Following is a collection of transfers from the old Archives.
AAA or CAA membership.
Decent tool kit for your van; get to know what you might need for emergency repairs.
Air pressure guage; maps; flashlight; booster cables; DUCT TAPE!!! Diesel fuel additive for diesel models.
Bentley Manual. Cheap Insurance in Nowhere. Expert Advice can be hard to find at "Dusty's Auto" in the middle of nowhere. Even If you can't fix it yourself, the mechanic may be able to with the precise instructions from this manual.
I have heard a lot about the manual, but never seen one. What do they cost? Are they year specific, or range of years?
These are the "official" VW factory manuals, available at -- surprise -- your dealer, without the stigma of low cost. Best bet, site's bookstore or GoWesty. Or call VW's distributor, Dyment, 1-800-544-8021 for a list of manuals, owners handbooks, wiring diagrams, tech bulletins, etc.
Depends on model as to cost; they have for '63-'67 split windows; '68-'79 Type II's; '80-'91 Vanagons; and '92 --> Eurovans. Expect US$35-130 depending on model. Even at full price, best damn money you'll spend on maintaining your VW.
Bentley has a web site at www.rb.com . I have heard good things about the manual, and will be buying one soon.
There are a couple of things I don't leave home without - they are as follows: A good fire extinquisher saved my bus and that's a must for us Westy's. (4) a good, small fold up shovel - in case you get stuck in mud, or snow - or even if you need to do the #2 thing - You know the old saying, "When your wife calls - you ought to go. But when "MOTHER NATURE" calls - you got to go. So a shovel can be a big help during those moments of pain and suffering. (5) The last item I carry with me is a good tool kit with the normally needed stuff to do everything, less a complete engine overhaul. Hope these items may help those who are planning those nice long or short trips to somewhere fun.
Topographical maps, matches, drivers license and, of course, a deck of cards. Never take with you...WORK!
Earplugs and eyecovers. These allow for an early sleep and early on the road. Campgrounds can be noisy.
Toilet Paper & candles
NEVER leave home without toilet paper!!
We keep under the back seat a very large piece of mosquito netting for those very hot nights when you must keep the sliding door open for fresh air. We just drape it over the front of the van (may have the door windows open) and over the side-door. There are ties on it so we just tie it to the side-view mirror and it stays in place. We own an army-navy surplus store in Berkeley, CA and that's where we got it; any similar store will carry it.
The kids. They just won't let us get away without them. Seriously though, its more fun with family and or friends!
Warning: Camping without kids can lead to camping with kids.
I helped a neighbor resurrect and rebuild a '78 bus from blown-engine, near-parts-bus to full function. He left two weeks later for 5 months in Alaska. "Lug Nut" was born a few months after their return. I bought him a teething wrench.
I have a portable chair that I always bring with me and I'm always glad I did. Ya gotta have a place to sit outside. The small tri-pod chairs store well and pack easily for hiking trips. The collapsing type that store in a cylindrical bag are great and take up little room.
Wet Ones hand wipes in individual packets. Hand sticky, oily, dirty. Sleepy while driving, wipe off face. Cool and crisp.
If not in your medical kit, carry some of the individual alcohol wipes also. Cuts some grease, ink or stains; first aid item; clean cassette tape heads. Any or all -- they do not last forever. Change every so often or you will find them all dried out and useless when you need them.
There are now individual packets for clothing/upholstery stain removal (Shout brand) and oil (Hoppes brand). The latter can be used for wiping off wet &/or rusting tools, or wrapping something susceptible to rust besides their original purpose of protecting guns & fishing gear. Wrap & put in a zip-lock.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 02-17-2008 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Corr formatting xfer errors
Under the TIPS forum, there is a topic about vacuum sealing & waterproofing. It applies to carrying spares & "emergency" items.
Don't forget mosquito repellent, particularly with the trouble they have been causing!
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 05-21-2010 at 06:57 PM.
'78 SB Conv
'74 SB Auto-stick
Posted elsewhere on the site are some hints on mosquitos, but worth repeating here. Besides repellant, carry the incense burning type mosquito coils. I'm sure you have seen on the news of mosquito diseases that mosquitos are attracted by CO and mammal pheromones. Period. All the cute electronic gadgets, fancy skin lotion and citronella candles don't work worth a damn. It's been proven again & again in the labs. Since stopping CO by stopping breathing isn't practical, we're stuck with a couple of repellants.
DEET mosquito repellants do work because they keep the mosquito from landing. But I can tell you from experience, they will still lay in a swarm a couple feet away! I've got pictures. Obviously, long-sleeves, caps, nets, etc., help, too.
But the best camping strategy is the mosquito coil. The work, even against the Arctic tundra's vicious "insects of prey". Apparently the fumes either change the natural attractants, disquise them, or provide a stronger repellant. Whatever the cause, they work!
You can now buy carrying cases so they can be hung inside the van lit. I hang one inside and another hanging from the awning outside (or on the table next to the sliding door). We will be mosquito free inside and around the door as long as we stay in that small area.
At night, after we have made up the bunks and everything is ready to shut down, I kill the coils and give the van a spray with a flying insect repellant, then button it up. By the time we've done evening walk or finished a cuppa, the van is vented, bug-free and we quick pop in and close the door for a mosquito free night.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 03-14-2008 at 06:54 AM.
One thing I didn't see on any of the lists is an adapter to allow you to plug a 15 amp extension cord into a 30 amp campground receptacle. A standard 15 amp plug won't fit, and we have been in one campground where the only electric site available had a 30 amp receptacle. The campground loaned us an adapter, and we bought one when we got home.
The adapters are available at RV shops and some automotive stores, probably around $10 US.
Needless to say, this doesn't mean you can put a 30 amp load on the Westy's AC service - the 15 amp capacity still applies.
89 WESTY 2.1
Ok...you have the adaptor...the campground is putting out 30 amps...Westy is rated for 15 amps...how do you reduce the amps coming in?
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 02-17-2008 at 07:31 AM.
You don't have to reduce the amperage capacity coming in. You just can't exceed the load of the wire and the hook up. Just as you can by a 15 amp extension cord (will carry 1800watts) there is no reason you can't plug in a 15 watt light bulb into it. If you plug 1900 watts you begin to overload the wire.
The difference between the 30 amp plug and the 15 amp plug is the plug configuration. The adapter allows you to use a 15 amp cord on a 30amp outlet.
I have my equipment packing list completed...thanks to Captain Mike...and others
Now...it's time to assemble my complete tool list...I know about the basic tools...but what other tools are must haves on the road? Could we start an A - Z tool list, including the basics as well? Thanks much...
Some tool recommendations are included in the Spare Mechanical Parts topic in this forum. There is also a "Traveling Tool Kit" topic in this forum.
We've lately started carrying an in-car cell phone charger. I don't know how widespread digital service is in the U.S., but in Canada there are some areas with analog service only, and our phone battery would only last a couple of days in these areas. Now we can keep the battery topped up while driving.
Isn't it ironic that the places where you'd be in the worst trouble without a phone are the places least likely to be near a cellular tower?