Our previous VW Motorhome – HIG 1302
I’ve kept the details here for reference – this page is one of the most frequently viewed – by people searching the internet for information on VW Motorhomes so it is still of use to many!
Bog standard VW T4 with Mercedes Wheels
Our ‘Lounge/Bedroom’ The ‘other’ end
Awning and bike rack are a ‘must have’ accessory for us. Since buying it I have fitted a solar panel, cruise control, alloy wheels and a swivelling seat onthe passenger side. I have put a couple of extra lights in and converted most of the lighting to LEDs. I also installed an inverter powered 240 volt socket in the seating area.
A couple of last minute ‘mods’
The ‘latest’ very last minute mod…
10 weeks into our trip I decided that it would be a good idea to have a solar panel fitted. I did consider it before we left but I thought that we could get away with re-charging the leisure battery as we moved from one place to the next. It turns out that you really need a good run to charge it up properly and some of our trips from on place to the other have been but a few miles so we bit the bullet.
It’s actually not as daft as you think to have a panel fitted in a country that uses solar panels here there and everywhere – perhaps even better than having it done in dull old blighty!.
My installer came recommended by another motorhomer, Dave, who had an extra 80w panel fitted whilst he is full-timing so I had a chance to look at the guys work and get an idea on price. It was a ‘no brainer’ really as the whole system came in at just under £255 (310 Euros) fitted. Ian has managed a first class job too and fitted the panel just off centre so I can still ‘walk’ down one side of the roof to clean it and it enabled him to hide all the wiring in our wardrobe underneath. I have his details still and rather than put his phone number up on the internet, if you email me or leave a message, I will gladly pass it on.
The 80watt panel on stand-off brackets
The ‘new’ black unit is the regulator with indicators to let you know the state of the battery.
So, we now have loads of ‘free’ electric and more importantly don’t have to rely on checking into a campsite just to make sure we can recharge our cameras/phone/PC and at a pinch we can watch TV and have a fan running to keep us cool! Even more ‘freedom’!
The Awning supports
We had our awning fitted about eighteen months ago just before we did our first Portugal trip but never got round to fitting the brackets that enable you to site the legs against the side of the van. So, today I bravely decided to drill four 10mm hiles into the side of our pride and joy! I’d like to say I enjoyed doing the little job but I can’t. You cannot know whether or not you have actually picked the correct spot to site them until you drill the body – it’s a surefire cure for constipation if one was ever needed! I managed the first (left hand side) one straight away and the bracket for the interior is nicely hidden by the cushions on the seating/bed.
The one to the rear of the van needed to reside behind the fridge so much careful measurement and eye-ing up was required so that I didnt drill a hole in our fridge. So I drilled two small pilot holes and then a larger hole but we just couldn’t see the holes on the other side. I began to fret when I thought that I now had two holes that I couldn’t use and might have to abandon the job. Anyway my wife worked out that there was a panel lining the section I had drilled and we just needed to drill through that to finish the job and utilise slightly longer screws to mount the bracket.
So here’s the result
Not a job I would like to try again.
I’m not really one for loads of gadgets but two recent company cars have had cruise control fitted and I found that ‘gadget’ to be quite useful for both ensuring you stick at the correct speed and avoid that pumping of the accelerator which must cost you fuel at the end of the day. So today the vehicle went to an independent VW modifier to have a ‘pukka’ VW cruise control stalk fitted.
Awesome GTi supplied and fitted the stalk and then ‘re-mapped’ the vehicle to ‘tell it’ that it had VW cruise control fitted. An hour and a half in their waiting room with a coffee and free wi-fi saw the job done for £199 all in. Excellent work and functioned great on the short trip back home.
As a ‘post-script’ (May 3) and nearby five weeks into our journey the cruise control has proved very useful so far. The longer stretches of road are a great opportunity to put it to use. You maintain a steady rate without having to keep checking the speedo – I am sure it saves us a couple of quid on the way through France.
As we intend to take the motorhome up to Scotland in the winter I thought I would add some insulation to the under side of the floor. The floor is sturdy ply but lacks any real insulation and hence, you do tend to get cold feet. I obtained some sheets of insulation from a builder friend and headed down to my sons workshop with a hacksaw, some polytop nails and penny washers.
The sheets are easy to cut into shape and insert between the chassis rails – its a bit fiddly around the exhaust but thanks to the clearance under the van I didnt even need to jack it up.
The insulation is 50mm thick so a 60mm long ‘polytop’ nail (plastic headed) and penny washer hold the sheets in place a treat.
As you can see – it looks like it was fitted when the motorhome was built but I’m not sure how long its going to stay that clean looking! The beauty is that it can be easily removed once it gets a bit grubby or is no longer required
February Update – A few minor mods
I have added a couple of electrical modifications before our trip to Scotland – as we always struggle to read in bed when we sleep ‘across’ the vehicle I have added lights to the opposite end of each sofa so that when we do sleep that way round you are guaranteed a light at your head. I managed to find two lights that nearly match the original ones and it a useful addition. I have replaced the original two pin 10 watt lamps with a less than one watt LED off eBay. Just as good light output for a fraction of the load.
The other change is a slightly higher output leisure battery (the old one didn’t hold a charge properly anymore). I have also added a socket (which matches the others in the van) in the kickplate which is supplied via a separate inverter. The job looks ‘as original’ and I have already used it a couple of times as it is a convenient location when using the DVD player when you have no mains power.
General Transporter Information
A bit about T4 VW Transporters
The Transporter is not the most inspiring van around to look at but like all VW’s it is well put together and very mechanically sound. Drivers will be pleased to find the inside had been given a bit more thought. Storage options are plenty for all manner of bits and bobs and a lockable glove box is handy for security. The gear stick is in the centre console and easy to reach ours is an ‘auto’ and sits on the floor/ You could easily be in a people carrier such is the refinement and simplicity of the cabin. The piece de resistance of this van though is the performance on the road, even without a load the steering is almost perfect and the ride comfortable. You could be forgiven for thinking you are not actually in a commercial vehicle so quiet is the ride and the engine noise is quieter than any van I have driven. Every model has as standard remote central locking, a height and reach adjustable steering wheel, a height, and adjustable driver’s seat, drivers’ airbag and ABS brakes. The T4 first hit our streets in 1990 and carried on in production until 2003.
Two engines are available the 1.9-litre engine in 85PS or 104PS form while the 2.5-litre TDI is available with a 102PS output or a 151PS. Ours is the latter 2.5-litre.
…And a bit about Compass Calypso Coachbuilts
A compact two berth Motorhome that has always been a firm favourite with Motorhome owners. Based on a VW chassis but drives like a car Built on the popular Volkswagen T4 chassis and designed as a coach built two berth. This together with the 2.5 litre Turbo-diesel engine and power steering will transport you in comfort, safety and style. The Calypso has significantly greater space inside than many other models, its specification is quite simply, first rate and incorporates numerous features usually found only in larger luxury coach built models.
Length 5.39m (17’7″) Width 2.07m (6’8”) Height 2.91m (9’5½”) Fresh water 58.8ltrs (12.5gal) Waste 45.5ltrs (10gal) Berths :Single bed size 1.83m x 0.66m (6’x2’2″),Double bed size 1.94m x 1.56m (6’4½x5’1½”) Year Of Registration: 2001, Number of Berths 2.
Ours was purchased in February 2010 with just 18000 miles on the clock and in ‘as new’ condition from Shipley in Yorkshire.