I run an '82 diesel with a 1.9TD and I can still get all the hoses even though they have been NLA (you get used to those letters!) for years.
What is not available is available if you look hard enough or figure out what you need. A source for 1.25" rubber hose are truck (semi) part stores. It is braided and very tough.
When do we stop doing work on our money pits? In reality when the money runs out. Owning a westy requires you to put 'irrational' amounts of money into an old vehicle. The travelling with 2 double beds and a kitchen luxury comes at a price and buying something new and reliable is really not available in todays new vehicular options.
If you could buy a 5 year old - or 10 year old westy it may be reliable, but a 25 year old vehicle needs some work. In reality all moving parts will need replacing at some time - but when???? I suspect some parts on my van will last 100 years, others well they are about to go, but when?
The good news is they are well designed and kind of simple vehicles, the parts are (mostly) available and there are some great suppliers.
I just replaced most of the rubber on my van for 'reliability' reasons. At the same time I dropped the fuel tank and resealed the venting of the tank. At 28 it was time this stuff got replaced. This is a go-westy type of thing. They are a great shop but do not agree with cutting any courner. You may find van-cafe more 'real world'. You takes you choise and pays your money.
If in doubt do something. Talk to van-cafe, replace some rubber - better than doing nothing, then spend some time on thesamba.com, find the yahoo westfalia group and subscribe and ask what other people have done. You are never alone with a westy problem - someone has been where you are and found the answer.
I also recommed spending some time on the gowesty site especially their vehicles for sale area. What they specialize in is 'relaibility' Take a tired clean van and replace everything. The result is a $40K westy - for a 20 year old vehicle! well not really - look at it as a 'condition over age' situation. A new VW California (not available in the US!!!) runs about $65K, a more modern vehicle, but not available and $25k more, but similar in functionality and reliability ....
Spend a bit of time on this site in the reliability' section. It should give you a feel for what you are in for.
You are more than welcome to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org - for stuff that would clutter this site up.
Welcome to the cult
'82 Westy diesel 1.9TD
Thanks Again Mike, Very much help and insightfull. I'm plugging away at the small problems and enjoying my bus. It is getting all new coolant hoses this week and the paint job was just finished.