Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Glos
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Bongo versus VW T4 thoughts:
For a long time I was convinced that I should get a converted Bongo. I looked at several. Very easy to drive. The Bongo's auto gearbox is a lot nicer than the VW T4's and the cab aircon is terrific, as are the electric blinds. The 4WD ones are supposed to be great for towing.
The Bongo's electric auto free top roof is wonderful compared to the heavy manual elevating roof on the T4, which is a bit of a faff to close and get all the canvas folded inside.
I also liked the nifty electric closing on the Bongo's side door. The T4 one needs a hefty slam to close, and the noise must be a bit irritating for other campers.
The Bongo Fury website and forum is a fantastic resource - much better than the VW ones which tend to be biased towards the aircooled brigade. I find lots of useful tips on that site.
Diesel consumption is a bit pants with the Bongo, @25-28 mpg compared with the auto T4's easy 38-40 mpg. A small van should do better than that. Especially since the T4 weighs @500kg more.
If I was a solo camper a Bongo would be adequate, but the rock n' roll bed is a bit too narrow for me and the OH. The Bongo body is about 6" narrower than a T4 and that restricts the bed size. Pity (for me) that the Bongo was not bigger inside, otherwise I would have bought one.
The T4's swivelling front seats and easy access from cab to rear tipped the balance. As did the impressively solid build quality of the Westfalia conversion, which is much better developed than some UK cottage industry Bongo conversions.
Hey ho. A second mortgage and trip to Germany later, and I got a T4 Westy. I love it. I think I would have loved a Bongo too if I were single.