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Thread: Preaching to the non-coverted

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Whitehorse, YT Canada
    Posts
    9

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    Well I got one! WOOHOO. It's blue and beautiful - in great shape! (bought it off the website here!!!)

    I think it's great that you named yours - it should be mandatory with purchase! I'm still working in the naming of ours.... these things take time.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1

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    I LOVE MY WESTY!
    THEY ARE GREAT!
    THE BEST WAY TO FIND FREEDOM IN THE USA.
    Thanks to this website to help me keep her running and it really is easy to do most of your own work on them.
    Keep on truckin! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
    on the never ending search for my mind

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Monterey, CA
    Posts
    6

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    Isn't it great to be "in the know"? Our vehicles are considered to be a milestone in vehicular travel by the current and past owners, and even the folks who think we have a few marbles rolling around in the wrong place. My wife and I "lived" in ours this summer for 6 weeks while working on our other "Westy", a Westsail 32 sailboat (the features and quality of construction when compared between the Westphalia and the Westsail leads one to suspect that one is the RV division and the other the Marine division of the German Panzer Tank Manufacturers). However, we stayed in our camper for an extended time while doing what WE WANTED TO do. I have a hard time visualizing staying for that long, and longer, while trying to prepare and commute to work and then have enough positive energy to make a decent meal after the hassle of using a remote shower. A house, these are not. A friend of mine calls it the "Quintessential Vehicle", and I agree, for the following reasons:
    1) It gets reasonable gas mileage for a RV; 2) It is nimble to drive and very easy to park in tight, city conditions; 3) It is an emergency shelter to sleep in when on a long road trip; 4) It is a nearly self-contained lunch or dinner diner ready to provide a hot meal in minutes, allowing one to get back on the road; 5) It is a really beautiful car in looks and function; 6) It has the most advanced, best-designed camping and convenience features on the planet: The Original Full-Sized "Transformer".

    When people cringe at the mention of "VW Camper", I pull out pictures of my first one, a '69 Westy sans pop-top, in the San Quintin Valley of Baja California, before Mexican Highway One was graded, let alone paved. We made 100 miles in 10 hours that day, and completed our 600 mile round-trip over every terrain that most any vehicle with rubber tires has been on. If that is not convincing enough, I mention the day that we drove our brand new 1988 full Westy from Guerrero Negro (Scammon's Lagoon) to the Sea of Cortez. The air temperature was well over 115 degrees F, and the road surface temperature could only be imagined. The engine temp gauge never twitched or anything. Unfortunately, we had to sell that one, due to financial reasons. We now own a 1989 Westy, which has had more than its share of cooling problems. But this won't stop us. Because I know that it takes time and money and persistence to keep these vehicles in shape. But if you do that, you will have one of the most reliable and thoroughly enjoyable things you will ever own.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Gibsons, BC, Canada
    Posts
    9

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    Just got back from Christmas at mother-in-law's on Saltspring Island. Despite her big, warm house, my wife and I choose to sleep in our Westy, it's so snug and private. Temperature was around 0 celsius, but we borrowed her electric space heater, which we only used when waking and dressing. Lots of covers and toques were enough.
    On the way home, we need to take 3 different ferries. We discovered a 4 hour wait on the second one, which would mean not getting on the last run home of the 3rd ferry... so... we just found a campsite for the night. Couldn't do that with a SUV!. First time sleeping with our two big dogs in the van... no problem, except my wife blamed the snoring on me! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Whitehorse, YT Canada
    Posts
    9

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    I have a problem... I am now going on 1 year having my Westy and I adore it. We went all over the country last year and we're going down through Washington and Oregon this year.

    Problem is: everyone thought I was crazy until we got ours and now everyone wants to borrow and I don't want to share! It's one of those things in life that if anyone every did anything to it, I don't think I could ever forgive them! Westy report card: does not share well and spends too much time honking!

  7. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    57

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    Chrysler is currently running TV ads for their annual National Minivan Sales Event.
    "We invented the minivan!" the narrator excitedly boasts as the camera flashes a shot of the first Dodge Caravan, a boxy yellow affair with faux wood paneling on the sides. At the bottom of the screen appears a dateline of 1984.

    Excuse me?

    A lazy turn of the head allows me to glance casually down into my driveway, where there sits a Westy, almost the same color as the original Caravan but sans the fake wood panels. It is a VW Vanagon. A 1983 VW Vanagon!

    Where does Chrysler get off proclaiming themselves the 'inventors of the minivan', when the Vanagon predates their re-creation by at least three years? Not to mention the split-window and breadloaf busses!

    Chrysler can say what they want; we Westy-owners know the true heritage of the minivan!
    ˛

  8. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bisbee, AZ USA
    Posts
    11

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    My '82 Westfalia is a van, but it is hardly "mini."

    A few weeks ago, I had occasion to park next to a 1970 Ford Econoline with the camper bubble-top. (It was identical to the Ford we had when I was a kid.) Side-by-side, the VW isn't much smaller.

    'Course, the Ford was packin' a V-8 compared to a Westy's horizontal-4...

  9. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    57

    Default

    You point is well taken, erifah. Considering overall dimensions, the Westy is nearly as large as many other vans. The original Caravan was indeed pretty compact, especially compared to most of the full-size vans of its day. But as the modern minivan has grown ever more luxuriant, spacious, and SUV-like, they're really stretching the meaning of the word "mini". Does an 8-passenger vehicle really need 13 cupholders?

    And most Ford or Dodge camper-conversions I've seen don't make as clever a utilization of interior space as does the Westy. So I would argue that while the Westy may be nearly as large on the outside, it's a lot more roomy on the inside.

    Where the Westy compactness really shines though, is in the turning radius of its short wheelbase. A few weeks ago while exploring the backwoods of northern Wisconsin with my dad, I missed a turn. Without really thinking about it, I pulled over to the shoulder of the road, cranked the wheel and headed back to take the side road. My old man busted out laughing: "Dang, this little rig is alright! If I miss a turn in my fifth-wheel camper, I'm gonna be a while getting it straightened out."

    Perception is a funny thing. Perhaps due to its clean and tight design, the Westy only seems smaller. I've been in line to board an auto ferry and had the attendant charge extra for the Chevy camper-conversion ahead of me, while my Westy was waved right through. And I have motor home plates!

  10. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Nanaimo BC Canada
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Strangley enough my '82 Westy fits well in my garage, it is actually smaller than my Isuzu Rodeo!

    In the Rodeo I can get 4 people, some gear and well that is it. In the Westy - sleeps 4 people, with gear etc etc.

    It really is a remarkable vehicle. I was discussing it the other day with a friend who has a Dodge RAM 1500 x-cab. Apart from being smaller, and slower (only slightly) it beats the dodge on so many factors - and can still haul 4'x8' plywood. Talk about an efficeint vehicle. I also (being diesel helps on this one) get 35mpg - he gets 11mpg!!! Now if I had a syncro and a bigger diesel engine ......

    Mike

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