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What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege?
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termuehlen Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

Apparently, the number one rule about car camping says you do not need a Westfalia.

https://www.theoutbound.com/bergeboy/the-rise-of-c...09-28-2016
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

no, you don't. but it sure is a convenient package.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

You don't need a stove or refrigerator, but it's nice to have a poptop and stand up to put your pants on in the morning.

Aloha
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

The article IS CORRECT, you know this .... Right?

Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

IMO the hype on the westfalias is bigger than their useability.
The first vanlifers 10 years ago choose them because they were cheap and readily equipped. Since that "vanlife" is a trend. Now westfalias are fancy and expensive so there are a lot of other/better candidates to start with.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

ZsZ wrote:
Now westfalias are fancy and expensive so there are a lot of other/better candidates to start with.


Like? I bought mine in December and am currently ~12k all in with a functional fridge, gas-fired heater, solar, and various mechanicals updated. I'm honestly curious, because to meet my needs of a space to sleep 4, cook in, with a fridge, with small form factor/clearance to access most of the places I camp, there is nothing in that price range. I could have perhaps built out something more modern, but unless I value my time at zero, economically I'd come out behind.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

owokie wrote:
ZsZ wrote:
Now westfalias are fancy and expensive so there are a lot of other/better candidates to start with.


Like?


I bought an old cabover for a truck I already owned. I'm now about $2k in with a new roof for it and some minor repairs to the truck to make it all dependable.

4x4, heat, toilet...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

termuehlen wrote:
Apparently, the number one rule about car camping says you do not need a Westfalia.


Truth is, you don't. However, I do.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

you don't need a Westfalia at all

many people get by just fine with a Weekender


and there are a few who are stuck with tin-tops - they are easy to spot if you just look for bumps and bruises on their heads
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

Yep, don't need one. Most all of my friends love my van... until we have a discussion about the cost of ownership. For most people, it's not even the platform I'd suggest to look at first. As we all know, they can be expensive and temperamental classics. A lot of folks simply can't deal. Every year there are a couple of folks on here and VOG who just get fed up and sell their rigs. Yeah, there are new members coming along too, but my point is Vanagons often get culturally idealized. If the goal is to travel and get out to hike, bike, explore, etc. then a Vanagon is certainly not needed. Lots of other capable and less expensive platforms exist. They just aren't as cool.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

Regarding the linked article: numerous spelling and grammar errors hurt its credibility. Then there's the "hang your food in the air" paragraph. That practice is no longer recommended in any backcountry setting I've been to in the past five years. True, you don't need a camper, but this article has a lot of other problems.

Regarding vans in general: it helps to narrow your population down to those who want a single vehicle (not a trailer) where you can travel from driver seat to living space (not a truck bed camper) and have all of your amenities neatly arrayed in an ergonomic, convenient way (Vanagon Westfalia, Eurovan Winnebago/Westfalia, Joker, Sportsman, Sprinter conversion, or other similar vehicle). My experience thus far is the used VW products are still the least expensive way to go, but you do need to be proficient at supporting your vehicle on your own.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

Of course you don't. I used to camp in my 1982 Nissa Sentra wagon. Fold down the back seats and there was plenty of space.

Doesn't change my mind that a Westy is the most practical camper I've yet found.

owokie wrote:
ZsZ wrote:
Now westfalias are fancy and expensive so there are a lot of other/better candidates to start with.


Like? I bought mine in December and am currently ~12k all in with a functional fridge, gas-fired heater, solar, and various mechanicals updated.

My experience too. When I look at alternatives, everything else is way more money and/or requires building the camper interior, too big, or just impractical in some other way.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

i have had a few friends ask me about buying a vw camper this year. they all know we've spent a ton of time and money on our vans and want us to walk them through buying one. i always tell them that if they want a vw cause they love vws and nothing else will do, i'm happy to help. but if they don't REALLY want a vw specifically, get something else. ZsZ is right, vw campers used to be cheap and plentiful, which is why young people could afford to adventure in them and create the mythos surrounding them. but my 40-50 year old, three kids-having, corporate job-slaving, soccer pickup-doing peers never would have thought about this before. they would have bought an 8 man coleman tent and a blowup mattress or two and camped the same amount they ever would in a westfalia. and honestly, although my wife and i told ourselves we would camp more if we invested all this money into our hightop, after years of running cheap vans, we still have the same difficulty getting out there with this big deluxe van. people want a cool retail solution, something they can buy that they think will help them lead the lives they think they want. so maybe they get a westy and then the maintenance becomes one more thing keeping them from going camping.

i dunno. i still love em.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

Of course you don't "need" a Westy, most weenies couldn't handle a Westy, but they all want one. Wink


Camping should contain a little adventure, and driving a 30+ year old vehical, (that I made work correctly again) 400 or so miles to stay someplace cool always does it for me.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

wasserbox wrote:
owokie wrote:
ZsZ wrote:
Now westfalias are fancy and expensive so there are a lot of other/better candidates to start with.


Like?


I bought an old cabover for a truck I already owned. I'm now about $2k in with a new roof for it and some minor repairs to the truck to make it all dependable.

4x4, heat, toilet...


I could easily modify a used, cheaply acquired 90ís American Van to be a far superior camping vehicle to the Vw Westfalia for $500 - $1,000.
It isn't rocket science but you lose the Vanagon Brotherhood and Vibe.
No one cares about a 90's Ford or Dodge!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

A westfalia is hardly a car camper, rather it is rv camper. the article has agood point. the westfalia isright up there with the winnibagos and airstreams a rv camper, admitidly small but a rv none the less...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
wasserbox wrote:
owokie wrote:
ZsZ wrote:
Now westfalias are fancy and expensive so there are a lot of other/better candidates to start with.


Like?


I bought an old cabover for a truck I already owned. I'm now about $2k in with a new roof for it and some minor repairs to the truck to make it all dependable.

4x4, heat, toilet...


I could easily modify a used, cheaply acquired 90ís American Van to be a far superior camping vehicle to the Vw Westfalia for $500 - $1,000.
It isn't rocket science but you lose the Vanagon Brotherhood and Vibe.
No one cares about a 90's Ford or Dodge!

Dave


1. 90s van: Again, I need to sleep AND seat 4, doable but not easy in a van. The fact that people aren't gobbling up astros/safaris for $2k, spending "$500" and then flipping them at a fat profit is a testament to the amount of time it would take to make a truly "far superior" vehicle.

2. Truck with cabover: Not a fair comparison for a truck you "already own". Add 5k to your 2k, identical to the total I paid for my van. Less space for four and my wife does the walkthrough thing at least two dozen times daily.

This thread is evolving (devolving?) into the already existing one about westy replacements. "You better lock it up!" "No, you lock it up!"
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

We have toyed with ideas of other platforms to make another vehicle compare to a Westfalia. Sprinters have had my eye but they just don't have the cool factor. I had a friend who had nothing but problems with his Sprinter. So we all need to remember they are just machines.

Now that I have refurbished and replaced almost all systems on my van, it has been very reliable. No issues at all. Is it fast down the highway, fast enough for when I am in no hurry to get anywhere. We can stop and camp comfortably just about anywhere we find a place to park. Along the road, out in the backcountry, just about anywhere we point the Syncro we can park and camp in solitude.

Can you find another vehicle that will have the same comforts as a VW Westfalia? Yes, but why reinvent the wheel?

We love our van!

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

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
We have toyed with ideas of other platforms to make another vehicle compare to a Westfalia. Sprinters have had my eye but they just don't have the cool factor. I had a friend who had nothing but problems with his Sprinter. So we all need to remember they are just machines.

Now that I have refurbished and replaced almost all systems on my van, it has been very reliable. No issues at all. Is it fast down the highway, fast enough for when I am in no hurry to get anywhere. We can stop and camp comfortably just about anywhere we find a place to park. Along the road, out in the backcountry, just about anywhere we point the Syncro we can park and camp in solitude.

Can you find another vehicle that will have the same comforts as a VW Westfalia? Yes, but why reinvent the wheel?

We love our van!

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


And thats what its all about right there. Put an astro in that pic and all of the sudden the view just got, well, fugly
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: What? You do not need a Westfalia? Sacrilege? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
I could easily modify a used, cheaply acquired 90ís American Van to be a far superior camping vehicle to the Vw Westfalia for $500 - $1,000.
Dave


Seriously!? I believe that either you dropped a zero on each of the above figures, or you have never seen a T3 Westfalia.
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