Van conversions are growing massively popular as ‘staycations’ become attractive holiday propositions. A van conversion also offers holiday flexibility, especially if you’re located somewhere with easy access to other countries. German manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) is one of the most popular brands chosen for conversion by holidaymakers and adventurers alike, but what makes them so good and what is the best VW conversion?
The Iconic VW vans
VW van conversions are synonymous with adventure. They’re a permanent staple of beaches worldwide and life-changing road trips. Since its inception in the late-1940s, the VW camper van has been an icon of open road adventure; the vehicle representative of the 70s ‘hippie’ generation, and the van of choice for surfers everywhere.
However, it isn’t just its iconic history that makes VW vans great. They are famously reliable, with multiple models consistently making it to the top ten of the FN50 most reliable vans ranking.
Best VW vans for conversions
VW produces a range of vans that meet different needs in the camper van market. Here are the models that make the best VW camper conversions.
The Transporter is by far the most popular model and perhaps the best VW camper van. The model celebrated its 70th birthday in 2020, a testament to its heritage. One of its unique selling points is flexibility. The Transporter fits in regular parking spaces, can clear most height restrictors, and has a powerful, reliable engine that makes it a dream to drive.
The latest 6th generation, the Transporter T6, comes with all the modern features and gadgets to keep passengers comfortable. Popular conversions include the addition of a pop-top roof for extra headroom, bed, cooking facilities, or extra seating. The Transporter comes in four different trim levels – Starline, Trendline, Highline and Sportline, so be sure to look into which specifications meet your needs. For more information on the T6, check out this post.
The California is essentially a Transporter built in-house by VW for the campervan market. Although it offers all the popular campervan features, such as cooking facilities and a table, you won’t be receiving a bespoke final product. If you’re looking for a dream experience that meets your unique taste, it’s probably better to go through an independent company. This is especially true if you have particular requirements that don’t feature in the stock California model. Look for best campervan conversions UK to find good deals.
The Volkswagen Caddy is becoming a real challenger to its bigger brother, the Transporter. Opting to convert the Caddy into a campervan has its fair share of positives and negatives. Firstly, it’s smaller than the Transporter. So, if you’re looking for extra room the Caddy probably won’t be for you, unless you opt for the Caddy Maxi, which is closer to the Transporter’s size, but still considerably shorter in height.
The positives are that the Caddy is a more liveable vehicle, as you’ll clear all height restrictors and won’t struggle as much in tighter spaces. Although smaller, the Caddy still makes for some of the best VW conversions, with the ability to fit a cooking area, bed and extra seating.
The least popular model in this list amongst the campervan community is the Crafter model. This is mainly due to the everyday usability since the Crafter is much larger than the Transporter. As a result, you may encounter issues with parking and manoeuvrability. The Crafter is also not as economic as the Transporter and Caddy models, which make for more flexible choices.
Still, if parking and everyday usability isn’t an issue for you, the Crafter offers plenty of room for conversions. In addition to the usual features seen in Transporter models, some Crafter owners install toilets, making it a fantastic proposition for long journeys/trips.
What is the best VW campervan conversion?
As with most vehicle acquisitions, it depends on your requirements. The Transporter offers the best all-around experience, plenty of room and enough everyday liveability, whilst the Caddy is a perfect option for those wanting something that could be used as a daily driver. If you don’t mind the hassle of finding adequate parking, the Crafter is perfect, especially since you can usually pick them up for much cheaper than the Transporter. The best part is that whichever model you opt to convert, you’ll be ready to hit the road on an adventure.
Looking for inspirational locations to begin your adventure check out this article!