Tuesday, June 4, 2024

VW Camper Van Tour Part 2

Since I last posted about 'Skippy', our 1979 VW bay window camper (you can see that post here), we've done a few more upgrades and modifications which I wanted to share. The van was on wedding duty today and so we got her tarted up and cleaned and I did brief video which you can see below.

Weddings are something we started doing last year. We have a relationship with 2 local companies who have similar vintage camper vans which they use exclusively for weddings and other events. 

Skippy with friends, Mary (left) and Dusty (right)

Skippy is used mainly for camping but we can also use her for weddings and so we act as an additional van if needed by one of the 2 companies. If you are interested is hiring Skippy, or one of the other wedding vans, I will put their websites below.

Chase the Sun 

Broughton Wedding Cars

On Duty !

The first upgrade we did last year was to have the original steel wheels (which were getting pretty rusty) sand blasted and powder coated to look like new. Demon Wheels in Preston did this for us and they did a superb job. We are really happy with them. They look great with the original chrome hub caps and the while wall tyres.

Baby's got new Shoes ...

The next major upgrade was to have all the seats and the mattress reupholstered. This was done by Phil Dixon at Kew Coach Trimmers in Southport. We chose a lovely cream and grey pattern which matches the door cards. 

... and new Clothes

Phil did an excellent job using top quality materials which look like new. Again, we've been really happy with the result.

The Finished Interior complete with Original Furniture 

The other few jobs were just minor bits and bobs. We always struggled with fridge space on anything more that a 1 night trip and so we bought the Indel B TB18 compact fridge/freezer which sits perfectly between the 2 front seats. This is great for drinks and along with the Vitifrigio C39i we now have plenty of fridge space. 

Just Chillin

And the great thing about these 2 super efficient 12 volt compressor fridges is that they both are powered continually by the 180w solar panel on the roof which charges a large gel battery. And we still have plenty of capacity to charge phones, use the internal lights and power the radio. Which essentially means we have no need for an electric hook up when camping. Great freedom !

At Bug Jam, Santa Pod 2023

Camping in the Lake District 

The final upgrade last year was related to a problem I had with the wiper motor fuse frequently blowing. After a discussion on the late bay forum I found that this was a fairly common problem, and would need a replacement wiper motor, which are very hard to come by. 

Someone on the forum had designed a modification kit which used a VW Golf wiper motor as a much more reliable alternative. And so I ordered the bits, carefully followed the instructions and now have a perfect 2 speed wiper motor which is much quieter and has already paid for itself in the number of blown fuses saved !

And that's about it. Skippy is looking fine and we are looking forward to a great summer of camping and weddings. I have no plans for any major upgrades in the foreseeable future. I do keep toying with the idea of getting a diesel heater, and that might be the next project but otherwise its just the usual service and maintenance jobs. She is probably going need her underside wax oiling again at the end of the season. Keeping the rust at bay is of course the number one concern with these vans !

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