Text size


Volkswagen California - Ocean vs Beach Review

Volkswagen California - Ocean vs Beach Review

By Swansway Motor Group 09-03-2018


If you’re thinking of buying a VW campervan, then it’s likely that you’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of the Ocean versus the Beach models. You’re definitely not alone in this!

Why should you buy a Volkswagen California?

  • Amazing residual values – you’ll know this if you’ve looked at buying a used Cali; they hold their value incredibly well, which is good news for you if you’re thinking of buying a new one.
  • Factory built, NOT a conversion – German build quality through and through and you need never worry about the next point.
  • Factory warranty – up to 5 years and no stress as the Cali is Vw from rubber to roof.
  • Compact size – goes everywhere a car can go, but with a house on-board!
  • Integrated camping table and chairs – more space and less rattle on the move.

What's the Difference between the Volkswagen California Ocean and Beach?

VW California forums are full of prospective campervan owners asking for advice on which model would suit them best and there are as many ardent ‘Cali’ fans in favour of the Beach as there are of the Ocean.

We spoke to Guy Vincent, California Specialist at Volkswagen Van Centre in Preston to ask his opinion,

I’m going to give a diplomatic answer here and not plump for one or the other! What I do want to highlight are the reasons why buying a Volkswagen California, whichever model, is a very smart thing to do.

Beautiful backdrop with Volkswagen California campervan and awning and chairs

Back to the Ocean v Beach battle; why the big debate?

What IS the difference between these two models and why does the discussion exercise the minds of so many campervan enthusiasts?

Well the first thing to note is that this VW campervan is just as loved and makes its’ owners just as passionate as its iconic predecessor. It’s universally acknowledged as a fantastic piece of kit, and the truth is that both the Ocean and the Beach have ardent fans, so, it’s really not possible to make a mistake.

Excellent build quality, lots of forethought and great design make this is a campervan for life, not just for Summer and whichever suits you best, you’ll find it changes your life in a very positive way.

Both models come with the same engine choices, it’s the way the interior is configured that sets them apart and causes the never-ending beach v ocean debate.

First up is the Beach.

The Beach is quite possibly the literal translation of a campervan; you can choose from 5 or 7 seats, which when folded down provide a substantial double bed, providing comfy, cosy sleeping for 2 people or maybe even 3 if you have little people on-board.

Another double bed is revealed, when you manually pop-up the roof and you very definitely get a comfy, snuggly, luxurious night’s sleep; however, when you wake up, you won’t be able to pop the kettle on the hob, because there isn’t one! All this comfy sleeping space comes at the cost of the kitchen, there’s no hob, no sink and no fridge.

Beach lovers don’t mind this at all; they prefer the flexible space this more minimalist interior gives them and are happy to cook outside. Beach fans may already have a pop-up tent and camping stoves, if not they buy these along with a coolbox and they’re ready to rock and roll.

With a picnic table and two chairs concealed in the boot lid and sliding doors, the added extra that most Beach buyers will be adding is the wind-out awning, just in case you need to hide from the thoroughly British showers or indeed keen in shade on sunny days.

For lovers of the Beach the ability to be flexible on seating means their California can be used more as an MPV when it’s not being used as a campervan. For ocean lovers however, this is a cop-out!

VW California Beach campervan with bed made up

Find out more about the VW California

And so, into the Ocean

If the Volkswagen California Beach is a brilliant campervan, then the Volkswagen California Ocean is a simply fabulous Glampervan.

This time the pop-up roof glides up hydraulically at the touch of a button; and when you wake from your comfy slumbers, you can pop the kettle on and get the bacon frying, on the built-in hob. You can wash up after yourself, keep food and drink chilled in the fridge and store your clothes in the wardrobe.

What’s the pay-off for all this added glamping-ness? Well the downstairs bed is narrower to accommodate the kitchen/wardrobe etc, but it’s still super-comfy and you probably won’t notice the difference unless, of course, you’re both giants.

In exchange for this narrower downstairs double, you not only get a kitchen, but also storage galore, a pull-out table and there’s still the option to configure your seating in different ways, just not up to 7 seats.

Referred to by ardent VW campervan enthusiasts, as the ‘full-fat’ option, the ocean will take you anywhere, anytime; keep you warm and your food cold; offer a haven in bad weather and a hotel in warmer climes.

The kitchen interior of the VW California Ocean model

 Find out more about the VW California

Beach VS Ocean - Which is better?

So, the Beach is easier and perhaps more practical day-to-day and arguably offers more flexible sleeping; the Ocean has everything, including the kitchen-sink and a touch of luxury.

The truth is that you can’t go wrong and the debate will continue to rage, with fans of both models, convinced they’re right.

In truth, whether you’re a camper or a glamper the Volkswagen California is definitely the campervan for you and don’t forget, with plenty of pre-loved VW campervans for sale, the choice isn’t just about Ocean versus Beach.

VW California campervan in countryside at night Find out more about the VW California   Buying a VW California: Ocean v Coast

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more