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Buy a Bay Window or Vanagon for a family camper?
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spiritwarrior
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:28 am    Post subject: Buy a Bay Window or Vanagon for a family camper? Reply with quote

Looking to buy a low mileage bay window or vanagon configured as a camper. I have some experience with the 2000 cc FI engine as I used to own a Square Back wagon. Also owned early model VW bugs and Karmann Khias so I don't want to fool with the 1600-1800CC air cooled, something was always wrong with them. If you were getting something for a family of five would you go with the Bay window or Vanagon. I believe in case of a bay window the 78's and up were hydraulic value lifters. Looking to pay about 10K for something that is not a rust bucket and the mechanical are in good shape. Thanks. Looked at new recreational vehicle prices and even if I pay more than 10K it will be a bargain.
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pioneer1
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waterboxer Vanagon will give your family reliable heat on those frosty Korean outings. Warm wife/happy life.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on if you like to work on your bus on the side of the road occasionally. You didn't like the earlier air cooled so I don't think you will appreciate the idiosyncrasies of a later air cooled bus. What about a Eurovan for hauling Those kids? Or for real dependability, a newer minivan. Then get an old bus to play with. I had a Astrovan and we always got there with the kids. Can't say the same about my old 73 transporter.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:00 am    Post subject: Re: Buy a Bay Window or Vanagon for a family camper? Reply with quote

spiritwarrior wrote:
Looking to buy a low mileage bay window or vanagon configured as a camper.


There are probably two low mileage Bay Window buses left in the world and a few hundred low mileage Vanagons. Either way it is going to be a quite a search to find a good one.
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Busdriver79
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever vehicle you choose, get the best one you can find...that means the most comlpete vehicle with all pieces and parts that were issued by the factory....stay away from "fixer uppers"....a bit of TLC is much better than a project vehicle....Pioneer1 said that a Waterboxer Vanagon would give reliable heat and that would be my choice....but you are the guy looking and spending....good luck with whatever you choose. Very Happy
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420GOAT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aircooled is fun and very reliable but slow.
water cooled is practical and safer but not fun or cool just driving....sorry Vanagon dudes...your shit aint cool. i dont care what you do...its still a Vanagon!!
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morymob
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your comments, usually ignored, by the way own'em sincr '92 and don't plan to stop.
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420GOAT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats cool, only ones that ignore me are those that live in a bubble....but yeah Vanagons are still not "cool" i didnt say i dont like them, but they are not cool. this op was wanting opinions and ive had both so i can say i know what im talking about, unless you did not know there are VW "classes".
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as the Vanagons (and even Eurovans/T4s) go, this question could be broken down further into: Full-camper or pop-top "Weekender"/Multivan? The Multivans have more seating, but lack the kitchenette; they're better suited for large families. You can, of course, add a removable seat to a full-camper, or luck out and find one with the middle seat already installed:

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


vs. Weekender/Multivan:

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

(1985 shown; later Multivans seat 7 with 2 rear-facing seats)

The rear bench seat in a Vanagon full-camper is, technically, for two passengers. You can fit three on that seat, and even add a seat belt, but as the kids grow they will not want to all be stuffed onto that seat for road trips.

This may help too: http://www.gowesty.com/library_article.php?id=54 .

420GOAT wrote:
water cooled is practical and safer but not fun or cool just driving....sorry Vanagon dudes...your shit aint cool. i dont care what you do...its still a Vanagon!!


It's still a Type 2... Twisted Evil and we get all sorts of attention where ever we go. Not cool to you, but certainly cool to others. Additionally, the OP may very well not give a rat's behind about the so-called "cool factor"; s/he just wants a family camper.

I love all VW Buses... but I love my Vanagon Westy the most. Blue Vanagon
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mranker
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

420GOAT wrote:
aircooled is fun and very reliable but slow.
water cooled is practical and safer but not fun or cool just driving....sorry Vanagon dudes...your shit aint cool. i dont care what you do...its still a Vanagon!!


Ha! Ha! Very Happy Like it or not Goat is the most quotable guy on the Samba. I've owned a 89 Vanagon Weekender and I currently own a '70 bay. Vanagon: Way more like a modern car. Not as cool but getting cooler as modern cars get lamer and lamer. The downside is if your watercooled Vanagon breaks down you're calling AAA (and it's going to cost you many dollars to fix). Bay: it takes a certain kind of person and family. If your family is adventurous and you like to bring tools on vacation and you like exchanging stories about your car with complete strangers its the only car for you.
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nodrenim
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had both, give me a bay any day.
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420GOAT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mranker"]
420GOAT wrote:
aircooled is fun and very reliable but slow.
water cooled is practical and safer but not fun or cool just driving....sorry Vanagon dudes...your shit aint cool. i dont care what you do...its still a Vanagon!!


Ha! Ha! Very Happy Like it or not Goat is the most quotable guy on the Samba. I've owned a 89 Vanagon Weekender and I currently own a '70 bay. Vanagon: Way more like a modern car. Not as cool but getting cooler as modern cars get lamer and lamer. The downside is if your watercooled Vanagon breaks down you're calling AAA (and it's going to cost you many dollars to fix). Bay: it takes a certain kind of person and family. If your family is adventurous and you like to bring tools on vacation and you like exchanging stories about your car with complete strangers its the only car for you.[/quote



WHATS up MrRanker? only Vanagon Dokas are sweet, and panel Synchros, and westys are cool too. but "vintage cool" no. im even thinking about getting a Vanagon sunroof...cool? no, cool for driving"?? yes!!
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nodrenim wrote:
I've had both, give me a bay any day.


If the Bay would just do better in the wind and had more suitable heat it would be my first choice at all times, but alas it does not.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

420GOAT wrote:
panel Synchros


No H!

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Syncro ≠ synchro Wink
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reluctantartist
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can always go with an air-cooled early vanagon (80-83). I have been using mine for the past 6 years to haul everything from sheep across several states to the family on camping trips. It is as dependable as our newer cars and you can get a lot better condition than a bay or wbxr vanagon for the same price. My heat works well, 74+ inside at 13 degrees outside. In city driving it is even warmer in winter. Plus you get the simplicity of the AC engine. I like bays but the prices have gotten too high for me. I don't like rusty projects which makes it even pricier to find one.
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BUSBOSS
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you are leaning towards the modern route and have some bundles of cash available.

If so, I'd go with a VW California Van available in Europe:

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


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


I'm with Goat though. Vanagons and EuroVans are like fat chicks and mopeds. Fun to ride until your friends see you! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love my vanagon. The carat mv is the most versatile vehicle I have ever owned. It has the power and convenience I always wanted in my bay and if I had it to do over again I would chose vanagon.

I picked bus first for the same reason everyone choses the bay, it's just cooler. A bay in it's natural state just isn't suitable for the modern world.
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CarlSpackler
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first bus was a '78 Westy. That was followed by a '66 Single Cab, an '85 Westy, a '99 EuroVan GLS, a '91 Weekender, and now a '71 Deluxe. Of the bunch the Weekender was hands down the best. Able to carry seven people, plenty of room to keep all my camping gear in the back cabinet and under the rear seat, and loads of room with the jump seats out. It did fine keeping up with traffic, was fun to drive, and other than a brake line blow-out, never gave me any problems (I sold it with 175k miles on it). It was easy to pull the passenger side jump seat out and strap a cooler in with the seat belt. I made a number of trips with that, and it worked for five as long as the three down stairs got along well. I would recommend putting a skybox on top and adding lifting shocks for the pop top. You'll have plenty of room for everyone, you just have to set up a kitchen outside.

I like the aircooleds (obviously), but the Vanagon is a better camping layout - especially with a Weekender. I did put a two person center seat in the '85, but it was a pain. I would never have sold the '91 except that I got remarried and now have four boys and it wouldn't fit six of us camping.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you wont get a thumbs up in a vanagon
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you like to tinker and tune and adjust and fix and monitor settings/temps/pressures?

or do you want to just get in and drive it and more or less not worry about it?

Personally if I was buying one to actually use all the time for long trips and vacations with the family - id get a Vanagon.

Busses are cool and a lot of us use them in the same way I described above - but it takes a lot of time and money to get a baywindow bus into that same state of tune.
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