Best scooter for a campervan
Finding the best scooter for a campervan can be a challenge as there actually is not that much information out there for it. It is quite a common dilemma that Transporter and fellow campervan enthusiasts must explore.
I have held a full Bike licence for more than 15 years and had a Transporter campervan for more than 10 years so do consider myself a bit of an expert on the topic!
So here is my knowledge and experience shared.
Benefits for Carrying a Scooter with your Campervan
As good as drive away awnings are, they are still a bit of a faff if we are being totally honest!
I have not yet succeeded in easily driving off from a campsite base whilst leaving the “Drive away” awning still intact. It is a two-person job and quite often results in me having to dismantle then resurrect the awning in some way.
I am sure there is a talent to it however I have not yet mastered it.
I find myself watching other VW owners attempting the same task and find some quiet enjoyment in knowing that it is not just me that finds the task a challenge! Sorry.
Not only are the drive away awnings awkward, you still have to pack up the van/tidy things away in order to nip out for an evening meal or a trip to the shop etc which is usually more hassle than it is worth.
So for the reasons above, a lot of Transporter owners (and fellow campervan owners) find them selves exploring the option of bringing along an easily portable scooter which will give them freedom to leave the campsite without having the hassle of packing things away.
Also, scooters are a fun way of exploring the local area around your base and if you are in a busy area, it makes parking so much easier (and usually free).
Best Scooter for a campervan – qualities explored
The key qualities that owners look for in a scooter for their campervan most commonly are:
- Short wheelbase – especially if you are planning on carrying the scooter inside your campervan
- Light weight – To ensure loading and unloading the scooter is as easy as possible and to ensure it can be carried safely within the max capacity of your transport choice.
- Engine size – Most Campervan van owners look at 125cc models as they tick the above boxes and have enough power to carry two people. Another quality is that they can be ridden on learner plates if desired (in the UK).
Best Scooter manufacturers for a Campervan
There are a lot of scooter manufacturers to consider including a lot of cheaper models imported from China.
I personally would always stick to the main scooter manufacturers that are tried and tested in the UK. These manufacturers include Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Peugeot, Piaggio, Vespa.
You do pay a little more for these manufacturers however they can still be snapped up for less than £500 second hand in the UK if you are lucky and are worth the extra stretch to ensure you get a good quality machine that will have good support and parts availability in the UK.
I will not be considering the manufacturers that are new to the UK market as I believe a lot of the imports have quality and reliability issues.
Best Scooter for a Campervan
These are the top picks with size and weight being the key considerations. If size and weight are your most important factors, then you would be best to shop for a Yamaha Delight 125. Weighing just 99kg and also benefits from the shortest wheelbase.
If the extra few BHP is important to you then a good middle ground would be the Honda SH125 that weighs in at 123kg and 20cm longer than the Yamaha Delight.
Note that the 123kg may be an issue if you are mounting it to the rear of a VW Transporter.
Carrying a Scooter inside a VW Transporter
This is a common dilemma also, depending on how you have laid out the interior, it is very possible to carry a short wheelbase scooter inside the VW Campervan however it is a bit of a squeeze. It would of course be a little easier with a LWB.
If you have a layout where the bed/seating leaves room down the centre of the vehicle when folded away then it is worth measuring to see if a short wheel base scooter will fit in through the side door.
I personally succeeded in carrying a Peugeot Vivacity 125 around Poland in the inside of a converted VW T4. I loaded it backwards in through the side door and was able to rachet it to the front seat base plates which gave an extremely secure mounting.
There are a few benefits of carrying the scooter internally such as better security, better handling of the vehicle, better MPG as well as less messing around with loading to a rear rack.
The main benefit for me was that I didn’t have to pay extra on the ferry crossing!
Unfortunately it is not always practical for VW Transporter owners to carry a scooter internally especially if you have a rock and roll bed across the middle of the van or perhaps your interior is a little too special to risk squeezing a scooter in (I get you!).
Scooter racks for a VW Transporter
There are a few options available for mounting a rear motorcycle carrier that will support the weight of a scooter. It is important to check your max mounting capacity however as it is very common that these will not support more than 100kg which limits your options on which scooter you can buy.
Remember you need to factor in the weight of the actual rack as well as the scooter.
Most of the racks available also rely on you having a tow bar mounted which also have max downward weight capacities that need to be observed.
Note that the downward capacity of a tow bar and your rear suspension (called the Noseweight) is very different and a lot lower than the max towing capacity of a tow bar as the exertion of forces are different.
So be sure that you read the correct specification.
Best rack for a VW Transporter for carrying a Scooter
When I have time I plan to do a separate review on the racks that are available and the best tow bar set up for this purpose however from experience, one of the best racks available in the UK is manufactured by Dave cooper and can be found on the link below here.
The Dave Cooper racks occasionally pop up on eBay for bargain prices, so it is worth keeping an eye open! As I am writing this there are two on eBay here both currently selling for less than £10.
If you want to buy new however, a cheaper option that will fit most vehicles is available on Amazon here which seems to have good reviews however I have never personally used one of these.
Hopefully, this information was useful to you. These are the top scooters for use with a campervan and also the best way in which I would recommend carrying one with a VW Transporter.
Those with bigger vehicles will probably prefer to carry the scooter internally and this would be my recommended way for those Transporter owners that have the room/layout to allow for it also.
Those that need a tow bar and rear rack then make sure you observe the carrying capacity of your tow bar as well as the rack purchased.