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T5 LWB vs SWB pros & cons

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AndyFromTheBrac View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Apr 12 at 15:28
Hello

This is my first post, I'm currently overseas, returning to the UK later this year and wondered if anyone would be able to give some advice on LWB vs SWB T5s. I apologise if this has been asked countless times, but the search function doesn't like 3-letter words (SWB, LWB ect) so I couldn't find much!

I'm looking into a T5 base vehicle for a camper conversion and was wondering about the practicalities of the Long Wheelbase over Short for this kind of configuration, bearing in mind I plan this to be our only vehicle?

The wife currently drives a Ford F150 supercab where we live now, so a T5 LWB would be 22" shorter in length and 4" in width, but the roads being a lot tighter back home I wondered if anyone had any comments on that over a SWB (tho I cant see a foot makes much difference tbh, could always get parking sensors/cam?) We'd be parking on a drive not street but there's always the Sainsburys trip to consider?

Aesthetics aside (the SWB just looks proportionately 'right', the LWB looks a little stretched), but I like the extra space in the LWB. Are there any other things I need to consider? Speed/handling/fuel consumption /Resale?

Many thanks in advance

Andy
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Berisford View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Berisford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 12 at 16:38
I think you've made your mind up, LWB it is!
 
LWB with lots of toys, twin sliders and tailgate fetch more money 'cause they make good conversion bases.
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AndyFromTheBrac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyFromTheBrac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 12 at 18:03
I know Tongue part of me wants justifiction for thinking LWB, but I just wondered if there wasnt something I'd overlooked. SWB seem to be much more popular.
 
Twin sliders for a conversion.... wont the side-furniture stuff get in the way of the drivers door?
 
That sounds like a (non-ex taxi) LWB shuttle then?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote triple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 12 at 18:50
I have a lwb and a swb and much prefer the drive of the swb, it feels much tighter handling and is better for parking.
Obviously i can get more in the lwb and if i was gonna spend money on a conversion i would choose the lwb, fuel economy is more or less the same (both vans are mapped 174's) maybe the lwb is slightly better but that could be because i tend to drive the swb with a heavier foot as its more fun to drive.
Aestheticaly i think the swb does look more proportionately right but i,m sure others would dissagree.
 

Tornado red celtic mapped lwb 174 AXE.
2014 bmw s1000r.
ktm 350 freeride
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote gregozedobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 12 at 09:54
Unless you travel light (and so won't need the extra room), a LWB with a reversing camera is my suggestion - once you get used to driving it you won't notice the extra length.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boxsterboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 12 at 18:04
Like Triple we've got both and I much prefer driving the swb (even though its only a 130 v our lwb 174). The swb has a much tighter turning circle and is a cinch to park in the tightest of gaps with the big mirrors (and no sensors) whereas our lwb is trickier.
You say it will be your only vehicle and your wife will be driving ... I would steer towards the swb. Wifey side-swiped a gate post in our lwb ...
 
Mind you our lwb is a camper and the swb is not. But then Californias are all on swb vans. How many will be camping in it? We got the lwb as a camper coz there's 5 of us. We fit in the lwb but wouldn't in a swb.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kev The Gas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 12 at 19:53
I also have both lwb and swb, I find it easier to reverse park the lwb using the mirrors as it seems to swing in easier!!

I then spend all the time out worried that I will be hit by someone who cant park their Honda Cant Park Angry 

The swb does have a smaller turning circle tho, 

MPG the same 450 ish per tank full. 

Personally I think the lwb looks better. 
T5.1 T32 LWB Kombi 140 ps. Sold

T5.1 Caravelle Executive 2.0BiTDI
180PS DSG Sold

T5.1 Kombi LWB 180 BiTDI DSG   

T6 California Beach 150 DSG
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AndyFromTheBrac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyFromTheBrac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 12 at 20:34
All food for thought cheers lads - think the LWB is going to suit better - plus as we've not yet driven both, I wont know what I'm missing in terms of a better-handling SWB. My wife's not a typical tiny-girly-car driver either - at the moment she drives a F*rd F150 supercab which is 2 feet longer and 4" wider than a LWB and has the turning circle of the Titanic :)
 
Now just to find one, they seem as rare as hens teeth!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DOGSBREATH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 12 at 06:48
That's because most people have two of them by the looks of it!! LOL
I only have one......so I can love it more Embarrassed. LWB of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a11y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 12 at 11:03
LWB with single slider plus tailgate here, that we used for a camper conversion. I couldn't imagine not having the extra interior space that the LWB allows over the SWB, particularly when the bed is out. For me the interior space is very much worth the minor extra exterior length.

Depending on the conversion, a LWB also allows a wider bed to be fitted. We've got a 130cm width RIB seat/bed in ours (wide bed was essential - were both light/mobile sleepers... If you fitted that to a SWB you'd struggle to fit a fridge/sink too.

I've not driven a SWB so can't comment on the driving side of things, but LWB hasn't ever been an issue for everyday use for me. It does stick out of a normal length Tesco space but not too badly, I tend just to park at the far end of the car park in the quiet/empty area.
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