OWNING A T5
The T5 van is such a pleasure to own. With two wheel bases sizes and three possible roof heights, the manoeuvrability will differ slightly depending on which model type you walk out of the workshop with, but overall the T5 basically drives like a car. It’s small enough and has a surprisingly good turning circle, allowing you to use the T5 as your daily vehicle – driving the kids to school, driving to work, day trips, and transporting large bits of furniture or recycling around. Fully kitted out T5 camper vans can typically achieve fuel economy of 34-38 mpg, and any T5 not weighed down by so much ‘habitation equipment’ will be even more fuel efficient.
The T5 is a wonderful vehicle to live in and drive in cold conditions. Even in colder temperatures than you would ever experience in the UK, a well-cared-for T5 will start every time, and can get up to a good speed on the highway, although it may take a little longer to get up to full speed. The auxiliary diesel heating (which comes as standard in the T5 California and can be fitted into your choice of design) is exceedingly efficient for UK conditions, and can even be used with a timer or operated remotely from the camper bed, or even inside the house if you want to defrost the windows before you leave.
The T5 was available in the UK from 2005 up to the recent release of the T6 in late 2015. The T5 has several options which have been made standard on the newer T6 model including DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, climate control (even three-zone separate climate control in the Ocean layout), LED tail lights, alloy wheels, and the auxiliary internal heater. The good news is that many T5 models were produced with these options, and if you’d like to add any of these great features to a T5 that missed out, we can easily arrange to retrofit them.
Some tips to get the best performance out of your T5
The standard seating upholstery for this model is fairly light-coloured, creating more of a bright, open feel when you look inside the car in the showroom. Unfortunately, this colour is far from practical for typical use. T5 owners will recommend that you invest in a set of seat-covers from day one. This way you can customise the interior style a little, and you ensure that the original upholstery is in great condition should you ever decide to sell your T5.
Regardless of which model and layout you choose for your T5, the classifieds for preowned vans demonstrate how well the T5 holds its value, especially the California. There is consistently high demand for this well-designed and well-built vehicle, showing that as a second-hand van your T5 will only lose a percentage of its original value after a few years compared to other pre-owned vans.
Long-time owners of T5 campervans are unequivocally pleased with their purchase. They drive just like a car, but can be taken with a moment’s notice for an extended camping trip to the remotest locations. The T5 is incredibly well-designed and problems rarely occur. The vast majority of issues that do require attention in the T5 models tend to be to do with unexpected wear and tear on the camping additions, and in general these are all replaced under the official VW warranty. Although owners report some frustration when dealing with commercial VW dealerships who do not specialise in VW vans, support from lifestyle specialist dealers means the service and advice you need is always there.