Category Archives: Stories

Road trip! Man builds stretch VW camper van that fits 20 people

http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/15/road-trip-man-builds-stretch-vw-camper-van-that-fits-20-people-5624637/

All aboard the love van. An Indonesian mechanic has built the world’s first stretch VW camper van, which can seat around 20 of his mates. Wahyu Pamungkas, from Semarang, Indonesia, spent a year creating the ultimate hippie wagon, which is now 7.6 metres long. He did have a little help from his friends though – around 30 of them. The VW fanatic spent more than £20,000 (400million Indonesian Rupiah) pimping out his stretch Kombi.

He did it by mashing together two normal Kombi vans, altering the chassis , and swapping the 1,500cc engine for a 2,000cc engine so it could cope with the extra weight.

The interiors are fitted out with cream leather and seat around 20 people. (

Naturally, there’s a fully stocked mini-bar.

It brings all the girls to the yard.

There’s even a soft-top for catching a few rays. (Picture: Barcroft)Did someone say road trip?

 

A VW Camper For The Child Who Has Everything

http://www.babatude.com/essentials/baby-and-childrens-toys-and-gifts/bun-van-bed-and-room.html

How much do you think this would set you back?  £800, £1500, £5,000…read on to find out the price.

Bun Van is a bed and room reinvented by CIRCU as the iconic VW camper, ideal for the little hippy adventurer in your life!

The whole bus is a hand made reproduction, with the exterior of this piece made in fibreglass with the use of chrome-plated parts and palisander wood veneers throughout give the Bun Van bed a true retro feel.  And in addition to storage compartments hidden throughout, you’ll also find a flatscreen TV, a mini bar, a sofa and of course a bed inside.

Parents will recognize the inspirations for this piece, one of the most remarkable vehicles ever produced and at the same time, one of the most iconic and magical symbols of fun and freedom!    Few other vehicles have the ability to turn heads and conjure a spirit of freedom, adventure and open roads.

Kids will also recognize another inspiration, one of the most well know characters of the Disney movie “Cars”, Fillmore, the 1960’s hippie bus. This bed is perfect to bring some fun and imagination to rooms!

Measuring 400 x 185 x 220 cm, the Bun Van bed adds a statement to your kids’ living space with impressive artwork and sophisticated furnishings.  A true and genuine piece of art, the bed pays homage to the hippie lifestyle and motoring heritage.

So how much?

Over £30,000 –  you do need to have everything…

bun-van-detail-circu-magical-furniture-01_11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor man’s metal fabricating kit

 

Did you know that for very little money, you can shape metal and the sky is the limit.

Basics – a vice

Get a metalworkers vice – see the heavy duty jaws. Bigger but not thick jaws are for wood. Get the biggest that you can find, car boot sales / second hand shows are often a good place. It should be bolted to a strong surface and will hold metal safely.

Intermediate – a metal folder

To bend metal accurately, you will ultimately need to get a metal folder. It does what it says on the tin and folds the metal along a line. These start around the £50 / $70 area and go up to more than $10,000 each. If you are folding body panel thickness, a “poor man’s metal folder” is less money! Find your local metal working place that sells metal and buy 2 lengths of 25mm (1 inch) angle iron that is 3mm thick (1/8 inch).

Sit both pieces of angle iron in your vice upside down compared to the above picture. Then place your metal to be folded into the newly created wide jaws of your “metal folder”. Now clamp it all together – this takes a little practice to get the metal to the right position without something slipping. Measure twice, cut once as they say – keep moving it slightly until you get it perfectly aligned.

Once in there, push the metal in the direction of the required fold. If you do not need 90 degrees, add something as a guide.

Assistance – a hammer

A little pin hammer / tack hammer / small hammer will cost a few dollars / pounds. Its flat nose means less damage to the metal compared to a normal hammer that has a rounded end. Use the other end and experiment. Remember that you are not looking to shape the metal with a single hit! Slow and steady wins the race.

Once the metal has been folded mainly to shape, finish with the hammer until you get it how you need it.

First clever trick – a roll

If you need a small roll in your metal, open the jaws of your vice to reveal the part that needs to bend / roll. Now take that sharp (ish) edge of the above hammer and tap the metal between the vice jaws. Remember to clamp the metal first!

Tapping it with a hammer will allow you to shape by hand, nice and slowly / carefully. Sometimes that is not smooth enough.

Advanced – a socket

If you need a fold in the metal that is part of a circle, find a socket the size of the fold required. Keep the jaws open to the width required, clamp one side of the metal to one of the jaws. Place the socket on the metal between the jaws and allow the metal to shape itself around the socket with a hammer. Please do not use your best socket and any damage to your equipment is down to you!

My first example

I needed a piece to join the bottom of the wall behind the sliding door on my Bay window, down to the floor. I folded the 90 degree in my metal folder. I sliced a little way along that fold then used my hammer to tap the curved section (no socket used this time) before welding it up. Then I added the end triangle as it was going to be tricky to add later and welded it in.

I was rather pleased with that.

Once in, I was even happier.

I am now a fabricator, you can be one too. The paint was a short term measure to keep the rust at bay and yes, the bottom of the C post still needs work!

My second attempt

From the first picture, you can see that the bottom of the rear wheel arch is missing a common section where it has rusted, been patched badly and is in need of attention. Again, I took some cardboard, made a template, used some Zintec lightly galvanized steel and using just a 4 inch vice, a hammer and a little time, I came up with this:

And here it is zipped in:

Yes, I will sort out the ugly weld in the corner before I top coat the inside!

One-Of-A-Kind VW Microbus Stretch Limo Sold For $220k

http://www.carscoops.com/2015/03/so-much-want-one-of-kind-vw-microbus.html

For VW Microbus enthusiasts, the 23 window Microbus is considered the Holy Grail. Today, we are sharing a very special unicorn: the world’s only 1965 Volkswagen Microbus stretch limousine, complete with 33 windows as well as a ragtop sunroof.

The one-of-a-kind Microbus was custom built by a VW-only restoration garage in Southern California (where else?) and took two years to complete. The result is stunning: the India Ivory-on-Tropical Turquoise bus features safari windows, front and rear; 14 side pop-out windows with large spoon latches; chrome front door frames; polished trim pieces on beltline and bumpers; and original 15-inch “crows foot” wheels in a white powdercoat.

Underneath the skin is a 2074cc VW engine that has been completely rebuilt. In fact, the engine, transmission, and gear reduction boxes have all been completely disassembled and rebuilt using only brand-new authentic components. Additional mechanical upgrades include front disc brakes, Gene Berg performance shifter, Vintage Speed exhaust system, and Blaze-Cut auto fire suppression system. The restored stretch Microbus also features LED headlights, custom LED taillights, as well as an LED third-brake light.

The cabin is undoubtedly the VW’s party piece. The Volkswagen Microbus stretch limo features two-tone brown benches with white piping and hidden pleats, which seat up to 12 passengers. The Microbus also boasts a custom wood floor, wood interior, and a high-end sound system featuring 6 JBL speakers, an Alpine amp, and Alpine head unit. RGBW LED light strips run across the entire length of the interior of the bus and can change to any color!

Following the extensive two-year restoration, the stretch Microbus finally arrived to Maui, Hawaii (where else?), to enjoy its new life as a special VIP limo for Endless Summer Limousine. Maui is long known as a popular wedding and tourism location with over 7,000 weddings booked every year.

Unfortunately, a sudden family emergency will require the owner and operator of Endless Summer Limousine to relocate, which means leaving the Microbus, the business, and the island behind. According to the eBay listing, the beautiful Microbus sold for $220,000. Despite the astronomical price, we’re sure it is money well spent for the right owner.

Danny Choy

World’s number one dad builds his daughter a VW camper van bed

http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/09/worlds-number-one-dad-builds-his-daughter-a-vw-camper-van-bed-5055170/

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World's best dad builds his daughter a VW camper van bed

Can we have a VW bus bed too please? (Picture: The Treehouser)

Who wants a princess bed when you can have an awesome VW camper van replica to lay your head down in?

Reddit user inexplorata, aka the world’s number one dad, built his daughter this incredible bed-cum-playhouse for her third birthday after he saw an ad on Craigslist for free VW Beetle parts – namely, a bumper, hubcaps, and some interior door pieces.

After picking up a $30 bunk bed, also on Craigslist, the enterprising dad set to work.

The construction, as detailed on his blog, took him four months.

Pic 1

From humble beginnings…(Picture: The Treehouser)

He did have the occasional extra pair of hands.

Pic 2

‘Helping’ might be pushing it (Picture: The Treehouser)

The build cost him a total of $100, or £65 (much cheaper than those custom-made kids’ furniture places charge we’re guessing).

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

Starting to take shape (Picture: The Treehouser)

The camper bed has working headlights and a horn that makes driving sound effects.

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

From 0-fast asleep in seconds (Picture: The Treehouser)

It also has a colourful 60s style decor, as befits the iconic van’s hippy heritage. 

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

Feeling the hippy vibe (Picture: The Treehouser)

As well as a hammock. Obviously. 

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

D’you think we could rent this out for festivals? (Picture: The Treehouser)

And one careful owner. 

2 year old for scale

Two-year old for scale (Picture: The Treehouser)

Excellent work dad. 

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

The coolest bunk bed ever (Picture: The Treehouser)

Couple drives from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in their rebuilt ’75 VW camper van

http://www.adn.com/article/20160317/anchorage-couple-drives-tierra-del-fuego-their-rebuilt-75-vw-camper-van

 

In fact, she said, people have been “open and kind and welcoming” everywhere
they’ve gone on this odyssey. “You hear bad things in the news, but overall
people are willing to help. They’ll drop everything they’re doing and invite you
in.”
Vought was quick to ascribe their cordial reception to the vehicle. “It’s the
bus,” he said. “People in all countries seem to love the VW bus. They’re already
kind of looking at you anyway, and when they see the bus, it’s like instant
smiles and instant friends.”

 

 

The bus at “Mano de Desierto,” a large sculpture of a hand in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

 

 

 

 

Dillon Vought and Tessa Ely didn’t know each other when they attended Service
High School at the same time. Big school, different classes, different crowds.
You know how it goes.
But they’re plenty familiar with each other now. For the past year, they have
traveled 26,000 miles throughout the Western Hemisphere in a Volkswagen
Westfalia pop-top camper bus.

“We just got the idea that we wanted to do some long-term travel,” said Vought.
“We did a few road trips around Alaska and it sort of evolved into this.”
The Alaska Dispatch News contacted the couple in Tierra del Fuego, the
southernmost part of South America. Ely said the place felt a little like
Alaska.
“There’s free camping everywhere,” she said. “It’s very safe. And everyone’s
very friendly.”

Vought, 29, got a degree in marketing at a college in Reno, Nevada, before
moving back to Anchorage, where he has worked in logistical support for the oil
industry. Ely, 27, studied at UAA and became a special-education teacher with
the Anchorage School District. Of course, for the last 13 months they’ve been on
what can only be described as an extended leave of absence.
“It’s more like two years,” Vought said. But during the first year of the
adventure, the bus didn’t go anywhere as they rebuilt it.
They bought the broken-down 1975 Westfalia for $500. “It was the only one for
sale two years ago,” he said. They found it slowly weathering away in Hope. It
took a year of busted knuckles and “a lot of duct tape” before the thing was
ready to roll. In the process they added insulation, an RV furnace and changed
the horrible orange paint to a classic green and white two-tone.
Most important, they replaced the old air-cooled engine, a 1960s design, with a
modern Subaru Boxer 2.2 water-cooled engine. The original could churn up 66
horsepower and was famously underpowered, particularly on hills. The Boxer
produces 100 horsepower or better and is more fuel efficient than the vintage
technology.
It was time well spent, Vought said. “It’s really a blessing that we rebuilt the
entire thing, because now we know what’s going on with it. We can do most of the
fixes ourselves. You don’t need to worry about finding a good mechanic.”
They had considered taking a year to drive around Asia, but decided South
America would be easier, more right-in-the-neighborhood. “Tessa knew some
Spanish,” Vought said. “It was a more reachable trip.”
The journey began with a long drive down the West Coast. “We were hoping to ski
quite a bit,” Vought said. “But it was a bad year for skiing all over. We didn’t
actually get out and do anything until we got to Vancouver Island. And then it
was surfing. In February.”
They did manage to find snow in Montana. Then they joined a couple of other VW
buses for a mini-caravan drive down the Baja Peninsula, where they spent a
month. From there, the couple ferried the bus to the mainland, headed down the
west coast of Mexico, cut over to the Yucatan and proceeded through Central
America, surfing and camping on beaches as they went.
The Panama Canal brought a gap in road travel. The bus was shipped to Colombia
and the travelers followed by sail. After another month in Colombia, they
continued into the Andes, traveling through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
The southern terminus of the trip came at the end of the Pan American Highway,
just past Ushuaia, Argentina, latitude 54 degrees and change. It’s sometimes
referred to as “the end of the world.”
“We considered going further by boat to Antarctica,” Vought said. But “the
cheapest tour would still have been $5,000.”

Though the trip has been decidedly frugal, it hasn’t been free. The travelers
are already contemplating their return to home and jobs.
“We’ll cruise around Patagonia for a few months, then ship the bus to Florida
from Buenos Aires,” Ely said. While the bus is on the boat she’ll come back to
Alaska to work and Vought will backpack. They’ll reconnect with their trusty
transport in mid-June and drive through the U.S. and Canada “and see how long we
can make our money last,” she said.
The last logical leg will come after they return to Alaska, a run up the Dalton
Highway to Prudhoe Bay.
“I think we’re going to do a photo book,” Vought said. “But we probably won’t
actually complete it until we’re back in Anchorage.”
They’ll come home with a log-book of white-knuckle experiences. “Bolivia has the
worst roads,” Vought said. “We came out there with suspension issues. I’ve had
to replace the shocks and replace the clutch cable five times now.”

“And we’ve gotten a few bouts of stomach illness,” he continued. “Times when you
have to hole up in a hotel for a while and just pray you’re going to get
better.”

“I was getting pretty sick in El Salvador,” Ely said. “Dealing with hospitals
and the language barrier is something I don’t want to relive again.”

“The good part is that the local medical care people know how to treat the
common ailments in the area,” said Vought. “They can help you get well, even if
it seems like the most horrible thing.”

The payoff has been the people, Vought said. That goal was at the top of their
reasons for making the trip.

“We wanted to get more engulfed into the culture, go places that the tourists
don’t go, talk to the locals,” he said. “It’s been great. Every time we have a
question or a loss, you don’t hesitate to ask anyone because everyone is so
willing to help. You ask someone for directions and they ask you to stay at
their place.”

One question they get asked a lot is whether they want to sell the bus. The
answer is always no. “It’s our baby!” said Ely.
“Besides, if we have kids, they’re going to see pictures of this trip and
pictures of the bus,” said Vought. “And if we don’t still have it, they’ll kill
us.”
BLOG Follow the travels of Dillon Vought, Tessa Ely and their 1975 VW camper bus
at thebusandus.com.

VW makes electric vehicle

Following on from our recent post about the id Buzz http://vwt2oc.co/wp/2018/10/26/the-id-buzz/ did you know that is not the first electric vehicle from Volkswagen based on the classic type 2 chassis?

Ah, but did you also know this original version was a little older?

Back in 1970, Adolf Kalberlah was there looking at alternative methods of power and VW made a type 2 T2 Bay window with a top speed of 43mph and a range of 43 miles.

That is about 7 times the range of some of the current crop of electric vehicles and this was 48 years ago.

Read the full details at https://www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/content/vw_nfz/magazine/gb/en/e-campervan.html

The id Buzz

If you thought that the T6 was not sufficiently different to the T5, well the next incarnation (or should that be in-van-ation) of the Volkswagen camper van is the id Buzz. Due to launch in 2022, this all electric van has been the talk of the VW world for many years with a lot of rumours.

Destined for a 110KWh battery pack, this promises a range of over 350 miles.

Behold, the camper van of the future!

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/first-drive-volkswagen-id-buzz-concept-review

I.D Buzz ready to be charged

The interior can be configured many ways

Notice the family resemblance…

id_buzz_release id_buzz_specifications

I.D Buzz ready to be charged

Contemporary with a nod to the past

Contemporary with a nod to the past

At home in the city

The interior can be configured many ways

The interior can be configured many ways

The interior can be configured many ways

The boots in the front!

I.D Buzz dimensions

Location of the batteries

Location of the batteries

Practical and versatile interior

Drivetrain conceptualised

1955 Forest find split screen

The Type 2 Owners Club welcomes all transporters from this Type 2, T1 (the split screen) up to the current T6 and the planned id Buzz.

Here is a short video on a group of friends who rescued a split screen from a Swedish forest.

 

 

Westfalia’s latest Volkswagen camper van literally grows to add foot room

The new VW Crafter has been finding its place in the camper van market, in production campers like the Knaus Boxdrive to wild concepts like Volkswagen’s own California XXL. But there’s no better indication that Volkswagen’s latest full-size van has officially arrived on the camper van scene than a new package from Westfalia, the shop whose name will be forever intertwined with VW camper vans and buses. Westfalia turns the new Crafter into a smart, versatile camper with extendable bed, flexible storage and all the amenities you need to spend some time in nature.

While the second-generation Crafter that underpins the 2018 Sven Hedin is one of the latest vans on the market, the Sven Hedin itself isn’t a new model. In fact, Westfalia has been building it since the 1970s, first on the VW LT, the Crafter’s predecessor, and later on other vans like the Mercedes Sprinter. The new Sven Hedin capitalizes on the Crafter’s impressive suite of driver-assistance technologies while fitting a bedroom, kitchen, indoor bathroom, dining area and plenty of storage inside.

The Crafter is large enough to inspire converters to add a full bathroom, unlike smaller campers in which the closest thing to a bathroom is a storage compartment for a portable toilet. However, it’s not quite large enough to accommodate the bathroom and all the other fixins without a little extra strategy on laying out the interior.

In their respective Crafter campers, Volkswagen and Knaus address bathroom spacing with expandable bathroom compartments that extend out over the kitchen/hall floor space. Each uses a different system, but the idea is the same: grow the bathroom interior while in use, retract it back to free up space when not in use.

While Westfalia places its bathroom in the same place, amidships across from the kitchen, it uses a simpler, smaller fixed layout. A swivel toilet and corner sink help to save space inside the small wet bath, and wall-integrated cubbies hold soap, shampoo and other hygiene staples. A door provides privacy. The Sven Hedin’s bath compartment definitely looks more claustrophobic than the aforementioned expandable baths, but it does beat the other alternative – no indoor bathroom at all.

Westfalia also has its own ideas on how to best provide a comfortable sleeping experience without eating up too much interior floor space. Volkswagen actually extends out the bodywork on its California XXL concept, and Knaus cuts out a central chunk of its bed to add floor space. Both beds are longitudinally mounted, but Westfalia opts to swing the bed into transverse position. In order to provide the full 6.6 feet (2 m) of length that it wants for sleepers, an optional electrically extendable foot panel is added that pushes out the side of the van inside a fiberglass pop-out. This module is insulated, so it presumably keeps all 10 piggies nice and warm (or cool). When the bed’s not in use, the pop-out retracts flush with the van side, maintaining the standard van width and aerodynamics on the road.

The bed is also raised up, creating an empty cargo space below that can be used to load gear or luggage. The rear half of the bed can fold out of the way, too, making room for taller cargo. On the other side of the bed, the step that helps campers climb up doubles as a storage compartment for shoes or slippers.

The kitchen area plays host to the familiar camper van mix of dual-burner stove, sink, countertop and storage drawers. An innovative feature here is a specially designed dual-drawer refrigerator system that offers 70 liters of cold storage, replacing the more common stand-up refrigerator to save space. A high-mounted cabinet over the top of the dinette stores dishes and other serving ware.

The dining/lounge area features a two-seat bench, swivel driver cab seats and a retractable table top in between. This particular dinette does not convert into a bed, meaning that the Sven Hedin sleeps only two people (unless, we suppose, someone doesn’t mind sleeping sitting up in a seat or on the floor).

The Sven Hedin includes a 100 L fresh water tank, 84 L waste water tank and a 4.8-kW hot water heater that heats the interior and also delivers hot water at the tap. A 92 Ah AGM battery powers onboard equipment like the touch-operated LED lighting.

The base Sven Hedin relies on Volkswagen’s 101-hp 2.0-liter TDI engine and six-speed manual to power the front wheels. Westfalia does not list a 4Motion option, but it does offer the eight-speed automatic transmission and larger engine options up to a 174-hp TDI.

Standard vehicle equipment includes a radio with TFT display and Bluetooth, a remote-controlled locking system, an engine start-stop system with brake recuperation, and various assistive technologies like crosswind assistance and brake assist. Available options include heated front seats, added driver-assistance features like lane keeping and ParkPilot, and an infotainment/nav system with 8-in touchscreen.

Westfalia has created a fully equipped camper van out of the Volkswagen Crafter

Westfalia presented the Sven Hedin at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon and gave it a UK premiere at last week’s Motorhome & Caravan Show. The camper van starts at €59,990/£59,100 (approx. US$70K based on euro conversion) when equipped with the 101-hp engine and six-speed manual. Options like the extendable bed with pop-out, second AGM battery and outdoor shower are available at extra cost. For more pricing details, you can check out the price lists on Westfalia’s downloads page.