"Not the VW T4 model - but modifying older VW campervans must cause the same problems"
I always thought the idea of a motor home or campervan was to give you the scope to go where you wanted, when you wanted. I thought the idea of a motor home or campervan was to let you enjoy the open road and the deserted hills, valleys, lanes, woodland and quiet areas where you could pull over, take a break, chillax for a bit and then get your head down – ready to repeat the process the following day. I thought the idea of a motor home or campervan was total freedom.
My idea of owning a motor home or a campervan obviously doesn’t seem to apply to everyone - I guess this is not such a bad thing since life would be boring if we were all the same and shared the same values, thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
We have lived in the same village for the last eight years, and during that time we have never bothered to get “friendly” with anyone. Sure, we will say “hello” when we pass someone walking down the road or when they walk past the front of the property and we are in the garden (we are on the village dog walking route) but that’s as far as it goes. Well, I should say that is how it used to be.
Since we have bought our motor home we have managed to develop more of a personal friendship with a few of the villagers, two of which own coach built motor homes, one of which owns a VW T4 camper van and one more who is currently working on his own van conversion. It’s strange because these people never gave us the time of day until we bought the motor home, even though I drive past their properties twice a day (on the way to work and the way home from work) and my wife cycle’s past, for the same reason. I can’t be too harsh on these people because my wife and I have been exactly the same, so we are just as bad……….. Regardless of this, the motor home has been the ice breaker that got us talking to these people.
The bloke with the VW T4 has had his vehicle from new and did the conversion himself, and I have to say that I have always admired it on his drive way. I wouldn’t want a VW T4 campervan (I wouldn’t want any VW campervan for that matter, or any other type of campervan – check out (“A VW T5 has confirmed a van conversion isn’t for me”) but I appreciate a smart vehicle, and his T4 is a smart vehicle.
The bloke with the VW T4 mocks us “coach built motor home owners” for having vehicles that are too large to travel down the unspoiled and mostly undiscovered single track roads and lanes that he can in his VW campervan. He mocks us for staying on “tourist fodder” campsites with facilities and says that what we do isn’t “proper” motor homing at all. Whether he says this in jest or whether he is serious, I can never tell (he’s not that easy to read) but I always take it as a bit of harmless banter.
"I can't post pics of the modified VW T4 so here are some other images for you VW fans to enjoy"
I hadn’t seen the VW T4 on the driveway for the last six weeks or so, and a couple of days ago I found out the reason why. I had assumed the bloke had disappeared off on some adventure, after all it has been a nice summer, he is retired and has no ties etc. but it seems he has been busy working away on the T4 “making a few essential modifications” (his words), and what a few modifications they are!
The T4 has been totally transformed. It has been fitted with bigger front bumper (with smart looking grill, a bit of chrome and some cool looking lights), a bigger rear bumper (doing away with the tow bar) and the biggest side skirts I have ever seen, and a custom made rear spoiler is mounted on the roof. The entire body kit is fully colour coded, and I have to say he has done a great job with the fitting. The T4 has been lowered right down on a set of 20 inch (yes – 20 inch!) alloys and there is barely enough room to get a piece of paper between the bottom of the bumper and the road. The front bonnet has been replaced with a carbon fibre one, giving the front end a mean and aggressive look. The standard exhaust has been replaced with a full stainless steel system with an end pipe the size of a dinner plate, and the entire van (other than the bonnet of course) has been treated to re-spray in brilliant blue. Think “Fast n Furious” movies and “modified car” scene and you will get some idea of what this VW T4 campervan now looks like. I would put up some photos but it is not fair of me to include photos of the actual vehicle and post them on my site and “steal his thunder”. He has his own photos of his pride and joy and has plans for them. The photos are not in the public domain and I am not going to put any here.
Even though the bloke has done a great job and given his VW campervan the “wow factor” it is a vehicle I would never want to own. When I was younger I did have a dabble in the modified car scene and ended up putting a body kit on my Ford Orion 1.6i Ghia and installed a mega stereo system, but I soon realized I didn’t have the money I needed to have a proper modified car. Besides, getting insured on anything large than a 1.6 with more than 120BHP was nigh on impossible! I wasn’t in the modified car scene for long and by the time I was 21 years old I had outgrown it and moved on. I still appreciate modified cars, however I would never want one now. Besides, a thirty something male in a modified car doesn’t suit my lifestyle, or career and I would be the laughing stock of the office if I had one. I reckon my boss would also try and kick me out the company as the clients would find it offensive.
What the bloke has done with his VW T4 is great, but I do wonder why he did it. I mean, a campervan with that much plastic on it, and that low to the ground is going to be a nightmare to drive. You’re not only going to feel each and every pothole and bump in the road but I reckon you’re also going to damage the vehicle in the process. The modified VW T4 is going to struggle getting over speed humps without bottoming out, let alone driving over bumpy roads (and fields etc.) to get to a suitable camping pitch. I am struggling to see how this bloke is going to go “wild camping” and do what camper vans and motor homes are designed to do as I think he is going to struggle on most “proper” campsites.
Reading between the lines I would say the VW T4 has been modified and modernised to sell on, I mean this campervan now goes totally against what this bloke thinks owning a motor home or campervan is all about. I haven’t asked the question, as I guess it’s none of my business, but do I wonder what the intention is and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I see it in the local “cars for sale” listing in the very near future.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home