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Weekender versus Camper
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we bought our '86 Westy Weekender (Basic Camper) we spent the extra money to buy a 10' awning because we knew we would be camping out in all kinds of weather. We use a 3-burner Coleman stove, but I also have a 1 burner Coleman propane stove that is really easy to use and is all we need for hot water for coffee and hot cereal. We like cooking at a camp table when they are available in campgrounds. It's being outside that is our priority.

From reading many posts about rust, it appears that the full campers have more issues with rust that the weekenders. The moisture from the inside kitchen as well as the leaking seals from the hookup ports seem to be the problems.
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Jteerlink
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a friend in the 'hood is currently selling his 01' full Westy camper due to lack of interior people space. He has borrowed my weekender during short camp trips and prefers the setup. I cant recall that I have ever been on a trip where I felt hindered by the weekender configuration and wished I had a full camper setup. I think the lack of fridge, stove and extra cabinet space has encourages us to pack more efficiently. A bit of extra space around the table and in the lower bed is a definite plus!
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My full Westy is now in a modified "Weekender" format. Pulled the kitchen 2 yrs ago.. and its has been out ever since.

Am currently building a shorter water cabinet so my middle bench seat can slide ALL the way in. 3 point belts all around.

Developing the modular approach.

No one format seems to work for all occasions... but its nice being able to haul 5 kids for Little League.. then pull the bench out for camping or material hauling.


Looking for quick disconnects to make the kitchen cabinet into a "portable" unit. Something that can be pulled and/or installed in 10 minutes or so. Still down the road on that one.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug White wrote:
I've had several campers and currently have a 91 Multivan. It does have the factory rear cabinet. I've come to prefer the Multivan over the camper, though all that cabinetry in the camper does offer a range of essential rodent habitat.


I almost spit out my coffee on that one. I'll edit my post post above regarding the cabinet
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Doug White
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had several campers and currently have a 91 Multivan. It does have the factory rear cabinet. I've come to prefer the Multivan over the camper, though all that cabinetry in the camper does offer a range of essential rodent habitat.
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snowsyncro
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanagonjr wrote:


Then there is the Multi-Van; pop-top, sofa bed, flip-out table, two rear facing removable jump seats. No rear cabinet I believe. The multi-van are late models only. seats 7
Laughing


As you described, but my Multivan (1990) has some cabinets too. The 'wardrobe' cupboard from the seat back driver side, but in the Multivan case it is not a wardrobe. It has a more convenient side door, and shelves inside. The full camper style door would be blocked by the full-width seat. It also has the full width ceiling cupboard ( the one with the speakers) over the back seat.

RonC
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shepherdsond
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As CJ says I expect most of us are biased to what we have and I have never owned a true weekender. Having said that when I purchased my syncro it was a tin top 7 pass (with fold out bed) which I slowly converted to Westy interior and then hightop. One thing I can say about the tin top (whatever the interior) is that when you get to be a little more experienced (OK older) the bending over entailed in living in a tin top rather than pop top (and even better, high top) gets tiresome.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to keep in mind here is the different ideas, or versions, of a "Weekender". The official Weekender, (AS best as I can tell) was a hard top van with rear sofa bed, flip-out table and curtains. Same as Eurovan MV Weekender

However many people, including myself, refer the Westfalia basic camper as a "Weekender". This model has the pop-top, flip out table, rear facing seat behind the driver with storage underneath, rear cabinet and an overhead cabinet. Also has screens and curtains. The rear seat is full width, so this van seats 6. Makes a bed with a bit more shoulder room as is it wider in front of the rear cabinet - I love that extra space. I call mine a Westfalia Weekender. These are mid-80's only.

Then there is the Multi-Van; pop-top, sofa bed, flip-out table, two rear facing removable jump seats. (edit) has the same rear cabinet as the Westfalia Weekender. The multi-van are late models only. seats 7

None of these have swivel front seats.

I have had both a Full Westy and currently a Westfalia Weekender. As I have said in another thread, it depends on how, and where, you camp and the size of your family. For 2 people always on the move, the full Westy is really nice. Camping with other people in one spot and tend to cook together outside - then the inside kitchen does not get used often. Have 2 or 3 kids? The Weekender wins. Travel with friends and the kids want to ride together? The Weekender wins here as well. Tend to cook lunch while on the road, or need to heat up baby formula - then the Full Westy wins. The weekender table is easer for 3 to eat at, and with a camp chair, 4 can eat together when needed

I think you cannot go wrong with any model, really. Hard tops make nice campers as well - and without any rear cabinet, the rear bed is huge. Easy to fit roof racks and shorter height makes it easier to load boats or bikes up top. Add a roof top storage box and you can keep the inside of the van more clear, The big bed is great for larger folks, those who want to spread out, or with young one's (or dogs) sharing the bed.

I'm sometimes surprised at singles focused on getting a full Westy when on a strict budget. A hard-top is more than enough for 1, or 2 people, but certainly if you can get a pop-top, you won't regret it. I met a family of 5 and a large dog doing an extended trip out of a hard-top with side awning! 2 would sleep outside under the awning. Heck, maybe this is why, at times, I have felt somewhat foolish or odd, when I camp in the van alone when I know I could get by quite well with my backpacker tent.

Remember if you can't get the van you love, love the one your with. Man, I should write that into a song Laughing
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LiMBO (late model bus club) www.limbobus.org
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FAQ thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=525798


Last edited by vanagonjr on Wed May 16, 2012 3:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a similar thread:

Full blown Westy or Weekender?
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=138670

While a few folks here have had the good fortune to own both, I bet that the bias of the one model you actually have will shine through here and you will not get a very objective answer.

-CJ
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the full camper because everything is in it's place and ready to go except for food, water and clothes. our westy has complete sets of towels, dishes, cookware, etc. and it stays packed. the kitchen is very convenient. my sons each have large camper/trailers. without exception all 5 grandchildren are in my camper, all the time. door open, awning out people sitting under our awning, kids playing in the van. upstairs, behind the seat, playing restaraunt at the sink.... makes not much sense, but it's true. two kids and two adults travel comfortably in westy, but it's true weekender has more room for non camping.

there is a long thread about this here somewhere.

(eek. volvo/vanagon)
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The weekender suits my needs better than the westy.

are you thinking to get a Eurovan or Vanagon?
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shepherdsond
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
rsxsr wrote:
2 people, the full camper for sure. 4 people, the weekender sounds like a better option...

X 3 for the reasons mentioned and because we like to camp in the winter snow and in the wet (PNW). Being self contained does not mean that you don't go outside, just that you have the choice. For me the Westy (or hightop Westy conversion in my case) gives you so many more options for camping comfortably in any weather in the widest variety of places (including trailheads and even parking lots if neccesary). You can't beat the convenience and you can't beat coffee in bed!
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
2 people, the full camper for sure. 4 people, the weekender sounds like a better option.

x2!
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LiMBO (late model bus club) www.limbobus.org
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
2 people, the full camper for sure. 4 people, the weekender sounds like a better option...


I agree. For just to 2 of us it is sure nice to start the coffee before getting out of bed and to be totally self contained in cold or wet weather... but the OP has a 1-year old (soon to be a 2-yo & will be a 10 yo before you know it) more space and more outdoor living may be the practical choice.
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berkeleyjack
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buildyourown wrote:
If you are going to always cook and live outside, you might as well be camping with a truck.


Well, most trucks don't have fold-out beds in them! Smile

It is all about personal preference and what you already have.
Since I have a bunch of camping gear from tent camping, a Weekender + awning makes a great indoor/outdoor space for me. But for people who don't have that gear, it is nice to have the additional space and cooking accessories you get with a Westfalia pop-top.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 people, the full camper for sure. 4 people, the weekender sounds like a better option. The two of us with our our 90 pound dog are cramped enough in a full camper. My wife loves the kitchen of our Vanagon though.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnsmiley wrote:
thanks for the replies...I just talked to a VW dealer that said many people come in looking for the full camper, but leave with the weekender after they give it some thought...

Can you now buy these new at the dealer?

Or are they used like the one you are referring to?


I own both. I have a full camper and a pop top mulitvan (weekender.)

From a family stand point, it is the tables and beds that do it for us.

Reefer / cooler high on the list, too.

Cooking not really.

A JetBoil works good enough or a single burner something, too.

We take the Multivan out a lot.

It goes to the beach well and shopping also.

Scouting events for me are a lot easier with the van.

The full camper is nice, but I can put more stuff in the Multivan.

We tend not to need to take the kitchen sink along everywhere we go.

I think the answer is clear.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes miss the ability to carry more passengers but if you want to camp when the weather is not so nice, then the full camper is pretty sweet. Waking up and making breakfast with the furnace on while it's 40 deg and raining out is pretty sweet. If you are going to always cook and live outside, you might as well be camping with a truck.
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berkeleyjack
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any experience with Westies/Poptops, but I like my hardtop Weekender for all the reasons that have been listed so far.

When I camp I prefer to do as much as possible outdoor and over the fire pit, and because I do a lot of DIY homemaking stuff I really appreciate being able to haul full-size sheets of plywood and full-length boards and pipes so that I can cut them to fit when I get back home instead of having to cut them at the hardware store.

I think the absolute best van for you would be a pop-top with a weekender interior. That way you'd have all the benefits of the Weekender, but also have the pop-top to store gear or for the kiddo to sleep in once she's old enough. Unfortunately pop-top Weekenders can be hard to come by. Sad
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johnsmiley
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the replies...I just talked to a VW dealer that said many people come in looking for the full camper, but leave with the weekender after they give it some thought...
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