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Why the California is the best all rounder

T

Tom

Messages
7
We bought our California in 2008. It has 57,000 miles on it now and is a great all rounder. Over the last 2 years I had knee surgery for tattered knees from 40 years of offshore sailing and was restricted in leaping about. In the last year we discussed selling the California and ‘upgrading’ to a larger motor home to cruise the continent during the winter months. We’re in our mid 60’s. Its not going to happen.

In early February an old friend called to say he bought a 2001 Hymer 6 berth in S Spain. Would I accompany him as navigator and bring the van back to Northern Ireland. No problems I said and looked forward to the experience. My better half said it would help identify our needs in a new larger motor home. It did that!

After a five week journey it has made me aware of the beauty of the California in relation to a larger motor home. Driving a big beast, getting through small towns, windage and constantly thinking ahead as to fit, size and width has convinced me that our California is the way ahead. I am going to add wee treats to the California, a ladder to the brilliant top berth, new carpet and storage solutions but the basic vehicle will remain the same. Compact but spacious, especially if you are in a hot climate, it’s outdoors living and we spent all day outside the big van until we hit N France last week.

The secret in long term traveling with the California is having facilities available. Showers, washing facilities and loos can be planned ahead as you travel. The comfort of being able to access small towns is a very valuable asset. A prime example, last Thursday in the Hymer we attempted to enter a paying car park in Normandy and were stopped by the local police because only cars could park in the WW2 car park to visit the museum. We had to go 2 kilometers outside the area where parking was available for a big beastie. There were 2 VW campers and a smart new California in the car park because they are looked on as cars/VW people carriers! Enough said! I’m a happy bunny with my California.
Tom
 
Jonathan Duke

Jonathan Duke

Messages
821
Location
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Nice write-up Tom! As you say, the California is hard to beat as an all-rounder! Sounds like you’re a well travelled Man. I’m just starting out at the Sailing game, but having a Van for winter travelling would be best of both Worlds.

Welcome back home to N.I. also :cheers
 
IanE

IanE

VIP Member
Messages
560
Location
Kendal
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
That's so good to read - thanks Tom! I'm mid sixties too and have recently gone through the same thought process. Having come through that thought process, I'm about to spend a small fortune on what I hope will be my perfect van stereo, based on the prospect of hoping to keep it for another ten years. We bought it new nine years ago.

Your story is very reassuring!

Ian
 
Freeley

Freeley

VIP Member
Messages
1,660
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
That's so good to read - thanks Tom! I'm mid sixties too and have recently gone through the same thought process. Having come through that thought process, I'm about to spend a small fortune on what I hope will be my perfect van stereo, based on the prospect of hoping to keep it for another ten years. We bought it new nine years ago.

Your story is very reassuring!

Ian
We've still got ours as well Ian it will be 10 years old in June.
No plans on changing yet either, we bought a swanky pioneer head unit back in 2012 but want to change again now!

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 
GrannyJen

GrannyJen

goody goody 2shoes
Moderator
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
7,238
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
For me it is proven.

I have read on other forums that it is "not as luxurious". Well, if luxury was my first choice I would perhaps have a hymerLorry.

"it is quite van-like".. Yes. Love it. loads of cubbyholes to put things instead of a big vacant "car-like" experience. I don't want a car, I want a camper.

"It's too expensive" .... yes, hideously so, until you own one and realise the resale value means the cost is around 5 nights stay in an hideously overheated central London hotel.

"It's ever so boring"... yes it is until you go to those places most cannot get to and find you are the only boring person on the planet because everyone else cannot get there or their one leisure battery means they can't stop there.

I so love my Cali I wanted rid of it when I went to change. Love/Hate.... anything must be better than this ..... until I swapped Albert for Alfie and quite frankly I'm sat here in Alfie having had a deliriously superb evening with my sister and two dogs in her caravan, which I tugged here, and thinking "you most amazingly, functional, wonderful, lovely beast. ALFIE I love you!"
 
IanE

IanE

VIP Member
Messages
560
Location
Kendal
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
We've still got ours as well Ian it will be 10 years old in June.
No plans on changing yet either, we bought a swanky pioneer head unit back in 2012 but want to change again now!

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
Yep - it’ll see me out all being well :)
 
E

Elizabeth Silman

Messages
50
We bought our California in 2008. It has 57,000 miles on it now and is a great all rounder. Over the last 2 years I had knee surgery for tattered knees from 40 years of offshore sailing and was restricted in leaping about. In the last year we discussed selling the California and ‘upgrading’ to a larger motor home to cruise the continent during the winter months. We’re in our mid 60’s. Its not going to happen.

In early February an old friend called to say he bought a 2001 Hymer 6 berth in S Spain. Would I accompany him as navigator and bring the van back to Northern Ireland. No problems I said and looked forward to the experience. My better half said it would help identify our needs in a new larger motor home. It did that!

After a five week journey it has made me aware of the beauty of the California in relation to a larger motor home. Driving a big beast, getting through small towns, windage and constantly thinking ahead as to fit, size and width has convinced me that our California is the way ahead. I am going to add wee treats to the California, a ladder to the brilliant top berth, new carpet and storage solutions but the basic vehicle will remain the same. Compact but spacious, especially if you are in a hot climate, it’s outdoors living and we spent all day outside the big van until we hit N France last week.

The secret in long term traveling with the California is having facilities available. Showers, washing facilities and loos can be planned ahead as you travel. The comfort of being able to access small towns is a very valuable asset. A prime example, last Thursday in the Hymer we attempted to enter a paying car park in Normandy and were stopped by the local police because only cars could park in the WW2 car park to visit the museum. We had to go 2 kilometers outside the area where parking was available for a big beastie. There were 2 VW campers and a smart new California in the car park because they are looked on as cars/VW people carriers! Enough said! I’m a happy bunny with my California.
Tom
I too am mid sixties and said goodbye two weeks ago to my 2008 much loved California. I'm now getting to know my new best friend : a T6 California!! Can't beat 'em!
 
Paulro

Paulro

VIP Member
Messages
216
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Agree. I’ve never been in one of the bigger white vans but we speak of the beauty and flexibility of the California regularly.
Also I can’t imagine remembering showering experiences in a motorhome but we often reminisce about showers taken by hoisting a 20L bag over a tree branch using a pulley system. Especially the first time we did it!
 
HectorPascal

HectorPascal

Messages
144
Location
Guildford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
For me it is proven.

I have read on other forums that it is "not as luxurious". Well, if luxury was my first choice I would perhaps have a hymerLorry.

"it is quite van-like".. Yes. Love it. loads of cubbyholes to put things instead of a big vacant "car-like" experience. I don't want a car, I want a camper.

"It's too expensive" .... yes, hideously so, until you own one and realise the resale value means the cost is around 5 nights stay in an hideously overheated central London hotel.

"It's ever so boring"... yes it is until you go to those places most cannot get to and find you are the only boring person on the planet because everyone else cannot get there or their one leisure battery means they can't stop there.

I so love my Cali I wanted rid of it when I went to change. Love/Hate.... anything must be better than this ..... until I swapped Albert for Alfie and quite frankly I'm sat here in Alfie having had a deliriously superb evening with my sister and two dogs in her caravan, which I tugged here, and thinking "you most amazingly, functional, wonderful, lovely beast. ALFIE I love you!"
Hey Jen,
When we do take the plunge - quite soon now - you will have been a sizeable influence in our decision to opt for the VW. They should give you a commission on each unit. Thanks for all yor entertaining and informative posts over the years.
 
T

Tandt

Messages
34
Location
England
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
We bought our California in 2008. It has 57,000 miles on it now and is a great all rounder. Over the last 2 years I had knee surgery for tattered knees from 40 years of offshore sailing and was restricted in leaping about. In the last year we discussed selling the California and ‘upgrading’ to a larger motor home to cruise the continent during the winter months. We’re in our mid 60’s. Its not going to happen.

In early February an old friend called to say he bought a 2001 Hymer 6 berth in S Spain. Would I accompany him as navigator and bring the van back to Northern Ireland. No problems I said and looked forward to the experience. My better half said it would help identify our needs in a new larger motor home. It did that!

After a five week journey it has made me aware of the beauty of the California in relation to a larger motor home. Driving a big beast, getting through small towns, windage and constantly thinking ahead as to fit, size and width has convinced me that our California is the way ahead. I am going to add wee treats to the California, a ladder to the brilliant top berth, new carpet and storage solutions but the basic vehicle will remain the same. Compact but spacious, especially if you are in a hot climate, it’s outdoors living and we spent all day outside the big van until we hit N France last week.

The secret in long term traveling with the California is having facilities available. Showers, washing facilities and loos can be planned ahead as you travel. The comfort of being able to access small towns is a very valuable asset. A prime example, last Thursday in the Hymer we attempted to enter a paying car park in Normandy and were stopped by the local police because only cars could park in the WW2 car park to visit the museum. We had to go 2 kilometers outside the area where parking was available for a big beastie. There were 2 VW campers and a smart new California in the car park because they are looked on as cars/VW people carriers! Enough said! I’m a happy bunny with my California.
Tom
We are in our late 60s and have only just converted. We see it as the way forward from dragging a caravan around!
 
GrannyJen

GrannyJen

goody goody 2shoes
Moderator
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
7,238
Location
West Sussex
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Hey Jen,
When we do take the plunge - quite soon now - you will have been a sizeable influence in our decision to opt for the VW. They should give you a commission on each unit. Thanks for all yor entertaining and informative posts over the years.
:shocked

Don't blame me when the dogs jump all over your seats with muddy paws, the grandchildren smear ice cream everywhere, the DPF fails within a week and the dealer can't tell tailgate from bonnet!

:shocked
 

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