Of course, the van which many people associate with camping and campervans is the Volkswagen. Starting with the iconic VW splitscreen bus, or ‘splitty’, then its replacement, the so-called ‘bay’ or ‘bay-window’, followed by the T25 which retained a rear-engined configuration, then the VW Transporter T4 which saw the engine relocated to the front, right up to the present-day VW Transporter T5 – the Volkswagen van has had a unique place in campervan history. To many people the VW is the iconic camper, right down to the chrome VW badge on the front! Without doubt, the VW Transporter van, the T5, makes a fine campervan, and indeed Volkswagen even build their own – the VW California.
If you asked the question 20 – or even 10 – years ago, the VW product was streets ahead [arguably] of the competition. If you wanted a campervan, buy a VW, they would say. However, in recent times commercial vehicles have developed hugely, and now each manufacturer has superb vans available. Car-like handling and driver experience, comfort and quietness have become the norm rather than the exception.
One vehicle which makes a superb campervan is the Vauxhall Vivaro. This was designed as a joint venture between Vauxhall, Renault and Nissan, and so can also be bought badged as a Renault Trafic or a Nissan Primastar too. Current models feature the Renault-engineered 2.0DCI engine, coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox, or to a TechShift automatic transmission. When you first drive a Vivaro, you will be amazed by the low engine noise, smooth suspension, and overall drive of the van. The short-wheelbase version is of the same size externally as the VW T5 at ‘waist’ level, but has more vertical sides, increasing internal volume without requiring a bigger footprint on the road.
Come over and see us – and you can test drive VW’s, Vauxhalls, Nissans – find out for yourself!