Misc. take-alongs


Capt. Mike

Moderator
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.

Cell phone.

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.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Under the TIPS forum, there is a topic about vacuum sealing & waterproofing. It applies to carrying spares & "emergency" items.
 

ronwolffjr

New member
Don't forget mosquito repellent, particularly with the trouble they have been causing!
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
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.
 
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Ludwig van

New member
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.
 

Chuck (CA)

New member
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?
 
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icarus

Moderator
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.

Icarus
 

Chuck (CA)

New member
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...
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
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.
 

Ludwig van

New member
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?
 

Adriane

New member
'Every Woman's Quick & Easy Car Care' by Bridget Kachur

14.95 Storey Books www.storey.com

This is a glovebox size companion featuring car talk 101 and a valuable appendix for emergencies, including info you can fill in for maintainance records or in the event of an accident. While it is not specifically geared towards VW's, it bridges the gap nicely between "my first car" and "my first Bentley manual." The illustrations and positive approach make it accessible and fun, with easy to follow vocab definitions. Its safety, first, and everyday language descriptions of the basic mechanics and principles of any vehicle. If you have a daughter, wife, or mom about to take the wheel for the first time, buy this book without hesitation. If you're like me, buy it for yourself so you don't have to be shy catching up on all the things it seems everybody else "just knows" about cars.The illustrations are so simple and well done, and there is good safety info on driving during pregnancy and child safety seats. Of course, a guy might need this too! My favorite VW mechanic is a lady and a real pro at that, so nothing sexist here. But a lot of cool chicks out there wanting to gain confidence will really enjoy this- and anyone who knows engines will really love recommending this to beginners.
 

soxfan9

New member
One thing I'd like to add to the list is a small space heater. Mine is about 6"x6"x8" (or close to that). I bought it at a yard sale for $5. It's useful if you're plugged in and it's cold. It beats having to rely on a sleeping bag all night! :D
 
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Adriane

New member
Here is a misc. tip to add to the above "bring your Bentley" post: Write your name on the cover of your Bentley. My wonderful new mechanic innocently kept mine in his shop!
 

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