Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More VW Seating...

VW Campers are somewhat rare on the rusty Atlantic coast. Even more elusive is the $800 dealer-supplied 5th seat option. It's a single bucket seat mounted on a metal box, with locking storage underneath. A little over two years ago, I saw one for sale on Kijiji and since it matched my interior and was in perfect shape, I snatched it up. The guy wanted $100 for it, and he threw in a new front bumper along with some more bits and pieces. A little later, another one appeared, and I contacted the seller, but did not bother getting it. Fast forward 2 years to this week. Given my dissatisfaction with the blue behemoth, I dug out the old email, and contacted him again, just in case. To my delight, he still had it, and this one was brand new, and never used. So yes, I now have two. I may remove the seat portions and swap them with the aging 300,000km front seats that I have. Here's what I'm talking about:
By removing the armrests from one of them, I can shoe-horn them both into the van. These seats came with no headrest, but I scrounged up the "holes" and a headrest and added one to the first seat. Both slide in and out quite easily, and have a lap belt. The fun never ends :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to me...

Imagine...using my own blog to wish myself a Happy Birthday. How pathetic. Do I care? I guess not. I received a Jelly Belly Machine. Thanks boys. Also, went for the Kitchen Sink at Jungle Jims !! m-m-m-m-m. aint it great to be 48 !!


...first solo night in the camper in a while. Awoke to the morning sun. View from the "lofty" Kathmandu sleeping bag:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Winnebago Hiatus

With my earthly resources being somewhat limited, I've chosen not to put my 1975 Winnebago Brave on the road this season. The reasons are many; firstly, it's not really in running condition. I think it's simply carburetor neglect, but it might be something as significant as the timing chain. Secondly, we have no sedentary, "stay in one place" camping plans for this summer, as individual family member schedules are not aligning in that way. Thirdly, I directed my discretionary spending towards an engine for my VW Camper, largely due to the often daily need for a second vehicle. Therefore Winnie sits in solitude but not in neglect. She's so simple, and in the meantime I'll use her for overflow, emergency stationary bug-out facility, etc. Admittedly, VW camping will be more akin to "cramping" compared to Winnie's biscuit box spacious prowess, but a little compromise is often good for the wallet :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Secret Compartment...

Not so secret now is it? I guess posting this sort of thing can be considered "less than smart", or self-defeating,  but Canadian Tire has a $25 Car Safe that I picked up a while back on sale for $15 or so. Today, I attached it in a fairly "secret" location. No doubt any Westy owner will recognize the location from the following pics. It's not very big but can probably conceal a smallish camera, GPS etc.You can attach the sleeve with up to 6 bolts. Turning the key releases the safe, and you can take it with you still locked. I realize there's lots of places to hide stuff in a Westy, but one more won't hurt...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Six Seater Blues

We often have the need to carry extra people, especially when using the VW in "non-camping" mode. Our car only has 5 seat-belts, and for 10 years we were accustomed to having 7 with our old Dodge Caravan. The Volkswagen is worse of course, since it only has 4. Mechanic Jeff to the rescue; he gave me an old two-person bench he had kicking around. Under the carpet there are seat tracks already in place, so installation and removal is quite easy. See pictures below...not pretty, a hideous color mismatch actually, but quite functional. It is tight squeezing into the back seat, but now we can take two extra "volks" when necessary. Notice I removed the fridge door, as you can't open it with old blue in there...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A friend once referred to me as "TarpMaster", given my tendency to rig up various and sundry plastic tarps when camping. Well, my VW pop-up roof has a canvas "tent", and while it's pretty water resistant, it's not perfect, especially in a windy rain. In a moment of California Dreaming, I got my hands on a custom nylon rainfly from GoWesty. (they were on sale). Installation was a snap (pun intended) with the drilling of 5 1/8" holes and the installation of snaps or hasps, depending on your lingo. 4 more snaps were required going along the sides just under the fiberglass roof. Finally, there are also 3 gutter clamps along each side. It will help keep the canvas dryer in wet weather. It wraps around the entire canvas, and as a bonus, covers the luggage rack area. It's hard to see in the following photos, but the original canvas is actually vertical on the front side, whereas this gizmo slopes right out to the front of the van. See in the first photo, it's not there. Now the luggage rack is kind of "inside" and can be accessed via the large zippered window in the front of the tent area. It takes a little fiddling to adjust things; there's a strap that goes through both front doors, and a velcro and strap closure at the very back...all in all another great addition to the VW arsenal. PS I notice they are temporarily "sold out"...always a good sign.


 This beauty has been roaming around Central Newfoundland lately. I just grabbed some photos of it for fun...

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