Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Discussions about the devices that supply a means for movement of people and goods.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

User avatar
Dutch253
* *
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:19 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, I am Legend (does this count?), The Walking Dead(?)
Location: PNW- South of Seattle

Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Dutch253 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:40 pm

Does anyone know why these awesome little vehicles carry such a hefty price tag? I've been pricing them lately and OUCH! Especially the ones I like the most. I'd really a Synchro Westfalia. Anyone have any alternatives to them?

Thanks!
"But Lord, during the hardest trials of my life, why was there only one set of footprints?"
"Because," said the Lord, "Sandpeople always ride single-file, to hide their numbers."

User avatar
Dawgboy
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 3072
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:35 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the dead, Fido
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:48 pm

Yeah, Pricey even when damaged... Go figure. They always seem to need a tow too... Only real alternatives are to find an American van conversion. There are a lot of ford and Dodge campers out there.
shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
[ZS/]# .40/Pie/CERT/Wireless...
My homebrew stove kit
IMPROVED Solar Redneck Hot tub
Dawgvan
Chupa Chihuahua
GHB

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 8173
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by TacAir » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:04 am

could it be they are 30 years old? or made in Germany?
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

User avatar
Dutch253
* *
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:19 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, I am Legend (does this count?), The Walking Dead(?)
Location: PNW- South of Seattle

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Dutch253 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:07 am

TacAir wrote:could it be they are 30 years old? or made in Germany?
You tell me, thats why I asked...
"But Lord, during the hardest trials of my life, why was there only one set of footprints?"
"Because," said the Lord, "Sandpeople always ride single-file, to hide their numbers."

User avatar
Skull_Hide
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 919
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:59 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Fight O
Location: Near Rainier Oregon

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Skull_Hide » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:45 am

The hippies drove them into extinction. Ha

Just limited and sought after.
My Silnylon Alice pack DIY w/ 1606AF frame Hellcat
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81955" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sig 1911-22LR pistol
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=82581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If my post contains a misplaced/ random word = auto spell is a bitch.

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 8173
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by TacAir » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:49 am

Dutch253 wrote:
TacAir wrote:could it be they are 30 years old? or made in Germany?
You tell me, thats why I asked...
OK. The bay-window classics (thru 1971) with the Type 1 engine are just that a Classic = big bucks. 1967 and older might even be considered antique? Old very big bucks.

The new ones reflect the difference dollar to Euro - with US being on the losing side.

Drove one for years, 1971, pop up, had the factory tent, and cot for the front. Wonderful for a weekender.

Loved it - right up to the time I blew the #3 cylinder outside of Delta UT. Nearest fix-it place - Las Vegas. That was a 'fun' tow.

You might consider an A-iiner pull behind, you get the same amenities, without the low horsepower, slow speeds, the wind knocking you all over the road and the ugly tendency tendency for the engines to blow up on long trips....

You can still find 'un-restored' Buses on the web for almost reasonable pries.

(Edit - I hate my spell checker-er)
Last edited by TacAir on Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

User avatar
jamoni
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 14985
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:50 pm
Location: st louis

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by jamoni » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:48 am

Pressed steel + 30 years of gravel roads and water= giant rust holes that are hard to fix and affect the integrity of the vehicle.
These guys are monobody construction and when the rust starts, everything gets saggy and wonky. Also, parts are harder to find than bugs, so they tend to sit not running in fields... where they rust.
Did I mention the rust? :lol:
JoergS wrote:Realistically, I think I can launch a nine pound chain saw at 50 fps from a shoulder mounted rubber powered bazooka...
squinty wrote:I reserve the right to yell "Dookyhole!" - or it's Hebrew equivalent if such a thing exists - whilst dispensing a barrage of palm strikes at my opponent.

User avatar
fourway
* *
Posts: 251
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:41 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: I'd have to go with Return.
It's pre-cgi, it's funny, the zombies are fast and they talk. Remember the half a corpse on the embalmer's table explaining why zombies eat brains?
Location: New York's Mid Hudson Valley

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by fourway » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:23 am

like this one? Image
2002 VW 5cyl 2.5L Turbo Diesel 4Motion Trakka Camper. $57,000 AUS (and hey due to the favorable exchange rates that's only $59,350 USD!)

Sure it'll cost to ship it to north america but just think... how rusty could it have gotten in Australia?
You could paint peace signs on it and run it on used fryer oil and everything!
(note, running on used fryer oil might generate some meat odors so it's recommended that you add an ounce or two of pachouli oil to each fill up)
Shumway's Law: Bleeding will always stop on its own eventually

User avatar
Tater Raider
* * * * *
Posts: 6737
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:53 pm
Location: Meatworld

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Tater Raider » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:53 am

Dutch253 wrote:Does anyone know why these awesome little vehicles carry such a hefty price tag? I've been pricing them lately and OUCH! Especially the ones I like the most. I'd really a Synchro Westfalia. Anyone have any alternatives to them?

Thanks!
Supply and demand.

User avatar
ZombieSoldier01
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Coastal area of Georgia (Ludowici)
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by ZombieSoldier01 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:14 am

its gods way of telling you to be an astrovan or an aerostar :) j/k

"Zombies... Coming to eat a friend near you.."

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7296
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:46 am

You want expensive? Try to find one of the rare 1980's Syncro Westfalias in good condition. Those bad-boys have a genuine Daimler-Puch military grade 4x4 transmission with a locking center differential shoehorned into that uber-space efficient VW chassis. Woefully underpowered but mechanically simple and still my personal definition of the perfect attainable BOV.

User avatar
KYZHunters
* * * * *
Posts: 1374
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:47 pm

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by KYZHunters » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:52 am

Ten years ago I was hot to trot over one of these and in addition to the sticker shock on both new and used, I was surprised at the 1) shitty gas mileage and 2) crappy environmental stats. Still look for an opportunity to replace my wife's 13-window micro though.
Completely off topic, I just remembered frequently participating in the post-Grateful Dead concert mass push-starting ritual of all of the buses that couldn't start any other way.
crypto wrote:It's not that you were being "harsh" so much as a "douchebag".

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7296
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:55 am

KYZHunters wrote: in addition to the sticker shock on both new and used, I was surprised at the 1) shitty gas mileage and 2) crappy environmental stats. .
Plus one on the sticker price. But re: gas mileage and emissions, three words, my friend:

Subaru engine refit.

User avatar
Dawgboy
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 3072
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:35 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the dead, Fido
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Dawgboy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:06 pm

I also mis-remember the "pushoffs"...

A friend recently bought an 86 Westfalia and paid 7 grand for it with big dents in the slider door, a torn and rotted top tent, some electrical issues, bad brakes, and a clutch that grenaded on her in The Mountains of Colorado... But it's rust free...
shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
[ZS/]# .40/Pie/CERT/Wireless...
My homebrew stove kit
IMPROVED Solar Redneck Hot tub
Dawgvan
Chupa Chihuahua
GHB

silversnake
* * *
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 7:47 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by silversnake » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:50 pm

Dutch253 wrote:Does anyone know why these awesome little vehicles carry such a hefty price tag?
I've bolded your answer for you. There's not many of them around any more and there are many folks who share your same opinion of them. :wink:

User avatar
Birddog1148
* *
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:12 pm
Location: Sandusky Ohio
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Birddog1148 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:52 pm

Just gotta be in the right place at the right time. Bought this in december for $350
Image
Had been watching it sit for about a year and asked the owner of the house it was at one day what they were doing with it and he said "You want it?" The old ACVW's have kind of a cult following and they keep the prices up, plus a lot are geting shipped overseas now. http://www.thesamba.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is a very large vw site/forum and has about the best VW classified section around.

I also have a '69 Baja :twisted:
Image
Will hunt for food.

User avatar
Jeriah
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 18722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Original Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead 04, and 28 Days Later are my top three, in that order.
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Jeriah » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:55 pm

My grandma has a Westie. They're expensive because demand exceeds supply. There just aren't as many of them around as there are people who want them.
Image

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7296
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:11 pm

Nice, but this is what I'm jonsing for:

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Dutch253
* *
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:19 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, I am Legend (does this count?), The Walking Dead(?)
Location: PNW- South of Seattle

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Dutch253 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:20 pm

Major: you nailed it! That blue one of top is awesome!!!!!
"But Lord, during the hardest trials of my life, why was there only one set of footprints?"
"Because," said the Lord, "Sandpeople always ride single-file, to hide their numbers."

User avatar
Birddog1148
* *
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:12 pm
Location: Sandusky Ohio
Contact:

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by Birddog1148 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:28 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFt0Kw7ARBo" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpjAgT-aM28" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This bus was driven from Boston to Moab utah and back and does ok off road

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kP3SZi8 ... playnext=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

pretty sure the build thread is over at the samba and possibly http://www.shoptalkforums.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; in the offroad sections
Will hunt for food.

ferball
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by ferball » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:35 pm

I own a beat up old 1974 Transporter. Awesome rig. Why people love them:

-Simple to work on
-After market parts are cheap and plentiful
-Popular for alternate energy conversions (wood gas or electric) because of cheap simple drivetrain.
-Hippie appeal

Because it is such a versatile platform for hacks, supply can't meet demand, I won't sell mine for anything less than $2500. Alittle steep for the piece of crap it is, but that is what it would cost to replace it. Just one old Vdubbers thoughts.

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7296
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:53 pm

Dutch253 wrote:Major: you nailed it! That blue one of top is awesome!!!!!


I say they're woefully underpowered, but if you look closely at that 4th picture I posted you'll see that little Westy is actually towing the much larger E-250 behind it.

User avatar
offcamber
* * * * *
Posts: 1964
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: West By God Virginia

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by offcamber » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:05 pm

I've personally owned 4 of them over the years and while i loved every minute of 'em, I'll take a water cooled SUV with a rooftop tent and the back packed full of gear any day.

User avatar
sjolly75
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:48 pm
Location: Vicksburg, MS

Re: Why are VW van/campers so expensive?

Post by sjolly75 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:40 am

I own a Honda Element, and Ursa Minor Vehicles does a mod that's pretty awesome! Here are some pics:

Closed:
Image

Open:
Image

It's not as big as the old VW vans, but Elements are easier to find and a lot of fun!

They also make Jeep campers:

Image

Image
EMCS(SW)
US Navy, Retired

Post Reply

Return to “Transportation”