For the past six years, my 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia has been my traveling companion. I piled my kayaks and River Dog inside and hit the road in pursuit of whitewater adventures around Colorado and our great country. To get the old van roadworthy and up to my modern standards, I spent countless hours on […]
In 2008, I sold my Volkswagen Thing and bought a vehicle that I thought would be much more practical–a 1985 VW Vanagon Westafalia camper.
Over the years, I learned all about the vehicle’s quirks and slowly modernized it to the point where it became my only vehicle. In particular, in 2009 I installed 2003 Zetec engine from a Ford Focus with the help of the Bostig conversion kit and documented the whole process in a series of posts and videos. Then in 2011, I increased the performance further with Bostig’s turbocharger kit. And in parallel, I installed my own custom solar panels along with a computer-controlled battery monitor.
However, in addition to working on my van, I also got out and used it–a lot. It became my weekend house away from home every spring, summer, and fall, and I also did a few big trips in it as well.
Finally in 2014, I decided to part ways with the old van and posted it in this For Sale Ad. Within a week, it sold to wonderful new owners who are busy continuing the project with upgraded AC and a new paint job.
It was a great project and travelling companion for 6 years, and I look forward to reminiscing about it down the road with the stories on this site…
I always wished for better lighting when backing up my van at night, and last summer I built a custom system that provided that and much more. In addition to wanting reverse lighting, I wanted the ability to light up the area around my van while driving or in camp or while loading kayaking gear […]
In May of 2011 amid rainy weather that was foretelling of the epic kayaking season that was soon to come, I huddled under a tarp in my condo’s parking lot covered in a combination of grease and rain. I systematically worked away on my 1985 VW Vanagon removing one component at a time and replacing […]
On the morning of January 6, 2013, I loaded my kayak on the frosty roof of my Westfalia van and headed south to Golden, CO. When I arrived at the whitewater playpark, I was greeted by a barely flowing and nearly iced over Clear Creek that certainly would not float a boat. But that was […]
In May of 2011, I embarked on several projects to improve the functionality of my 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia camper. After installing a Bostig turbo charger and designing & building an Arduino-based battery monitor, I designed and installed a solar panel system to keep my beer cold all summer long. But of course, just as […]
It began with a sketch on a whiteboard just under a year ago, and today the device is functioning beautifully in my van. Granted, I only worked on this project for about 2 weeks last year before kayaking dragged me away from it and during the past 2 weeks, but it is still gratifying to […]
Warm days are beginning to grace us along the Front Range of Colorado and with that comes my annual yearning to get back on the water in my whitewater kayak. Although I have kayaked and owned my van for many years, two years ago I made deliberate choices about both that have had significant positive […]
When the day was over, I had been asked this by at least four separate individuals. And to think that I had never heard of this trick before this week. Unfortunately it didn’t help, and I needed a bigger metaphorical hammer to get my van moving in the snow again. The spring snow storms have […]
Today marks the second week I have had my Zetec up in running in my 1985 Westfalia! I had already put 300 miles on it, so yesterday I gave it a thorough check out and everything looked great. This morning, I drove it up I-70 in Colorado to go skiing, which was the final exam […]