The cool kids’ RV: Peace Vans taps into Northwest’s Westfalia camping cult

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I never thought I would camp, any more than Harley Sitner ever thought he would own an auto shop.

Appropriately, a peace symbol is the front emblem on a Westfalia van rented from Peace Vans. (Sy Bean/The Seattle Times)
Appropriately, a peace symbol is the front emblem on a Westfalia van rented from Peace Vans. (Sy Bean/The Seattle Times)

For years, Sitner’s own Westfalia Vanagon had taken him to a Seattle mechanic. But the business was about to close, and Sitner, a former Microsoftie and entrepreneur who logged years in the tech trenches in Bay Area and Seattle startups, saw an opportunity.

“They were literally closing their doors,” Sitner said. “I was like, ‘No, there’s a real business here.’ ”

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Is The New VW Microbus a Surf Van?

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The VW Budd-e. The van that nobody wanted.

The VW Budd-e. The van that nobody wanted.

Dammit Volkswagen.

When it was announced that the new VW Microbus-based van concept would be revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show, it should have been obvious that the van would be a piece of overwrought electronic gadgetry. But still, I held out a little hope that the company was finally bringing back a (relatively) affordable and efficient people/gear hauler, one that would be ideal for surf tripping.

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2016 VW California Camper Van New & Improved

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Long live the travelling van – VW unveils the 2016 California T6 Camper Van

Since its launch back in 1988 and to this day the Volkswagen California remains a unique offering by being the only factory-built camper van on the market, and has pretty much set the benchmark in the sector.

The adventure continues as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unveil the new 2016 VW California Camper Van boasting a new engine range with fuel efficiency improvements of up to 15 per cent; DSG and 4MOTION options with power outputs from 102PS to 204PS; new driver assistance features, adaptive suspension and new infotainment system; new safety systems including Driver Alert, Brake Assist and Automatic Post-Collision Braking; plus a new and improved interior layout and packaging.

Based on the recently revealed Transporter T6, the new California remains the only factory-built camper van on the market, and offers a host of improvements and new features for buyers who want the ultimate home from home. Continue reading »

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VW rolls out new California camper van

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Off on holiday – advance sales of the new California have begun

– In three equipment lines: Beach, Coast and Ocean
– Entry-level prices from just €41,429.85
– New TDI and TSI engines – lower fuel consumption and stop/start function as standard
– Modern infotainment, assistance systems and DCC suspension

Hannover, 10 June 2015 – Advance sales of the new California have started at dealerships in Germany. Prices start at €41,429.85 (Beach with 62 kW TDI).

The California is now available in three equipment lines: Beach, Coast and Ocean. The California Beach is the entry-level model. It is the perfect combination of a 7-seat passenger car and a motorhome with up to five berths. Equipped as standard with a manual pop-up roof and two different layouts (double reclining bench seat with storage compartment or folding triple bench seat with multiflex board), it provides the ideal base for everyday life and travelling. Naturally, the integrated roller blinds enable the creation of privacy and shade, just as the ability to turn the front seats around enables driver and passengers to sit together in a cosy seating group. In combination with the removable camping table within the sliding door and the folding chairs in the tailgate, you are always equipped for outings of all kinds. Continue reading »

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Retro could make a cool comeback with the Volkswagen Camper

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VW Bulli concept (1)

Remember those VW vans which were used by movie villains of yore to roll in style with a Cuban in their hand? Those matchless characters would probably never have a parallel again, but their ride is making a comeback. Volkswagen is currently working to revive the very hippie and cool Camper van, however, this time it will be driven by an electric motor, batteries hiding under the floor. According to VW, the reason for doing that is to make the modern Camper resemble the original icon, and only an electric motor would allow a lower bonnet line, compared to a petrol engine. It will allow the A-pillar to be placed much further, taking the design that much closer to look like the original

VW Bulli concept (2)VW camper

In order to further resemble the iconic design, the modern Volkswagen Camper will need to share three design cues, found on the original. The front must have a very short overhang, wherein, the distance from the A-pillar to the front must be silly short. In addition, the new Camper will have to carry a wide, solid, D-pillar and the middle section needs to be as boxy as it can be. We’d suggest a split windscreen, chrome wiper blades and some white paint on the tyres to complete the picture.

Source: Autocar

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Volkswagen Westfalia Could Return As An Electric Vehicle

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Concept Cars

Published on April 7th, 2015
by Christopher DeMorro



A next-generation Volkswagen Westfalia is slated to be unveiled on April 15th, meaning a new generation can get its camping on in the cozy confines of a German-built bus. While it will only be a concept to begin with, if Volkswagen does decide to bring the famous microbus back, it could be as an electric vehicle. That’s the word from AutoCar, which got the info from Volkswagen board member Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser.

The new Volkswagen Transporter would use a front-mounted electric motor with batteries installed beneath the floorboards, and its design is said to be heavily influenced by the microbus of yesteryear (which really only went out of production a few years ago). if Volkswagen could managed to bring the costs in line with expectations, than a concept could actually become a production model…especially if those 400-mile solid-state batteries work out. A 21st century Volkswagen Westfalia with days worth of electricity on board to power your outdoor adventure is a tempting thought indeed.

A word of caution though. Volkswagen has teased the idea of an electric Transporter revival before, most recently with the Bulli concept that debuted waaaay back in 2011. Four years later, and still no new microbus. However, electric vehicles are much farther along today than they were in 2011, and this time around Volkswagen might actually be able to make good on their promise.

In other words, it’s alright to get your hopes up, but be prepared for disappointment too.

My 21st century hippie wife will probably be the first person in line for one too. I’ll tell you what, it’d make a great vessel for travelling to music festivals. A plug-in hybrid would make even more sense for those who want to get as far removed from civilization as possible, but with 250 miles of range I could find plenty of peaceful places to park my electric Westfalia. Maybe this time, Volkswagen won’t wimp out.


About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.


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Get a drink from the VW camper van…

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Screen shot 2015-02-13 at 14.33.18NOW you’re really buzzing! We’ve had the Golf coffee bar, and the Mini reception area.

Now we have… the VW camper van bar in a pub. And how cool is that!

The Car Expert tweeted us with the picture, and said: ‘I’ll see your VW Golf coffee station and raise you a VW Type 2 bar’.

The bar is in the garage-themed pub Jubilee Garage pub in North Street, Bourne, in Lincolnshire. Continue reading »

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Millionaire pitcher Daniel Norris lives in a VW camper van

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Toronto Blue Jays 21-year-old pitching prospect Daniel Norris used his $2-million signing bonus to buy a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, which he plans to live in during spring training as he’s done the last two seasons.

The van, nicknamed Shaggy after the Scooby-Doo character, will be Norris’s home for the next 2 1/2 months in Dunedin, Fla.

Norris, originally from Johnson City, Tenn., recently spoke to the Toronto Star about his van.

Here are interview highlights:

Q: How’s Shaggy (his beloved van) holding up?

A: She’s good. I was away from her for a few days, but it’s good to be back now.

Q: So you’re living in the van all through spring training, not just while you’re on the road?

A: Yeah (laughing). It’s a full-time gig.

Q: Where do you park it?

A: I usually park on Honeymoon Island (a public beach about a 10-minute drive from the Jays’ spring-training complex in Dunedin.) I talked to one cop who patrols the area and he said he was cool with it, but he’s only there Thursday through Sunday, and his partner who covers the other three days isn’t cool with it. So I park at the Wal-Mart Monday to Wednesday and then move to the island.

Q: What’s the best thing about living in a van? A: Being by yourself, making your own decisions and not really answering to anybody. Not that I don’t like being home with my family and stuff, but sometimes it’s nice to just be alone and take care of yourself. It makes you get up and do stuff. You can’t just sit in there and watch TV. I mean, you can, but it’s not comfortable. Being alone so much you learn about yourself. Last year especially I really started thinking deeper about myself and what it took to get me going. It’s definitely taught me a lot. Q: What’s the worst thing?

A: Every year I’ve gotten a lot better at packing lighter, but still it gets messy. I’m not OCD or anything, but there’s times when I just want to throw everything out. You have to be organized or else it starts to feel really cramped.

Q: How do you decide where to stop on the road?

A: I always make a point to stop at Folly Beach and Charleston. That’s a really beautiful area. But other than that I just go wherever. I’ll buy, like, $20 of gas and then stop when it runs out. I’ve done that a number of times.

Norris pitched 6.2 innings for the Blue Jays last season.

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