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Date:         Fri, 21 Nov 2003 10:47:30 -0800
Reply-To:     Tobin Copley <tobin.copley@UBC.CA>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Tobin Copley <tobin.copley@UBC.CA>
Subject:      Re: one van for two people... part 2
Comments: To: Damon Campbell <damoncampbellvw@YAHOO.COM>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed

Hi Damon,

I think I'm probably pretty well positioned to address your questions, since: 1) I live in Vancouver 2) I have a Vanagon 3) I have a H*nda C*v*c 4) I too am committed to alternative transportation, and seldom use our cars.

Your issues: 1) Depending where you live, public transportation can be excellent in Vancouver. I live on Commercial Drive, close to SkyTrain, and it takes me 14 minutes door to door to my downtown office using SkyTrain. There's no way I could drive it that fast.

2) If you have the money, a car's a really good thing to have in Vancouver. It rains. A lot. For 7 months of the year. I don't like riding my bicycle in the rain on dark cold winter nights, so I drive the car for big grocery shopping or to drive the 10km out to ride the velodrome ( I probably use the car only 2 or 3 times a week, but it sure is nice to have.

3) For around town, I gotta agree with your wife, the H*nda's the thing to have. It's excellent on gas, it *never* breaks down, *never* burns a drop of oil between oil changes, and *always* runs perfectly. It's kinda creepy, actually. I just wore down it's first set of tires at 85K, and it's the first thing (short of scheduled maintenance) I've had to put in to it. Oh, it did burn out a turn signal lamp, once.

4) I'd never sell my Vanagon westy. One of the things about living in Vancouver is you're just an hour or so away from getting lost in the mountains, or getting on a ferry to Vancouver Island, or... I use my westy strictly for camping and "fun" trips, like heading up the valley and bringing back 12 huge flats of freshly picked berries. I take it off the road every winter and store it (right now it's in my underground parking, where I hope to fix the pop-top canvas, replace the transmission, and flush the cooling system over the winter.) Since I use it just for fun, the miles on it stay low, so my maintenance costs stay lower.

5) Ask yourself how much you could get selling your Vanagon vs. the enjoyment you get out of using it as your fun vehicle. Would the few thousand dollars you could sell it for really be worth it in the long run? Do you really need to run it all year 'round? I know for us, the westy provides us with a (relatively) inexpensive way to get family holidays and short weekend overnight camps in, and to go to places we just couldn't get to in the H*nda. It's also great for heading down to the beach. I'm never taking my H*nda 100km up main line logging roads, nor 20km up decommissioned logging roads to get to good camp spots. I smeared my propane tank nearly off last summer as it is; my H*nda would get hopelessly chipped, dented, and trashed driving roads like that. My Vanagon gets smeared, scratched, and twisted routinely, but it's an older vehicle and it's built strong enough to take it (most of the time). The H*nda's built for civilized driving, so I drive it accordingly.

So, do you *need* two cars in Vancouver? No. Do you *want* two cars in Vancouver? Quite possibly, if you want to get out and use the vanagon for things it's designed for. Do you need the Vanagon insured and on the road all year long? Maybe not. Will you really gain that much by selling it? You won't get much for it, and it sure is hard to buy a good one later if you realize later you want one again. If you're tight for cash, maybe think about taking it off the road and storing it until spring.

Just a few thoughts; hope you find them somewhat useful.


--------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobin Copley Vancouver, BC, Canada 49deg 23'N-123deg 19'W

'82 Westfalia 1.6L NA diesel ("Stinky") '97 son Russell ============= '99 daughter Margaret /_| |_L| |__|:| clatter SPEED KILLS! [. = .| clatter! Drive a Vanagon diesel ~-()-==----()-~ ~ ~

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