How to choose your VW Caddy Maxi Camper Base Van

In this post we round up everything you need to know to choose the VW Caddy Camper Maxi that’s right for you.

Over the years our micro camper conversions have become the most popular choice of conversion we offer. They’re practical, functional and affordable. If you’re not yet convinced make sure to check out our ‘Top Reasons For Choosing a Micro Camper’ blog post.

If you’re looking for all the functionality of a larger campervan, but want something that’s a bit more ‘nippy’ and easy to travel around in, then a Micro Camper conversion of a VW Caddy Maxi could be the perfect option for you.

Love Campers Mandalay Conversion - Rear Door

But… which is the best Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Camper base van to go for? It’s a question we get asked a lot!

Already decided that a VW Caddy is a good option but you’re not sure which one to choose? The below information will help you to determine which VW Caddy to buy as your base vehicle.

Exterior of VW Caddy Maxi Campervan VW Caddy conversion (Zanzibar design) Photography by Jamie Marshall

What to consider when choosing a VW Caddy Camper

What length VW Caddy is best?

Firstly, you’ll need to think about the desired length of your camper. The Volkswagen Caddy comes in standard wheelbase or long wheelbase. The long wheelbase version is called the Caddy Maxi. We’ve found this to be the most popular choice for the conversions we carry out.

The short wheelbase Caddy has some limitations. In particular you won’t be able to have a poptop roof, and if you have a rocknroll bed, you won’t be able to fold it out or back into the seat position without standing outside the van. For these reasons we only work on the VW Caddy Maxi.

Our most popular conversions are the Caddy Maxi Mandalay and the Caddy Maxi Zanzibar, as these only work with the VW Caddy Maxi as a base van.

Sink and hob inside VW Caddy Maxi Campervan VW Caddy conversion (Zanzibar design) Photography by Jamie Marshall

Should I go for a VW Caddy Maxi panel van or VW Caddy Maxi Life?

There are a few options to choose from with the VW Caddy Maxi Camper vans – there’s the panel van, the Maxi Life and the Caddy Maxi Kombi.

The panel van only has front seats and no side windows in the rear. In effect, it’s a bit like an empty van. 

The Caddy Maxi Life is a people carrier with seven seats and windows already cut out. 

The Caddy Maxi Kombi is a rarer vehicle which has two rows of seats.

We can build our conversions in all of these and there are pros and cons to each. If you want our ever popular Caddy Maxi Mandalay design (photos below), it’s actually a lot easier to work on a panel van.  At Love Campers we can add windows to the panel van and it’s less work for us to do this than to insulate and line around existing windows (meaning you’ll get your van completed more quickly!) There’s also a longer flat floor space in the panel van, which means we can easily fit a portaloo or a removable cool-box on rails, if you’d like 🙂

Interior of VW Caddy Maxi Campervan
ZANZIBAR DESIGN. VW Caddy conversion Photography by Jamie Marshall
Interior of VW Caddy Maxi Campervan showing pop-top roof
MANDALAY DESIGN. VW Caddy conversion Photography by Jamie Marshall

We can build a Caddy Maxi Mandalay design into a Caddy Maxi Life base van, but we would advise you to have a compressor drawer fridge instead of the removable cool-box and we may not be able to fit a portaloo in for you. 

If you like the look of our Caddy Maxi Zanzibar design (a firm favourite with customers!), you will need to start with a Caddy Maxi Life base van as we use some of the second row of seats for our design, so they stay in the van.  

Should I go for a petrol or diesel?

This ultimately has to be your decision!  Volkswagen started making petrol Caddys in 2017 so there are a good number on the second hand market now.  If you are going to be travelling frequent long distances then diesel may offer cheaper mileage to the gallon.  If you live in or travel to a city centre frequently, or plan to use your van for lots of short journeys, petrol could be a good choice. There are more diesel Caddys on the market and so you will have more choice if you go for a diesel.

If you go for a diesel vehicle, we would advise you to go for a diesel Euro 6 engine, one of the newer engines. These include some vehicles from 2015 and all made in 2016 onwards.  If you are buying a 2015 VW van do double check and make sure it’s a Diesel Euro 6.  Diesel Euro 6 engines will have more longevity.

Exterior of VW Caddy Maxi Campervan showing pop-top roof VW Caddy conversaion Photography by Jamie Marshall

Can Love Campers help to source a VW Caddy Maxi?

Yes we can!

We can source a VW Caddy Maxi for your conversion or help you to source one. 

Get in touch with us at if you’re interested in a VW Caddy Maxi Camper conversion and we can help you to choose a base vehicle that fits the bill.

Thanks for reading the post!

Read more on the blog:

Follow us on our Facebook and Instagram accounts for our latest news and posts!