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 Thinking of a Van

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Abi

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PostSubject: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:45 am

So yes I am thinking of buying a van and have a few questions going around in my head.

I do have a company car which I have to pay a tax on. I get local private mileage paid and no maintenance costs, but not really for longer distances.

I am wondering if the pros of owning a van would outweigh ignoring the desire and not having one. I am not worried too much about the single sunny days as I would still use the car as its more fuel efficient but from spring - Autumn I feel there could be a lot more opportunities for whole beech weekends further away if I did own one. Other than kite surfing , i go away kayaking for weekends too.

I am looking at the T4 and T5 situation. (I know there are other vans available however if I am going to spend money I may as well spend it on what I want) There are a few T4s out there which still have less than 180k miles which could maybe buy out right. or is it worth getting a small finance deal and getting an older T5. I have been out of the car buying game for about 6 years now so any advice appreciated.

Also realistically how much do people spend in maintenance on their older vans? I mean mechanical not cosmetic. Also what are the big things you've got to look out for when buying a van.

Thanks
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Andy G

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:04 am

I guess it's like anything Abi, the more you can afford generally the better you will get. And you are right, if you want a surf dude van it's gotta be a VW!
My experience with VW vans is that they are very reliable and solid driving machines, but..... When things go wrong they can be super expensive to put right. T4 are great but getting old now, so you may need to get parts replaced from time to time but because there are loads about spares are cheaper. If you can afford a bit more then try a used van from VW or a decent garage, it will cost a bit more than a private sale but you can negotiate a warentee period and even brake down cover.
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alunj

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:28 am

I would really go for the T5. Mainly as its galvanized from the waste down and wont rust as much.
The T4 used to rust out quite badly at the base of the walls. You've seen mine , 9 years of salt and kites in the back and very very little rust !

I can agree with Andy when they are OK they are fine but when it goes bad it can get very expensive quickly.
Big expenses are dual mass flywheel/ clutch replacement . at least 1-1.4K
New engine (in my case ) 4.5 for the lump as no one has just the blocks
electrical problems usually center around a few well known spots.

My only regret was not speccing the LWB !
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:53 am

Cheers. Definitly worth thinking about. At the moment it's a plan. Probably all won't happen straight away. May go and visit some places and check it all out. am swaying towards a dealer instead of private mainly for the reasons you said Andy. also I am happy with a 'blank canvas ' and add stuff as and when I can. just thinking lined and rock and roll bed to be honest.
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Andy G

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:58 am

If you don't do too many miles a T5 would be OK as an everyday car. It's low enough and small enough to get into most car parks, T5's are very efficient if you drive them sensibly, you could get rid of your car and go full van. I don't do that many miles and my van is my only motor.
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:06 pm

I have a company car for private use . That does on average 40k a year because of work. so the van would be definitely a pleasure purpose only , would probably do about 5000 miles in it a year
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alunj

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:55 pm

With your kitesurf habit ! 5k seems low Wink
I've used mine as a daily drive from 2005
It will do 40 + mpg on a run at 65 mph !
Clog it to 80 and that's down to 30 odd . We just use it for short journeys now and it's around 31-5
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ashman

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:38 pm

A van all the way for me, so versatile from hotel to diy lugging to earning extra cash. sadly can only afford the T4 that we have had from new now 11 years old but only done 130,000. I would definitely get the T5 though. As with any motor vehicle it's about getting the right one but also a bit of luck. I know a guy with a 2005 T5 with 205,000 miles on it which he bought second hand but well maintained and he says it's just fkin brill and he's had it a. few years now.
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:39 pm

Yeah you're right , probably more like 8k -10k , journeys will be shared with a car mind sometimes ( yikes is that how far I drive for kitesurfing )
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:48 pm

cheers Ash , I am looking for older T5s too to see what crops up. I can see this is going to be hrs of internet searching over the next month or so !
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Der



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:23 pm

one of the best things i've ever done buying a VW van. Had my T3 camper for 9 yrs now. Also got a T4 multivan as a daily driver. Spent 37 consecutive weekends away camping in my van last year, hope to beat that this year.

As for which van you go for? Dont rush into anything. Research, research & then research some more. The VW T4 & T5 scence has exploded in the last 5 years, and there are many vans out there that are 'inflated' in price just because they have alloys & side bars etc - in other words -> 'VW scence tax'. There are lots of VW van companies out there that cash in on this.

I think probably the best advice i can give you (other than the usual service history etc), is to decide what you want to use the van for. weekends away camping, electric inside, proper R&R bed, swivel seats, sink etc etc - the list can be endless. Adding these features later can be costly when you total up the cost at the end. However, that said, it can be very addictive Smile


Der

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Der



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:28 pm

probably the best source of information on VW T4 & T5 vans

http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Brilliant thanks Der. You've just confirmed what I am thinking. I have decided I am more than likely To get a van but have sat on it for a little while and get used to what's out there and researching the market. ( found two this week T4 both less than 140k miles '13 plates and FSH for about £4750 so know they're out there ) The train of Thought at the moment is picking it up through trade but with nothing in the back and no conversions. So I can add to it as and when I can and how I want. service history mot and work carried out on it being the main priority. Thanks for the link too , I will have a look through that .
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maui

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:21 pm

I vaguely remember Jayne telling m that they will be looking at selling their sinker/ cooker unit out of their van at some point this year so give me a shout b4 u get anything
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:25 pm

Haha I need to get a van first Wink !! For me I will probably be wanting a simple van, Getting it lined and Rock and roll bed for somewhere to sleep comfortably and safely will be the priority. Smile oooo sink and cooker unit .... however maybe the addictions started Maui :-0 !!!!
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Der



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:57 pm

if you need any second opinion on any vans you fancy, let me know. I'll talk about VW vans all day long Smile

my email Skeeb@sky.com


Der
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Maro

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:14 am

Hey Abi, I was advised to avoid buying an early T5, VW moved the factory to eastern europe and had a few build quality issues which later were ironed out. As already mentioned, it's pot luck really, you might get a goodun or one with a few problems avoid ex-biulders vans, they dont often get looked after. If buying a van of around 2005 or newer it may well be fitted with a DPF (filter in the exhaust) These can block up, particularly on low mileage vehicles unless they get a real hammering up the motorway every now and then, they are expensive to replace and now it's an MOT fail to have them removed. Also to consider, I believe the MOT rules have changed regarding having a bed fitted in the back.

I think if I was to replace my T4 I would probably go with a VW Caddy Maxi, like a car at the front but nearly as big as T4 in the back, and better on fuel I would expect.

I'm a mechanic and would be happy to have a quick look around one if you want.
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Abi

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:45 pm


Hi Maro , thanks for the advise. interesting about the bed in the back too . Yeah I have seen the caddy maxi done out by someone for camping looked good. I used to drive one for work as well. I am swaying to sitting on the idea at the moment until I can afford what I want instead of buying a heap !
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sonnyrider



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:42 am

If time is on your side, then you can pick and choose and find the ideal van for you  Cool 

We bought ours as a bare panel van and have done it bit by bit. Would love to do a full conversion, but the amount of sand and wet kit we drag around in it would ruin it

Our next big purchase is going to be a full size RR. But they are not cheap for a decent one

One thing to seriously consider is a diesel heater, a Webasto or eberspacher D2. We have the D2. They are really handy after a winter session. We have a 7 day timer on ours, so it's a bit like a central heating system for the van. I like leaving it on when we are out in winter, coming back to a toasty van is so nice. You can camp in the middle of winter and not get cold. If fitted correctly, it runs off your fuel tank, but will not run if the tank is below a 1/4
2.2KW output @ 0.25ltr fuel per hour = bugger all  Smile 

Not cheap, but well worth the investment. I bought ours from a eberspacher dealer who fitted it and I got a 2yr warranty for 1.2k
You can get them on ebay, for 500 - 600 + but then you have to fit it, and make sure it is fitted outside under the drivers seat area. Get the correct cradle and it's just like a factory fit. otherwise they try and fit it inside under the drivers seat = cheaper, but not like the factory fit
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blast

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:54 pm

Funny enough the Blast bus is going in for a eberspacher to be fitted tomorrow, we had one on the last van and really loved it after a cold session mid winter!
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alunj

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:25 pm

+1 parking heater Smile
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maui

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:03 pm

Getting ours fitted tomoz, can't wait!
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Der



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking of a Van    Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:21 pm

Got an Eber D2 in the T4. Its a great bit of kit. on a 7 day timer, set it to come on 20 mins before i leave for work in the morning - no de-icing the van & nice n toasty when you jump in Smile also set to come before I leave work to come home !! Like I said, great bit of kit Smile
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