The VW Campervan Driving Experience
VW campers are iconic vehicles and great fun, as soon as you turn the key the adventure begins. You will be driving something a little different to your normal everyday transport and for the first few miles you will need to concentrate and become accustomed to a more traditional and relaxed style of motoring, not just in the way that you are driving but from the attitude of other drivers as well. Everybody loves VWs, people will always want to talk to you at a petrol station or camp site, and other drivers will wave as they pass on the road.
A large majority of our customers have never before driven a VW camper van so we thought it would be helpful to give you a short introduction as to what you can expect to help you make the right decision for your hard earned holiday.
VW campers are cosy and cute, they are perfect for happy holidays taking it easy and seeing the countryside, they are not a vehicle to get from A to B quickly, more a case of getting from A to B at a leisurely pace. Some of the vans will reach 65 or even 70 mph but they and you will be much more comfortable at 50–55 mph. They like to take it easy going uphill and because they are not very aerodynamic they are quite thirsty at about 25 miles to the gallon. There is some wind and road noise and a few knocks and rattles form all the pots and pans in the cupboards.
They prefer a slow gear change, a reasonable amount of pressure on the foot brake and the clutch, there isn't power steering so a little effort is needed when manoeuvring at slow speed, the windows have to be wound up and down by hand and there is no central locking. In very windy conditions or when a lorry passes on a motorway you will feel the van being buffeted a little. The front wheels are directly below the driver’s seat so initially the steering will feel a little different compared to a car where the wheels are in front of you.
The campers were designed over 50 years ago and didn’t change very much over the years the technology and engineering tolerances are very different to today’s vehicles. Our two Brazilian made vans from 2001 and 2005, have the same floor pan, running gear and steering as the split screen vans designed in the 1950s, they do have a much improved engine, more power and better fuel consumption than the German built vans of the 70s, they are also approximately 25% lighter. A camper is for the journey, the experience, and the adventure and of course the fun. The overall average speed in a camper is only 30 to 35mph and a 200 mile journey is likely to take around 7 hours, so you need to allow plenty of time when planning a route. Whilst the vans were originally designed to carry goods the actual luggage space is reduced by the all the cupboards, the bed, sink, cooker etc. so it’s a good idea to travel as light as possible.
All of our vans are maintained to the highest possible standards and we would be more than happy to answer any questions about the mechanical and safety procedures that we follow and provide any necessary back up documentation. All of our vans drive as well or even slightly better than when they were new, but when they were new the driving experience was more hands on and simpler than it is today. There are tens of thousands of VW campers still on the roads today because they are a way of life to be loved and played with as often as possible.
Above all they are fun, they make everyone smile, and if you decide to hire one you will be hooked!