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Thread: Hello from Portland, OR.. looking to buy a Westy. Which model for low budget?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Question Hello from Portland, OR.. looking to buy a Westy. Which model for low budget?


    I have been seeking RV options, especially Westys, since.. I am thinking about 6 years now?

    Long story short. Big VW fan. But I drive only 500-800 miles a year in my very well sorted 92 GTI 16v.

    I am thinking I "might" sell it, in all it's glory.. and buy a camper so we can do several things.

    I want to take a Baja trip, future ones in general, to visit my Mom in Loreto. She has wonderful rentals there.

    Also, I have a baby 6 months old now. I would love taking the family out on camping trips to the coast whenever we feel like it.

    Additionally, I want to plan an Americana road trip in about 5 years. Take the kid and my wife all summer long (she teaches) around the USA. Yosemite, visit cousins in Tennessee, etc.

    Two vehicles are of most interest. A Toyota RV and either a Diesel or 85 + Westy.
    I know the 86 + is equipped with better cooling, ignition, etc.

    I want the one that will be the most affordable to own. Period. Yes, I know the Diesel is scary slow. I know that it won't be too much an issue in OR where our freeways are 50-65 mph max. But on that big road trip??

    Plan would be trying to get a good deal on a Diesel with low miles or rebuilt engine, later, when it does.. or needs major work.. get a 1.9 NA or go gas with a Subie (which would maybe require transmission work, change out to do..)
    Or, get a WBX in good running condition with the ultimate plan being Bostig or Subie conversion. My neighbor had her 85 done up with the Small Car kit and runs quite nicely, the 2.5 engine.

    I work PT and stay home with the kid. Cannot really dip into a 1000 dollar a year+ money pit.

    Am I better off with the less adept, albuet potentially less troublesome Toyota RV (one of the 4 cyl or V6 models) or should I spring for the Westy with plan to change up the motor later? I lik the simplicity of the Diesel, lack of electronic controls and such, don't care about Power Steering too much, but would it require just as much to keep running?

    I am NOT mechanically inclined so it would need to see one of the awesome VW shops in town.



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  3. #2


    I'd check in with the Wet Westies, a camping club in your area. There's also the contingent that meets at the Lucky Lab pub. Go to this website for more details:


    They focus on air-cooled VWs, but know just about everybody involved in VWs in the Portland area.
    Sacramento, CA USA

    Former buses: '61 17-Window "Pink Bus"
    '70 Frankenwestie "Blunder Bus"
    '71 Frankenwestie "Thunder Bus"
    Current bus: '71 Dormobile Westie "George"

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