Camp Westfalia

Archive for Maintenance & Repair

Tracking Down Engine and Other Fluid Leaks

How to find and identify leaking oil, coolant, fuel, and other automotive fluids. We’ve all been there. You move your van to a new spot in the driveway and discover a new stain. Or, you just get settled in your campsite when your partner asks, “Dear, what is this colorful puddle under the van?” Once, […]

What’s Your Van Plan for This Year?

The New Year is a great time for a fresh start. Never mind the resolutions to spend more time at the gym and less time watching cat videos (we both know that’s not gonna happen). The real question is, what are your plans to get your campervan in tip top shape, and enjoy some great traveling […]

Making the Most of Stay-at-Home Orders, for Van-Campers

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have chosen to self-quarantine in our homes for the next several weeks. Cancelled trip plans, indefinite isolation, travel restrictions, Spring fever, and information overload can all be a recipe for anxiety and boredom. We are van-campers, damn it! We are not homebodies, and we crave the […]

Vanagon Cooling System Overview

New owners often find themselves mystified by the cooling system of the Vanagon. Which is understandable, considering that it’s kind of an oddball setup. A little historical context and a quick tour should help ‘splain things. Most water-cooled cars, including the one you probably use as a grocery-getter, has the engine up front, right behind […]

Making Custom Rigid Hydraulic Brake Lines

Replace the old, rusty, unsafe steel brake lines on your Vanagon (or any other vehicle, for that matter). After 30 or 40 years, the original steel brake lines on your Vanagon/Transporter may well be past their reasonable service life, especially if you live in a wet region where corrosive road salt may be used on […]

Replacing the Vanagon Rear Hatch Struts

Here’s how to fix your van’s rear hatch if it won’t stay up or is difficult to open If you (or more correctly, your van) has been suffering from a loose posterior opening (ahem), you probably need a new pair of hatch strut lift shocks. In a pinch while traveling or camping, you can fashion […]

Your Emergency On-Board Vanagon Tool Kit

How to put together a complete emergency tool kit for your Vanagon, Transporter, or Bus Every tool is a hammer, except for a screwdriver, which is a chisel. Perales, Samba member You’ve spent the better part of the spring (and no small amount of cash) repairing, maintaining, and restoring your Vanagon or Bus, preparing it […]

Winterize Your Westfalia for Storage

How to put your Vanagon Westfalia Camper Van to bed for the winter or off-season You’ve hopefully just completed a long happy summer of road tripping in your camper van, with all the memories and Facebook moments that come with it. But if your van resides in the cold northern tier of snow, ice, or […]

Replacing the Westfalia Tent Window Screen

How to replace the torn or tattered window screen in your Volkswagen Westfalia Camper popup tent After many miles and many years of camping, the insect screen in the popup tent window of your campervan can turn old and brittle. It will eventually start splitting and crumbling apart, allowing pesky bugs into your cozy abode. […]

Preparing Your Vanagon Westfalia for Summer

How to get your Vanagon Westfalia Camper Van ready for summer road-tripping and camping “Spring has sprung. The grass is riz. I wonder where dem campers is?” Paraphrased from Frederic Ogden Nash If your camper van is anything like mine it probably spends its winters tucked safely away in a big red barn, or maybe […]