Travel via VW Camper

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Spider
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:52 pm

Travel via VW Camper

Post by Spider » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:34 pm

Anybody have VW camper ? Where have (do) you gone ?

stan1
Posts: 6079
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Post by stan1 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:48 pm

Have not done it, but South Island New Zealand is the perfect place to do it.

tjwolf
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:28 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by tjwolf » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:23 pm

Had one in the late '60s-early '70s. Pop up top, stove, in-door shelving bed, potty stool with plastic "bowl". Air cooled, rear engine, maybe 40-42hp. Went all over the states, Washington State, California, Minnesota, Florida, back to Seattle.

Toured for much of the summer, after graduate school. Wife, dog and a chest of tools. Glad for the tools. Changed our rear bearings, in the rain, while camping in the Everglades.

Had several two other VW buses, four bugs and two Karman Gihias. All under-powered, requiring high maintenance, prone to the wheels tipping inward during turns, throwing the #3 valve at the most inopportune times, etc. The dealer network is terrible.

Glad to have outgrown that kind of junk. The last VW was a 5 cylinder Quantum Wagon. It will also be my last VW.

I repeat (more for self-reinforcement) that I have had my last VW, and that the dealer network is horse sh-t. --- although the TDI ---- no, no.
Tom

Glenn
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:06 pm

Post by Glenn » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 pm

I had an '87 Westy, which I sold two years ago. Did a lot of camping in it, with the biggest trip being from Arizona to and around Alaska - thus going through Utah, Wyoming, Montana, British Columbia, a little bit of Alberta (Jasper NP, Banff NP, etc), Yukon Territory. 10 weeks, 9,995 miles. Trip of a lifetime, with my wife and son.

We loved the convenience, gas mileage, etc. Hated the constant maintenance, but the killer was absence of adequate air conditioning (Arizona in the summer...).

CTBob
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:18 am
Location: Connecticut

Post by CTBob » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:18 pm

We had a pop top in the early 70's. It was great for taking the kids camping. It worked out fine for us when we lived in southern California and then in Florida. We traded it in when we moved to Connecticut as it just couldn't seem to hack the cold, snow and hills. We'd enter a parkway on Connecticut's relatively short entrance ramps and v e r y s l o w l y accelerate while hoping we were not about to cause an accident. If the entrance ramp was also an uphill, it was really scary.

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KarlJ
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:41 pm

Post by KarlJ » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:44 pm

Glenn wrote:I had an '87 Westy, which I sold two years ago. Did a lot of camping in it, with the biggest trip being from Arizona to and around Alaska - thus going through Utah, Wyoming, Montana, British Columbia, a little bit of Alberta (Jasper NP, Banff NP, etc), Yukon Territory. 10 weeks, 9,995 miles. Trip of a lifetime, with my wife and son.

We loved the convenience, gas mileage, etc. Hated the constant maintenance, but the killer was absence of adequate air conditioning (Arizona in the summer...).
I have a similar vintage Westy that is still in service with 200K+ miles on the original engine. The coast-to-coast trips taken with the Westfalia in previous years are among my fondest vacation memories, although currently it is only used for short shopping hops due to concerns of a breakdown on a long trip. I especially liked camping in Yosemite National Park where the VW could be leveled for use of the propane devices and free park shuttles could be used from the campground for transportation within the park. Maintenance at the VW dealer was not great so service has been done at independent garages for many years with mixed results. I have seen old Westfalias being sold for way over Blue Book ($10K+ on the web), anyone do this?

Glenn
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:06 pm

Post by Glenn » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:29 pm

I have seen old Westfalias being sold for way over Blue Book ($10K+ on the web), anyone do this?
Oh, yeah. I sold mine for $6k over Blue Book. After looking at the market, it was apparent that the Kelly Blue Book was useless.

Mine was in great shape, with everything functioning (e.g., stove, fridge, water).

The two tricky aspects of these vehicles are (1) they're VW's, so reliability is bad, and (2) the old waterboxer engine is pretty weak and you have to be careful about engine corrosion with common antifreezes.

NateW
Posts: 448
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:44 am

Post by NateW » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:51 pm

tjwolf wrote:Had one in the late '60s-early '70s. Pop up top, stove, in-door shelving bed, potty stool with plastic "bowl". Air cooled, rear engine, maybe 40-42hp. Went all over the states, Washington State, California, Minnesota, Florida, back to Seattle.

Toured for much of the summer, after graduate school. Wife, dog and a chest of tools. Glad for the tools. Changed our rear bearings, in the rain, while camping in the Everglades.

Had several two other VW buses, four bugs and two Karman Gihias. All under-powered, requiring high maintenance, prone to the wheels tipping inward during turns, throwing the #3 valve at the most inopportune times, etc. The dealer network is terrible.

Glad to have outgrown that kind of junk. The last VW was a 5 cylinder Quantum Wagon. It will also be my last VW.

I repeat (more for self-reinforcement) that I have had my last VW, and that the dealer network is horse sh-t. --- although the TDI ---- no, no.
"and that the dealer network is horse sh-t"

That is for sure. I will not let the dealer touch my car. They destroy more cars, especially the diesels. I've been driving VWs since 1976 and do ALL of the service and repairs myself. Been driving VW diesels since 1990. If you ever want to consider a TDI take a look at tdiclub.com for some valuable input. I am a regular there.

--Nate

Grasshopper
Posts: 925
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:52 pm

Post by Grasshopper » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:20 pm

Had a '67 split-window Westphalia. In 1974 I spent a summer traveling from SF to Baltimore. Wedged a stick on the accelerator and the dash, my cruise control. Drove mostly with my leg out the window, and a cold one in my hand. I could if needed overhaul the engine on the side of the road, never had to.

Lent it to my brother, he hit a deer and did a couple of endo's with it.

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