Before you carry on reading, you should have a look at the video below as long as it's still available. It is in English, and the advantages of the California Comfortline are so enthusiastically shown, that you may even be tempted to buy one yourself.
Indeed, a glance at the price-list will quickly bring you back to the cold reality. Even if you don't intend to clock up a lot a mileage, the Diesel engine, which uses about half as much fuel, would be the better choice. The good news is: The Diesel engine is no more expensive. The bad news is: You're not going to get away with anything under 55.000.
Thereby, we're going to be content with the second smallest Diesel engine, with Blue Motion technology and a five-speed gearbox. Take note, that in this price class neither air-con for the rear space (1.172) is included, nor one for the front with additional heating for the rear 1.487. If you then also choose only the simplest ParkPilot ( 672), you've really got yourself under control.
Indeed, in view of the tempting optional extras and hints from the salesperson concerning the resale value, you'll probably find it difficult to stay with the basics. The camera ( 618) with a monitor ( 2.635) simply must be had. After all, then the radio and navigation is included. At this point we've already crossed the line to 60.000. The next step, to TV-reception ( 1.130), is not very big at all.
Should your demands be higher, it almost makes sense to go for the Premium Packet ( 4.480), the Safety Packet ( 1.029), the Tour Packet ( 1.636) or the Travel Packet ( 4.260). In the Tour Packet, the bicycle carrier and the awning is then included. Think about how quickly the table and chairs can be removed from the inside of the doors and how quickly you can relax comfortably in the shade.
Just imagine, in a few simple steps, you've folded out the table and turned the front seats around to give yourself a comfortable dining arrangement. The possibilities of the electric lifting roof are not offered by other suppliers, and definitely not the amount of headroom in the inside. The feature which VW describes as being 'wood-decor cupboards', makes a very noble impression.
You can of course, also crank the roof open by hand, and you can waiver the kitchen, the cool-box, the wardrobe and the double-glazing, also the roller-blinds, the magnetic curtains, the 220V-equipment and the stationary heating. In one fell swoop, it all becomes more than 16.000 cheaper. VW probably sees this model, the California Beach, as only being suitable for overnight stops on the beach.
It's not so easy, to describe all the special features of the 2004/2005 California. Thereby, we won't even go into all the achievements made by the T5-Transporter. Let's start with the electro-hydraulically retractable roof. Similar to the convertible roof, there is a hydraulic-oil supply unit, with two cylinders lying in the roof frame, which under high pressure, enables the roof to be opened.
The roof is lifted in one continual movement, for security reasons, to lower it again, the switch must remain pressed the whole time. In fact, when it's half way down, it even asks if you're sure that, e.g., a sleeping baby, is not going to be clamped in. Because of he sewed-in plastic strips, the material can only be folded inwards. By the way, despite the folding mechanism, the roof-load of 50 kg, is still possible.
The cut-out in the bodywork is strengthened by circumferential profiles, to guarantee safety in the event of accident deformation. The roof is fitted with sunken rails for a roof-carrier. It can also be had with railing on the rain-gutters for the purpose of mounting an awning. A screen separates the upper- from the lower area. In the upper area, there is a 1.200 mm wide double bed and in the lower part, it has a width of 1.140 mm.
There is nonetheless, still space on the side in the lower area, for a two-flame gas hob, a sink, a cool box (42 litres) and a wardrobe, all this is lightweight construction and it looks and feels good. 30 litres of both fresh- and waste water are possible. Both have openings to the outside on the bottom left hand side, as do the gas vent-pipe and the 220V-connection.
An interesting feature is the table-and-chairs concept. First of all, there are the swivelling front seats. The fold-out table and the rear seat-bench can be widely adjusted. The electrically closable rear hatch can take on two chairs and the sliding door on the side holds a second table, which can either be used independently outside or clipped in as an additional inside table. 04/14