You are logged in as a guest. 
  Home Forums Home  Search our Forums Search our Forums    Log in to the Forums Log in to the Forums  register Register on the Forums  

 Forums ->  General Chat -> Chatterbox
Jump to page : First 1 Last
Format:  Go
Trident or Topaz
AuthorMessage
userjonnyboy
Posted: 1 September 2007 8:05 PM
Subject: Trident or Topaz
 
Just joined

Posts: 9



Hello , can anyone who has owned a V.W Topaz tell me if they have regretted buying the Topaz in preferance to the V.W trident . Is it worth giving up the space for a shower room in the Topaz ?
usermom
Posted: 2 September 2007 9:15 AM
Subject: RE: Trident or Topaz
 


A posting machine

Posts: 352
1001001002525


Hi!

We have never owned a Topaz, but we have owned a Trident for 4 years. We have seen the Topaz, and have some idea of the differences. These things in a Trident appeal to us and would lead to us buying another Trident...

1. Plenty of storage space. We (2 of us) travel the length and breadth of Italy, Spain, the Baltics etc. Storage space is important to us, especially on the journey home, with all those bottles!!!

2. We don't do TV. We talk endlessly, enjoy cheese and wine, occasionally read. The open plan layout suits us down to the ground. Cindy sits on the rear bench seat, I sit on the swivelled passenger seat. It feels like a loungeroom, and if we want a cuddle, we're both on the rear bench seat!

3. We do DVD, occasionally. With well positioned front and rear speakers, the lounge becomes a theatre with us on the bench seat and the PC facing us from the front!

4. Cooking. Again, the open plan works well for us... I sit and chop while Cindy cooks. Wash-up is equally convenient.

5. If one of us can't sleep, there is enough gap between the foot of the bed and the front cabin and swivelled seat to enable the sleepless to watch a DVD or read without disturbing the sleeping.

I'm not totally familiar with the dynamics of the Topaz, but my guess is that we would have to compromise on some of these things.

Now to the difficult bit - shower and loo! We do a lot of wild or near-wild camping, and we only have a small porta-potti and no shower. We position the loo in the gap between bed and front cabin at night, so a midnight tinkle is no effort. But No. 2's usually require the other to stand outside for a moment or two! We are totally OK with that, though. As for the shower, we strip-wash when it is convenient, and I bought a Van-Shower (a shower tent designed to hang from the opened rear door). In practice, the Van-Shower is some effort to put up and put away, and not convenient in the rain, but it works and we have had some lovely hot showers with various landmarks in full view through the little windows.

Our feeling is that for the small amount of time spent each day washing and loo-ing, we would prefer to forgo a shower and loo for the extra room and open-plan feel.

Hope this helps.


usertwooks
Posted: 2 September 2007 10:01 AM
Subject: RE: Trident or Topaz
 


2000100100100100


We looked at the Topaz before we got our Bilbo Nektar.
The Topaz looked extremely cramped and the bench seat narrow and uncomfortable - more of a perch than a seat.
We've got more use out of the shower area as a drying room over the years, by the time you've waited for the hot water, struggled in an enclosed space, then emptied the tank -
Porta pottis are distinctly primitive of course, just one step up from a bucket
but overall, I'd rather have the space!!

userjonnyboy
Posted: 2 September 2007 8:11 PM
Subject: RE: Trident or Topaz
 
Just joined

Posts: 9



Hello , thank you both for spending the time to reply . I think you have made my mind up as when we looked in the topaz we thought it looked a bit cramped compared to the trident . Really good point about the loss of storage space which , i guess , in a relatively small camper is even more important . I think i am o.k without the shower as i could make do with a strip wash and i suppose it isn"t a huge room anyway.
Is there any topaz owners out there as i would be interested in their opinion still . Do you think the V.Ws in general are really worth the money as they seem more expensive then other make s. I suppose you have to pay for quality , dont you .

thanks once again
usertwooks
Posted: 2 September 2007 8:50 PM
Subject: RE: Trident or Topaz
 


2000100100100100


we used to have a fiat base - great conversion and reliable van - but - pain to drive at speed or for a long time [1.9tdi]
we really liked the idea of the toyota hi ace but couldn't get the right combination of engine size/van size/ conversion. Love driving the VW [T4 2.5 102bhp tdi]. Also like the size - it's narrower than the norm [which has a knock-on on storage] and is 2.4 metres high.
if you want a small van the current cult seems to be the Mazda Bongo and look alikes, I would definitely give them a look if buying now.
A side issue - avoid fitted carpets [imo] - take too much cleaning!
whatever you buy will be a compromise, it's about finding one that's right for you.
good luck

usermom
Posted: 2 September 2007 9:58 PM
Subject: RE: Trident or Topaz
 


A posting machine

Posts: 352
1001001002525


Our Trident (Bruce) is a 1992 petrol model without power steering. It was all to do with cost at the time. We don't get a great mileage, but can sit on 70 - 80 with no hassle (80 in France, of course, because 80 in the UK would be illegal!) The lack of power steering can be annoying, but you get used to it. My advice, if considering a VW, get power steering and TDI diesel.

We love our little porta-potti! It goes in the VanShower if it is set up, or outside in a completely private setting. And away in the cupboard when not needed.

Storage is really important in a small van. Can't emphasise it enough. That is why we would never buy an elevating roof model. Having a fixed hight-top is really annoying with carpark barriers etc, but the ability to store clothes and various bits and pieces up top is invaluable. And as we don't use the space above for kids sleeping, and hence don't slide out that bed, we have small wooden "fences" along the slider ridges along the sides of the van giving us storage for all sorts of lightweight things. When we travel, we do so in fair comfort, and storage is the key.

Personally we would never buy the current Trident conversions, as they have sacrificed bench, storage and sink space for a little extra width in the bed. If the bed is OK for you, consider a model a couple of years old, which will have the more traditional layout.

The size of the VW has been the most important bit for us. We have navigated lanes and alleys in Italian hilltop towns that almost no other motorhome could contemplate. Bruce eats steep, windy hills, like those around La Cinque Terra, for breakfast. He is perfect for go-anywhere camping, except where height restriction barriers are in place!

As for engine etc, VW specialists will often say "it will go forever". Ours is a 1992 model, but very well cared for. In the last 4 years he has needed a new cam belt and exhaust - both expected. And a new, I've forgotten what it is called, electronic engine brain injection thingy. A suspension spring went the other day, but that is pretty much it. Cheap campervanning for us, considering the original outlay.  Another point is that there are VW dealers everywhere in the world, and this can be helpful if touring the Baltics for example.

One last thing... the California has a Trident-like layout, but the rear seat is more "forward" with a larger portion of it pointing backwards, presumably for storage.  In my humble opinion it is wasted space as storage of anything on that seat area is temprorary,  when you get to the next campsite you have to relocate it all to go to bed.

I know it sounds silly, but before you buy, you might want to measure up some "imaginary" boxes and sacks and then spend an hour in the van deciding where they might go.  Then fast forward through the day - touring, toiletting, sleeping, toiletting while bed is down, cooking, washing up, relaxing at night, arriving (setting up) and departing a campsite, stopping by a stream for a quick lunch.  We usually have a few things to move from the main floor to the driver and passenger footwells, but we keep it to a minimum.

Other things about our Trident...
1. There is a hideaway for the porta-potti
2. We have a leisure battery, hidden under the pantry
3. We carry a second gas bottle, They are usually the smaller bottles, especially in the Trident, so you need a second if you winter in Spain and Italy.
4. We have a decent sized pantry.

Sorry if you know all this - we love our van!

userjonnyboy
Posted: 3 September 2007 4:48 PM
Subject: RE: Trident or Topaz
 
Just joined

Posts: 9



absolutely the best advice ! priceless !! thanks so much . It is so hard to get independent advice as most people seem to have a vested interest (salesmen !!) I will have a look at the bongo . no harm in looking but i reckon we will go for a trident .

thanks once again
Jump to page : First 1 Last
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread
Jump to forum :


(Delete all cookies set by this site)(Return to Homepage)

Any problems? Contact the administrator