Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

Thinking of fulltiming?

soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
4,045
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
The skint, cold and damp van approach is grim. I’ve met lots of people in dirt cheap vans who have made it work. They take the time to simply convert their vans as cheaply ascthey can to deal with the weather.

I take my hat off to them Lighting.
I know from my own travels in winter, how hard it is to dry thing out or deal with having less space as you move inside the van.
Appreciate those over coming the obstacles winter presents.
Definitely takes some dedication...
 
Wesel

Wesel

VIP Member
Messages
376
Location
Belgium
Vehicle
T6 Coast 150 4Motion
I take my hat off to them Lighting.
I know from my own travels in winter, how hard it is to dry thing out or deal with having less space as you move inside the van.
Appreciate those over coming the obstacles winter presents.
Definitely takes some dedication...
There are many seasonal workers who live in a van or a truck all winter near the tracks.
And living on the streets is even more difficult.
Not everyone chooses.
 
HectaTheSpecta

HectaTheSpecta

Messages
111
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
Curious question, how do full-timers have access to a Doctor for prescription meds etc?
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Curious question, how do full-timers have access to a Doctor for prescription meds etc?
I use a relatives address. Abroad, you can use GHIC or private health insurance.
I think if that if you are actually street homeless in the UK you can go to any GP surgery if it’s urgent.
 
Auberg-ine

Auberg-ine

Is it an office? Is it a lounge? Is it a camper?
VIP Member
Messages
820
Location
Brussels
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Anybody saw 'Nomadland' ?
 
HectaTheSpecta

HectaTheSpecta

Messages
111
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
I use a relatives address. Abroad, you can use GHIC or private health insurance.
I think if that if you are actually street homeless in the UK you can go to any GP surgery if it’s urgent.
Are you full-timing and how are you finding it?
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Are you full-timing and how are you finding it?
Yes, for a couple of years, most of the time I enjoy it a lot, sometimes I don’t as there are some significant downsides to it, it’s still fun for me, but it’s certainly not a lifestyle everybody would enjoy. Winter is significantly less enjoyable.
 
HectaTheSpecta

HectaTheSpecta

Messages
111
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
Yes, for a couple of years, most of the time I enjoy it a lot, sometimes I don’t as there are some significant downsides to it, it’s still fun for me, but it’s certainly not a lifestyle everybody would enjoy. Winter is significantly less enjoyable.
Kudos to you for doing it for so long.

I would PM you but not sure how. In hindsight, what are the top 5 things that you'd consider must-haves if I may ask.

And without divulging do you find yourself relatively static in one place or do you move on?
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
The thing virtually everybody gets wrong at least twice is their choice of van, unless they build it themselves. The layout is pretty much the only thing that really matters when full timing. All vans are a compromise and none of them are perfect.

For the Cali being off grid a lot:
1. Iso top and cooling fan
2. Solar
3. Underslung LPG
4. Suitable tyres for the environments
5 A laid back attitude to problems arising and mosquitos

I usually move around a lot, every few days, except during pandemics. It gets old and I need to stay in one place for an extended period occasionally to recharge. It’s also expensive moving around so much, staying still is much cheaper.
 
GrahamB

GrahamB

VIP Member
Messages
211
Location
Dorset
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Anybody saw 'Nomadland' ?
Yeah. Powerful stuff and quite an insight into how and why people get into this lifestyle. It was good they didn’t put some sort of naff Hollywood gloss on it. Felt quite ‘real’.
 
Elly Swanson

Elly Swanson

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
1,741
Location
East Midlands
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
In this video this lady who has lived in her van for a few years gives an interesting perspective on one of the down sides of living in a van. Keep an exit strategy in mind, as I think her experience is pretty common.

If I van-lived in my cali, I’d need a trailer as big as my house :eek:
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
If I van-lived in my cali, I’d need a trailer as big as my house :eek:
I was happy living out of a backpack for a couple of years, so the Cali is huge. The best thing about it is that I no longer have to work, this is a choice at the moment, as I’m not buying superfluous cr*p as there is nowhere to keep it. In general the less material stuff I have, with a couple of specific exceptions, the happier it makes me.
 
4x4 joker

4x4 joker

VW T6 Westfalia Club Joker 4motion
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,125
Location
Southampton/Perthshire
Vehicle
N/A
The thing virtually everybody gets wrong at least twice is their choice of van, unless they build it themselves. The layout is pretty much the only thing that really matters when full timing. All vans are a compromise and none of them are perfect.

For the Cali being off grid a lot:
1. Iso top and cooling fan
2. Solar
3. Underslung LPG
4. Suitable tyres for the environments
5 A laid back attitude to problems arising and mosquitos

I usually move around a lot, every few days, except during pandemics. It gets old and I need to stay in one place for an extended period occasionally to recharge. It’s also expensive moving around so much, staying still is much cheaper.
I swapped my cali for a joker and done 3winters in it now.
You are a brave person fulltiming in a cali!
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I swapped my cali for a joker and done 3winters in it now.
You are a brave person fulltiming in a cali!
I do like the Joker, I looked at them, and wanted one, but the base vehicles were very low spec, there is no boot, and the main one was the height. The pop top has got me into quite a few cool spots. If I ever change I will be checking out the joker again though. The only real down side of the pop top for me is the noise when I’m in a city, the weather doesn’t bother me often unless it’s gale force torrential rain.
The space does feel small in an endless British winter though.
 
4x4 joker

4x4 joker

VW T6 Westfalia Club Joker 4motion
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,125
Location
Southampton/Perthshire
Vehicle
N/A
The joker hightop boot isn’t great, but there’s surprisingly loads of storage in it. The rear seats lift and there loads under there, plus being lwb lots of cupboards. The shower area is great for drying all your wet gear. Just fitted 110l box on bike rack to carry extra gas and hiking gear.
Base vehicle is pretty much same spec as cali too.

Only down side is height barriers, but I’m rarely in big cities. Always find amazing spots just not in them busy tourist carparks.
Also great for a quick get away from a stealth spot, no need to lower roof. Can move from bed to steering wheel and be off in 2mins!

The Cali is an amazing van, just very tough for anyone to full time in one. Fair play :thumb
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
The joker hightop boot isn’t great, but there’s surprisingly loads of storage in it. The rear seats lift and there loads under there, plus being lwb lots of cupboards. The shower area is great for drying all your wet gear. Just fitted 110l box on bike rack to carry extra gas and hiking gear.

Only down side is height barriers, but I’m rarely in big cities. Always find amazing spots just not in them busy tourist carparks.
Also great for a quick get away from a stealth spot, no need to lower roof. Can move from bed to steering wheel and be off in 2mins!

The Cali is an amazing van, just very tough for anyone to full time in one. Fair play :thumb
I would be very happy with either I think. All vans are a compromise in one way or another. I have never had to make a quick getaway yet fortunately. I came close when a helicopter landed a few metres behind my van in the middle of the night in small carpark in Norway and I thought it was an earthquake. Having a built in hot shower must be very nice though….
 
4x4 joker

4x4 joker

VW T6 Westfalia Club Joker 4motion
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,125
Location
Southampton/Perthshire
Vehicle
N/A
I would be very happy with either I think. All vans are a compromise in one way or another. I have never had to make a quick getaway yet fortunately. I came close when a helicopter landed a few metres behind my van in the middle of the night in small carpark in Norway and I thought it was an earthquake. Having a built in hot shower must be very nice though….
I was in wales and loads of kids turned up really late and started setting off fireworks and the dog freaked out (hates fireworks), oh and once in Ireland parked in a very dodgy spot let’s just say!

Just used the shower after a day on the mountain bike trails, Glenlivet bike park let me fill my tank (bliss).
 
L

Lightning

Messages
1,518
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I was in wales and loads of kids turned up really late and started setting off fireworks and the dog freaked out (hates fireworks), oh and once in Ireland parked in a very dodgy spot let’s just say!

Just used the shower after a day on the mountain bike trails, Glenlivet bike park let me fill my tank (bliss).
What I do need is dog like yours!
 

Similar threads

gvick
Replies
8
Views
699
gvick
gvick
S
Replies
2
Views
529
SimplyDubs
SimplyDubs
KiwiTiki
Replies
14
Views
733
KiwiTiki
KiwiTiki

VW California Club

Top