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Old 02-21-2021, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default New Here with 1988 VW Westfalia Vanagon CamperGL

Hi All -

I'm new here with our original owner 1988 VW Westfalia Vanagon CamperGL (T3 & T25 in UK) that we've owned & camped in all over the US & BC Canada over the past 33 years with our 2 kids, & now on our own. So not new to Class B camping.

While VW has built Class B Campers for decades since the early 1960s before there was such a class - as well as numerous conversions worldwide - I see nothing on here about VW & Westfalia Campers & other makers/converters, nor the Winnebago Eurovan based pop-top full campers - although the VW Eurovan (T4) based Rialta does show up.

Nor do I see much of anything on vintage or classic camper vans.

What I see are mostly the 1990s> era newer Class B camper vans, and especially on the most recent 200's & 2010s & current models.

So am I in the wrong place & wasting my time on here?

Are there any other VW Westy or other vintage Class B RV owners on here?

Cheers! :beer2:
Tom
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:28 PM   #2
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A peek at our Vintage Camper Stable:

Some pix of our Westy at the June 2015 Steve McQueen Car Show -








.


We also own a 1960 Avion T20 (Airstream Vintage Kin), & a Hybrid Moulded Fiberglass/Aluminum 1970 Eriba Puck - for which we're on the sister AirForums (Airstream & Vintage Kin) & FiberglassRV Forums respectively.

`88 Westy & 1960 Avion T20 at the Newport Dunes Vintage Trailer/RV Rally -



`88 Westy with 1970 Puck -





`88 Westy & `70 Puck at Ocean Mesa Vintage Trailer/RV Rally -

.


Cheers! :beer2:
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:14 AM   #3
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Welcome, Tom! I think we’ve already met over on FiberglassRV.com. I haven’t seen a lot of participation here from the VW Westfalia folks, either. They’re a pretty passionate bunch, so I assume they probably have their own space somewhere out there. Maybe a FB group?

Not show-worthy like yours, but we also pull an extra bedroom behind our van.
D55F8107-62A2-4022-B9EB-27A93BAA73D9.jpg
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:54 PM   #4
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I had two of them—'74 and '76. The second was hauled away as I worked on my present van, which I call the "VW that runs." Nothing more exciting than loading the kids up for a two-week vacation and dropping a valve before we get out of town. Then there was the stall crosswise both lanes of opposing traffic...



I did like the premise, though, and my present DIY on PM recreates some of that magic.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
I had two of them—'74 and '76. The second was hauled away as I worked on my present van, which I call the "VW that runs." Nothing more exciting than loading the kids up for a two-week vacation and dropping a valve before we get out of town. Then there was the stall crosswise both lanes of opposing traffic...



I did like the premise, though, and my present DIY on PM recreates some of that magic.
That magic continues for us as well with our current camper van. Having 1977 and 1985 Westfalias imprinted the desire for a perfect, a perfect for us camper van. It felt good when at Adventure Van Expo in 2019 someone with a heavy German accent peeked inside and said to his friend - “look at this one, just like a modern Westfalia”
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Welcome, Tom! I think we’ve already met over on FiberglassRV.com. I haven’t seen a lot of participation here from the VW Westfalia folks, either. They’re a pretty passionate bunch, so I assume they probably have their own space somewhere out there. Maybe a FB group?

Not show-worthy like yours, but we also pull an extra bedroom behind our van.
Attachment 11153
Cool Jon!

But I thought you had a different tow vehicle with your Scamp on the FG Forum?

There are several Westy Forums out there, including at TheSamba.com for both Westies & Pucks, of which I've participated for a few years.

When I saw that RV Life also had these other FG & Class B Forums too from an email they sent out to AirForums members (for our Avion) - I thought that I'd try them out.

Maybe other's with Westies & other vintage Class B's will sign up if they see some kin on here?

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:07 PM   #7
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Cool Jon!

But I thought you had a different tow vehicle with your Scamp on the FG Forum?
We towed the Scamp for years with a Honda Pilot, which we still have. My mother gave up RVing at 91 and passed on the Roadtrek a couple of years ago. It was well timed, because the Scamp was getting kind of crowded with two teenagers. The van is now Mom and Dad's honeymoon suite, and the Scamp is the teen hideaway. We still use the Pilot for local trips off-highway because the van is pretty limited on ground clearance.
Pilot & Scamp.jpg
Roadtrek and Scamp.jpg
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
I had two of them—'74 and '76. The second was hauled away as I worked on my present van, which I call the "VW that runs." Nothing more exciting than loading the kids up for a two-week vacation and dropping a valve before we get out of town. Then there was the stall crosswise both lanes of opposing traffic...



I did like the premise, though, and my present DIY on PM recreates some of that magic.
We were a bit luckier with the other later Waterboxer issue of throwing a rod through the case a 120,000 miles back in 1999 while coming home from a 3+ week Summer XC trip back to WVa, PA, IN, AR & OK - so our Westy has a non-original rebuilt engine sine then at about 242,000 miles now.

However - that happened after midnight on I-40 after passing Zzzzx CA in the middle of nowhere desert. A great old school trucker hear my CB emergency call, and stopped to let me use his cell phone to call AAA (pre-cell days for me), & waiting with me & our 2 then young kids until the flat bed truck came.

It was 2 tows due to AAA's tow limits, & we spent the rest of the night at a motel in Ontario CA, and had breakfast there, & readied to go.

The next morning when I went outside to see if I could maybe restart the engine with a booster I saw the softball size hole in the case top right rear (#2?), closed it back up, called AAA for the 2nd tow to my long time VW/Porsche/Audi/etc. mechanic in Huntington Beach, called the mechanic, & got a ride for the 3 of us home (my wife had flown home for work, but was on duty as hospital RN that day).

No problems since then, but we did eventually need to rebuild the auto transmission, and a valve job around 190,000 miles.

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeRa View Post
That magic continues for us as well with our current camper van. Having 1977 and 1985 Westfalias imprinted the desire for a perfect, a perfect for us camper van. It felt good when at Adventure Van Expo in 2019 someone with a heavy German accent peeked inside and said to his friend - “look at this one, just like a modern Westfalia”
Yeah George - the T5 & T6 VW Westfailias are very much like yours, but VW no longer sends their Westfalias to the US & Canada.

The current ones have better power, and their current diesel 6 version could probably tow our Avion - which is only 2,680 lbs dry & about 3000-3500 lbs wet, loaded & optioned as we use it now.

Read on here -

https://www.adventure-journal.com/20...-us-heres-why/

https://www.motor1.com/reviews/37423...a-first-drive/

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
We towed the Scamp for years with a Honda Pilot, which we still have. My mother gave up RVing at 91 and passed on the Roadtrek a couple of years ago. It was well timed, because the Scamp was getting kind of crowded with two teenagers. The van is now Mom and Dad's honeymoon suite, and the Scamp is the teen hideaway. We still use the Pilot for local trips off-highway because the van is pretty limited on ground clearance.
Similar here - we can either sleep in the Westy or Puck, with Grandkids in the other - or just show the Puck at the Vintage Rallies.

When our daughter was still a toddler she slept in the rear with the back seat up as a crib; then when our kids were little, they slept together in the lower bunk/seat & me or both parents up top; then later as teens it became Mom & Daughter up top, & Dad & son below; and then they grew up & moved out!

Now it's just the two of us most of the time, & will be again after COVID eases.

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
We towed the Scamp for years with a Honda Pilot, which we still have. My mother gave up RVing at 91 and passed on the Roadtrek a couple of years ago. It was well timed, because the Scamp was getting kind of crowded with two teenagers. The van is now Mom and Dad's honeymoon suite, and the Scamp is the teen hideaway. We still use the Pilot for local trips off-highway because the van is pretty limited on ground clearance.
Attachment 11154
Attachment 11155
Yeah - this is the pic I recalled from FG Forums:



Back in 2011-12 we looked at both the vintage Trillium & new Casita, as well as the new 16' & 19' Airstream Bambi Sports, before we decided to go the Vintage Trailer route & ended up with the 1960 Avion T20, then the 1970 Puck fell in our laps in Fall 2018 after looking at a few 2015-18 as smaller alternative for local vintage rallies with either the Westy or our 1985 BMW 325e E30 as tow vehicles (I'm still on the hunt for a good factory hitch for the 325e).

I also have a 1973 Porsche 914-2.0 "914S" that I'm slowly restoring, & they had aftermarket hitches for 914s, but I don't know that I want to put one on a nicely restored 914 - although it could easily tow the Puck, as does the Westy.

It's actually hard to keep the speed to 55-ish for the Puck's tiny 10" wheels with our Westy - on the flat & without a headwind that is!

Cheers!
Tom
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Cheers!
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:25 PM   #12
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Tom T, welcome to the forum, and kudos for keeping your '88 Westy running. After 3 VW's and a truck camper over our 40+ years of vehicle-camping, we evolved to a Sprinter-based LTV Free Spirit. As we got older, our '89 Westy got more uncomfortable for sleeping and driving. There's several VW Westy Facebook groups, because, it's not just a vehicle, it's a culture.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:55 PM   #13
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Tom T, welcome to the forum, and kudos for keeping your '88 Westy running. After 3 VW's and a truck camper over our 40+ years of vehicle-camping, we evolved to a Sprinter-based LTV Free Spirit. As we got older, our '89 Westy got more uncomfortable for sleeping and driving. There's several VW Westy Facebook groups, because, it's not just a vehicle, it's a culture.
Thanx for posting Karen.

You still list your `89 Westy - do you still own it?

If so, then hang onto it because their now worth $30K for daily driver, & up to $70-80K for #1 cars (2WD), & over $100K for Synchros!

We both car camped & my family truck/overcab-camper camped as kids in the 1950s, & my family even used to camp with 6 kids & 2 parents out of a 1963 Corvair Greenbriar 9 passenger van - sleeping on the seats, padded engine cover, floors, & an old Army stretcher opened up between the 2 middle bench seats' backs. We also had a Sears 3-room canvas tent for longer stops & weekends.

I carried on camping since Fall 1969 - out of my first 2 cars which I no longer own (1968 Opel Kadette 2dr Notchback, & 1969 Pontiac Ventura 4 dr Hardtop), as well as my `73 Porsche 914-2.0 "914S" since I bought it from the original owner in 1975, and with our `85 BMW 325e & `88 Westy. My wife Jana started camping again with me from the 914, BMW & Westy - and now both of us with the Avion & Puck trailers. So I guess we've both have 60+ years of car/trailer camping under our belts.

It's amazing how much you can pack into the 16 cubic feet of the front & rear trunks of a little 2-3 seat 914 sports car - plenty enough for 2-4 weeks, if you know how to pack & use the right tent & other gear + 1-2 skiis or 1-2 bikes on racks! I'll have to find some pix of that to post here.

Certainly that 914 packing proved to be very good training for my efficient packing of our `88 Westy with 4 of us on 2-4+ week XC trips!

We know what you mean about the comfort level driving and camping - but the GoWesty memory foam pads made a huge difference for sleeping - so much so that we also got some for our trailers!

We mostly do short to moderate range trips with the Westy - with or without the Puck in tow - from Orange CA to SoCal, Central Coast & occasional forays to San Francisco/Bay Area & NoAZ, SoNV, etc. in say 400-600+ miles.

Otherwise we use the bigger & more comfy 1960 Avion T20 with a rented tow vehicle - eventually getting a Cayenne or similar mid-size TV when we do enough long trips to pass breakeven cost of rent vs own - & whenever COVID situation eases such that we can actually get good use out of it.

We will probably also make some long XC trips with it for the annual Avion gathering back in IN, which we'd hoped to do in 2020 before COVID quashed that plan - as well as to do longer visits with our kids & grandkids in CO & VA, & other family in PA, IN, AR & OK - now that we're retired, or semi-retired in my case.

Back in the mid to late 1990s & early 2000s we did look at upgrading to Pleasureway, Roadtrek, etc. Class B camping vans, & the newer 2002-06-ish VW T4 Eurovan Winnebego pop-top, as well as their Eurovan based Rialta Class B - but decided to stick with our `88 Westy.

Now that we've held onto our `88 Westy & `85 BMW 325e E30 Coupe for 33 & 36 years respectively, and my 1973 Porsche 914-2.0 "914S" for 48 years - they've all become Classic Cars & the Westy a Vintage RV - so we'll keep them all for the collectability & fun factor. Same for the Vintage Trailers.

But eventually we'll add another vehicle for around town & as a TV for the Avion - which had been a 2008-14 Cayenne S with the non-turbo V8, but that may change to the newer 2015-18 or 2019> Cayenne eHybrid. Or maybe something completely different!

I'll post more pix of our Westy with the various camping upgrades after we get it back from the shop, & I have more time to take the pix.

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:29 PM   #14
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Exclamation Admins - Why No Signature Showing up?

Admins - Why is my Signature not showing up on my posts above?

I just added it, but nothing shows here - although the Avatar pic does show up.

Do I need to turn something on? .... or is it an Admin permission issue?

Let me know.

If it is permission or being a new member on here - then you should give me consideration for being a member of your RV Life sister AirForums since 2011.

I think that a decade of membership there should count for something on here.

PS - The signature just showed up on this post when I posted it. But on other Forums the signature gets added to or updated on all posts - as this forum did with adding my Avatar to all of the above.

Do I need to do something?

Thanx in Advance!
Tom
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:14 PM   #15
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We drove a ‘67 Westfalia until 2019; replaced by a Metris with a Sportsmobile top.
It’s the closest to a Westy (new vehicle) that I could do.
The van and the top cost $39,000.00. I added swivels, battery, camping interior and infotainment.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:25 PM   #16
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We drove a ‘67 Westfalia until 2019; replaced by a Metris with a Sportsmobile top.
It’s the closest to a Westy (new vehicle) that I could do.
The van and the top cost $39,000.00. I added swivels, battery, camping interior and infotainment.
Too cool Craig!

I think that we went to that "Quilt Barn" on the Quilt driving tour we did during one of the times when we were visiting our daughter & hubby when they lived in the Asheville/Weaverville/Catonsville NC area back in 2011-15 (in a rental car though).

Your `67 Westy was probably worth a pretty penny in 2019, with the way that all Splitty Buses have gone up in price. It would be super popular here in SoCal & the CA/AZ area, for Buses at the Bridge (Lake Havasu), etc.

One of our Vintage Trailer/RV buddies have a similar `65 Westy.

When we looked into converting a 1988 Dodge Caravan to a Westy type of camper with one of the top van conversion shops here in SoCal, he told us that it would cost as much as the $28K new VW Westy just to do the full camper equipment & pop-top or high-top conversion - plus the cost of the Caravan. That ended that option for us.

Now there are a number of options, and your own Metris/Sportsmobile "conversion" puts these homegrown Westy-ish Vans in the same price range as the VW version - if they imported them to the US.

MBZ Metris Sportsmobile link for those interested -
https://sportsmobile.com/mercedes-metris/

Thanx for sharing.
Tom
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:45 PM   #17
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Tom—Mercedes dealers offer the Metris with the same top, installed by Peace Vans, as well as interior kit. It approaches twice the price of mine.I drove the new van to Fresno for the top and built the interior at the shop of a friend in Indy. I considered a few boutique Syncros, but I am tired of looking for vintage car parts, spares, replacements, and know-how all the time.
Sell part of your stable and you can pay cash.
Check out the Metris forum and the Sportsmobile forum to figure out what’s current information. Sportsmobile West is not taking orders for a year.
The Metris is stable at 100 and agile in the switchbacks and parking lots.
The photo is in northern Wisconsin.
Thanks for the props.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:27 PM   #18
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Sell part of your stable and you can pay cash.
Thanx, but we like our classic & vintage stable.
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:32 PM   #19
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Lots of us here with a deep history in VW campers, in our case a green 1977 Westfalia Deluxe. Some of our best trips, and greatest calamities, where in that van. And despite it's seeming affinity for the mechanic's shop it was a marvel of efficient space utilization.

After a variety of newer vans I definitely relate to MsNomer's commentary about the "VW that runs." But nothing since has quite had the Westy's unique character either.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:43 AM   #20
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We had 1977 Westfalia, a yellow one followed by EU delivery of 1985 one. Every few thousand miles valve adjustment became part of life. Sheet metal everywhere, strong valve covers springs, accessibility made skin cuts a part of the job.

It was about 1980, my wife was preparing a meal and I was under the van adjusting valves. I was unaware that my son, about 3-4, was also in the garage. I cut myself so instant swear of “f…k” followed. From the kitchen my wife is asking my son, “what is Dad doing?”, - "Daddy is F…ing the car".
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