How To Use Vanagon Tent

Cleaning and Waterproofing your Westfalia Canvas Tent

When the Volkswagen Westfalia Camper’s pop-up roof mechanism is deployed, the canvas tent walls act as a windbreak, keeping out the elements (wind, rain, snow, and even pests). Every aspect of a camper van that has been in service for three decades will benefit from regular cleaning and maintenance, but the tent canvas is possibly the softest and most delicate of all. Rain can soak into the fibers, allowing water to seep into your warm and inviting home. Worse yet, if left unattended, this same moisture can rot holes in the canvas fabric, necessitating the application of patches or the purchase of an expensive new canvas.

It is constructed of a medium-weight cotton canvas that is not intrinsically waterproof, but instead depends on the swelling of the natural fibers to provide a water-resistant barrier when exposed to moisture.

This results in the formation of a moisture-resistant layer that repels rain while also allowing inside moisture to evaporate.

If you use your Camper on a regular basis, you should treat your tent at least once every two years.

The information below pertains to the stock original Westfalia canvas tent on hand.

PartsSupplies

  • Woolite Extra Delicates Care
  • Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent (two 10.5 ounce cans required)
  • Woolite Extra Delicates Care
  • Woolite Extra
  • Washing Machine Stain Remover
  • Iron-on fabric repair patches
  • OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover

Tools

  • Garden hose
  • A short ladder or step stool
  • A pail for washing clothes Brushes with soft bristles and lengthy handles
  • Tiny hard hand-held brushes
  • Plastic sheets, magnets, or spring clamps are all good options.

Washing the Westfalia Popup Roof Canvas

  1. On a warm, dry day, pull your van into a parking spot out of direct sunshine and lift the pop-up top to provide shade. Close the tent windows on the front and/or sides. Wet the entire canvas tent with a garden hose, allowing the tent canvas fibers to absorb the water for a few minutes after each wet. In the meantime, prepare a gallon of water by mixing it with Woollite Extra Delicates Caregentle liquid detergent. One wall of the canvas tent should be treated with the sudsy Woolite, which should be applied with a gentle long-handled brush. Let it soak for a few minutes to enable the detergent to do its job, then rinse it well with the garden hose If there are any persistent unclean spots or stains left, use a stiffer handheld brush to apply Woolite full strength to the stains and gently massage it into the cloth, as described above. Utilize the brush in a circular motion over and around the stain, allowing the detergent to ‘feather’ into the surrounding regions in order to prevent leaving an evident brighter clean zone. Allow the detergent to do its work for five minutes before thoroughly rinsing with the hose. Repeat this process on all four sides of the canvas, washing thoroughly after each side. NOTE: To remove very persistent stains, useOxiClean Laundry Stain Remover to pre-treat the problem areas before you begin washing. If necessary, the tent inside may be cleaned in the same manner as the outside, but using a soft brush to apply both the wash water and the rinse water
  2. This may necessitate two rinses to completely remove all traces of detergent from the fabric. Large towels should be used to protect the inside from excessive water. Allow for thorough air drying of the tent, which may take several hours or even overnight. If at all feasible, open the tent’s window(s) to allow the canvas to dry.

Repairing the Canvas

It would be an excellent time to fix any punctures, tears, or other damage to the canvas or window screen while you have the chance.

  1. If there are any holes, rips, or other damage to the canvas or window screen, now would be an excellent time to fix them.

Water-Repellent Treatment

  1. As previously said, treat your Westfalia tent on a warm, dry, quiet day when it is not exposed to direct sunlight. The majority of appropriate canvas waterproof treatments involve silicone, which will leave a slick residue on the remainder of your van’s interior. Consequently, cover your paint and other bodywork with plastic sheeting that is held in place with magnets or spring clamps to prevent fading. I’m using an old vinyl shower curtain as a curtain. Stick to the directions on the can of Camp Dryor a similar silicone canvas treatment to spray a light, even application over the whole external surface of the tent from 7 to 10 inches away. Working on one wall of the tent at a time, then moving on to the next, is recommended. Camp Dry recommends applying a second application after four hours to provide optimum protection, and I typically use horizontal strokes for the first coat and vertical strokes for the second to ensure maximum protection. Avoid soaking the canvas in water repellent for an extended period of time, but be sure to completely treat the seams and bottom edges of the tent
  2. Allow for complete drying of the treatment (between 24 and 48 hours) before closing the Westfalia roof. If you take your next few camping excursions, you may notice some residual scents from the waterproofing treatment, but these will dissipate with time.

Finishing

Washing and waxing your van now, along with applying a fiberglass wax to the pop-up top, can help to restore the protective wax that has been washed away by the detergent. Don’t forget to treat all of the rubber seals with an anti-UV protectant.

Conclusion

While your Westfalia popup canvas should not require regular washing as described above, it will benefit from a simple rinse with the garden hose after particularly dusty or muddy camping outings. If you have any questions, please contact us. To provide optimal protection, the waterproof treatment should be repeated every one to two years. This treatment will keep you and your family dry and comfortable!

What do you think? Leave a question or comment below, and use the social links to share with friends!

A New Westfalia Pop Top Tent Is Being Installed These product evaluations and installation movies from Camper Van Culture are always a pleasure to watch. The video below is a recent addition to their library. This tent will be installed on Dan Whitaker’s Westy, which may be found on the website VolkswagenT25.com. As Westy’s get older, one of the most common features that people want to replace is the canvas on the original pop-top tent. While metal can rust and rubber can degrade, the canvas on the original pop-top tent often appears to wear out before any other structural piece of these vans, making them a desirable replacement.

  1. When they become available, you should be able to purchase them directly from Camper Van Culture if you live in Europe or the United Kingdom, however they were not available at the time of writing this piece on their website.
  2. If you want to see an example of how NOT to erect a tent, watch the following YouTube video.
  3. Thanks to a brand new three-window tent that was installed a few years back before I purchased my Westy, I should be set to go for a long.
  4. The material grades begin with the most basic canvas and progress via cotton, polyester, hemp, and so on.

They are also available in a variety of colors, including basic neutrals, camouflage, and some insane tie dye designs. Obviously, it all relies on your personality, or on the personality of your van.

Vanagon Pop-Top Tents: Fitment Ins and Outs

Through 1984, all pop-top tents in Buses and Vanagons were attached to the pop-top using a tack strip and staples to hold them in place. As of 1985, Westfalia modified the method of attachment of its roof tent. The new method is substantially identical to the method of attachment of Westfalia’s roof tent to the vehicle’s body: an aluminum strip and sheet metal screws. These two ways are referred to as “staple-in” (for models produced up to and including 1984) and “screw-in” (for models produced in 1985 and subsequent years), respectively.

  • We were forced to replace tents that were, in some cases, less than five years old at the time of the incident.
  • We were able to see and test the fit and performance of a variety of tents that had been placed at the facility.
  • Particularly problematic were the early “staple-in” tents, which varied greatly in the manner in which they were joined to the top.
  • Another thing we discovered during those early years was that even if the tent was built a little too large in terms of dimensions, it could still be altered to fit and operate very well in most situations.
  • Where the top opened the most vertically was at the front panel and around the curve toward the side panels, where the issue was most severe.
  • In order to assure that a pop-top tent would fit in any situation, we have always erred on the side of caution and made it “too big.” In fact, the majority of our clients are completely satisfied with the fit and function of our pop-top tents straight out of the box.
  1. Install the tent as-is, following our instructions to the letter
  2. Immediately after installation, remove the aluminum strip along the body of the tent where it has been declared “too baggy.” Make sure there is no slack in the tent material by pulling it in tight. You must next do the following, depending on how much content is visible:
  1. To reinstall the tent, either remove it and reinstall it with the amount of material along the tack strip at the top (if it’s a staple-in tent), or remove it and reinstall it with the upper edge of the tent mounted to the outside edge of the aluminum strip instead of the middle, as the factory installers did. Alternatively, mark the tent with a Sharpie along the inner edge of the aluminum strip, remove the tent completely, remove the welting that registers on the inside edge of the aluminum strip, trim away any excess material along the Sharpie mark, resew the welting along the new material edge, and reinstall the tent.

For most people, any of these solutions would entail a significant amount of effort for a relatively little return. As a result, most tents are built and left in their current configuration, and they function perfectly—and consumers appreciate the benefits of a three-window tent! Rest assured, however, that we will continue to seek for the most ideal match possible for each individual client. We work with our manufacturers to discover and fix differences on a regular basis, and every tent is measured before it is dispatched to a client to ensure that it is neither too tiny or far too large for the space available.

Any tent that measures “exactly” will be influenced by vehicle discrepancies that are out of anyone’s control, so try not to be too disappointed! These automobiles are known for their eccentricities, and we continue to like them for this reason. Have a great time camping!

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See also:  Where Can I Buy A Tent For Cheap

Poptop Tent Canvas – 80-85 Westfalia

Please provide the make and model of your car. Three windows in a tan color. A genuine Westfalia German-made replacement, which is the highest quality and the closest to stock that can be found on the market. 253070704OEA is the part number for this item. vailability: It is usually delivered within 1-3 business days (or sooner if Expedited/Express delivery is selected). $429.95 Bestseller For those who are perfectionists, this canvas is ideal for you. There are screened side windows for increased ventilation, and it is manufactured in Germany by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provider to Westfalia utilizing factory-spec materials, craftsmanship, and dimensions.

Note: If you have a Westy from 1984 to 1985, please double-check that your canvas is stapled to the fiberglass top before proceeding.

Fits Vehicles:

  • Air-cooled models were produced from 1980 to 1983
  • Diesel models were produced from 1981 to 1984
  • And 1.9-liter models were produced from 1983 to 1985.

Additionally, you may be interested in the following product(s):*Dealer Retail Price is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP); actual dealer or retailer prices may vary. Brandis the brand name under which we typically ship; however, we retain the right to replace brands based on availability and market demand. The nation (if specified) refers to the country in which the manufacturer has its headquarters. Because many firms currently produce all over the world, the real country of origin of the part may differ from the stated country of origin.

The SKU number on our replacement item may be different from the original.

If you return your old, rebuildable part in its original box from the new one, you will receive a refund for your Core Deposit.

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Tents, Awnings & Shelters – CARiD.com

  • Westfalia Top Tent by Acme Auto Headlining®Volkswagen Vanagon 1986, with Acme Auto HeadliningWestfalia ®’s Top Tent installed. This Acme Auto Headlining original replacement color scheme makes use of the factory attachment points, fit, and finish to ensure a seamless fit and finish. All of the window screens are 20×20 mesh to keep the elements out of the camper. Expertly Made from the best quality materials available. The TJM 4×4®Large Roof Awning is designed to be simple to install, and it does just that. TJM 4×4® has developed a Universal Large Roof Awning. This product is constructed from high-quality materials in order to fulfill the most stringent requirements for excellent quality. This TJM 4×4® Awning was created with the finest care and attention to detail, ensuring exceptional performance. It is intended to provide trouble-free and constant functioning. TJM 4×4®Yulara Roof Top TentUniversal Yulara Roof Top Tent by TJM 4×4® is the perfect fit for your vehicle and your lifestyle. The TJM roof top tents and awnings can be set up in minutes, allowing you to relax and enjoy the outdoors without interruption. There are undoubtedly advantages to highset camping in the form of TJM to be experienced. The points of view are. It is intended to provide trouble-free and constant functioning. Napier®Air Mattress is the perfect fit for your car and lifestyle. Napier® makes a universal air mattress that may be used anywhere. This rain fly should be used when there is no vehicle attached and your tent is free standing in order to provide complete covering against the elements. It provides additional protection for your car against the tent straps. The fuzzy strap covers are designed to go over the vehicle straps of your tent
  • ARB®Simpson III Rooftop TentARB® Simpson III Rooftop TentUniversal Simpson III Rooftop Tent Combining the ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent with the Annex provides the maximum in luxury and convenience when on the road or on vacation. The Rooftop Tent can be set up in minutes and provides sleeping spaces off the ground. High-quality poly/cotton rip-stop canvas is used in the construction of this product. Entry entrance with grab straps to assist in entering inside the tent
  • BadAss Tents®RUGGEDTM Onyx Utility Black Roof Top TentUnited States of America-made RUGGEDTM Onyx Utility Black Roof Top Tent designed and manufactured by BadAss Tens®. There are two people. Made in the United States, the RUGGED Roof top Tent is the lightest and thinnest hardtop tent available on the market today, weighing only 4 pounds “Without the optional cross bar, I’m 6 feet tall and weigh 105 pounds. At 4 pounds, it is the lightest and thinnest hardtop tent on the market “the height of 5 feet and the weight of 113 pounds
  • Tactical storage case styling with a semi-gloss textured plastic outer shell
  • And Yakima®SkyRise HD Car TentVolkswagen Vanagon Naked Roof 1986
  • This exciting new addition to the Yakima SkyRise family serves as the central hub for the perfect transportable base camp, no matter what the weather conditions are. The SkyRise HD tent body is made of 600D polyester and is extremely durable. A safe and simple-to-use tower that is particularly intended to fasten to old-fashioned rain gutters. Works with the traditional Yakima RoundBar
  • Yakima®SlimShady AwningVolkswagen Vanagon Naked Roof 1986, SlimShady Awning by Yakima®Volkswagen Vanagon Naked Roof 1986, SlimShady Awning by Yakima® Awnings are specifically designed to provide good shelter from the scorching heat and unexpected rains. It attaches fast and effortlessly to the side of your base rack and takes up very little space. A safe and simple-to-use tower that is particularly intended to fasten to old-fashioned rain gutters. Works with the traditional Yakima RoundBar
  • TJM 4×4®Heavy Duty Awning Mount Brackets
  • And TJM 4×4®Heavy Duty Awning Mount Brackets TJM 4×4® Awning Mount Brackets are universal heavy-duty awning mounting brackets. Made of high-quality materials, this product will last for many years and provide you with years of enjoyment. Developed with the most up-to-date technology and with the needs of consumers in mind. It will suit all of your requirements. It is intended to provide trouble-free and constant functioning. BadAss Tents®Awning Bracket Kit is the perfect fit for your car and lifestyle. BadAss Tents®Awning Bracket Kit is the perfect fit for your vehicle and lifestyle. Designed to attach to an extruded aluminum frame, the Badass awning/accessory bracket kit holds your awning or any other accessories that need to be mounted high near the tent. The. Face is 33″ in diameter, with a mounting leg of 9″ in length. Front Runner Outfitters® is responsible for the weight of the pair at 2 lbs. Roof Top TentThe Front Runner Outfitters® Universal Roof Top Tent is a high-quality, all-purpose shelter. When fully assembled, this roof top tent is 1.3 meters wide by 2.4 meters long. The super-low 330mm profile decreases wind resistance while driving and lowers the vehicle’s overall height by almost one meter. The First Line of Defense. It attaches to the top of your Front Runner Roof Rack, providing quick, simple, and comfortable cover wherever you may be traveling. Sleeps 2+ people comfortably
  • Front Runner Outfitters®Easy-Out AwningUniversal Easy-Out Awning by Front Runner Outfitters®
  • Front Runner Outfitters®Easy-Out Awning by Front Runner Outfitters®
  • Front Protect yourself from the weather at all times with this Easy-Out Awning, which is designed to be mounted on your Front Runner Roof Rack. It spans 1.4m/2m/2.5m broad and extends 2.1m out from the house when fully extended. Setup for two people is quick and simple, taking less than 60 seconds. Installs quickly and simply to the side of your Front Runner Roof Rack to provide instant sun or rain protection
  • TJM 4×4®Replacement Parts available. TJM 4×4® Boulia Rooftop Tent CoverUniversal Replacement Boulia Rooftop Tent Cover for TJM 4×4® Boulia Rooftop Tent Cover. Made of high-quality materials, this product will last for many years and provide you with years of enjoyment. Developed with the most up-to-date technology and with the needs of consumers in mind. It will suit all of your requirements. It is intended to provide trouble-free and constant functioning. The ARB®Rooftop Tent Ladder is the ideal choice for your vehicle and lifestyle. ARB® offers a Universal Rooftop Tent Ladder. For individuals in need of dependable Rooftop Tent solutions, this high-quality product from ARB is an absolute must-have. Tent ladders by ARB are designed with utility in mind, and they provide simple access to your roof. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. ARB®Rooftop Tent Mount KitARB® Rooftop Tent Mount Kit is a universal rooftop tent mounting kit that provides remarkable dependability. This product, which was created using the most up-to-date technology, is of superior quality and will perform even better than claimed. ARB uses this technology to preserve its position as an industry innovation. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. It is extremely dependable
  • The Yakima®SkyRise Car Tent is no exception. Yakima® SkyRise Car Tent for Volkswagen Vanagon Naked Roof 1986. Volkswagen Vanagon Naked Roof 1986, SkyRise Car Tent by Yakima®. The new SkyRise rooftop tent is made from materials that we are familiar with and trust. It is light, sturdy, and technologically sophisticated. The 210D nylon is lightweight and breathable, thanks to the mesh insert. A safe and simple-to-use tower that is particularly intended to fasten to old-fashioned rain gutters. It is compatible with the traditional Yakima RoundBar and the ARB® Aluminum Awning. ARB® manufactures a universal aluminum awning. The ARB Black Edition Aluminum Awning with LED light strip is a stylish addition to any outdoor space. ARB has encapsulated all of the greatest features of the existing awnings in a gloss black, powder-coated aluminum enclosure measuring 98.4″ x 98.4″ in size. Its. Fabricated from aluminum anodised for durability and strength. Front Runner Outfitters® offers a water-resistant and UV-protected product. Roof Top Tent Annex by Front Runner Outfitters®The Front Runner Outfitters® Roof Top Tent Annex is a universal roof top tent annex. Made of robust, waterproof, and breathable fabrics, this large addition to the Front Runner Roof Top Tent is an absolute must-have complement for any outdoor adventure. The two screened windows, as well as the. Fabric flaps on both the inside and outside of the screen windows, which are zippered, provide privacy and protection against the weather. The Annex is accessed from the right-hand side in order to avoid the roof top tent’s ladder
  • ARB®Simpson III Series Rooftop Tent Mattress ARBSimpson ®’s III Series Rooftop Tent Mattress is universally sized. The Rooftop Tent Mattress by ARB provides a better degree of comfort and support than other mattresses on the market. The use of this high-quality product is an essential for individuals who are seeking for dependable Rooftop Tent options. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. Front Runner Outfitters® is a company that is known for its dependability. Front Runner Outfitters® Easy-Out Awning Mosquito Net is a universal Easy-Out Awning Mosquito Net that can be used on any awning. By connecting these netted skirts to the rafter poles of your Easy-Out Awning (2M / 2.5M), you can create a mosquito-free atmosphere under your awning and keep the bugs away. Simple hanging from the awning rafter poles and attachment to the awning upright poles, followed by pegs into the ground, completes the construction. Front Runner Outfitters® has designed a tent that is both quick and simple to erect and takedown. Awning Room with Easy-Out Access Front Runner Outfitters® has created the Universal Easy-Out Awning Room. A four-wall enclosure that allows you to use your Easy-Out Awning / (2M / 2.5M) for daytime seclusion or even to use it as a tent is included with your purchase. Quick and simple to build, as well as to remove. Front Runner Outfitters® recommends that the front wall of your awning slide into the extrusion channel on the horizontal support pole of your awning. Break in the front wind and sun Front Runner Outfitters® has developed a universal front wind/sun break. Do you require more coverage? When you use your Easy-Out Awning, you may add an extra layer of protection. This Wind/Sun Break easily connects to your awning to form a front wall that provides additional protection from the elements. Attaches quickly and easily to the front of your Easy-Out Awning. ARB®Rooftop Tent Base is designed to fit into the extrusion channel on the horizontal support pole of your awning and be firmly pegged to the ground at the correct angle. ARB® makes a Universal Rooftop Tent Base that may be used on any roof. This product, which was created using the most up-to-date technology, is of superior quality and will perform even better than claimed. ARB maintains its position as a leader in the business by applying the technology described above. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. ARB®Rooftop Tent BowARB® Rooftop Tent Bow is a universal rooftop tent bow that provides remarkable dependability. The roof support bow is made of 25mm outside diameter anodized aluminum tubing, which increases the overall stability of the tent construction in inclement weather. This product is composed of high-quality materials. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. The ARB®Rooftop Tent Cover is extremely dependable
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty. ARB® offers a Universal Rooftop Tent Cover. This product, which was created using the most up-to-date technology, is of superior quality and will perform even better than claimed. ARB maintains its position as a leader in the business by applying the technology described above. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. ARB®Rooftop Tent Hinges are known for their remarkable dependability. ARB® Rooftop Tent Hinges are available in a variety of sizes. This product, which was created using the most up-to-date technology, is of superior quality and will perform even better than claimed. ARB maintains its position as a leader in the business by applying the technology described above. High-quality materials were used in the manufacturing process. This product has remarkable dependability
  • Front Runner Outfitters®Easy-Out Awning Room with Mosquito Net is one example. Floor that is impervious to water Front Runner Outfitters® offers an Easy-Out Awning Room/Mosquito Net Waterproof Floor that is universally applicable. This waterproof flooring may be added to your 2M / 2.5M Easy-Out Awning or 2M / 2.5M Easy-Out Mosquito Net to make it more functional. Attaches rapidly in order to convert everything. Any of your 2m/2.5m Awning extensions may be attached to the floor base using a heavy-duty zipper. Front Runner Outfitters®Tent Extension Ladder is made of water-resistant material to keep you and your belongings dry on any outdoor adventure. The Front Runner Outfitters® Universal Tent Extension Ladder is a great addition to any tent. Made of robust, waterproof, and breathable fabrics, this large addition to the Front Runner Roof Top Tent is an absolute must-have complement for any outdoor adventure. The two screened windows, as well as the. Fabric flaps on both the inside and outside of the screen windows, which are zippered, provide privacy and protection against the weather. Entrance to the Annex is from the right-hand side of the building in order to avoid the roof top tent’s ladder. Front Runner Outfitters® is a trademark of Front Runner Outfitters®. Ladder for Tents Front Runner Outfitters® offers the Universal Tent Ladder. A 7 (seven) step replacement ladder for your Roof Top Tent in the event that the original ladder is broken or lost during transport. Because it is retractable, it is convenient to store. Made of a strong aluminum alloy
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GuidesArticles

Useful articles that are quick to read and guides that are simple to comprehend, created by technicians and automobile enthusiasts to make your buying experience with CARiD a pleasurable one.

  • The 17th of August, 2021 So, you’re interested in overlanding? Here’s everything you need to know. In regards to overlanding, it has been claimed that we travel the trails to begin with in order to lose ourselves, and that we travel them to finish with in order to regain ourselves. We agree, and it is no secret that we do
  • The date is July 28, 2021. The Top Five Reasons to Spend a Bundle of Money on an Camping in the great outdoors has always held a tremendous fascination for people since the beginning of time. Although formerly necessary, it has since evolved into a refreshing method to reconnect with ourselves via the delights of

Essentials for Your Purpose-Driven Van

When you join up for Outside+ today, you’ll receive a $50 discount off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover a variety of brand-name goods handpicked by our gear editors.

Essential Vanagon Gear and Other Pro Tips

I purchased my first Volkswagen Westfalia Vanagon camper in 1999, and I have since owned a total of five of them. I ultimately decided on a magnificent 1991 model, which I was fortunate enough to find on Craigslist for $9,000 a few years ago. As I’ve written before in Outside and The New York Times, a camper-converted Vanagon, particularly a 4wd Syncro, is the ultimate adventure vehicle, hands down. Our Westy serves as a mobile office, a hotel, and a food delivery vehicle. It’s small enough for town yet offers enough of amenities, like rotating seats and slide-out tables, a kitchen, enough headroom for changing from wetsuit to city clothes, and enough internal length to accommodate a ten-foot surfboard within the cabin.

The freedom of his 27-year-old Toyota Syncro was so pricey, according to Vanlife inventor Foster Huntington, that he traded it in for a camper-backed (and considerably more dependable!) Toyota Tacoma.

“It’s a very other story when you’re living in one.” Although most of us may not go 40,000 miles each year like Huntington, I want to keep driving my Westy till the day I die.

Up until this point, I’ve learned a few things about equipping and owning a purpose-built camper that is both economical and dependable. A few hard-learned lessons and must-have equipment from 15 years behind the wheel are detailed here.

Shoulder-Fired Missile Boxes

Army surplus shoulder-fired missile crates are a cost-effective and durable way to transport your tools and necessary replacement parts on the battlefield. The fiberglass roof of the van and the bottoms of both boxes have also been drilled in order for me to be able to tie them to the ground. Army surplus shoulder-fired missile crates are a cost-effective and durable way to transport your tools and necessary replacement parts on the battlefield. The fiberglass roof of the van and the bottoms of both boxes have also been drilled in order for me to be able to tie them to the ground.

A Warning

First, be certain that the missiles have been deactivated. First, be certain that the missiles have been deactivated. (Image courtesy of Chris Dixon)

Pop Top Shocks

Many van campers, notably Sportsmobiles, are equipped with hydraulic shocks, which make raising the roof easier. Westys lack this feature (whereas Eurovan VW poptops do), however Jack Bombay’s Heavy Duty Pop Top Shocks ($80) make lifting a breeze, even while carrying surfboards and a solar panel on top of the vehicle. Many van campers, notably Sportsmobiles, are equipped with hydraulic shocks, which make raising the roof easier. Westys lack this feature (whereas Eurovan VW poptops do), however Jack Bombay’s Heavy Duty Pop Top Shocks ($80) make lifting a breeze, even while carrying surfboards and a solar panel on top of the vehicle.

Tent with Side Vent Windows

Also take note of the aftermarket tent with screened side vent windows ($399), which will keep you far cooler than the original tent with simply a front window ($399). Also take note of the aftermarket tent with screened side vent windows ($399), which will keep you far cooler than the original tent with simply a front window ($399). (Bobby Altman narrates)

Yakima Widebody Artificial Raingutters

Rather of using Thule Racks, I have them mounted on Yakima Widebody fake raingutters. The Widebodys ($40) have a large surface area, which allows the load to be distributed evenly across the fiberglass roof. Mount your racks a good distance back to aid in the process of elevating your roof. The largest load bars—in this example, 78-inch Thules—can accommodate a large amount of goods. Those who utilize sliding rack mounts must ensure that they are properly sealed, or else they may leak into your roof, causing damage to your top bunk.

The Widebodys ($40) have a large surface area, which allows the load to be distributed evenly across the fiberglass roof.

See also:  What Is A Peak Pole Tent

The largest load bars—in this example, 78-inch Thules—can accommodate a large amount of goods.

(Bobby Altman narrates)

Fold-Down Bike Rack and Hitch

For my old-school Ibis Ripley, a fold-down bike rack that allows me to open the back hatch is vital, as is a two-inch receiver hitch like GoWesty’s ($179), which allows me to open the rear hatch. If the rack receiver bar is longer than a foot, shorten it by six inches so that it does not scrape against the pavement when exiting parking lots. Additionally, GoWesty’s Heavy Duty Hatch Struts ($13) come highly recommended. For my old-school Ibis Ripley, a fold-down bike rack that allows me to open the back hatch is vital, as is a two-inch receiver hitch like GoWesty’s ($179), which allows me to open the rear hatch.

If the rack receiver bar is longer than a foot, shorten it by six inches so that it does not scrape against the pavement when exiting parking lots. Additionally, GoWesty’s Heavy Duty Hatch Struts ($13) come highly recommended. (Bobby Altman narrates)

TruckFridge

During a road trip across Georgia in our Westy in 2004, my wife and I came saw our dog Frieda by the side of the road. Frieda is taking it easy next to our brand newTruckFridge TF-49. TruckFridge ($500) replaced the Westy’s old and troublesome propane-powered stock refrigerator, which was too noisy and too small. The TF-49 is designed to fit into the standard cabinet with no alteration and can run indefinitely on an auxiliary battery and a 100-watt solar panel (available for purchase separately for $150).

Frieda is taking it easy next to our brand newTruckFridge TF-49.

The TF-49 is designed to fit into the standard cabinet with no alteration and can run indefinitely on an auxiliary battery and a 100-watt solar panel (available for purchase separately for $150).

Fridge Hack

Pro tip: Keep a quart-size Ziploc full of frozen water in the back of the freezer to keep your fridge cooler longer while also conserving electricity and saving money. Pro tip: Keep a quart-size Ziploc full of frozen water in the back of the freezer to keep your fridge cooler longer while also conserving electricity and saving money. (Bobby Altman narrates)

ProSport Smart Charger

An inexpensiveSunForce 10AMP controller ($30) is used to govern the charging of the solar panel’s auxiliary battery, which is connected to a deep cycle battery for backup power. This also makes it simple to determine the voltage of the battery. When the van is turned off, a simpleGoWesty relay ($60) keeps the starting and auxiliary batteries isolated, preserving the life of the starter battery. A marine-grade six-ampProSport Smart Charger($60) is a low-cost and trouble-free option for charging your phone at a campground.

Some people also install large 120-volt power inverters for laptops and other electronic devices, however these large LC watt inverters are also a power waste.

An inexpensiveSunForce 10AMP controller ($30) is used to govern the charging of the solar panel’s auxiliary battery, which is connected to a deep cycle battery for backup power.

When the van is turned off, a simpleGoWesty relay ($60) keeps the starting and auxiliary batteries isolated, preserving the life of the starter battery.

If you are a power seeker, you should choose for a minimum of 10 amps. Some people also install large 120-volt power inverters for laptops and other electronic devices, however these large LC watt inverters are also a power waste. For me, the ACobra model ($25) is fine. (Bobby Altman narrates)

Propane Stove

As a father, I was apprehensive about transporting three gallons of very flammable propane in the factory-supplied under-van tank. Instead, I installed a line and a mini-regulator that allows the stove to be powered by disposable propane canisters that we keep in a roof-mounted storage box. As a father, I was apprehensive about transporting three gallons of very flammable propane in the factory-supplied under-van tank. Instead, I installed a line and a mini-regulator that allows the stove to be powered by disposable propane canisters that we keep in a roof-mounted storage box.

Keeper Tow Rope

My Keeper tow rope($19) is an absolutely necessary piece of equipment for me. A tow truck is a useful tool for getting out of a jam and for providing an emergency tow when anything goes wrong suddenly. If you’re off-roading, you’ll need an even more powerful vehicle. Bubba’s “snatch” rope is a superior bet in this situation. My Keeper tow rope($19) is an absolutely necessary piece of equipment for me. A tow truck is a useful tool for getting out of a jam and for providing an emergency tow when anything goes wrong suddenly.

Bubba’s “snatch” rope is a superior bet in this situation.

Rollup REI Camp Table

An outdoor dining table like this one from REI ($65) is a must-have for any outdoor eating setup. Aside from that, the almost unbreakable steel plates and bowls from GSI ($70) come highly recommended. A Dometic/TransAwn slideout awning was included with our van. The use of awnings is absolutely necessary when camping in inclement weather or scorching temperatures. These are hard to come by on Craigslist or Ebay, but you can get a great bargain on newAleko Awnings($399) from Amazon for a very low price.

  1. Use the four-gallon sunshower ($35), which can be found in the rooftop storage area, to wash off before sitting down to your lunch.
  2. An outdoor dining table like this one from REI ($65) is a must-have for any outdoor eating setup.
  3. A Dometic/TransAwn slideout awning was included with our van.
  4. These are hard to come by on Craigslist or Ebay, but you can get a great bargain on newAleko Awnings($399) from Amazon for a very low price.

Use the four-gallon sunshower ($35), which can be found in the rooftop storage area, to wash off before sitting down to your lunch. If there is no sun, a kettle of boiling water can be added to make even the coldest sunshower more comfortable. (Bobby Altman narrates)

12-Volt Fan

It is common for vans to have their air conditioning installed in the back. These 12V fans ($21) do an excellent job of propelling frigid air forward. It is common for vans to have their air conditioning installed in the back. These 12V fans ($21) do an excellent job of propelling frigid air forward. (Bobby Altman narrates)

Heavy Duty Off-Road Tires

In addition to looking fantastic, you’ll find that you’ll need heavy-duty off-road tires to support the weight of your 5,000-pound van. I recommend tires with a minimum capacity of 1,500 pounds and a working pressure of at least 44 psi. Although I now use the recently discontinued Firestone Destination A/ T’s, when they wear out, I will most likely switch to the General Grabber A/(which T’s cost $96 apiece). If you want fantastic off-road traction without having to spend the money on a Syncro, GoWesty 2WD lift springs ($300 for a set) and Peloquin limited slip rear differentials are also excellent choices.

I recommend tires with a minimum capacity of 1,500 pounds and a working pressure of at least 44 psi.

If you want fantastic off-road traction without having to spend the money on a Syncro, GoWesty 2WD lift springs ($300 for a set) and Peloquin limited slip rear differentials are also excellent choices.

Maintenance

It’s critical to keep your 25-year-old vehicle in good working order. I still use the standard motor and most of the stock components, but I’m continuously changing old parts before they wear out and repairing any rust patches that appear before they become a bigger problem. It’s critical to keep your 25-year-old vehicle in good working order. I still use the standard motor and most of the stock components, but I’m continuously changing old parts before they wear out and repairing any rust patches that appear before they become a bigger problem.

Bostig Vanagon Conversion

Consider the following scenario: Purchasing a Dodge Sprinter or Land Rover Discovery, whether new or gently used, will cost you up to $500 per month in installments. Put half of that amount into your vehicle every month, and you should be able to keep it in excellent condition. However, you must have a realistic understanding of your mechanical abilities. To get around this, you may either update your Vanagon with a hassle-free Bosch/Ford Zetec engine conversion ($6,000), purchase a Sportsmobile Ford or GMC van, or convert a Toyota Tacoma, which are all available for purchase online.

The Vanagon, on the other hand, will be significantly easier for you to work on than any of the other cars indicated above.

Put half of that amount into your vehicle every month, and you should be able to keep it in excellent condition.

To get around this, you may either update your Vanagon with a hassle-free Bosch/Ford Zetec engine conversion ($6,000), purchase a Sportsmobile Ford or GMC van, or convert a Toyota Tacoma, which are all available for purchase online.

Spare parts are much simpler to get by, and those cars are lot less difficult for the common technician to work on than they were previously. The Vanagon, on the other hand, will be significantly easier for you to work on than any of the other cars indicated above. (Bobby Altman narrates)

Need More Van Life Advice?

Remember, if your van is in good condition and works well, you will receive far less criticism from your significant other and will appear far less like a bum to local law enforcement officers. Finally, take into consideration the indulgences. Despite the fact that some claim that they add complication, my van has back heat, cold air conditioning—and even campground air conditioning through a rooftop window unit—as well as electric door locks, electric windows, and electric mirrors. I see the fact that they are all employed as a badge of pride.

Listed below are some of the greatest resources I’ve discovered for van living tips and vans for sale: Gowesty.com Technical goods of outstanding quality are available at Van-Café.

Remember, if your van is in good condition and works well, you will receive far less criticism from your significant other and will appear far less like a bum to local law enforcement officers.

Despite the fact that some claim that they add complication, my van has back heat, cold air conditioning—and even campground air conditioning through a rooftop window unit—as well as electric door locks, electric windows, and electric mirrors.

To restate, freedom does not come without a price.

Expeditionportal.comSportsmobileforum.com And if you own a Vanagon, you will learn something new every day by participating in TheSamba’s discussion forum.

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