Dec 1, 2021

Wanna buy a caddy?

#Caddyroamers #Ausbautipps #2021

Written by Nadine


You know how it goes: after a long research you have finally decided which minicamper you want and the choice is, how could it be otherwise, a VW Caddy.

Which points can be interesting in relation to a minicamper conversionn when buying we will try to list down here. 

New or used car

Now the first question is whether it will be a new car or a used one, which certainly also depends on the budget.

What are the pros and cons of a new car?

If the available credit line is open upwards, you should at least think about a new car. The advantages are obvious: you are the first to drive the car and can be and you can be sure that your future camper will have no quirks, because on a new car you you also have a warranty. In addition, you have free choice in terms of equipment and can put together his dream mini camper individually.

The biggest disadvantage we see in a new car is the loss of value in the first few years. After a few years, many owners of a minicampers want to expand and usually the minicamper has to give way.

Whether then the purchase of a new car was worth it, we doubt.

picture by@planetvag

Perhaps it's more likely to be a used car. But what do you need to consider here?


Let's start with the color. Yep, color can be important too. Especially in summer.

Imagine you park your camper in the afternoon in the shade, but the next morning you are standing in the blazing sun.

Therefore, dark colors are not recommended for the Caddy, because they rather store the sun. However, insulating the Caddy from the inside can help.

Long or short wheelbase?

That is more a question of faith :)

We have all three the short and are also satisfied with it. With the short wheelbase, of course, you have to consider that you always have to put up and take down the bed, because the front seats and partly also the backrest must be pushed completely forward.

With the Maxi, this is somewhat more comfortable, as the bed can remain set up even while driving, as there is 47 cm more space in the length. At the same time, the long wheelbase also has one or two disadvantages, especially in everyday life: The city dwellers among you will know directly what is meant here ;-) 47cm more length than the usual passenger car means of course also a greater effort in the search for parking space.

When camping, it is usually only a disadvantage if you count yourself more to the Team Explorer and is also sometimes on unpaved roads on the road, because by the extended wheelbase you sit of course also faster. There is a way to get around this problem by raising the Caddy, but this requires effort and costs.

Of course you should also ask yourself whether you want to use the Caddy mainly as a camper or rather as an everyday car.

The Caddy is available in different versions - among others also as a transporter. This has then a large loading area, usually no windows on the sliding doors and only driver and passenger seat.

Anna and Nadine have converted their Caddy full-time and removed the rear seat bench. Carina usually only converts her Caddy for the season or single trips. However, since little Ando is born, the back seat is indispensable. Of course, the van also offers the advantage of not having to darken the windows at night, which at the same time means quite a bit of darkness again during the day when the doors are closed.

picture by@vinzthevan

Tailgate or swing doors

Which brings us to the next question of faith. Because that's where opinions differ again. The advantage of the tailgate is clearly the protection from above. Whether as sun protection or in the rain - the tailgate can do quite a bit. With the hinged doors, you can still create storage space, for example, if you attach folding shelves on the right and left. Furthermore, they protect the gas stove from strong winds, which can be a real plus on stormy days.

Two sliding doors? Sliding windows?

In itself, of course, one is enough, but overall we can say that two sliding doors are always better than one. However, one can also be an advantage, because you can also use the side wall of the caddy for the expansion. On everyday caddies, there are actually always two sliding doors. In vans, there is often only one.

A sliding window is "nice to have" for ventilation purposes, but is not absolutely necessary.

Here you can see how Anna from @pegthevan used the space of the non-existent second sliding door.

Roof railing

Having a roof railing is certainly not a disadvantage, however, it is also not problematic if your dream Caddy does not have one. For example, if you want to attach a roof rack, you should only make sure that the Caddy has the appropriate attachment points on the roof. Then a roof railing is not necessary. A roof rack is practical for transporting a roof box or a roof tent, but can also be very convenient for attaching a hammock.

Caddy with roof railing@lennythevan_

Here you can see the Caddy from @caddyoverlanding with a roof rack attached to the attachment points. 






A real must-have for campers who want to travel further is cruise control. Nadine had hers retrofitted and finds that it was worth every penny. It saves the right foot immensely and you don't get problems with the sciatic nerve so quickly.

A hands-free system is a really useful gadget, although this can also be retrofitted without any problems.

Not to forget the parking heater. Many believe that if you buy a Caddy with a parking heater, you can leave it running all night. However, this is not so. The usual parking heaters that are installed from the factory are designed to heat the engine and the interior for a short period of time. They are not designed to run all night and this will not work because they need a lot of power and the battery will give up very quickly. Therefore it is better to buy a Caddy without a parking heater and install an air heater from the usual manufacturers (Webasto, Erberspächer, Planar).

One could still endlessly further criteria list, finally must everyone individually for itself decide. We hope to have given you a little help for the decisions around the Caddy purchase.