, Posted on Wednesday May 10, 2023
Why is the VW Campervan So Popular?
4 minutes well spent
In the entire history of leisure vehicles, there are a few specific brands or models which have endured. Leading examples of classic design which have firmly imprinted their aesthetic on the public consciousness. Objects which have completely transcended their original purpose to become true style icons. Grand words indeed – but we’re not given to hyperbole as a rule. When you try to conjure a campervan in your mind’s eye, the chances are that leading the pack of those you see is a VW. Our point is made…
What makes the VW campervan so special? What are the qualities it has which elevate it above the others? Why do people continue to buy VW campers after the company’s 80 years of production? In this edition of our blog we’ll find out…
The History of VW Campervans
It’s worth noting the history of these remarkably good-looking vehicles. In 1947 the Dutch importer Ben Pon observed motorised trolleys transporting parts around a VW car factory, and he sketched out a primitive version of the campervan. By 1949 the design had been refined and this ‘box on wheels’ was in the early stages of mass production. By early 1950, ten VW campers were rolling off the line every day, and the subsequent decades saw many improvements and variations in the models produced. The most iconic of all are, perhaps, the Splittie and the Bay. These are the versions of VW camper most associated with retro ‘cool culture’ – in fact, quite often with the counterculture, as they are very much present in old photographs and films of the hippy movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
By the present day the VW camper has been through several iterations, with new models on the current market tending to be built on the T5 or the T6. Not immune to global concerns, VW has been working on the VW ID Buzz – the company’s first all-electric concept. It first aired at a motor show in 2017 and has been tested publicly in the years since, with engineers and designers honing the vehicle concept into a mass-market product which is predicted to gain significant popularity over the next few years. It will boast a fuss-free design which is in keeping with the VW traditions. From their very first model to their next, the VW camper is worth keeping an eye on!
What are the VW Camper’s Key Features
Whichever version of VW camper we’re talking about, the main reason it has become so popular is that it represents total freedom. Perhaps the association with the hippy movement has helped, there, with its connotations of taking time out from ‘the man’ and living your own life (even if just at weekends, festivals, camping breaks and longer holidays) have filtered through our culture. It’s a truly convenient vehicle to own as you can load up in minutes and head out on the highway, looking for adventure.
It’s not too big and though it may be compact, it’s not too small. There’s something ‘just right’ about the VW camper’s size, making it perfect for solo travellers or couples looking for a charming getaway at a moment’s notice. VW campers are usually kitted out intelligently, with the configuration of the things you need being comfortable as well as highly convenient. With sleeping arrangements, social space and all of the necessary utilities onboard, you are likely to find a VW camper highly satisfying.
Some models have five seats which means an entire family can travel very comfortably, with everyone having a great spot to sleep. Other models are kitted out to cater for two. It all depends on which model you go for, or how each conversion or customisation has been conducted. It’s worth checking things out in advance to make sure that you get exactly what you need to make sure your breaks and holidays are packed with convenience and comfort.
The engineering quality of these vehicles is also very high. VW is a manufacturer which has built up a reputation for German engineering excellence. The build quality is brilliant, and the mechanical and engineering elements are designed for power and performance.
Do Campervans Hold Their Value?
This is an interesting question to answer as, in common with almost all other leisure vehicles, VW campers do hold a good portion of their value. While others may slowly depreciate, though, there are pre-owned VW campers out there which will cost you (in the King’s English) ‘an arm and a leg’. Let’s call them ‘vintage’ models, which have been painstakingly maintained or made new. Attractively renovated or restored or conscientiously cared for VW Splitties and Bays from the 1960s and 1970s are not that uncommon a sight out and about in the UK, and it’s a safe bet that someone will have invested a fair chunk of their money into keeping these beauties on the road.
More modern iterations, including conversions and customisations based on the T5 and T6, will also hold a good deal of their original value. In short, if you own a VW camper but you find that the time comes to sell, the chances are that you’ll make a happy portion of your cash back. They are an enduring ‘want’ item, and the great thing is that the demand is always there but there are also readily available.
There are around a quarter of a million campervans on the UK’s roads at the moment, and that means a huge number of people are enjoying this particular slice of leisure life. Here at Don Amott we’re a campervan dealer with a huge selection of vehicles for you to choose from – including some wonderful VW camper conversions, including our top-class partnership with Camper King. Take a browse of our website to find the vehicle that’s right for you, and if you would like further information, or if you have any queries, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re happy to talk, and help you find just the right VW camper to get you some down time away from the rigours of modern life!