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Newbie with Questions- Weekender Vrs. Westy
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onemat
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Newbie with Questions- Weekender Vrs. Westy Reply with quote

OK, I'm a newbie with zero owner experience. I plan to purchase a Vanagon in Spring, in the April or May time frame. I know I want a water cooled, 4 speed. I plan to travel and camp, but also use it to haul my drums for weekend gigs. What I don't know is whether I want a Westy or not. Do they leak? Can they fit height-wise in a standard garage? There's just two of us, to the upper bunk isn't a necessity, but something tells me there are more Westys out there than Weekenders. Please give me pros and cons or a some compairison info. to help me nail down what I will buy.
Thanks much,
Matt
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Matt.

This topic has been beaten to death, use the search for many opinions. Which one is better is a personal decision. Everyone's usage is different. The wife and I don't like to cook or wash dishes inside the Van, nor would we use the upper bunk, so a tintop has been fine for us. Although the Weekender would be my preference since the poptop would allow me to stand up. What I wouldn't like is the rear cabinet cutting into the sleeping area.

If you don't have a preference, it may boil down to what you find available and what shape it's in. There's no bad choice here. Good luck with your search.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie with Questions- Weekender Vrs. Westy Reply with quote

onemat wrote:
OK, I'm a newbie with zero owner experience. I plan to purchase a Vanagon in Spring, in the April or May time frame. I know I want a water cooled, 4 speed. I plan to travel and camp, but also use it to haul my drums for weekend gigs. What I don't know is whether I want a Westy or not. Do they leak? Can they fit height-wise in a standard garage? There's just two of us, to the upper bunk isn't a necessity, but something tells me there are more Westys out there than Weekenders. Please give me pros and cons or a some compairison info. to help me nail down what I will buy.
Thanks much,
Matt


They don't leak if the seals are replaced. If it has a skylight it may leak but easily repaired.

Westies come in many different heights now due to changes/upgrades with suspensions, tires/wheels, roof racks, etc. So the only way to answer is measure the one your interested in and compare to your garage clearance.

There are currently more full westies than weekenders. There are also westy and tin-top weekenders (usually carats).

It may boil down to the kitchen unit. Do you want that or not inside ? Pros are having the convenience of a range, sink and fridge. Cons include extra weight and operational issues. Many with weekenders prefer using a portable Coleman range and a ice chest or power thermo chest. Some remove the upper bunk for extra storage.

The westies allow stand up room inside as do the high-tops, the tin-tops allow for storage with cargo boxes and racks. Many have added racks on their pop-tops as well but may require stronger replacement shocks to open/close.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westy: Has cabinets and a kitchenette w/ pop-top.

Weekender: One cabinet, no kitchenette but fold-out table w/ pop-top.

More space in a Weekender for hauling stuff. If you don't care about the kitchenette, a Weekender would probably be better suited to your needs. I see them for sale all the time, so they aren't exactly hard to come by.

I was torn between the two as well, but I finally came to the conclusion that I wanted an all-encompassing camper... I wanted the kitchenette and I use every one of those appliances. I would've been disappointed with just the Weekender.

Go take a look at a few different ones... you'll get a better idea of which one you'd prefer.
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
Weekender: One cabinet, no kitchenette but fold-out table w/ pop-top.


The original westy weekenders of years 85-87 had a rear corner closet/shelves cabinet and a overhead rear cabinet. In addition to storage under the bench, also has storage under the jumpseat behind the driver's seat. Came with a dometic ac/dc cooler that sat behind the passenger seat with a lighter outlet on the inside seat base.

The later year multivans had the cabinetry and carats just the fold out table but usually neither the jump seat storage nor cooler.

These days many westy/weekenders have been reworked to owner preference.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie with Questions- Weekender Vrs. Westy Reply with quote

onemat wrote:
...Can they fit height-wise in a standard garage?


As noted, their height varies as does the height of 'standard' garages -- even the slope of the driveway can affect the height requirement.

Carefully measure your garage door opening height, some doors can be adjusted to open a bit more if an extra inch will do it.

When you measure a prospective van know that the skylight (if it has one) is likely the highest point.

Ballpark is that you need about 7' of clearance.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: westy or not Reply with quote

we have found a wolfsberg to work very nicely,rear seat folds to gueen size bed,center jump seats are removable,just camp where h2o and electric are available and improvise on cooking and coffee and heat if needed!! and wlii fit in garage,6'2" tall!
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r39o
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Careful here. The terms, camper and weekender take on different specs depending on year. Plus those are not the only models. Examp[e: Some Weekenders have a pop top and some not depending on the model year. It is not exactly straight forward. Somewhere, and I forget where, the model names and features are listed.
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onemat
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Guys
Thanks for all the answers. I have been searching the forum a lot and reading random posts and have gained a lot of info. Someone said to go look at a few which makes a lot of sense. I didn't want to kick a lot of tires until I scraped my cash together. Thanks again for answering my questions.
Matt
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onemat
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I've got another question. I know they'll be a lot of laughter about this but I'm gonna ask anyway. What is the weight capacity of the upper bunk in a Westy? I am 280 lbs, my wife maybe 130 lbs. I'd hate to go Westy only to find we couldn't use the upper bunk cause we are big people. Rolling Eyes
Thanks,

Matt
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

onemat wrote:
OK, I've got another question. I know they'll be a lot of laughter about this but I'm gonna ask anyway. What is the weight capacity of the upper bunk in a Westy? I am 280 lbs, my wife maybe 130 lbs. I'd hate to go Westy only to find we couldn't use the upper bunk cause we are big people. Rolling Eyes
Thanks,

Matt


Good question about the bunk capacity. I'm not sure but I know it didn't even flex the one time I slept up there (180 lbs). But that's just the thing - I slept up there ONCE and it was just to try it out. The lower bunk is more comfy and MUCH easier to get into, albeit a bit more narrow. We use the upper bunk as a place to store our clothing etc once we're in camp and I'd bet that's the case with many others.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

onemat wrote:
What is the weight capacity of the upper bunk in a Westy? I am 280 lbs, my wife maybe 130 lbs. I'd hate to go Westy only to find we couldn't use the upper bunk cause we are big people. Rolling Eyes
Thanks,

Matt


The upper bed is made out of 3/4" plywood, if I recall correctly. According to some armchair experts on the Web, a 2x4 piece of 3/4" can withstand 800-1500 pounds.

In this link http://www.westfalia.org/community/archive/index.php?t-619.html someone said s/he had 400 pounds up there, no problem.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
Somewhere, and I forget where, the model names and features are listed.

maybe it was HERE?

Cool


Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got approximately 6'4" to the top of my '86 Westy Weekender poptop (including skylight). Not to be confused with the tin-top Multivan. From what I have read, it's one of the tallest of the Westy's. It fits easily into my 7' garage door opening. My wife and I camp frequently. We've owned a Ford Econoline camper van with full cooker and refrigerator setup but found we never used them, preferring to cook outdoors. When we sought out a Westfalia we wanted the weekender since we wanted the extra space without hassle of the added kitchenette. Besides... Your van always smells of your cooking.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Onemat,

I live in Columbia, TN. If you want to take a look at my weekender just let me know.

PM if you are interested.

Chris
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1971BugGuy wrote:
I've got approximately 6'4" to the top of my '86 Westy Weekender poptop (including skylight)... one of the tallest of the Westy's...


Huh? That surely isn't right. My Westy w/ stock 14" rims is 6' to the rain gutters -- has abouot 10" +/- above that.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
1971BugGuy wrote:
I've got approximately 6'4" to the top of my '86 Westy Weekender poptop (including skylight)... one of the tallest of the Westy's...


Huh? That surely isn't right. My Westy w/ stock 14" rims is 6' to the rain gutters -- has abouot 10" +/- above that.


I have recently measured it since I was purchasing a portable garage for winter storage and I wanted one that would have a tall enough door to pull it in and out. The shelter I settled on had an opening of 6'6" and the van narrowly squeezed through.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there you have it -- must be a difference in ride height &/or wheels as mine would never clear a 6'6" overhead.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

There is a model with 8 ft. door opening, but it costs more than double. It does, however, shed snow from the roof without raking it off with a broom. I have one of each. If you can fit your van into the $300 tent, use it.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1971BugGuy wrote:
Your van always smells of your cooking.


Broad generalization... my van smells of old vinyl, rubber mats and cleaning products. It has not once smelled of cooking. Cool

Ahwahnee wrote:
1971BugGuy wrote:
I've got approximately 6'4" to the top of my '86 Westy Weekender poptop (including skylight)... one of the tallest of the Westy's...


Huh? That surely isn't right. My Westy w/ stock 14" rims is 6' to the rain gutters -- has abouot 10" +/- above that.


For comparison: My '90 full-camper with 15" wheels/tires, original springs + Bilstein shocks is 80" (give or take a fraction) to the skylight; my garage door is 7' (84").
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