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Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review

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Volkswagen Sharan - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review

This is the definitive Volkswagen Sharan – 5 / 7 seater car camping review for 2021. Continue reading if you want to know:

Decathlon

  • VW Sharan’s size & measurements for car camping
  • It’s comfort & driving rating
  • What are the common criticisms of VW Sharan
  • How VW Sharan compares to other car camping / microcamper cars – our rating & overall cars table

VW Sharan Camping Review Summary

Volkswagen Sharan car camping / microcamper review

Lukas Cech – Nimblecamper.com

Boot size (length 208cm & height 113cm)
Storage – very good
Comfort (interior)
Comfort (driving)
Off-road driving
Consumption
EURO NCAP safety rating (2019)
ADAC rating 2.1/5 (lower = better)

Summary

The VW Sharan strikes a good balance between size and comfort. Actually, it’s one of the biggest MPV’s out there. If boot size is your primary criteria – you can’t go wrong with a Sharan. The car drives nicely too and offers good comfort in the front for the driver and passenger. It’s not the best car to take off the road completely – but you can take it down a good enough mud road without any big problems. A very good car camping / microcamping conversion candidate, unless you are planning to drive through forests and very much offroad.
VW Sharan is one of the top cars in our 30+ cars for car camping table.

3.7
PROs
  • it is very spaciouslong and tall, easy to sit in even when converted to a camping car at the back – it’s one of the biggest small cars you can find out there if you want size, but not a van
  • easy to maintain, no expensive or hard to get parts
  • Volkswagen quality standard & reliability
  • good level of comfort for long journeys, well equipped
  • good price on models up to 10 years old (they still drive very well at an affordable price + will last for years to come)
  • sliding middle doors + tailgate (why is this important)
  • front passenger back rest can be folded down horizontally to form a table
  • 7 seater is easy – just fold all the seats and your flat surface for a car bed is ready
CONs
  • the 5 seat version needs additional work to prepare the flat surface for a car bed – see how I did that easily under 106€
  • boot door floor isn’t flat (loading area – harder to put a camping box / boot jump in and out)
  • not a 4×4 – ok for some off-road, but not too much
  • you might hear some people complaining that they don’t see the front of the car when driving – leaving them feeling a bit uneasy about where exactly does the car end, especially navigating tight spaces. But 2010+ models have parking sensors that should alleviate that

These might come in handy...

...and you'll help keep this website going too - thanks! 🙂

PORTABLE CHEMICAL TOILETS FOR CAMPING - 20L

4.2/5 stars
- Clean water tank up to 50 uses - tank capacity: 16 litres - a seat with antibacterial coating, a lid and a tank that prevents odours and mould

portable toilet £89.99 - BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK
Vanlife testdrive? Why not!
Rent a camper here
?c=33088&m=1785527&a=410606&r=&t=html - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review
The best budget car tent you can find:
ARPENAZ BASE M tent

Confirmed to fit: Sharan, Touran, Berlingo, Caddy, Partner, Kangoo, Combo
At around 99 GBP or 93 EUR, it's a bargain that does the job of a 300+ GBP tent

See my full review + video here arpenaz base m car tent £99 - BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK
Or see my full review here
Small, foldable and sits 4 with plenty of space for food preparation
foldable camping table and chairs BUY NOW
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Is VW Sharan a good car for car camping?

This section focuses on assessing how does this car perform in a car camping setting – space, storage, features useful for camping, extendability (how easy it is to add car camping gear).

Key information

  • Car type: MPV/Minivan
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Folded seats boot length (cm): 208
  • Boot height (cm): 113
  • Boot width (cm): 158 (2nd row doors) / 125 (trunk)
  • avg MPG (UK): 36(1)
  • avg l/100km consumption: 7.1(1) (depends on how you drive – I’m getting 6.5 combined)
Our VW Sharan car camping rating 3.7/5.0

Standard rating (not focused on car camping):

Whatcar.com rating: 4/5 • Autoexpress.co.uk rating: 3/5 • Carbuyer.co.uk rating: 4.1/5

Average rating: 3.7/5

ADAC rating 2.1/5 (lower = better)

So to answer your question:

Can you sleep in a VW Sharan?

I say: You bet your socks you can! Being at the top of our microcamper candidates list should be good enough reason – it’s not just big and comfy, but it is also good to drive.

The VW Sharan is a very good car for car camping – it’s one of the most spacious MPVs out there and offers a good level of comfort, mileage and maintenance costs. It’s also well priced – especially 5-10 years old models that were well kept to be found around 10,000 GBP. It’s not an offroad car so don’t expect a thrilling offroad ride, yet still, you can take it down a not too steep/rough dirt track or through a meadow.

Dimensions, boot size & Storage

  • Folded seats boot length (cm): 208
  • Boot height (cm): 113
  • Boot width (cm): 109
  • Overall height (cm): 172
  • Overall length (cm): 485,4
  • Overall width (cm): 190,4
  • Ground clearance (cm): 152

If you are after a taller boot (113cm), go for the 5-seater option – you will get much more storage space or headroom in the boot. As the 7-seater option storage is taken away by the 3rd row seats, resulting in effective boot height of 93cm.

Great storage in the front – aside from the standard passengers side glove compartment, there’s one in the middle/top of the dashboard, two cup holders, storage just below the armrest and two sunglass compartments above the head (fit smaller items like shades, keys, phone or a tablet), one smaller drawer below each seat.

Sharan storage front2 - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review
sharan storage front 1 - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review
image 4 - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review

There are two side storage units in the boot (1) – for a wallet, mobile phone, tablet – smaller things, plus two side-storage units on the left side (2) – not as easy to open though.

image 1 - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review
VW Sharan boot storage – same for 5 and 7-seater versions

The 5-seater version also has a storage unit just behind the rear seats – but you won’t easily get to it if you have a car bed / camping box setup, as it will sit directly on top of it.

There’s also (hidden) storage under the feet of the 2nd row of seats:

There’s also a handy bin-like compartment (with a small bottle/bin) for rubbish in one of the middle doors and there’s also two hiddenn compartments underneath the passengers feet at the 2nd row of seats (back).

image 3 - Sharan Camper: Car camping in VW Sharan – microcamper conversion review

Electric sockets – 12V outlets

There are at least 3 to 5 12V outlets in newer models plus there’s a 230V outlet too!! (EU style – might not be available in all models):

  • one in the boot close to the trunk door (right hand side)
  • two between the front seats (one hidden away in the storage compartment, another next to the hand brake and another next to the gear stick on the front panel
  • one 12V on the back of the middle panel where you’ll also find the 230V outlet too

See more in these VW Sharan detailed specifications on car.info.

Recommended video review (interior & exterior):

This is a 2019 7-seater model, but the features are very similar to my 2013 model, making this review a good starting point if you want to know more about the VW Sharan.

Is VW Sharan a good car for driving?

This can get very subjective – you can see more detailed reviews on these websites:

Whatcar.com rating: 4/5 • Autoexpress.co.uk rating: 3/5 • Carbuyer.co.uk rating: 4.1/5

The Sharan is somewhere in the middle – it’s not a luxurious limousine, but it offers more than a standard car. Especially in the driver’s seat, there’s plenty of seat adjustments, armrest, cup holders, storage space. The nose (front of the car) is hidden from view – some users might feel a bit weird about that. But it only takes a short while to get used to + parking sensors do the trick nicely.

The car is still quite lively considering its size – but don’t buy it if you want to be a boy / girl racer. The consumption for a car this size is pretty good (I’m getting 6.5l/100km combined – car camping, city, motorway), Fuelly reports a range between 6.3 and 9.4 across 48 vehicles and car-emmissions.com reports an average of 6.4l/100km.

Maintenance costs are about average – it’s not such a fancy car, so no fancy maintenance costs – nothing you wouldn’t expect from a medium range family car.

Compared to other cars we’ve looked atWV Sharan is in the lead (together with Seat Alhambra, they are almost identical). Most other cars are a bit smaller (Except the Caddy Maxi Life and Grand Voyager). Then the only bigger ones are standard vans (no windows / seats at the back). Therefore in terms of size – this is as good as it gets for car camping in a standard car. It’s also doing well in terms of comfort and consumption. Overall, it’s a good all-rounder and I certainly recommend it.

Recommended car tent / awning & camping gear

The best budget car tent you can find
+ it fits Sharan / Berlingo & similar MPVs like a glove:
ARPENAZ BASE M tent
See how it fit’s my Sharan 2013 in this full review + video

Confirmed to fit: Sharan, Touran, Berlingo, Caddy, Partner, Kangoo, Combo
At around 99 GBP or 93 EUR, it’s a bargain that does the job of a 300+ GBP tent

arpenaz base m car tent BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK
Or see my full review here
Small, foldable and sits 4 with plenty of space for food preparation

Works best for two people camping trip (tested it myself!) – very light, easy to fold and transport, sturdy enough at this price range.

foldable camping table and chairs BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK

VW Sharan car camping & microcamper conversions photo gallery

Need more? There are hundreds of images here, and over 1500 here – indulge yourself!

Conclusion

I bought a Sharan myself. The primary reasons are – it strikes a good balance between size (almost as big as the VW Caddy) and comfort – it’s very comfy for long rides around Europe :).

Autotrader.co.uk offers a wide selection of used cars – new or older at a range of prices that will fit any buyer. Prices start as low as £1,300.

27.5″ E-ST 100 ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE

4.3/5 stars

ebike £999.99 – BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK
PORTABLE CHEMICAL TOILETS FOR CAMPING – 20L

4.2/5 stars
– Clean water tank up to 50 uses – tank capacity: 16 litres – a seat with antibacterial coating, a lid and a tank that prevents odours and mould

portable toilet £89.99 – BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK
27.5″ MOUNTAIN BIKE ST 540

4.3/5 stars

mountain bike £479.99 – BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK
SUP? Paddle for the entire family (max load 320kg)

Inflatable paddle board for any weight: less than 60 kg: ultra-stable board – 60 to 80 kg : very stable board – over 80 kg: ideal board for easily starting out

stand up paddle sup BUY NOW
at Decathlon UK

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