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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a Bay Window camper at the moment and am contemplating modernising my ride and making it practical rather than just a hobby - for UK and ultimately European camping plus more daily use and "get in and go" mountain bike trip use.

I'd been assuming I'd like a LWB van, envisaging the extra length being useful for a bike storage (perhaps with Variotech seat to open/close up the load area).

What I'm wondering is - how big are the LWB/SWB versus my current bay (length and width/general feel), and is the LWB any less practical for parking/manouvering and suchlike?

Sorry, know it's a bit of a lazy post but I thought you lot would quickly know dimensions and be able to advise me on the practical aspects.
 

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LWB is a foot longer than the SWB and both have more room in them than the bay due to the engine being in the front, i can get my longboard 9ft 6in in my LWB withoutit going over the seats. LWB size matters. T:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cheers, take it the extra foot isn't a massive extra hassle when it comes to parking/manouvering?
 

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Mate, I have a show winning Bay which was my complete pride and joy, now running a SWB T4 on a 99 plate with 2.5 TDI engine, its a different ride and great to have heat and the power to cruise all day long at 70mph, still long for an aircooled but from an every day perspective T4 is the way forward - hell you even get waved at...
:ILU:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't get me wrong, I love the style, simplicity and sound of the Bay, but as much as I like the hobby of learning how it all works, tinkering with/upgrading bits etc...I just don't have the time to dedicate to it and keeping it going.

What I need from a practical perspective is a get-in-and-go multi-purpose all-year-round camper/half daily drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll be quite happy with a LWB, tailgated van for now (great for biking trips) with the aim of getting professionals to add pop top, modular camper interior, variotech seat, eberspacher/propex etc over the winter. Europe here we come with a van suited exactly to my needs next summer is the goal.
 

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A LWB is only about a foot longer but that foot makes a hell of a difference inside which sounds stupid but I have a similar layout in my lwb to my workmate`s swb but it seems loads more room in mine, SIZE DOES MATTER! As for the parking mines a daily user and I have no probs parking
 

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Have had both and the extra space in LWB is nice but give me a nippy SWB any day for handling on the country roads. If you're in a hurry you'll end up backwards in an LWB on twisty roads if you're heavily loaded
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking at thing another way, can a SWB feel a bit cramped or will it be positively cavernous versus my bay. We have two dogs and I'd like to transport my mountain bike in the van as it's too expensive to leave on a rack on the back safely.
 

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Being exact the LWB is 450mm longer than a SWB and as a LWB owner I think it's well worth it!

Enough room to have rear seats AND a bike stored behind. And for camping enough room for a full length bed and space in front of the bed to get in and out easily.

As for parking, well it IS a bit longer but is no harder to manouvre. In practical terms parking in tesco I find it fills the space or overhangs by a few inches depending on how tight they were in marking out the car park.
 

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my first t4 is a lwb caravelle and it is vast. nine seats in it and then about 4 foot of rear room. took nine people to glastonbury with all their camping gear, trolley for carrying stuff around, chairs, gazebo, blah blah etc.. shed loads of stuff - literally! and then we fit in all the booze too T:

before i was driving an astra *cough* and it took me about 3 minutes to get used to the size, parking is easy peasy i was surprised. so coming from a van to a lwb you will have zero problems i am sure. for the amount of stuff you want i suggest lwb :)
 

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Go for the LWB if you can find a good one!! Rare as hens teeths though.
I went from a bay to a LWB T4, so much easier to park, god bless power steering;)
 

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Yep LWB all day long the extra ft makes sucha difference. I think they handle better than SWBs for some daft reason. I Build campers for a living and you can have a much better set up in a LWB. Again though getting one is the hard bit. Although most people ask me for SWBs as they live on a estate with 8ft long drives. As for parking there a little harder in some spots and you will find most have a crease down the drivers side rear bumper and a dented bottom corner on the side loading door. Like anything in life though it could always be bigger longer faster.T:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all, appreciate the advice. My Bay passed its MOT today with almost flying colours and is now for sale on Vzi, so I hope I will be properly in the T4 market very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Very nice, what spec. and price if you don't mind me asking..and where'd you get it if not a private sale?
 

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I was just thinking with your above question i had a customer bring a van in last week and it had come from a company called van monster it was a very tidy T5 with only 55k on the clock and it was a cracking price i wont say how much as its not my place but there well worth a look.
 
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