VW Bus - Recommendations and Rationales?


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Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jan 28, 2012 - 01:16pm PT
Credit: guido
steve shea

Jan 28, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
I've had a split, a 72 bay with the pancake and now a 97 Eurovan with the complete Winnebago treatment. Bought it for 19k put 3 more into it. We use it for trips only not a daily driver. It has the VR6 and pulls the passes here no problem with a full load and the winnie package. It can cruise 80+ all day on the freeway and gets good mileage on real fuel not ethanol. I shop. There has not been a major breakdown or expense and what has happened has been cheap to repair cause I like junkyards. Dealers are last resort. No soul though. If you enjoy the anxiety of not knowing if you will make it to your destination, the euro is no fun. Plus no more roadside bivys timed around a cool engine for those pesky frequent valve services. There is definitely something to be said about the simplicity of the original oil cooled boxer. With a screwdriver and a timing light you are good to go. Plus you meet lots of people who think you are an oddity for enjoying primitive motoring. If you enjoy the trip and have no schedule go early, the 72 was a rocket compared to the split. If you want to get there get a used euro 97 or newer.

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Apr 9, 2012 - 10:08pm PT


Gym climber
Apr 9, 2012 - 10:13pm PT
Why not get an Audi and join the modern world?

Mountain climber
San Diego
Apr 9, 2012 - 10:24pm PT
Only way to go the VW Vanagon Westfalia Syncro . . .

The VW Vanagon & Syncro Video by VW of America 1987


Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 9, 2012 - 10:36pm PT
Baja approach
Baja approach
Credit: StahlBro

Get some.....

Trad climber
New and Bionic too!
Apr 9, 2012 - 11:03pm PT
The experience of a Volkswagon Bus is almost identical to having a large-boned, hippie chick girlfriend.

Great line Brunosafari! I had one of each some years ago, and have fond memories of both. No disrespect to the girl, but I sure wish I still had the bus ('74 1.8 liter flat w/ dual carbs)!

I must admit that I caught myself perving over a beautiful vintage model on my way home from work today. I was thinking about what the wife would say if I brought it home (bus, not hippie chick).


Trad climber
New and Bionic too!
Apr 9, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
And the VW bus does not crash well.

Looks like another opportunity to inset crashpad humor...

A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Apr 10, 2012 - 01:00am PT
I have an 87 weekender in great condition that needs a home. Lots of work done by the Van Cafe. Body and engine in really great condition.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 10, 2012 - 01:07am PT

I know this guy, he has a weekender that has a special compartment, inside is a VW mechanic.

The door to the compartment is always open...

Hoi has a nice rig, I have seen the beast in the desert.

Labors of love I recon

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 10, 2012 - 01:08am PT
I'm not ready, yet...

Trad climber
Apr 10, 2012 - 06:25am PT
Don't know how I missed it, but I think Ed nailed line of the year the first day...

"...and you had a classic vehicle that you could visit at your local mechanic with pride..."

That about sums is up... Truly classic!!!


Bad Climber

Apr 10, 2012 - 09:07am PT
Between me and my wife, we've owned several VW vans: '67, a split-window pop-up (so damn cute!) '65(?), a '78 camper no pop, a '78 w/pop (had for about ten years and a couple of engines, and, finally, a '95 Eurovan--full pop/camp.

I think I've finally been cured of this particular disease! Obviously, I've loved the damn things, but the lack of power, fairly deadly consequences of crashing, and need for repairs have pushed me to more smoothly operating, safer vehicles.

The Euro was cool, but it was very expensive to purchase and after just a year or so started having problems--like blowing a supposedly new radiator hose that cost about $300 to replace--a stinkin' hose! We went for the '95 because it was one of the last years to have a manual tranny. We'd read that the automatics were known to sometimes blow out completely, without warning, huge $$ to replace.

My current, hopefully dormant, fantasy is to get a late model Westy Vanogon and put a Subaru engine in it. I'm no mechanic, so that would be very expensive, but that would be the ticket--a powerful, super reliable engine in place of the finicky VW P.O.S.

My current camping vehicle is a Toyota Tundra with pop-up camper. Sweet!


Dec 7, 2012 - 11:47pm PT
yeah so my syncro has been sidelined for the past three years. i got her running last weekend, it was a beautiful site. i hugged her from the engine compartment and told how her much i loved her and how sorry i was as she spat rust and spew from the exhaust on my legs. a tear might have been shed.

then i threw the fam in and drove her around the block, honking like maniacs and waving at all who would throw their gaze in our direction.

the following monday i went to the dmv and coughed up $688 bucks (mostly fines) for not registering her since 2009.

now my sweet girl just needs to pass smog and she will be legal.


Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:09am PT
True story from about 1978...

I was riding in a friend’s car, going through the town of Tupper Lake, New York (in the Adirondack Mtns.) We passed a house which had a nice looking ‘64 VW van in the front yard with a 4 SALE sign on it. We stopped, and I was looking over the very clean van, when a grumpy old guy came out of the house and barked “Fifty bucks and it’s yours, but you don’t want it. Damn motor seized again!”

I went to the back and opened the engine compartment lid and began to inspect the motor. It looked new. I grabbed hold of the lower pulley on the end of the crankshaft and pulled and pushed. It had about the right end play, which you could feel on those motors, so I knew the crank wasn't seized anyway. Then I saw it. Looking in the opening in the generator (where the brushes are) I could see a tangled mess of freshly shredded copper.

I called the old guy over and told him that I thought the generator armature had disintegrated and that was keeping the motor from turning over. He basically told me “F*ck off, you don’t know sh*t. If you want it cough up the fifty bucks.”

So I paid him and he signed over the slip.

While he watched, I took out a pocket knife, cut the generator / fan belt, started it up and drove it off his lot. Of course I had to park it a couple blocks away, before it could overheat. I got a replacement generator for about $35.00 and had a great van for years. I drove by the old coot’s house many times over the rest of that summer and always tooted the horn.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:58am PT
all right salad!

(still not ready to go back, but there are tales that 510OW is running around the Bay Area with its new owner)

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:25am PT


well I am kidding but still

Had two of those suckers, the old ones. They drive like Ouija boards and stick it to you for maintenance. I thought "Cool, a van simple enough to work on yourself" but then you HAVE To work on it, unlike vehicles that keep running forever with few issues.

Now the newer ones. Of course more complicated, and maybe more powerful but the friends who bought them were all sodomized by them

And I'm a friggin hippy but never again!

Ford and other van conversions can be had cheap, have all the camper stuff in them, hardly ever break down, have way more power, and parts are cheap and rednecks know how to fix em

Hard to beat all that


I might spend more nights in this rig than my home!
I might spend more nights in this rig than my home!
Credit: Karl Baba

Social climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:45am PT
I loved my VW van but I don't think that I will own another one.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:59am PT
Blow up your TV, drive your vans to the country, smash the engine and figure out how to live disturbing less.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Dec 9, 2012 - 01:26pm PT

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