The VW T4 camper van conversion was my choice for a number of reasons, even though the older VW camper vans tend to put a soft and childish smile on my face whenever I see them. I'm always on a look out for compact and practical solutions as far as camping goes, but this time, I was searching for something that could serve me around the clock.
I was out for a reliable daily drive and a camper van all in one package. It had to be brisk, with great gas mileage and the climate control is a must from where I come from. The T4 had everything that I was looking for back in 2006 and as their production line closed down at 2002, the prices were quite reasonable.
So I did some extensive research and mostly listened to my inner gut and came home with a four year old Volkswagen Transporter T4 that was previously owned by a logistic company in Italy. The mileage on the clock was modest, the body had a couple of minor dents, but otherwise the van was in excellent shape.
The T4 is the fourth generation of the legendary VW vans that rolled off the factory assembly line in 1990 and remained in production for twelve years. This was also Volkswagens huge evolution leap with their first front engine and front wheel drive van that completely ended the rear engine and traction based concept after more than 40 years.
With the new line of powerful water-cooled diesel and petrol engines and overall superb handling this vans were a huge step forward from the previous models. Since the first days of production, the T4 was and remains a solid base for many camper van conversions today and is also available in 4x4 edition named the Syncro.
By 1990 Westfalia was already a top brand in the world of camper vans and naturally a stylish new California was almost immediately on the road. Even though this was a brand new vehicle, the basic interior layout remained quite similar to the previous model.
It came out in a number of versions and even after more than twenty years, the Westfalia VW T4 camper remains a synonym for long lasting quality, and to say the truth, I see many of them traveling around Europe every year.
Campers gained in popularity by now and many other brands came out with their own versions based on the T4. The versatility and overall quality also made this van a popular base for DIY projects. Companies like Reimo saw an opportunity here and came out with their own kit-like versions and a complete range of parts for homemade campers.
Great Britain has a large number of companies converting all types of Volkswagen vans in every style you might imagine. Just take your pick and it will be yours. If you need and wish to keep your VW T4 camper in good shape, Just Kampers will try their best to do so.
A few versions of roof types were used on these campers. These were mostly pop top and hard top roofs available from various European brand like Reimo or slightly different British concepts like Leisuredrive for example.
The fourth generation is so solid, that a few camper van rental companies in Europe keep them as their drive-horse for years and decades. So if you wish to discover Europe in a classic...
Westfalia was obviously the first to launch a full line of models based on the new van. The name California was used in Europe, while the North American version was named the Eurovan Camper.
Previous VW campers were converted directly by Westfalia and exported to the US. Winnebago took over the conversion for the Eurovan and therefore this was the only camper based on the new van for the North American market. Unlike Europe, only the long wheel base with a pop top roof version was available here. Folks at Go Westy will do an excellent job keeping your vehicle on the road.
My homemade camper project is based on a 2002 Volkswagen Transporter. I did my own camper van conversion based on this particular van for three reasons. Knowing that the diesel engines are close to bullet proof, the overall quality of the van is praised by many and to keep my budget low.
Today it has almost 200.000km on the clock and never had any major issues. I do regular check ups, changed a few light bulbs and do some minor inside work on occasions just to shape it up.
It took my wife and me and later our kids throughout the Mediterranean parts of Europe and all the way down to Morocco. We regularly use it for short trips around our country. And we even drove to the beautiful Greek island of Crete and got married there.
My VW T4 camper is also used as a second car in our family. It's true that we don't have to use our vehicles all that much, but I would only be a madman to look for anything else...
It just works so well...