Camper Van

This page is dedicated to our 1979 VW 'Late Bay' Camper Van called 'Skippy'.  We bought her in 2017 after hiring her for summer holidays the previous 2 years. When she came up for sale we just couldn't resist. 

She was a very solid van in all the right areas. Usually right hand drive vans (excluding those imported from Australia) were pretty rotten, having been subjected to too many UK winters. But Skippy was an exception to the norm. We don't know her full history but she was apparently stored in a dry garage for many years before being sold to her last owner. 

There was no rust underneath and the engine was sound but she was looking a bit tatty. Bubbles of rust were evident in the usual areas under the doors, the rear corners and the battery trays. The wiring looked like an old birds nest and the pop top roof has seen better days. And so we set off on a slow but steady restoration project which was finally finished this year, 2024. We wanted to keep as many of the original features as possible so the van can maintain its true vintage heritage.

This is a list of the work done in order.

  • Complete rewiring of the rear end of the van including fitting an immobiliser.
  • Replacing and welding key body panels and battery tray
  • Sourcing and fitting 2 new cab doors
  • Full respray
  • Underside cleaned and wax sealed
  • Full pop top roof renovation
  • New headlining
  • New door cards and trims
  • All original internal furniture removed, sanded, restained and refitted
  • New floor fitted
  • Fitted roof solar panel, MPPT unit and gel battery 
  • Fitted internal LED lights and USB charger points 
  • 2 new fridges powered by the solar panels
  • New water container, tap and electric pump
  • All seats and mattress reupholstered 
  • Wheels sand blasted and powder coated
Other posts, pictures and videos in the links below.

Skippy is used regularly throughout the summer as our camper van and day van but more recently she's also been used as wedding van. It's great to see the joy she can bring to someone's special day.

A list of suppliers and other companies that we've used to help restore the camper van is listed below.

81aVdubs : Specialist service and repair garage & paintshop in Southport for Vintage VW's
Custom and CommercialQuality VW parts
Demon Wheels : Wheel renovation
Just Kampers : Almost everything for VW Campers
Kew Coach Trimmers : Seat Upholsterers 
Heritage Parts : VW Camper Van parts
MadMatz : for the floor tiles
Proud to Pop : Pop top roof renovation and new canvas

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