Specific Activites a Westy is good for.


Gobusgo

New member
Flea Marketing

This is an activity that I enjoy. Once in a while I will load of the '79 Westy with treasures from the attic to sell at our local flea market. It gets a lot of attention from the local yokels who ask, "How did you put that pop-up top on that Hippie van?" or some talk of when they had a Westy or a Bus. I go camping in her, of course, but she makes a great hauler, too. I have discovered one thing while doing this: It is amazing at how much junk you can fit into a Westy.

Gobusgo
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
:eek: 200 cubic feet and one TON; sort of amazing when you figure you've got to go up to one of the huge LWB Club van's to get that in the American van models, huh?
 
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MarkJ

New member
My wife and I load up the Westy and go to the flea market a few times a year. The problem is that more people want to buy the VW and not the junk I have for sale.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Hunting

This topic had stayed idle for a long time, so I'm going to attempt to expand it. Please try to think of regular, non-camping uses you put your Westy through on a regular basis that are also fun and likely to be attempted by others.

My '90 Syncro is also my hunting vehicle. First, it's fairly small so can get into some tight spaces and dirt paths -- I hesitate to call them roads. Being a 4WD adds that I can often head direct into the woods to get close to pick up a deer, though I've got friends that seem to take a 2WD VW bus in places I'd think twice about. The Syncro's limited slips, locker rear axle and granny gear 1st/Reverse allow me into some pretty rough places.

First, I had a friend make me a galvanized sheet-metal pan that fits the floor of the cabin perfectly. It has about a 3" lip that is watertight. Any sheet-metal or ductwork place can do one for nominal cost. Thus any dirt, spills or leaks don't get into the flooring. I can literally drive into the woods, pick up a kill and toss it in the side door without worrying if it's wet or bleeding. Then take it to a proper place to dress -- in my case back home where I have the tractor with boom.

I carry a port-a-john. No matter the planning, a last stop before heading up the tree is welcome and a need by the time I come out. Thus I don't contaminate with human scent spots. To a deer, it'll carry miles, even days old.

When I set up for hunting season, I put all the possible needs in the back. Gun cleaning kit, misc. shooting supply box with spare batteries, scope covers, etc.; hunting scents, cover-ups and cleaning/dressing gear like knives & surgical gloves. I also carry maintenance items like spares for the stands, path tagging supplies (so I can find my way in & out in the dark), some wraps (old sheets) and straps or ropes for hauling or hanging things. The back carries a small saw, shovel & hatchet all the time anyway so I can trim brush or branches when necessary. Finally, there are the extra warmth things like over-booties, heavy gloves, hats.

I hunt from both a 'leaner' fixed stand that is set up for the season and a climber. The climber sits on the floor and I lash on a fanny pack of necessities. When I'm using the leaner, all I have to carry in is a foam seat cushion and the fanny pack. Of course I have flashlights.

The Vanagon coat hooks work fine for the parka and an insulated vest. I've got lots of room for a thermos of coffee for when I come out and some snacks for the drive home. Some of my basic needs like toilet paper, water bottle, paper towels, etc. are already in there from camping. Worse comes to worse, I've even got survival stuff.

At my age, my reality is to get back home and dress a deer in the shop, hanging on the tractor boom. I back up the tractor, snatch on and unload and hang all at the same time. In the shop, my floor pan becomes the catch pan. I'm in the warmer shop with hot coffee, the radio and a few extra tools instead of freezing my keister off out in the woods. [An air body saw makes a great bone saw for dressing out.] The tractor boom means I'm not up, down and bent over. And when it's finished, I can rinse, wrap and go hang my harvest for aging. A 10 mil contractor bag takes care of the remains and the pan rinses right out.

If I want to hunt both morning & afternoon, I can take lunch makings and even have a nap in between. Privacy curtains should I need them for any clothes changing.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Disaster relief in a Westy.

Transferred to consolidate similar topics.

Mike B Junior Member Posted August 24, 2006 07:57 PM

I took my family, a generator and an electric chain saw sharpener in the camper and volunteerd on three different Hurricanes!

We removed debris in the daytime and serviced anyone's chain saws at night. My children were twelve, eight and six. We primarily worked for elderly and widows with Southern Baptist Convention and the Red Cross. It was awesome and our children learned a lot about caring about others and being thankful.

Mike in Jax, Fl.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Semi-handicap van

I've used the Westy a number of times with elderly or semi-handicapped persons. With a decent step-stool and the door assist handle mentioned in the TIPS forum, persons of limited mobility can often get in where they can't handle the deeper drop of a sedan. The upright sitting position is often much easier to for them to handle. There's lots of room for a walker. You can now get folding step-stools to save room.
 
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debbiej

New member
I go to a training class with my dog each week. I also take my dog to a field to work on obedience between times. it is very convenient to put his crate in the westy for him to travel in. once we are there, I can just slide open the door, and he has plenty of fresh air, and it is easy to take him out when it is his turn to work. It is also really nice to be able to warm up in the van, and make hot chocolate or coffee while relaxin in there.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Moving

Moving the kids -- out! When the kids moved out to their first apartments, we used the Westy. Yes, I used my pick-up for the heavy furniture but it quickly filled. The boxes, and I'm amazed at how many they had, went in the Westy. It was loaded to the top of the seat backs in the cabin and to the roof in the cargo area. It actually held more than the pick-up truck.

It was also handy moving one to & from the college dorms. I'll hope you don't have to use it to move the kids back in.
 

debbiej

New member
comfort zone

I am half owner in a coffee shop and roast our coffee. I also have an 8-5 job. so often I find myself huddled at night out in my roasting shed trying to roast enough coffee for the next few days. well. no more. now I am in my Westy, curtains drawn, surfing on my laptop with one eye on the stopwatch. it is much easier and faster to hop out of the van and into the roasting shed than to walk in and out of the house!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Prison car

:eek: Here's one I'm not proud of. This photo was bouncing around the Internet of the apparent transfer of the jailed opposition leader in Zimbabwe to or from court. I presume it's a S. African production Vanagon. Note at least 4 people on the engine lid area; apparently seating for 8 isn't enough!. There's also a trailer hitch. For when they need to carry along more people?
 

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John_Pauline

New member
Prison Van

I was born and raised in South Africa and have seen this occur quite often in the well known "taxis." They even take the steering wheel of and put a vice grip on the steering column to get one more person in the front.
Quite a death trap at 120 km/h !!!!!!!!!!!
 

Tim_bc

New member
I bought my Westy recently and plan on using it as my Kite Surfing van :) Gonna grab a cargo box for the top and away I go! If I have an epic session and the next day is looking positive for another session, I'll just spend the night thanks too my Westy :)
 

Jason Rolfe

New member
My two passions are fly fishing and bike polo.

I love taking the westy into the mountains for some fishing, then having a nice comfortable spot to sit, eat lunch, and enjoy a cold one in the middle of the day. Plus, all the room inside means I don't have to take apart my rod when driving between different spots on a river. I just toss it in, drive a couple miles, and I'm ready to go again.

Another thing that has been a lot of fun is taking road trips to bike polo tournaments with friends. I've got a 5-bike carrier on the back hitch, so I can just load up everyone's bikes and away we go. Among my bike polo friends, the van has become the "polomobile." Everyone gets a kick out of being able to pop the table up and chill in back while driving several hours away from Seattle.

On top of that, it's just a fun place to hang out. I've had random dance parties in the van on more than one occasion--just pop the top up, crank up the music, and your ready to go.

Jason
 

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