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

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Volkswagen Sharan

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

  • 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 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.

3.8
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
  • 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

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Is VW Sharan a good car for car camping?

This section focuses on assessing how does this car perform in 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 (US): 33.2(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 3.8/5.0

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 & 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

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 storage front 1
image 4

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
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

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 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
foldable camping table and chairs BUY NOW
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  • 【Convenient to Carry】: Convenient to carry, no complicated operation required, just put the product on car and select appropriate hook.
  • 【Firm Stitching】: The tent thread is neat and even, the fabric is stitched firmly, each stitching line uses waterproof tape to prevent rain.
  • 【Better Wind Resistance】: Fit car body well, use elastic connection ports, fit car body and have better wind resistance, and can be used in various SUV models.
  • 【Block Sunlight】: With silver-coated fabric, PU3000 can effectively block sunlight and ultraviolet rays, allowing you to better rest in the car, and can effectively block rainwater invasion.
  • 【Prevent Mosquitoes】: Using B3 gauze, can effectively prevent mosquitoes, allowing you to spend good afternoon.
  • Universal-fit canopy shade fits small-to-midsize CUVs, SUVs, and minivans
  • Get sheltered from the sun with more than 2 feet of awning
  • Mesh screen keeps bugs out of your vehicle
  • Integrated storm flap gives you more privacy and protection from weather
  • Comes with a convenient carry and storage bag
  • Rugged and Durable: Made of Tear Resistant PU3000 silver plated fabric, the car awning has higher quality. strong rope and excellent windproof performance.
  • Wind resistance: It fits the body well, uses elastic connection ports, fits the body, has better wind resistance, and can be used in various SUV models.
  • Multi-purpose Use : easy to carry, no complicated operations, just put the product on the car and choose the appropriate hook.Fix the shelter on vehicles, hatchbacks and SUV awning. Perfect for picnics, festivals, camping or just relaxing in your vehicle while escaping the sun or rain.
  • Blocking the sun: PU3000 uses silver-plated fabric, which can effectively block the sun and ultraviolet rays, allowing you to better rest in the car, and can effectively prevent rainwater from intruding.
  • Prevent mosquitoes: Using B3 gauze can effectively prevent mosquitoes and make you spend a pleasant afternoon.
  • Ready made for Volkswagen Sharan
  • 6 Pieces
  • Popular with coffee enthusiasts worldwide, the patented AeroPress is a new kind of coffee press that uses a rapid, total immersion brewing process to make smooth, delicious, full flavored coffee without bitterness and with low acidity.
  • Good-bye French Press! The rapid brewing AeroPress avoids the bitterness and high acidity created by the long steep time required by the French press. Plus, the AeroPress paper Microfilter eliminates grit and means clean up takes seconds.
  • Makes 1 to 3 cups of American coffee per pressing in about a minute, and unlike a French press, it can also brew espresso style coffee for use in lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso based drinks.
  • Perfect for home kitchen use, the AeroPress is lightweight, compact, portable and durable, making it also ideal for traveling, camping, backpacking, boating and more!
  • Includes the AeroPress press, funnel, scoop, stirrer, 350 microfilters and a filter holder. Phthalate free and BPA free. Mug not included. Assembled measurements: 9 1/2" h X 4" w X 4" d
  • 🚗{Retractable Windshield Sun Shade}----With the self-retracting design, easy to use, just one hand to fix it in 2 seconds, super save time and convenient.
  • 🚗{Premium Material}----Made of high-density polyester sun shade fabric and reflective aluminum membrane, which effectively blocks 99% of the harmful UV rays and up to 85% of the sun's total solar energy to protect your skin from sunburn and allergies and keep the car cool.
  • 🚗{Easy To Install}----Equipped with sturdy bracket, simple installation, no more fussing with large pieces of cardboard, no more mess when folding it up, free disassembly, space saving.
  • 🚗{Perfect Size}----Windshield sunshade size is 70 * 155cm, fully stretched to cover the entire windshield, shrinking the small size, easy to store, suitable for most of SUV cars.
  • 🚗{Updated Strong Suction Cups}----2021 new upgraded double vacuum large suction cup more stable and not easy to fall off, after testing, which can hold over 20 pounds, very strong and durable. We provide you with comprehensive after-sales service.
SEE MORE

VW Sharan car camping & microcamper conversions photo gallery

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

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These might come in handy...

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LIKE AIRBNB, BUT WITH CAMPERS!

Try #vanlife - hire a camper.
Or - list your camper for hire and earn whilst you don't need it.

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Fresh fabric: reduces heat inside your tent in the sun

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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

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