If you love the outdoors and wish to upgrade your equipment for your next camping trip, buying a VW camper van is a great choice. However, when trying to find the best one for your needs, you must consider your lifestyle, how much space you need, and what use you will make of it. The good news is that there are so many on the market that you are bound to find the perfect one!
The best VW camper van to buy is the new VW California. However, this model is not available in the USA currently. The next best option will be a Westfalia model which holds its value over the long term and will always be in high demand.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes down to buying the perfect VW campervan for your outdoor adventure. However, you can speed up your choice with the tips below!
Shopping for a VW Camper Van
Buying a VW camper van can represent a significant investment, and you must find one that is perfect to accompany you on your next adventures. Unfortunately, the same campervan won’t be so perfect for two different outdoor lovers. This is especially true in the case of VW camper vans, which are all extremely loved in the van life community and specifically designed for outdoor adventures.
Therefore, before beginning your search, it is crucial to understand what you expect your van to be.
Some factors you might consider in your choice are:
- Van-lifer or weekend warrior? You might need a taller and more spacious van if you plan to live in it full time. A newer van can also help you save on gas, maintenance, and repairs.
- How many people will be in it? A smaller van might welcome one person or a couple. However, if you plan to bring your whole family and pets with you, you will need additional beds and sitting space.
- Where do you want to drive it? Some campervans are more suitable to cruise city streets, while others are better for off-roading and more adventurous trips. Generally, when traveling far in shorter time frames, you will need a better mpg.
- How comfortable do you need it to be? Older models are great for adventures and can help you save, but the driving experience might not be the one you have in mind.
However, generally speaking, the VW vans based on the Transporter model are ideal for van life or camping. Among these, you will find the newer California model and the classic Westfalia.
VW California Camper Van Not Sold in the USA
It is undeniable that an always-growing number of adventure lovers have discovered and embraced van-life in the USA. This lifestyle allows them to enjoy the outdoors while living a fulfilling but sustainable life. And, with this trend, the market for high-quality, smart vans started to grow and develop.
So, if there is such a profitable market, why can you not buy one of the best VW van models in this country?
The California 6.1 is a compact, highly-sophisticated, and ultra-modern camper van designed to cruise city stress and face off-roads. With plenty of storage space and smart details, this van is perfect for campers who love weekend-long or week-long adventures.
However, California 6.1 is still only produced in the European market, and it is specifically designed to meet the needs of European travels.
Where To Find Used Volkswagen Camper Vans for Sale
If you only need a van for your weekend trips or you are just testing out a van-life lifestyle, then you should opt for a used model. While this might seem like a lot of work, it is easy to find the perfect van at the right price.
Indeed, the VW Transporter range is among the most popular ones for camping lovers and van-lifers, and there are millions of used models to choose from. If you have decided to opt for this alternative, make sure you are using the right tools.
Some of the places where to find used VW camper vans include:
How Much Does a Used VW Camper Van Typically Cost?
The price you are looking to pay for a used VW van truly depends on the type of van you want to buy. If you are looking for the iconic Beetle or Microbus, you can pay between $15,000 and $52,000.
Or, you might be looking for an efficient Transporter model that has been pre-loved but is still capable of accompanying you on your adventures. In this case, its price will depend on mileage and location.
For example, you can buy a 1991 VW Vanagon with over 100,000 miles for just under $20,000. However, newer models can be as expensive as $30,000 to $40,000.
What Is the Best Year Westfalia To Buy?
When looking at the best Westfalia VW van, it is essential to understand these historical vans’ stories. The name derives from the contractor that built the vans and started converting them in 1951. In the beginning, the “pop-top” feature was not available, and it was only introduced later, at the end of the 1960s, with the second-generation VW Bus.
In terms of finding the best Westfalia, you will need to consider your preferences and needs. Indeed, it is still possible to buy classic and vintage models. While undoubtedly iconic, these models won’t guarantee you a comfortable trip.
More modern models that allow you to travel comfortably and in style include:
- Kepler One and Six
- Jules Verne
- Club Joker
Related article: Is a Campervan a Good Investment?
Find a VW Camper Club or Meetup Group
Finding the right VW van for your needs is not always easy. Especially if you have limited experience with these vans, it can be challenging to understand how much space and storage space you need. Additionally, it is essential to know where you can get spare parts and maintenance help if purchasing an older van.
Just like van-lifers support each other, it is essential for you to find a local club, meetup group, or community. Of course, this offers you the chance to meet like-minded people with similar interests. However, these clubs are also convenient when you find yourself stuck in a difficult situation.
If you are looking for a club or meetup group in your area, you might try getting in touch with the following ones:
- Vintage VW Club of America, Central Coast, CA – this club is entirely online and allows you to find all the help and curiosities you need for your research.
- Buses By the Beach – if you are looking for someone to love the VW busses as much as you, get in touch with this community in Grand Rapids
- International Westfalia Camping Car Club – if you have a Westfalia or are thinking of buying one, this is the right club for you.
There are hundreds of local and international clubs that can help you find all the support you need for your next great adventure. Don’t forget to check out the Facebook Groups of fans in the area to connect with those VW specialists around you.
Buying a VW van represents a significant investment for any couple or family. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what is the right one for your needs. It will depend on how long you will spend in it, and what sort of trips you will take.
A smaller, more economical van might be more suitable for weekend trips, while a more spacious van is more comfortable if you plan to live in it full-time. Your budget might also influence your choice, but VW vans are so popular that you won’t struggle to find an alternative that fits your needs.
Up Next In Camper Vans:
Erick is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in Nairobi Kenya and now calling Glasgow, United Kingdom home. Sipping on homemade spiced swahili tea and enjoying a good book is his idea of bliss.