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LT or Coachbuilt?

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timmythedog View Drop Down
Vanorak
Vanorak

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timmythedog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: LT or Coachbuilt?
    Posted: 04 Aug 09 at 10:38
Just looking for opinions on these two options for a growing family. Having never owned either they appear to be 2 different approaches to a similar end result in terms of the accommodation they offer.  More specifically I am looking at Karmann T3's, and westfalia Lt's.  Any thoughts, considerations on these 2 options.  Okay I know one is a custom back on a T3 chassis, so smaller engines, and the other a westfalia reworked panelvan but cannot see the implications beyond that of owning one or the other. Love to hear the thoughts of those that have owned/used either or both?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TeeB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 09 at 11:01
Not much help Timmy, but we love our Gipsy regardless of the speed, 'tis all part of the experience!  Moved up to the Gipo from a Westy Joker high top and haven't looked back!  Good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 09 at 13:33
coachbuilt is the new black !

downside to a coachbuilt is that they can be a bit heavy and therefore slower than the panel equivalent. Downside to a panel conversion is that its only a conversion and although practical and nice to look at they are not as functional as a purpose built coachbuit. comparing T3's not LT do the panel conversions come with all these;

blown hot air heating,
hot & cold running water
fridge
hob
cooker
12v/240v
1 permanent 2 berth bed & 1 convertible 2 berth bed
shower & toilet

I know some people have had coachbuilts and gone back to panels, its a matter of taste. I for one wouldn't go back to a panel :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ZUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 09 at 00:50
If you have the money you can't go wrong with a Gypsy, if money is an issue I'd get an LT (less than half the price of a Gypsy) My LT panel conversion does not have hot water, permanent bed or a shower inside, however it does have an outside shower, it really does. Have you looked at the LT Distance Wide, it's the LT version of the Gypsy but with extra length and width. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 09 at 08:45
Yeh, Distance Wide is the baby :-) some came with their own patio Sleepy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 09 at 19:25
How about a Florida or Sven Hedin?  They're 'van' conversions (LT), but are Westy so are about as 'factory' as it gets.  Both have got all the things Nic mentioned above.

From general conversations I've had with various people, the biggest potential (and I say potential, because they're not all affected) downfall with a coachbuilt is the risk of damp getting into the wooden frame, which is apparently a fecking nightmare to fix.  

Just make sure you get a good one, and make sure there's NO damp or leaks!

Whenever the subject has come up, there always seems to be some question about the crash resistance of a wooden frame vehicle if you've in the habit of carrying passengers in the back too.

Having said that, I don't like to think how crash resistant the Chappy Wagon would be either, so I don't!.

   
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ZUB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ZUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 09 at 23:25
Originally posted by Chappy Chappy wrote:

How about a Florida or Sven Hedin?  They're 'van' conversions (LT), but are Westy so are about as 'factory' as it gets.  Both have got all the things Nic mentioned above.

From general conversations I've had with various people, the biggest potential (and I say potential, because they're not all affected) downfall with a coachbuilt is the risk of damp getting into the wooden frame, which is apparently a fecking nightmare to fix.  

Just make sure you get a good one, and make sure there's NO damp or leaks!

Whenever the subject has come up, there always seems to be some question about the crash resistance of a wooden frame vehicle if you've in the habit of carrying passengers in the back too.

Having said that, I don't like to think how crash resistant the Chappy Wagon would be either, so I don't!.

   

It's very hard to find a LWB Florida or Sven Hedin though, I only say this because I prefer the LWB LT's Wink 

Come on then Timmythedog, which are you gioing to go for then ?????




Edited by ZUB - 05 Aug 09 at 23:27
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timmythedog View Drop Down
Vanorak
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timmythedog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 09 at 08:34
Cheers guys. Some interesting  points that i had not considered. the extra weight of a coachbuilt for one. Someone sent me a photo of his Distance wide which looks very smart.  If I went for LT it would almost certainly be a Westfalia Florida.  Infact being a westfalia owner now, I think that's one of the factors and perhaps it shouldn't be! I can't imagine owning anything other than a Westfalia! I think it's the absolutely timeless, well engineered, quality finish that you get. I'd feel my money was well invested too, which I appreciate it would be with a karmann.
 I also have a preconception that the panel van is going to drive much better. It's purely based on what I see before me, and clearly this could be a deception of the eye. I think I need to "experience" a Karmann coachbuilt and see how I take to it.  Am I right in thinking that a Gipsy and an LT Florida offer roughly the same in the accommodation department?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote busbuddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 09 at 21:44
I dont think the 2 are comparable,  the choice has to be between the karmann and westy LTs or the karmann and westy T3s
 
its like choosing between a bay and T3 westy, as the T3 and LT are such different base vehicles that any normal pro/con argument on, for example, bathroom size is dwarfed by the fact one could be a 1.6td and the other a 2.4td and so on
 
a visit to someone like http://www.rccimport.co.uk/pages/vehsale.asp who have both the LTs for sale should help you decide even if you dont buy off them
 
you dont buy these vehicles to look cool, you buy them coz you want one and it does what you need it to do, its all about personal taste
 
Me.............I drive a T3 karmann cheetah Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote botsdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 09 at 20:13
Originally posted by timmythedog timmythedog wrote:

Cheers guys. Some interesting  points that i had not considered. the extra weight of a coachbuilt for one. Someone sent me a photo of his Distance wide which looks very smart.  If I went for LT it would almost certainly be a Westfalia Florida.  Infact being a westfalia owner now, I think that's one of the factors and perhaps it shouldn't be! I can't imagine owning anything other than a Westfalia! I think it's the absolutely timeless, well engineered, quality finish that you get. I'd feel my money was well invested too, which I appreciate it would be with a karmann.
 I also have a preconception that the panel van is going to drive much better. It's purely based on what I see before me, and clearly this could be a deception of the eye. I think I need to "experience" a Karmann coachbuilt and see how I take to it.  Am I right in thinking that a Gipsy and an LT Florida offer roughly the same in the accommodation department?
hi we have a sven hedin westy lt, the top bunk is huge, the width of the van and half the lenght, and i have 3 kids sleep up there easily, and a nice big bed down stairs, they can seat a few peeps too, we too had to go for something bigger (growing family), now i would never go back, its 29 years old, everything still works fine, all the doors still catch etc etc, the shower is fab and the pressure is really good too, hot water in seconds, good luck with your choice
lt28 sven hedin,x2 lt 35 vans, rhd syncro,syncro multivan, caravelle and panel

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windysurfer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 09 at 20:24
What about a T4 Gypsy or Cheetah?
Best of both worlds?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 66 joker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 09 at 21:36
We have had a show winning splitty,6 westy jokers and a t4 california and like yourself our family has grown so after a lot of searching we chosen a westfalia florida and it is superb.
We have 3 children and and just returned from a 2 thousand mile trip around france and spain and the florida performed perfectly(exactly what you expect from a westfalia).
Good luck whatever you decideThumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Touring-snowbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 10 at 19:54
Hi, I have an LT28 diesel coachbuilt which I imported from Holland. Dont know the manufacturer it says EuroStyle on it.Its very much like a Karman so could be one of theres.
I love the thing so much am thinking of selling my American RV.
The storage space inside is unbelievable,problem is if you fill all the cupboards with stuff the camper would not move.
The LT coachbuilt is not the fastest thing on the road and its not so good on fuel but ride comfort is very good.
I had a few VWs in the past and never had a lot of luck with them but this LT is realy somthing else,runs 100% biodiesel so thats a bonus.
The only downside I can think of is whoever built it didnt put mains elctric in,it has a good solar system and LPG tank for cooking,water heater etc.
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EASTFALIA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EASTFALIA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 10 at 11:59
i have owned and used t3 gipsy and cheetah - both petrol and diesel - air and water cooled .. i have also owned and used t4 gipsy 2.5 petrol as well as selling a t4 cheetah (longer than t4 gipsy) 2.4 diesel -

having owned and used a florida/sven hedin LT i can say the LT is the best all round option - condition, ease of use, practicality, performance and equipment levels are great - they also drive in a fun way too - which may sound odd untill you try one .

i once described the lt westfalia as 'westfalias' best kept secret' - i have no reason to change this statement .
Steve Walker - Eastfalia - E-mail - 01483 810756
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TeeB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 10 at 14:23
Originally posted by EASTFALIA EASTFALIA wrote:

i have owned and used t3 gipsy and cheetah - both petrol and diesel - air and water cooled .. i have also owned and used t4 gipsy 2.5 petrol as well as selling a t4 cheetah (longer than t4 gipsy) 2.4 diesel -

having owned and used a florida/sven hedin LT i can say the LT is the best all round option - condition, ease of use, practicality, performance and equipment levels are great - they also drive in a fun way too - which may sound odd untill you try one .

i once described the lt westfalia as 'westfalias' best kept secret' - i have no reason to change this statement .
I'll defer to the experience above, but I rate my Gipsy as a great all round camper, does everything we need, is 1.6td which is slow but that's all part of relaxing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 66 joker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 10 at 20:35
[QUOTE=EASTFALIA]i have owned and used t3 gipsy and cheetah - both petrol and diesel - air and water cooled .. i have also owned and used t4 gipsy 2.5 petrol as well as selling a t4 cheetah (longer than t4 gipsy) 2.4 diesel -

having owned and used a florida/sven hedin LT i can say the LT is the best all round option - condition, ease of use, practicality, performance and equipment levels are great - they also drive in a fun way too - which may sound odd untill you try one .

i once described the lt westfalia as 'westfalias' best kept secret' - i have no reason to change this statement .
 
"Well said steve"Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 10 at 23:10
We current have both an LT28 Westy Sven and a LT31 Karmann Distance Wide, I think that what you buy depends on what layout suits you best. Our Westy Sven is up for sale - it drives great, its Westy quality, the overcab bed is huge (3 kids no problem) and larger than average head room so you can sit up without banging your head on the roof.
The shower room is a sealed unit, so as long as there's no cracks in the plastic, its watertight and, dare I say it, its probably a better design, being plastic, than the wallpaper of the Karmann, but the Karmann is slightly larger and has a cassette toilet.
It's just that the layout of the Distance Wide suits us better - but there's mostly only the two of us, no small kids anymore and a teenager who takes his tent with us.

The Svens not td, but the Karmann is = only noticeable really on uphill climbs.
Try and get a drive of both.

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