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Date:         Mon, 8 Jan 2001 15:27:07 -0800
Reply-To:     Bill Kasper <dragon@IPMTS.UCSC.EDU>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Bill Kasper <dragon@IPMTS.UCSC.EDU>
Subject:      purchase advice, 1980s westfalia
Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

hi. i am new to this list. my wife and i are discussing purchasing an '80s westfalia camper to replace our trusty toyota pickup truck with shell/bedkit...our 3 year old son no longer is happy fitting behind my wife in his carseat on the jumpseat, at least on long trips.

so, we're looking for a camper car, one we can also use for shorter trips around town where his comfort is happy-making for all of us. i have looked on-line and found a variety of vanagons and have come up with these first questions:

1. how do you get into the poptop, and how does it act as a bed for anyone longer than about 3 feet? none of the pictures i've found webside have shown this.

2. what's the deal with the 1983.5-1985 engines, and why have some sites i've seen recommended going with the 1980-83 or >86 westies based on the engine? i understand they introduced a new engine during this period, but what exactly should i avoid (and i am not talking head gaskets here)? i ask this because i have found a 1985 wolfsburg westfalia locally, and am considering it.

3. if you have an electric fridge, how is it powered? by the car battery? i see a lot of references to secondary/tertiary/quaternary batteries.

4. can the incredibly detailed checklist at be distilled into a top 10 or 20 items to make sure of, plus the rest which would only cause marginal (yet operative) pain if they weren't closely regarded during inspection?

5. just how comfortable *are* the beds?

6. can a third seat be installed just anywhere on the floor behind/between the front buckets, or are there specific spots? i think of my child and his carseat in this instance...

7. are there any things to be utterly wary about when searching for a westfalia? obvious things like "the 1984 westfalia always came with broken spark plug wires".

thanks, sorry for the startlingly loud appearance here, but i hope we (my wife and i) can get something together *westfalian* for long enough that i can turn around and contribute!

cheers! bill kasper

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