I’m not sure why, but this year’s order book has a lot more LWB T6 conversions than we’ve ever seen before. Historically SWB VW T5s and T6s have been the most popular, but change is afoot. In fact I’ve just checked and out of the next 12 conversions, 7 are LWB and only 5 are SWB. That’s weird.
I’ve written before about the pros and cons of LWB vs SWB camper vans and having slept in both during the same weekend last year, I was able to really compare them. I’m now a convert to LWB vans. Yes they are a bit longer, so people unused to driving larger vehicles find it a bit odd at first: some cut the corners and scuff the back wheel on the kerb, whereas others take corners so wide, they seem to think that they are at the helm of the QE2!
The reality is that LWB vans are only a bit longer than a SWB, but the extra length is really useful if you use the van as a camper. In fact I’ve just been and measured the difference it makes and by choosing a LWB conversion you get 26% more length in the living area. And that feels like a lot.
I have to agree that SWB vans look cooler and yes they are a tiny bit easier to manoeuvre. But as a camper, LWB vans make a lot of sense. They still fit under supermarket car park barriers and so long as you park nose in first, they fit in parking bays and you can still open the backs. They have almost identical fuel economy as their shorter brothers and the performance seems to be the same too.
But you get extra cupboard space, more floor space and you can even have a longer RIB bed as an option too.
So, if you’ll pardon the pun, I’m converted.
Whichever wheelbase you choose, we’ll do all we can to give you as much usable space as we can and it’s amazing the nooks and crannies that can be used to store something.
So as the days get longer and our thoughts turn towards heading out on the open road in our campers, spare a thought for the others. You know them; those unlucky souls squashed into an overloaded estate car. Or at the other extreme the people manoeuvring what looks like a wheeled bungalow down a country lane as they meet a herd of cows. I know it’s mean, but I do feel a bit smug when that happens.