I have the rare pleasure of owning both a Coupe and a Bongo.
We have the camper conversion 2.5 TD, 1996 vintage, owned since about 2010.
Campers have a significant increased value of c.£4k over a standard one.
You should be able to get a reasonably good one for £4k. Our camper was £8.5 in 2010.
New camper conversions are around £11 - £14k. Non campers from £3 - £5k depending on age.
- Nice to drive and very comfy, lofty to see over hedges.
- LOADS cheaper than a VW equivalent.
- Most are auto boxes, but this suits the cruising style of drive.
- will run happily on veg oil straight from Asda.
- There is an LPG conversion available for the 2.5 V6 petrol.
- ANYTHING you need to know is on BongoFury websitehttp://www.igmaynard.co.uk/bongo/news.htm
They even sell most parts you need.
- Old tech. Easy to work on. Did the cambelt and valve clearances myself no probs.
- 4 wheel drive and 2 wheel drive versions to choose from.
- Very versatile as a camper or people carrier. You can turn the rear seats into a big bed, with the help of a mattress topper.
- Good for towing. Many use them to tow caravans. We use ours to tow trailers of wood for our fire.
- Great for trips to B&Q
- Electric everthing, and generally reliable.
- Facelift models look nicer, but are the same underneath.
- Electric pop up roof can be slept in. Ceiling can move to provide standing room.
- Old Tech. Not great on fuel. Diesel is about 26-30mpg. But the VW transporter 2.5 TDi will perhaps be 35mpg. So not a huge improvement.
- They are tall, so cornering needs to be a sedate affair.
- Mid engine can be prone to overheating if one of many pipes ruptures. Luckily there are low coolant alarms available through the club.
- Rust can be an issue mainly over rear wheel arches, but I don't think they are any worse than any other vehicle of the same age. Again, replacement parts can be sourced.
- They are getting long in the tooth and are not made any more.... but there are loads of parts about. You can expect to do some tinkering on the older ones, just like with the Coupe.
- Coolant change involves a special bleed process. But there are guides and video on youtube on this.
any questions - let me know !