyone buys a Cali. They are well made but overpriced and under-deliver. We looked at Cali's for over 6 months, tried them out and concluded the above. Purchased a new top spec DSG LWB T6 van with swivel front seats, no bulkhead, rear camera and window wiper. Then took it to a converter in Minehead and got exactly what we wanted. 4 travelling seats, twin bed, fridge, hob, stove, gas storage underneath the vehicle, integrated Thetford cassette toilet, BBQ point, external shower, hot water (to shower and sink) either from gas or electric, gas cabin heating & masses of storage. With the converter's input we went for the fixed high top, same price as pop top. Overall the total cost was thousands less than any Cali. and it does a lot more, but importantly exactly what we wanted. Also no issues with VED changing from Panel Van to Motor Caravan. For the purist, ours is not a Cali. Oh well.
High top so no comparison to the standard VW California.
 
westfalia

westfalia

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Germany.
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T5 SE 174
Can't think why anyone buys a Cali. They are well made but overpriced and under-deliver. We looked at Cali's for over 6 months, tried them out and concluded the above. Purchased a new top spec DSG LWB T6 van with swivel front seats, no bulkhead, rear camera and window wiper. Then took it to a converter in Minehead and got exactly what we wanted. 4 travelling seats, twin bed, fridge, hob, stove, gas storage underneath the vehicle, integrated Thetford cassette toilet, BBQ point, external shower, hot water (to shower and sink) either from gas or electric, gas cabin heating & masses of storage. With the converter's input we went for the fixed high top, same price as pop top. Overall the total cost was thousands less than any Cali. and it does a lot more, but importantly exactly what we wanted. Also no issues with VED changing from Panel Van to Motor Caravan. For the purist, ours is not a Cali. Oh well.
Lol :D
in 30 yrs time your van will be worth a pair of mickey mouse sunglasses on a good day.
 
Louis II

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Bristol
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Can't think why anyone buys a Cali. They are well made but overpriced and under-deliver. We looked at Cali's for over 6 months, tried them out and concluded the above. Purchased a new top spec DSG LWB T6 van with swivel front seats, no bulkhead, rear camera and window wiper. Then took it to a converter in Minehead and got exactly what we wanted. 4 travelling seats, twin bed, fridge, hob, stove, gas storage underneath the vehicle, integrated Thetford cassette toilet, BBQ point, external shower, hot water (to shower and sink) either from gas or electric, gas cabin heating & masses of storage. With the converter's input we went for the fixed high top, same price as pop top. Overall the total cost was thousands less than any Cali. and it does a lot more, but importantly exactly what we wanted. Also no issues with VED changing from Panel Van to Motor Caravan. For the purist, ours is not a Cali. Oh well.
For me it's the fact that its made of proper automotive materials. Looked at several conversions and they all felt like someone had nailed ikea furniture into a panel van.
The cali somehow feels like its meant to be.
Each to their own of course and the cali definately doesn't cater for those that want an on board toilet.
 
OGII

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Why are we bothering to reply to off topic ramblings? If we want a good debate lets restart the 2 vs 3 seat beach vs Ocean vs SE vs 140/150 vs 199/204 vs 4motion vs towel rack vs bike rack vs brandrup vs vanessa vs supermarket vs branded fuel arguments. All were more interesting than that post that had nothing to do with Beach sales or personal choice.
 
WelshGas

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One thing that would be interesting is whether there will be a "Beach" conversion market developed.
A Caravelle or Shuttle (twin sliders) with a pop top roof could fulfill a need especially as the introduction of the Coast might affect the high end conversion market.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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Why are we bothering to reply to off topic ramblings? If we want a good debate lets restart the 2 vs 3 seat beach vs Ocean vs SE vs 140/150 vs 199/204 vs 4motion vs towel rack vs bike rack vs brandrup vs vanessa vs supermarket vs branded fuel arguments. All were more interesting than that post that had nothing to do with Beach sales or personal choice.
I have both lowered and raised my van and left it the same.
 
R

reggie59

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Oxford
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Just browsing
I’m pretty sure the Beach wasn’t offered in Ireland when I last looked earlier in the year. Maybe one of our Irish members can confirm.

But it seemingly is now being offered (and is RHD too). You can also order the full colour range available in Germany, e.g. Starlight Blue over Reflex SilverThe brochure was updated 13 July 2020. Never mind the Beach angle, VWUK may have shot themselves in the foot with a limited colour offering for Coasts and Oceans.


Options brochure:


Why vw uk does not import all colours and wheels is beyond me. For sure, it does not require more work. Just pen pushers feeling they need to justify their jobs but creating a "marketing strategy" is my guess.

To uk md, save yourself some money, fire the idiots. Import all options as seen on uk.de and see sales increase.

I want the red/silver one and i cannot buy it!
 
JDA

JDA

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36
Location
Essex
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T6 Beach 150
Agreed, we have a 2 seater Beach we would not want the kitchen pod.
We’re with you on this as we too have the beach 2 seater. For us it’s all about having the space inside and being able to cook etc outside either under the attached awning or add-on awning.
 
JDA

JDA

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36
Location
Essex
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T6 Beach 150
Can't think why anyone buys a Cali. They are well made but overpriced and under-deliver. We looked at Cali's for over 6 months, tried them out and concluded the above. Purchased a new top spec DSG LWB T6 van with swivel front seats, no bulkhead, rear camera and window wiper. Then took it to a converter in Minehead and got exactly what we wanted. 4 travelling seats, twin bed, fridge, hob, stove, gas storage underneath the vehicle, integrated Thetford cassette toilet, BBQ point, external shower, hot water (to shower and sink) either from gas or electric, gas cabin heating & masses of storage. With the converter's input we went for the fixed high top, same price as pop top. Overall the total cost was thousands less than any Cali. and it does a lot more, but importantly exactly what we wanted. Also no issues with VED changing from Panel Van to Motor Caravan. For the purist, ours is not a Cali. Oh well.
As a lot of people say, it all comes down to personal choice and what you want your vehicle to do for you. Whether you want it to be a daily drive too. Glad you got what you wanted
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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Why vw uk does not import all colours and wheels is beyond me. For sure, it does not require more work. Just pen pushers feeling they need to justify their jobs but creating a "marketing strategy" is my guess.

To uk md, save yourself some money, fire the idiots. Import all options as seen on uk.de and see sales increase.

I want the red/silver one and i cannot buy it!

The latest colours on the T6.1are quite frankly rubbish, apart from indium grey and the new green.
 

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