Luke Ridgway


updated on 20/11/2018


Reluctant sale of our much loved VW van


2009 VW T5 Caravelle Executive

2.5L Diesel TDI 130A




Including Easycamp Drive-away awning & new thermal blind set



Genuine reason for sale

Dear future careful owner,

We bought Vannie 2 years ago in a step up from our lovely but very old T4 when our daughter was a baby (she is 3 now) as the T4 had no rear seats for the carseat. .  this T5 was a dream car for us!

Very sadly selling now as my wife is self employed and her biggest contract did not renew this year so we are now cutting some costs back and getting rid of some debt.  We will be extremely sad to see our amazing van drive away 🙁

The caravelle executive model drives lovely and is pretty luxurious.. it also pulls like a train (no change with 7 adults in either) and has all the extras you can think of.

We can also sell our drive-away awning which fits the van too.  The back seats are designed to become a bed – so holidays are also rolled up into this setup (sleep in the van (all 3 of us) and living space in the awning. (Pics show this).  Also we have a full set of thermal blinds which are brand new, well used a couple of times only.

A summary of the spec below is followed by all the details afterwards…  It’s a bit epic looking back over it now but I have tried to be thorough to find a lovely new home for our friend.



Personal Note – before finding this van we almost purchased a different T5 and at the last minute discovered it was a category D write off. We pulled out of that purchase only because the seller had not declared it within the advert, however it is worth noting that there is no legal obligation to declare it. 

So, to avoid you having the same situation I have tried to be very thorough below (hence the long description!) But I am starting off with the Cat D:

  • Category D.  Insurance written off and repaired by previous owner.  See more info on the Cat D below.

  • 12 months MOT (24th Sept 2019) (ball joint dust covers advisory)

  • Taxed (we just do direct debit for this)

  • Just had 85K mile service  (almost on 86k miles at time of writing) (Low mileage) (timing chain, not belt on these)

  • Full service history and all books and manuals.

  • Immaculate condition (used, but immaculate)

  • 6 Speed Auto
  • Cruise Control
  • 7 seats (4 with isofix)
  • Electric mirror adjustment (heated)
  • Front & Rear parking sensors
  • Power steering
  • Electric sliding doors
  • *only 1 key.  We only ever had one key
  • 20”Alloy Wheels, Rear Spoiler
  • Xtrons android double din stereo system / dvd player / bluetooth and much , much more
  • Drop down DVD / USB / HDMI Player
  • Digital TV receiver
  • Safety Features:
    • Alarm, Driver Airbag, Immobiliser, Passenger Airbag, Rear seat belts, Safety Belt Pretensioners, Side Airbags. ESP (Electronic Stability Control which I think is an umbrella VW term for Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) and Traction Control)


Category D

Earlier in its life (2014) the van was category D written off and the owner at that time got the van back to top condition.

This was damaged to the rear driver side quarter.  We had seen photos of the repair being done when we purchased the van, but I annoyingly don’t have these photos anymore since a phone switch. They didn’t really show much to be fair, just a van in a body shop really and then the finished work.

We are insured with Admiral (multicar) and they didn’t bat an eyelid at the cat d, but you maybe want to check with your insurer first. I recall that they just asked me for the MOT test number and that was fine.

If you want more info on a category D then we found this RAC page a useful guide as this was the first time we had come across this when buying a vehicle:

A quote from that article:  “It’s important to remember a Cat D car will have been written off only because it is uneconomical to fix, not because any potential damage was so great it could not be driven again.”

Cat D does not even require an engineers report or anything. Anybody can do the repair and thats it, job done.

Also, here is the info from the HPI that we did before we purchased – the entire report is available to people who come and see the van:

__________________pasted from my report_____________________

Condition alert

An insurer has declared this vehicle a total loss (write-off)

If the vehicle description does not match the vehicle you are checking, please get in touch so we can investigate this for you.

    • Recorded against  Licence plate and VIN
    • Date  11/08/2014
    • Category  D. Vehicle damaged but repairable – the insurer decided not to repair

_______________________end paste__________________________




Just an extra note from when I insured with Admiral:

They don’t do all vans, so its based on the All British Insurance database on the reg number. If its on the list they can insure it.. like camper vans etc.

If not on the list, they pass it to ‘Admiral Vans’.

This van is on the list and they insured it no problem.

Obviously some variables in age and no claims and all that but the van and our car both cost about 500 a year to insure. So assume the van is just over half that I guess would be about right – without me digging out the paperwork.

Again: We are insured with Admiral (multicar) and they didn’t bat an eyelid at the cat d, but you maybe want to check with your insurer first. I recall that they just asked me for the MOT test number and that was fine.



12 Months MOT (24th Sept 2019)

Check the MOT History here if you haven’t before (for any vehicle):

Some advisories this time though:

– Repair as soon as possible (minor defects):

  • Nearside Front Outer Suspension component ball joint dust cover severely deteriorated (5.3.4 (b) (i))
  • Offside Front Outer Suspension component ball joint dust cover severely deteriorated (5.3.4 (b) (i))

– Monitor and repair if necessary (advisories):

  • Vehicles internal headlight adjuster altered to recheck lights ()
  • Child Seat fitted not allowing full inspection of adult belt ()
  • Nearside Rear Outer Suspension arm pin or bush worn but not resulting in excessive movement (5.3.4 (a) (i))
  • Offside Rear Outer Suspension arm pin or bush worn but not resulting in excessive movement (5.3.4 (a) (i))



We pay direct debit every month: £45.50

Info again can be found on .gov website tax checker:



The van is immaculate.  It is however 2009 and has been used for real life!  So lets be realistic..



Electric sliding doors. Open and close from handle, or buttons on dash, or key fob. can be disabled which we only disable when camping as the side where the awning fits can’t open fully with the awning there… Our daughter pressed the dash button once for the door and it tore the awning!  Only the bit between van and awning and was an easy taped repair… but worth noting.

The sliding doors if in manual mode and the tailgate always: ar self closing. you don’t need to slam.  This is an electric motor which closes the doors the last bit.

*Update: Murphy’s law:  we went camping last weekend in the van and awning and now the drivers side sliding door interior handle seems to not work as before..?  I have not had chance to investigate… but will update the advert if I do.  It closes and opens and everything, just not opening from the inside handle properly, suspect loose or come off something mechanical. Feels a bit like child lock is half on/off depending how you look at it.

The paint is in really great condition. all over. And I just polished it too 🙂 There a couple of small scratches but nothing massive.

We also just had the driver door resprayed ready to advertise as a poor chap annoyingly had his stupid bungee strap ping off his trailer into the drivers door and scratched the door – while parked in a carpark!

Talk about Murphy’s law as we were only just starting to talk about maybe selling our beloved van… then that happened!  Anyway, the chap paid for the repair and I have some and the receipt.

Damaged 🙁

In the body shop:

All shiny and new 🙂


Upgraded rear LED lights.

20 inch alloy wheels.

Underneath it is very clean and tidy..  See the Videos section below in the engine one, I tried to film underneath too.


May/June 2018? Exhaust corrosion meant the exhaust broke.  I have fitted a larger clamp in this position where I cut away the rough edges of the rusty bit.  It doesn’t blow, but will probably want attention in the future?  (Note – there is from the recent service a note to say there is a blow from flange on the main fold – I have not looked at this)



Interior LED lighting.

Individual controls for rear heating in ceiling above rear mid seats.


  • Heated Captain seats in front
  • Multifunction table between mid captain seats (slides on rails, 2 pop out drinks holders for 4 drinks, hydraulically lifts, folds out and swivels, storage inside and on sides)

  • Mid captain seats both (both Isofix) swivel to face rear and have storage drawers beneath and are fully movable on the rails

This a photo of the same interior I found online, note the same table in the raised position:

  • Rear bench seat (x2 Isofix) is fully moveable on rails and folds flat forwards and also is by design foldable backwards to become a bed

  • All seats are the suede (or like suede anyway, may be something else? alcantara?) leather mixture:

  • All seats in the rear can be totally removed fairly easily – they are heavy, but this is really handy for large items. We have sometimes removed the captain seats and slid the bench to front to load up the back with bikes and camping gear.
  • Storage under rear seat – missing the doors/flaps.

Also see this video I found below.  It is wrong year van as its for a T6 but for the same rear seat setup possibilities it is worth a look >  watch from 12:54 > 16:00

  • Storage compartment in boot (passenger side). I have used velcro to secure as the clips broke. Will leave the warning triangle for you.
  • The heater fan is on the opposite side (blows into front side of bench seat by your feet), note that this is not the ‘auxiliary heater’ extra…  It is operated from the front dash controls or the back controls in the ceiling.
  • 12v socket in boot – good for the camping fridge.
  • Privacy parcel shelf thingamajig is removable and extends as the seat is slid back and forth.


Radio is a double din Xtron D696ADS – running android.  I know how to connect my phone to it… but thats it! Its also a DVD player!

Its like having an android phone on the dash!  it can do absolutely loads of stuff, but I won’t cover that here. emails, wifi connection, sat nav…

You can add apps and do all manner of things…

Some things I would have liked would be the extras you can get which connect to the radio… one to connect to ECU and read error codes, another for a reverse camera to display on the screen.


Drop down DVD player.. 

Also plays from an HDMI input in the side pillar, and from a USB stick input on the side.

Under the passenger seat lives a 700W INVERTER.  This can be switched on when ignition is on and run the dropdown screen, also powers a mains socket in the C pillar. There is also an HDMI input there that connects to the screen.

We love to snuggle in bed when we go camping and watch a film!  There is no leisure battery, but the van always started up ok at the end of the trip.

Also there is a digital TV receiver.  Built into the windscreen you may notice the antenna for the TV. This receiver plays as an a normal aerial input into the dropdown TV screen.  Its quite strange sat in tesco carpark watching scrapheap challenge…


There are a few annoying small stupid cigarette burn marks in the seats, 3 I think; one on passenger and two on the bench seat.  These were there when previous owner bought the van:

I think the original owner was a solicitor firm?  We are a non smoking family and hate the fact someone smoked in the van… to be honest the marks have not been an issue… just irritating as we hate smoke related everything!

Some interior bits are missing, like a cover on the driver side sliding door where the opening window mechanism is and a cover for the lock. I have the surround for the tailgate inside lever but never got around to fitting it.

Also the little storage compartment doors on the back (boot side) of the bench seat are not there – never were either. You can see this in the pics, but is worked out quite well not having them anyway! better for loading up without having to open the lid.


Driveway Awning

We are offering the van along with our EasyCamp drive away awning – see pics for this.

Actually we lived in this for a month between houses and with our old T4 van.  It is ace.

We sleep in the van, live in the awning when we go camping which is a great setup.










Thermal blinds

We will also include my birthday present from my wife – a full brand new set of JK Thermal window blinds. These are fantastic and we have only used them 3 times since new.  They roll up into 2 storage bags.



I have all the receipts digitally copied/scanned for just over £2k worth of work done on the van.

Along the lines of:  new battery, Servicing & MOT’s, new rear coil spring and 2 new rear shock absorbers, new rear brake discs and pads at last service a few weeks ago.

The only big problem we have has been that after much expense and lengthy tests at a VW specialist the wiring loom onto the injectors was faulty. This manifested over a long time as a starting issue – like 2 seconds to start rather than instantly- and then a misfire type issue which cut out a few times at idle…

Since the new loom the van has never ran better!  And the MPG has now vastly improved, now easy peasy to get over 30 and I even touched 37 on a steady trip to exeter recently! That was driving very conservatively though.

That is decent for a 2009 2.5 litre van in my opinion, and considering the spec sheet states Combined MPG 29.4.

33.3 today driving home from weymouth 🙂  So I took a photo of it:


*2 notes from recent service mention ‘slight oil leak on camshaft gasket cover, and a blow from exhaust manifold flange.’  I have not looked at these myself.








Thanks for looking

Any questions, please ask and if you read this far thanks for looking.





£500 non-refundable deposit required by bank transfer to secure – same method for final payment;  bank transfer only.

Buyer to collect.

Happy to accommodate viewings at evenings or weekends.