I love old things. VW T2s for example look brilliant, especially the early versions. Some people apparently love the look of T25’s too, although I’ve yet to meet one! To some people modern T5 and T6 vans somehow don’t compare. Well I urge you to think again.
I tend to hang on to old things in the belief they are better than the modern equivalent. A perfect example would be the window frames of my house. They were wooden and they once looked nice. The problem was that they needed painting yet again and a couple of them had become so rotten that it would take pots of wood filler to bodge them up for another year. So VERY reluctantly I bit the bullet and ordered uPVC replacements.
I’m now a convert. My new windows look better than the old ones and the difference in terms of insulation is amazing. Unlike the old ones, they need no maintenance, they won’t rot and I can throw my paint brushes away. Yippee.
This change of heart got me thinking about camper vans.
I know some people won’t be happy for me to say so, but old VW vans are like my old windows; the look nice, but modern versions are so much better. Old VW vans are noisy, slow, uncomfortable, unreliable, cramped and horrible to drive in comparison to their modern counterparts.
The T5 and T6 is as far removed from a T2 or T25 as you can get. They are smooth to drive, quiet, handle well, are economical, fast enough for any modern road and they will happily do 200,000 miles without blowing up. You can have air conditioning, heated seats, heated windscreen, cruise control, parking sensors and just about every other thing you’d expect in a modern vehicle.
Then there is the actual conversion into a campervan. In days gone by, conversions looked cheap and nasty because they were built using the materials available at the time. The result was that to be strong enough, everything needed to be heavy…which made the van handle like a lumbering walrus or to save weight, everything was made out of the flimsiest materials, which made the interior look cheap and the whole thing ended up squeaking more than an amorous rodent looking for love.
Modern technology has provided us with lightweight materials that are immensely strong, removing unnecessary weight but retaining or even increasing strength. Design has improved too and the result is that a bespoke 8 Ball Camper Conversion is relatively lightweight, is rattle free and it’s finished in a way that exudes quality, craftsmanship and individuality.
Even electrics have improved. Gone are the days when you would sit in the dark to save the battery. Modern gel leisure batteries are many times more long lasting, and coupled to the use of LED lighting, split charge systems and solar panels, you can have the lights on for hours knowing that the van will still start in the morning.
So if like me, you’re a bit of a Luddite, who at times thinks that modern is worse, think again when it comes to camper conversions. As you can see in the picture below, I was particularly struck by this VW camper I was offered for the night 20 years ago. Oh how things have moved on….