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Old 01-23-2011, 07:08 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Hi,

I followed your calculations just until the point where you started to use lots of numbers and words

Unless you are in a hurry to decide I would experiment a little. Sounds like you have been looking into how to drive the Transporter efficiently if you are doing better than the official figures and others with the same vehicle. The Transporter has a lot of advantages, especially space. If you use it full all the time then you need to weight that against the cost of fuel for it. If its empty then the extra compared to a car is kind of wasted.

Still if you haven't, check out the tips page and the other TDI related threads. For example are their small eco mods you can made to the Transporter - e.g. grill blocks, or folding in the mirrors when on the motorways and using those small, convex mirror things - stuff like that. Even the tyre pressure mod for better glides.

For biking and camping / outdoor stuff though I would think the Transporter is a winner. I'm considering a van for my next vehicle because of this - the back of my Skoda is scratched like mad from bide racks being taken on and off, plus your bike isn't as secure on the outside even with locks.

For info the Octavia (my wife has one) is frustratingly just two small to get an adult mountain bike in easily (mines an old Peugeot - probably way out of date - did I mention my portlyness ). And when it is in there isn't room for the rear seats to stay, even the single split one. And of course when it is in it is on display - another win for the Transporter.

Ski stuff in the Octavia will need a roof rack which is horrid for aero. You can use a roof box instead of course.

There is of course the other option which sounds wrong at first however how about a second vehicle, maybe a smaller van or car when you don't need the space ? It depends on if you have the space to store one when you aren't using it, plus you have double tax, insurance etc. Multi car insurance can work for the latter and only taxing the vehicle you use can work for the former but then you have to keep the one you aren't using off the road, and in some areas of the UK even out of sight.

My point about the flywheel is to check it out - listen for a change of note or rumbling when you put the clutch in or out. It may mean something, or it may mean absolutely nothing. The issue is that when the clutch goes its worth changing the flywheel at the same time as its a pig.

DMFs are expensive and the time required is also expensive. The local Skoda dealer near me replaces DMFs with SMFs for taxi use as they don't break. Lots of people will say they are totally reliable and others not. My spanner people (VAG specialists) say they have had them go on vehicles with mileages between 10K and 150K miles unpredictably but they do replace them like with like. SMFs are more noisy in some cases (e.g. mine rattles) but in others not.

Either way good luck.

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Old 01-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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oh Arragonis don't do this to me please! ha ha

I love VW vans too and I thought I had it nailed. I've got very attached to mine. Not only is it sorted out mechanically now but I know my way around it. And yes, it's very convenient in that I can get a roll up surfboard, 2 more surfboards, skis, boots and poles, a kiteboard and all stuff to live in for a couple of weeks in there.
I'll take bikes inside it (with the bed), WVO, everything. It is fantastic as you say.

I've got so used to sitting in the back eating lunch at the supermarket,
or sitting out watching the waves! I am sploit.

But man!
I'm a efficiency sort of person and... do you know what ego is? When I say spoilt I mean. Give it up for lent. Where a part of you IS the car? I'm a surfer, the van, it's like it's me. That's no good. Whenever there's something like that you got to break it off and find a part of yourself that's new. And that may mean no campervanning at all. ...or something completely different. It's like it's too easy, you know. That's so apparent when I look in my van and I see all the gear I got in there...

a socket set `just in case`
snowchains `just in case get stuck in mud`
an iron!

^this is madness!
All this stuff wieghs us down in life. In our houses it does. But boy it really hits come when you're at the pump and your standing there while nothing else but be reflective... pumping in over a ton (100... ~$200!) ! For me that's not really too bad because I don't use it as much as most people do a car... but it's the principle of it. I really cringe.

The answer's got to be move to cycling distance of the beach! And that is yet another problem all linked in! Cheaper to leg it to a remote tropical island perhaps. All these things... chains that bind the mind. As much as I love my camper (and it is genuinely fantastic), it's also another thing bogging one down.

The other fear is that I'll be left with this RHD van in the UK while I'm the other side of the world and no money to take it anywhere... no one wanting to buy it because diesel's at 5/litre.

The thing is, the cash. This may be enough to get me out of the UK...

I love my camper so much so I even thought about importing it to Argentina! ...until I realised no shipping container is quite that high... you'd need a double.

Then again loads of people say to me `Hey, ever get in any trouble you can always sleep in the van`. Yeah, that's good for a week but it's crappy any longer than that. Plenty of homeless people start out living in their cars anyway. I think to myself, what's the main difference? -being able to stand up! If you're that desperate there's not much between a van and a car; you're still getting hassle no matter where you park it. Might as well go low key.

Hence, normal car and trailer if I need it methinks... like a little guy trailer.

However, maybe I should compromise with a T5 instead of going mad downing to a Octavia... what mpg do you reckon you could get out of a T5 without spending silly money? That is, all the fairly straightforward mods. Assuming a T5 is more efficient to justify the extra 30% price that is (I don't go in for looks and speed).


Regards the Octavia. I wouldn't be leaving it as a standard car. First thing, privacy film, then curtains all around. Then a heater under the bonnet and the bed attached to the back of the seats. Even debating taking all the seats out and starting fresh a-la a van, to do insulation properly. Basically I reckon you can get the basics enough for a night or 2 in the back... but no storage... not without a trailer... which has the advantage of being able to decouple and keep things organised you see.

Plus I reckon that way you enforce discipline. It is so hard to keep a van light. I can't emphasise that enough.
This IS importantant. For example, I basically knew I had to go away in the van for 3 days or more because of the fuel costs vs B+B savings. That's what got me wondering. Not that you can put a price on the wonderment of just driving through France until... whenever you want! Pulling over... somewhere you'd never otherwise go... in silence... and sleeping for free.


I actually slept in the back of a fiesta van with a surfboard above my head for 2 days at a time once!

Basically I guess the 2 things of a car and camper don't compare. I say if you haven't done it - do it. But I guess I've been there and so I want to cut down a bit to something a bit more modest.

Last edited by jago25_98; 01-23-2011 at 02:08 PM..
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarguy View Post
It is worth pointing out that "modern" diesel fuel is much better than stinky old diesel from 10 or 15 years ago. The new stuff is actually pretty good/clean/ultra low sulfur.
I still haven't found ULSD in Texas.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
The PRC.
 
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Quote:
The other fear is that I'll be left with this RHD van in the UK while I'm the other side of the world and no money to take it anywhere... no one wanting to buy it because diesel's at 5/litre.

The thing is, the cash. This may be enough to get me out of the UK...

I love my camper so much so I even thought about importing it to Argentina! ...until I realised no shipping container is quite that high... you'd need a double.
Hey - I am not trying to torture, only to act as an outsider looking in.

I think the issue here is that we don't know what you are after. I kind of took from the original and follow up posts someone who has a Transporter and wants to travel from the UK and elsewhere in Europe (e.g. Spain which is where I too would rather be) whilst spending as little as possible, and maybe living there for some time, maybe sleeping in the van. The fuel spend is a balance against other stuff - e.g. camping in the van vs staying in a hotel.

If you are keen to move to South America or Australia then you would be better off liquidating the Transporter for as much as possible here in the UK beforehand. There is a market for this vehicle here at the moment, especially in the current market with all of those guys who used to work for building or building maintenance companies setting up on their own.

I wish I was as young

And then when you move you need to sort out the best vehicle for those markets. In Aus I think Diesel is not popular and they do not have their own, so they import their oil and mostly make Petrol - so it is cheaper. South America I have no idea, some places like bio-ethanol, some Diesel, some petrol. You need to research, I am probably wrong here.

Lets assume you are looking to go overseas. You need to

a) decide when you will be leaving.
b) decide what to take vs what to leave.
c) liquidate what you leave for as much as possible.
d) arrange to transport what you will take for as little as possible.
e) 'live' until you leave on as little as possible.
f) save as much as possible using b-e

For e) assuming you still want to travel to Spain on as little as possible and still carry stuff then get a small van. As an example my company (not as in I own it, as in I work for it) are getting rid of Berlingo HDIs for around 2K, full servicing, at least 10 years of life in them but not tidy by any means.

Again, good luck.

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