VW camper van stolen from Southcote, Berkshire


A camper van containing valuable camping equipment was stolen from outside a house in Aldworth Close, Southcote.

Offenders stole the cream, ivory and beige Volkswagen camper van between midnight on Thursday, April 23 and about 5.30pm on Friday, April 24.

Police are now appealing for witnesses following the theft.

The van was beige, cream and ivory

Anyone with information should call PCSO James Wicks on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Families choose campervans over package holidays


Getting away from it all in a camper Campervan and caravan holidays are overtaking standard package holidays as the most desirable escape for British families, according to new research. More than two thirds of parents (68 per cent) say they would choose a leisure vehicle holiday not only to avoid airport stress and luggage restrictions but also for the freedom, adventure and flexibility it offers.

The rising number of celebrity fans has also substantially upped the glam factor, making campervan and caravan holidays a stylish option. High profile fans including Jamie Oliver, Kate Moss, Rio Ferdinand, Take That’s Mark Owen, Lorraine Kelly and One Direction.

According to the survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by insurer comfort-insurance.co.uk, four in 10 parents say that package holidays require too much planning, and one-fifth of parents say that the overall airport experience is too stressful.

When it comes to top stress factors, nearly half of parents (47 per cent) say that lugging luggage is the biggest drag. With 48 per cent reporting that they haul up to 6 bags, and 22 per cent saying they pack up to 10 bags with all the family’s required kit, it’s clear how campervan and caravanning holidays are winning modern-day fans. Freedom from luggage restrictions takes the pressure away – making for a calmer overall holiday experience for the whole family.

One Direction in a campervan. Who'd have thought itThe comforts of a ‘home from home’ are also proving a key factor in making it an increasingly popular lifestyle choice. More than half of parents (53 per cent) say that they miss their home comforts on a traditional holiday. However, a key finding shows that it is not just more gadgets, toys and clothing that families most want to take with them – it’s their furry friends.  Just over a quarter of parents said that bringing along the family pet was the most important item on their children’s holiday wish list.

Whilst scoring high in the style stakes, leisure vehicle holidays also continue to offer great cost-saving benefits for families. Over the span of 18 years, a family of four could save more than £10,000 with campervan holidays in comparison to an annual one-week package holiday.

Find great places to go in your motorhome with site reviews and travel features in MMM magazine. Get the perfect upgrade or your first motorhome with the latest issue of Which Motorhome magazine.

Busfest discount announced!! – But hurry!!!


Following intense negotiations, VWT2OC are pleased to announce that we have been able to secure a £20 discount on camping fees for the first 75 members who book for Busfest through the club camping section of the Busfest site.

There are certain conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for the discount:

  • Booking must be made by the Busfest website in the Club section by the end of June.
  • Your membership number must immediately follow your name (without a gap) on the online application
  • The £20 discount is off one camping unit per one member.
  • You must camp on the VWT2OC club area .
  • You must be a current members both at the time of booking and at the time of the show.
  • Membership Cards Must Be Shown to Marshal of the Camping Area on arrival and also on demand.

Busfest is the world’s largest VW Transporter event and has long has an association with the VWT2OC. We are pleased to announce the relationship has been renewed for 2015.

To claim your discount , click here http://www.busfest.org/orders/


Transporter T6 initial review

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Volkswagen reveals the new Volkswagen Transporter T6 in Amsterdam. UK sales start later in 2015

The new Volkswagen Transporter has made its full debut in Amsterdam ahead of arriving in the UK later this year. Shown in panel van, Caravelle MPV and Shuttle minibus guises, the T6 Transporter has arrived 65 years after the original T1 ‘Splitty’ made its debut.


Key highlights of the new Hanover-built Transporter include sharper design, a more premium interior, improved dynamics via the option of an adaptive chassis, more convenience with power seat and tailgate options, better efficiency with standard idle-stop, greater convenience via new radio-navigation systems with online services, and more safety via VW’s latest driver aids.

Sporting the latest VW design language with a full width grille and headlights that wouldn’t look out of place on a VW passenger car, the latest Transporter is said to be more car-like than ever. Higher-spec models can be specified with full LED headlamps and daytime running lights on the exterior, plus a host of safety and security features already found elsewhere in the VW range.


For example a Driver Alert System that detects if you are tired, a post-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control, and useful features like an electric tailgate and reversing camera are all on offer.

Inside, anyone familiar with Volkswagen’s latest cars will feel at home. With plush materials on higher-spec Caravelle models and infotainment systems lifted straight from the likes of the Polo, Golf and Passat, the new Transporter feels just like an overgrown VW passenger car.


Engine-wise, the familiar range of VW diesels will be available, with Caravelle, Shuttle and California models being offered with Euro 6-compliant powerplants. For now, the Transporter panel van has Euro 5-compliant units which VW refers to as “EA288 Nutz” internally. Volkswagen says that the engine was developed for long, durable service life and will be offered in EU6-emissions-standard markets.

t6 engine


On paper, the transversely-mounted 2.0-liter diesel family is anything but “nutz,” offering The engine range is extensive, from 83bhp all the way to a 201bhp unit. A 7-speed DSG gearbox can be specified on higher-output models. All the diesels are 2.0-litre TDI units and claim to be 15% more efficient than those in the current T5 Transporter. New 2-litre TDI engines offer from 84bhp to 204bhp; four-cylinder petrol variants are also 2-litres, delivering 150 or 204bhp.


All have a stop-start system fitted as standard – VW says this could reduce overall fuel consumption by 15%. saving a litre of fuel per 100km on average across the range.

A long wheelbase version will be available as will a high roof derivative. A passenger side sliding door comes as standard, with a driver’s side sliding door available as an option. In terms of carrying capacity, the panel van cargo area ranges in size from 4.3m to 5.8m3 load volumes depending on the model chosen.

The California camper van version will join the range towards the end of the 2015, shortly after the panel van arrives in the UK. Caravelle and Shuttle passenger carrying versions make their debut in the fourth quarter too.


Also unveiled at the launch of the new Transporter was a ‘Generation Six’ special edition of the new van.-  a market-launch exclusive that includes available two-tone paint job and optional 18-in retro-design “Disc” alloy wheels, plus standard LED front and rear lights, chrome package, tinted windows, and fog lights with cornering light. The interior of the Multivan Comfortline-based SIX features two-tone Alcantara seats, fabric floor mats and contrast stitching on the steering wheel and gear shift leather. The SIX also comes equipped with various drive and cabin technologies, including ParkPilot front and rear, Side Assist with electric folding mirrors, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a Composition Media infotainment system. It’s currently unconfirmed as to whether or not we’ll be seeing the special Generation Six here in the UK.


The new T6 models are powered by a new-generation TDI family that modest output levels between 83 and 201 horsepower. VW will also offer 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol options with outputs of 148 and 201 hp. With the help of a standard stop/start feature, the engine lineup could reduce fuel consumption by an estimated 15 percent.

The driver can expect some help when putting the engine to work, starting with a new adaptive chassis system that dials suspension in according to three selectable modes: comfort, normal and sport. Available driver assistance technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control, Light Assistance front controlled headlight management, and Driver Alert System. Hill Descent Assist is available on models equipped with 4MOTION four-wheel drive.

The Transporter interior also gets some interesting goodies. The available 6.3-in touchscreen infotainment system features new proximity sensors that change the screen from display to input mode as one’s hand approaches. The optional electronic voice enhancement system works like a seamlessly integrated PA system, amplifying the driver’s voice over the rear loudspeakers so that he or she can be heard while keeping both eyes on the road. A newly-available electric tailgate system pops the tailgate open or closed at the push of the key fob and driver-door button. A heated windshield is also on offer.


Immediately recognisable as a Transporter, Volkswagen says the T6 design is sharper, more precise and higher quality thanks to lines, beads and edges that run the entire length of the vehicle.

“The entire body now has the appearance of being all one piece, as if milled from a solid block,” states a VW media statement.

Once again three derivatives form the van family: the basic Transporter commercial, the flagship Multivan people-mover and, in between, the Caravelle multipurpose vehicle, which will be available for the first time in Highline spec.

It’s not clear if the 2014 Tristar concept’s powertrain – combining all-wheel drive with a 150kW/450Nm 2.0-litre diesel and seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission – will be available.

All 4MOTION all-wheel drive models will be available with Hill Descent Assist and of course there’s traction/stability control with trailer stabilisation.

In terms of comfort and convenience there is the option of a new adaptive chassis control system with comfort, normal and sport modes for the electrically adjustable shock absorbers, plus Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC).

There’s also an electric tailgate that in its most basic form offers power closing, but comes with a fully automated function.

New safety features include optional radar-operated ‘Front Assist’, which warns of an imminent collision. Combined with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the system can slow the vehicle to a stop, while a ‘City Emergency Braking’ feature provides collision avoidance at speeds of under 20 mph.

There’s the ‘Automatic Post-Collision Braking System’ as standard, but further options include ‘Light Assist’ automatic high-beam, ‘Driver Alert System’ drowsiness detection and electronic voice enhancement, which can amplify the driver’s voice for rear-seat occupants via the sound system.

All T6s will be fitted with a Bluetooth hands-free system and the 6.33-inch monitor employs proximity sensors that switch the system from display mode to input mode when front passengers move their hands close to the touch-screen, which offers USB and SD media storage.

In Europe, the ‘Discover Media’ and ‘Discover Media Plus’ navigation systems will be equipped with Car-Net’s Guide & Inform services.

The Transporter has been Germany’s top-selling van in Germany for decades, with the T5 finding two million customers globally since 2004 and around 12 million VW vans being sold in the past 65 years.

Models that concentrate on load carrying will again feature a barn-door-style tailgate, while passenger carrying variants are equipped with a lift-up hatch, with either electronic latching or automated operation available on higher-spec models.

All-wheel drive Transporters can be optioned up with hill descent control.


The Germans from Wolfsburg have officially presented the all-new, sixth-generation Transporter family. The presentation was organized in Amsterdam, and we got to see many possible configurations, from the premium Multivan to the basic T6 Transporter commercial van.

The design evokes that of the Passat in many ways. The VW emblem is a little bit larger as a nod to the original Bulli while horizontal lines connect to slightly narrower headlights


Prices are on a par with the previous model or slightly lower. For a few models, the prices are even considerably below those for the comparable prior versions. The price list for the Transporter in Germany, for instance, starts at €23,035 (plus value added tax for the 62-kW TDI/Euro5), while entry into the world of the Multivan begins at €29,952 for the Multivan Conceptline with 62-kW TDI (incl. value added tax, Euro6). The previous Startline entry-level model is replaced by the upgraded Trendline trim level at a price of €34,301 (gross).

Bett Mobil transforms the VW Multivan into modular campervan-in-a-box

Bett Mobil served up two wayshttp://www.gizmag.com/bett-mobil-vw-campervan/35720/

Last week’s CMT show in Stuttgart, Germany put the spotlight on a highly versatile Volkswagen camper van. The Bett Mobil carries a sliding pod (reminiscent of the DoubleBack van) inside a versatile camper-in-a-box package. The Bett Mobil’s “second story” slide-out bedroom leaves cargo room below and is the key component of a fully modular camper package that turns the Volkswagen Multivan into a full-fledged camper, then removes completely to give the owner a standard van back.

The Bett Mobil with available pop-up roof

Extendable pods are nothing new in the camper world. They can be found in everything from all-terrain, eight-wheeled expedition vehicles to compact camping trailers. Each new take on the extendable living module offers its own advantages, however. In the case of the Bett Mobil, the upper slide-out adds extra interior room while maintaining the classic Volkswagen camper van footprint. It also keeps some dedicated cargo space open for camping provisions, sports gear, etc.

The Bett Mobil packages transforms your Volkswagen van into a camper while allowing it to ...

The sliding, folding bed module fits neatly inside the tailgate and sets up in a matter of minutes. After sliding the unit out, one folds the side and rear walls out and secures them to the tailgate, which serves as the roof. The lower legs fold out to support the weight. This creates a 53.5 x 78.7-in (1,360 x 2,000-mm) interior bed that provides clear views outside via the large, openable rear window and rear windshield “skylight.” The lockable storage cabinet below the sliding module stores gear and tools.

The Bett Mobil’s sliding sleeping module is a natural extension of the Volkswagen Multivan base platform, which uses floor rails to offer interior flexibility. Bett Mobil capitalizes on this defining Multivan feature to make its camper package fully modular and customizable. The bed and storage modules already mentioned are secured to the vehicle by way of the floor rails, as are the kitchen and washroom modules.

Bett Mobil offers sleeping, cooking and wash modules for Volkswagen vans

Bett Mobil showed its camper at the recent CMT show in Stuttgart

The simple screw-in system allows the interior fixtures to be easily rearranged or removed completely. This set-up lets the owner create a campervan with up to four seats and remove the camping modules altogether, giving users a camper van for holidays and a regular people mover for the rest of the year. Bett Mobil says that it’ll take the owner about an hour to convert from camper back to regular van.

The available outdoor kitchen frees up space inside

The wash area module includes a sink hooked up to a 20 l (5.3-US gal) fresh water tank, a 10 l waste water tank, a 50 l compressor fridge and a storage compartment for a camping toilet. The cooking module includes a canister stove and storage space for knives, utensils, pots and pans, and other cooking tools. An outdoor kitchen is available as an option, opening up room for four seats inside.

The slide-out bedroom has a large rear window

When compared to typical camper vans that use folding-seat beds, the Bett Mobil offers the advantage of keeping the seated living area intact while the bed is in use. Instead of converting the bed at breakfast, you can simply get up and sit down. On the downside, the space occupied by the sliding bed and under-bed cabinet eat up seating and cargo space more so than a convertible bed. The Bett Mobil has just a single rear seat in standard configuration, and adding a second rear bucket seat or a rear bench means leaving some of the camping equipment at home.

Bett Mobil transforms your Volkswagen van into a camper while allowing it to go back to st...

Rolf Hänle and his son David originally designed the Bett Mobil camper in 2009 as their own personal home away from home. They received interest about it everywhere they camped and traveled, so they decided to bring the design to market, testing the waters at last year’s Abenteuer Allrad show in Bad Kissingen, Germany, then bringing it to the larger 2015 CMT show

The kitchen area includes plenty of storage space for tools and utensils

Bett Mobil sells its modules directly, not as complete vans. They perform the original installation, which requires a few professionally installed parts. After that, the package is designed to allow the owner to remove and reinstall the modules as desired. The bed module costs €7,900 (US$8,900), and a total camper package runs between €11,690 and €15,000, depending upon options selected.

Buyers that opt for the outdoor kitchen can keep four seats inside

The van can be equipped with a high Polyroof with integrated storage cabinetry or a pop-up roof with built-in bed. Though Bett Mobil’s hardware is designed around the Multivan, the company can equip it to the Comfortline, Highline, Pan Americana and California Beach models with a few additional modifications.

Inside the Bett Mobil with pop-up roof

Inside the Bett Mobil with high roof

The high roof option offers integrated storage

The standard configuration offers one rear seat and two front seats


Volkswagen T6 Transporter GTI Is as Weird as It Is Awesome


On 15th April, Volkswagen took the covers off its brand new T6 Transporter family, which ranges from the very basic CV to the luxurious Multivan. It’s a very special vehicle that offers an alternative to the Mercedes V-Class, but does so in an understated manner.

What’s interesting is that even though the T6 is about being practical, economical and safe, some people dream of going fast in it. While Volkswagen has offered hot versions of its Transporter commercial vehicle in the past, these were never badged higher than “Sport.”

But take this rendering made by X-Tomi Design, which adds the GTI bits we all know and love.

These include a distinctive red stripe, which used to go around the grille, but now travels through both headlights since the Golf 7. Below that, we have a special honeycomb grille, a spoiler and some tiger claw strikes on the daytime running lights.

Of course, it’s fun to dream of a 500 horsepower Transporter, but is such a things even possible? Well, yes and no. The Transporter’s arch rival, which is the Ford Transit, has been turned into a V8-powered drag racing machine and there was also a Transit Connect with a Focus RS engine a few years back.

But you see a lot more hot vans in America, where it’s not unusual to turn a VW Bus into some 2 million horsepower monster that can pop wheelies on command.

Volkswagen may own the second largest automotive group in the world, but it has the largest parts bin and could easily find something good to throw under the T6’s nose. We’re thinking something along the lines of a supercharged V6 or the 4.2-litre V8 TDI from the Touareg would work great

Volkswagen Press Release – T6 Transporter – 15/04/2015

vw transporter t6 and original
Generation SIX: world premiere of the new T series
Classic Transporter design is even sharper, more precise, higher end


Better fuel economy – new engines with stop/start function as standard

Better safety – latest driver assistance systems

More comfort and convenience – adaptive chassis, electrically adjustable seats and electric tailgate

More information – new radio-navigation system with integrated online services

Prices start below level of previous model

Hannover/Amsterdam, 15 April 2015 – Today, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand presents the sixth generation of the successful Transporter model series that is produced in Hannover. Key updated technical features offer better safety, improved comfort and convenience and greater driving dynamics in combination with improved fuel economy and lower entry-level prices.

It is the new edition of a hugely successful model: for the T series from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been the number 1 in Germany for decades. Its predecessor sold some 2 million units around the world within eleven years. Across the entire model series’ 65 years, the figure is around 12 million vehicles, which means 65 years of experience with customers and 65 years of contemporary transport solutions. Each individual generation led the way in terms of technology, and was precisely meeting the needs of the market.

Design: the T series is a classic in design. It has therefore been modernised cautiously, but has become even sharper, more precise and thus enhanced still further in quality. The lines, beads and edges run continuously from front to back. The entire body now has the appearance of being all one piece, as if milled from a solid block. Like its predecessors, the new T generation, too, thus remains immediately recognisable. The extremely solid foundation on which all T series models are based: the commercial vehicle. Subjected every day to the hardest of tests and developed for professionals. Robust and reliable. Forming the top of the range, however, is the Multivan. Families and outdoor sports enthusiasts in particular value its proverbial flexibility. In between comes the Caravelle as the joining link. Created both for commercial and private use, this spacious multi-purpose vehicle has also been upgraded once again and is now for the first time available as a Highline model as well. Designers and engineers have also covered a broad spectrum inside and developed high-quality interiors for both versions of the vehicle: highly practical in the case of the Transporter versions – very bespoke and refined in the case of the Multivan, satisfying the requirements of its different customer groups. The arrangement of storage trays and compartments also depends on the model. Everything here has its place. Be it a folding ruler, coffee mug, mobile phone or tablet. Form follows function. In best Bauhaus tradition.

Engines: in the T series a completely new generation of TDI engines is being launched for the EU6 markets. Internally it answers to the name ‘EA288 Nutz’. This engine has been developed specifically for the tough requirements of a commercial vehicle. Longevity and ruggedness were thus the top priority. The TDIs available are transversely mounted and angled forwards by eight degrees. They have a cubic capacity of 1,968 cm3 and deliver 62 kW / 84 PS, 75 kW / 102 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS and 150 kW / 204 PS. The petrol option is likewise a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.0 litres. It delivers either 110 kW / 150 PS or 150 kW / 204 PS. Across the whole model series, the new engines save a litre of fuel compared to the previous generation. All Euro-5 and Euro-6 engines have a stop/start system as standard. Thus, overall fuel consumption could be reduced by 15% on average.

Comfort and convenience: the new adaptive chassis control, Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC), for so-called enclosed superstructures works in an even more bespoke fashion. It enables the vehicle to be adapted to three driving modes: comfort, normal and sport. In each case, the electrically adjustable shock absorbers adapt to the chosen style via a preselected programme. DCC thus makes the already exemplary handling even better.

The variability of the seating layout makes the back a veritable playground in terms of reconfiguration. From normal boot to large cargo space – everything is possible. Opening and closing the tailgate is now especially easy. Aside from purely manual operation, the first level up from the basic version provides an automatic closing aid. It enables the tailgate to be closed with much less effort and has the latch engage in the lock with a significantly less obtrusive sound. Even easier to operate is the new, completely electrically operated version. It opens automatically via the tailgate handle, and it closes by pulling a loop or by pushbutton. Alternatively, it can be opened by pressing a button on the driver door or on the remote control integrated within the vehicle key. That makes it easier, in particular, to close the tailgate, which is about two metres above the ground when open.

Safety: by means of radar, the ‘Front Assist’ area monitoring system (optional for the Transporter, Multivan and Caravelle; standard on the Multivan Business) recognises critical distances to the vehicle in front and helps to shorten the stopping distance. In dangerous situations the system warns the driver visually and audibly, as well as with a slight jolt of the brake. With adaptive cruise control (‘ACC’), a sensor measures the distance to the vehicle in front and the relative speed. In combination with the DSG, the ACC system can also slow the vehicle down, for example in queues or traffic jam situations, to a complete stop. Depending on the situation, ACC then starts up again automatically after a predefined period. An integral component of ‘Front Assist’ and ‘ACC’ is the City Emergency Braking function, which provides assistance at low speeds of under 30 km/h and thereby offers significantly improved safety, especially in dense city traffic. If the driver fails to see an obstacle, the system automatically applies the brakes and ensures that the collision-speed is reduced. In order to minimise the risk related to this scenario, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is provided as standard in the Transporter. Another option is ‘Light Assist’ that performs automatic, camera-controlled switching on and off of the main beam. The ‘Driver Alert System’, which is standard in vehicles with a multifunction display, recognises any deviations from normal driving behaviour and recommends the driver takes a break. During the journey the optionally available electronic voice enhancement helps drivers to keep their eyes focussed on what is happening on the road. Without any turning of the head, the driver’s voice can be automatically amplified and played back to the passengers over the radio system’s loudspeakers. For all vehicles with 4MOTION, Hill Descent Assist is available as an option. By targeted application of the brakes to individual wheels, which the driver is not able to do singularly using the foot brake, and by cutting the engine speed, it ensures a safe, controlled hill descent. During towing operation, electronic trailer stabilisation also utilises the components of the electronic stability control system and thus contributes significantly to safety while driving. A feature recommended in particular for cold, snowy regions is the new heated windscreen that ensures a clear view.

Infotainment: for safety while driving, all devices are fitted with a Bluetooth hands-free system. In the case of the 6.33-inch screen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is for the first time using a display that works by means of proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front-seat passenger moves their hand close to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode. The displays also have a function that lets users use wiping motions to scroll through lists or browse CD covers of their own media library that could be stored on an SD card, for example. Depending on the range of features, there is also the ‘Comfort’ mobile phone interface. It provides an inductive link to the vehicle’s mobile phone antenna, an auxiliary USB port and an ergonomic storage compartment for the mobile phone. Over recent years, use of the internet on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs has grown significantly. This resulted in growing demand for instant information everywhere. Following this trend, the ‘Discover Media’ and ‘Discover Media Plus’ navigation systems are equipped with Car-Net’s Guide & Inform services.

Generation SIX: exclusively at market launch, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is offering the ‘Generation SIX’ special edition. It is based on the Multivan Comfortline and is enriched by a number of exclusive features that upgrade it significantly. Tinted windows, LED headlights and rear lights, fog lights with cornering light and the chrome package are, for instance, all included as standard. Also exclusively available as options are a total of four two-tone paintwork finishes with colour-coordinated decorative elements on the dash panel, plus 18-inch retro-design ‘Disc’ alloy wheels in two different colour patterns. The special edition is extremely comprehensively equipped with electronic aids. ParkPilot front and rear, Side Assist with electric folding mirrors, cruise control and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) are included as standard. Also standard is the Composition Media radio system. In the vehicle’s interior, Alcantara seats in an independent two-tone design, contrasting stitching for the leather trim of the multifunction steering wheel and gear lever, plus fabric floor mats with contrasting edging are a feast for the eye. Meanwhile, heated seats and the Climatronic system ensure comfortable temperatures.

Prices: Customers will be able to order sixth generation T series vehicles within the next few days. Prices will be on a par with the previous model or slightly lower. For a few models, the prices are even considerably below those for the comparable prior versions. The price list for the Transporter, for instance, starts at ¤23,035 (plus value added tax for the 62-kW TDI/ Euro5), while entry into the world of the Multivan begins at ¤29,952 for the Multivan Conceptline with 62-kW TDI (incl. value added tax, Euro6). The previous Startline entry-level model is replaced by the upgraded Trendline trim level at a price of ¤34,301 (gross).

Back in the Day – Jan. 28, 1970: We travelled the Americas in Volkswagen camper


Although long out of print, "Pan American Highway Guide" by Ringwood resident Ernst Jahn can still be bought online for about $15. Ernst wrote the book after he and his wife Edith took a 28,000-mile trip through Central and South America in a Volkswagen camper.


Although long out of print, “Pan American Highway Guide” by Ringwood resident Ernst Jahn can still be bought online for about $15. Ernst wrote the book after he and his wife Edith took a 28,000-mile trip through Central and South America in a Volkswagen camper.


In December 1965, Ernst decided that he would give up the world of engineering to become a traveler. He made plans for a unique journey, purchased a Volkswagen camper, and was on his way to adventure. Ernst and Edith took a seven-month tour along the Pan-American Highway and among other things became the first North American tourists in a decade to drive overland all the way from the United States to Brazil, according to the source article.

The Jahns had visited 21 countries and traveled 27,888 miles in their Volkswagen camper by the end of their odyssey. Ernst used their experiences to author a reference book titled “Pan American Highway Guide,” which was accepted among travel experts as one of the most concise and complete guides to Central and South America, according to the source article. (This book is still available on Amazon for $15.)

Despite the length of their journey, it reportedly wasn’t all that expensive. Ernst told of some of the costs in this excerpt from one of his accounts of the trip: “Our budget was based on a three months’ trip. After the third month however, we had only reached Lima, halfway on the planned route, with more than half of our budget money left. So we continued for another four months. The cost was as little as $.08 a gallon for gasoline in Venezuela and an average of $1.35 a day for two for food bought at native markets.”

The journey’s total car repair and service bill, excluding tire service, was $187 (about $1,300 in today’s money). The Jahns also spent a total of $507 (about $3,500 in today’s money) on gasoline for the trip, according to the source article.

“My personal gourmet chef was with me (that is my wife Edith), who learned to prepare many delicious specialties from natives. Our frequent filet mignon suppers in Chile, Argentina and Brazil kept our daily food expenses to that daily average,” said Ernst.

Edith, besides being cook and confidant, was the model for many photos he took while on the trip. Photos of her were published in several South American magazines, according to the source article.

She also encountered several male admirers on the trip, as told in the book: “One time we parked opposite a college in Ibague, Colombia and while I was taking pictures nearby, 60-70 students swarmed around the VW, some offering their autographed pictures to Edith. I had a hard time getting back to the car and even then they completely ignored me as her husband.”

The best part of their trip?

“While following part of the 3,000-miles-long Inca Road (a section of which is part of the Pan-American Highway system), extending from Quito, Ecuador to Tucuman, Argentina, we came to the highlight of the whole trip: the visit to the ruins of the ancient Inca Empire of Machu Picchu near the South American archaeological capital and sacred city of Cuzco, Peru.

“Here on the steep slopes of a mountain, surrounded by the roaring Urubamba river, deeply hidden in tropical jungle, the Incas artfully carved and ingeniously fitted together massive stones without the aid of mortar to form temples, palaces, observatories, agricultural terraces, dwellings, tombs and 3,000 stone steps.”


“In Guzco, poncho-clad Indians lead their Llama herds over narrow cobblestone streets and hold their open market in the city squares. A shish kabob of llama meat bought on one of those markets caused Edith to get a bad allergy. Days later in a desolate Lake Titicaca region her allergy accompanied by spells of high fever turned worse. No pharmacy… no doctor… In a small village natives informed us of a first-aid station where an old Indian gave her a chlorine shot that fortunately helped,” he said.

“People everywhere were quite friendly and surprised to see a foreign car equipped with bed, kitchen, and refrigerator, not to mention the running water,” said Ernst. “Many times we were surrounded during the lunch stops or in the evenings and had to demonstrate our mobile home.

“In the equator village of San Antonio, near the impressive equator monument, a proud father of 20 children asked us whether we were married. When he learned that we recently celebrated our second anniversary and had no children yet, he cheerfully comforted Edith: ‘Don’t give up hope.’

“In Santiago, Chile we witnessed the greatest tragedy of the trip, the March 28 earthquake. We sat in our car, parked on the beach near Valparaiso, 15 feet from the thundering South Pacific, when the 85 seconds tremor shook our car and displaced everything inside.

“We were panic-stricken when we realized what had happened and thought of the enormous tidal wave that followed the 1960 earthquake in southern Chile, flooding thousands of acres of land and causing great loss of life.

“We quickly tried to back up to higher land but the sand was soft and the wheels spun in. Panicky but helpful beachgoers noticed our calamity and helped to pull us out.

“Fortunately there was no tidal wave. The loss of homes and lives in the villages was extensive and the small mining town of El Cobre with 450 inhabitants was completely flooded by thousands of tons of copper-mud sludge after the tremor broke a dam – a shocking sight.”

Ernst and his wife’s next planned adventure was a visit to the Caribbean.