On The Road – Touring Adventures with SunHatFrance

Photo of the Gorges du Verdon, France
Words and photography by Liz of SunHatFrance

Sunhatfrance recently launched their Classic VW Camper van hire in the stunning location of Provence/Cote d’Azur in the South of France.

Now that Spring has arrived, sunny days and lighter evenings we thought it would be the ideal moment to experience a few days touring our favourite places locally in our newly refurbished VW camper van ‘Cassie’.  She is a beautifully restored 1978 Westfalia, T2 Bay Window.

This last year has been an eventful one for her, she was shipped over from Oregon, USA to the UK where she then underwent a total revamp before taking up her new residence with us here in the heart of Provence in France.

Photo of the Gorges du Verdon, France

Beautiful Gorges du Verdon in France

From our base in Cabasse we decided our first stop just had to be the absolutely breathtaking Gorges du Verdon, aptly known as the Grand Canyon of France.

When we originally had the idea of offering this style of holiday it was the image of Cassie or Joe camped under the stars alongside the lake at Ste Croix du Verdon that fired our imagination that this could create a very special travel experience and hold memories that would stay with you for a lifetime.

Preparations underway we began loading her up with all we’d need for a few days luxury camping, we’ve carefully planned to include everything a self-drive adventurer will need when they choose to rent a Retro VW Campervan from http://www.sunhatfrance.com/

Next morning we wake to an azure blue sky and brilliant sunshine, everything on board, oil level checked (a little ritual you must perform regularly when driving a Classic VW like Cassie) and we’re off!

We know the route will take us through some of the most picturesque villages in the South of France and plan to take our time and visit one of our favourite vineyards en route http://www.chateaucarpediem.com/  we are after all in the famous wine producing region of the Var.

Cassie at Cotignac Market in the South of France

Cassie at Cotignac Market in the South of France

So, the wine chilling in the fridge, next stop the picturesque village of Cotignac http://www.provenceweb.fr/e/var/cotignac/cotignac.htm  to get our provisions for the next couple of days from the colourful  market, a selection of wonderful fresh French produce, perfect.

The quiet meandering country roads seem to be designed in perfect harmony for one of these vintage VW Campers, that refuse to be rushed along, the slower pace being beneficial for the camper van and better for us too!!!

An hour or so later we find ourselves looking down on the sparkling blue/green waters of the Lac Ste. Croix and the spectacular entrance to the Gorges du Verdon, this view never fails to make you gasp with the sheer beauty of it.

We decide to pull up and picnic making the most of the fantastic views that surround us, so roof up, picnic table and chairs out and relax….

We can’t resist taking a few photos of our Classic VW Camper in this setting, she just looks so amazing, her pastel green and white paintwork is absolutely gleaming in the Provencal sunshine, and with her brand new bespoke interior  featuring Ivory upholstery and Walnut cabinets she is the perfect blend of classic design and contemporary styling and it’s no wonder that so many people notice her as we pass by, we get many smiles and friendly waves as we tootle along, everyone seems to have a soft spot for these Iconic Camper vans.

SunHatFrance having a picnic by their VW Campervan

Time for a relax and a spot of food!

We could quite easily stay here all day long just absorbing the breathtaking scenery and atmosphere of this very special place, however we are excited to arrive at our destination and set up camp so we pack everything back in the van and head for the camping http://lesrochesverdon.com/  this is a tranquil little spot close to the village and right on the lakeside.

This is the bit we’ve really been looking forward to, setting up home and actually living in our VW Kombi for a couple of days, we want to try everything out so we can ensure all goes to plan when we offer her for campervan rental.

We put the awning together without any hitches, it’s amazing how much extra living space this creates, we can now store the picnic table and chairs in here leaving the campervan  clear, there is even a zip up bedroom compartment in the awning which can sleep 2 people if required.

It hasn’t taken us long to ‘make a home’ and before we know it we’ve got the kettle on.

We could have then gone off touring further afield, leaving the drive away awning to mark our camping plot, but we are so pleased to be here that we

Lake at Gorges du Verdon

Stunning scenery

have decided to spend the next couple of days around the van, walking alongside the lake, dipping in for a swim and a laze on the beach.  When evening time comes around it’s the moment to open a bottle of wine, cook a meal chez Cassie and sit chatting under the stars before turning in for a good nights’ sleep in our lovely classic VW camper.

We’ve had a great weekend and enjoyed every part of being ‘on the road’ in Cassie, having experienced this road trip first hand we are now confident that anyone choosing to book a holiday with Sunhatfrance   http://www.sunhatfrance.com/camper-vans/campervan-cassie/ are going to have as great a time as we have had, we can’t wait to do it again and have already planned our next trip to the beach near St. Tropez!  

If you would like to book with SunhatFrance you can either go to the Classic Volks Hire Page for France or direct to their website

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next instalment.

Road Trip with 69 Campers – by Matt Tombs

Image shows the 69 campers advert

………….where to go? France was the choice and it had to be the South, sun atmosphere scenery and shopping were very high on the list!  St Tropez, Cannes, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, Monte Carlo the choice was endless but not the mode of transport. It had to be the iconic VW Camper van in the shape of Margot 1978 and Amélie 1968 Bay window courtesy of 69 Campers, a company offering a range of vintage and T5 VW camping cars for touring in absolute style around the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France.

Four people, two Campervans and our road trip… cruising this stunning coastline from St-Tropez to Monte Carlo over 14 days. Let the fun begin…..

We flew into Nice, left-hand side of the plane was the place to be with magnificent views of the French Riviera which were to be our playground for the next two weeks.  With a transfer organised by 69 Campers we were whisked away to their headquarters in Seillans, the heart of Provence, in less than an hour. Paperwork and Campervan tutorial done we set off.

1- St-Tropez was our first point of call, a unanimous vote and a great opportunity to get the hang of the gears and brakes of our Campervans as it was downhill all the way!  A great ride meandering through the vineyards of backcountry Provence down to the coast, with a journey time into St-Tropez of 1hr 20mins and 67 km.

For our first night, we stayed at Les Tournels Camping Village 10km south of St-Tropez. Camper vans parked up it gave us our first opportunity to see them close up. Margot 1978 Californian Bay dressed in Yukon Yellow and Amélie 1968 Bay from Alabama in Pacific Blue both feature bespoke interiors comprising of fridge, sink, gas hob, 240V hook up, radio/cd and leisure battery.  The Campers can sleep 5 but the Rock ‘n’ Roll bed was all we needed. With the roof popped and bags unpacked we made full use of the luxury hamper we had pre-ordered with 69 Campers. Outside table and chairs prepped, we sat back and enjoyed our first evening under the star filled sky drinking chilled champagne and eating homemade brownies.

2/3-Awoke to blue skies and sun, a quick check on the vans in the morning, dipsticks at the ready, oil looking like golden syrup we headed back into St-Tropez.  With our windows down we cruised in convoy waving at our appreciating audience. Parking the vans at the Port, a 5-minute walk brings you instant chic as you enter the stunning harbour front that is St-Tropez.  Later that afternoon we headed to our next campsite, a short journey of 12km round the Bay of St-Tropez to Camping De La Plage, Grimaud.  This was to be a 2 night beach stop of pure chill and indulgence and to just absorb the atmosphere – the pink light, the fragrant air…. A simple campsite with a pitch on the beach gave us panoramic views of the bay morning, noon and night. The two Campervans parked up next to the beach really brought home to us the ethics of what this holiday was about. That evening chez Margot & Amélie, we served another fine meal and a night to remember with great friends….

4 -Managed to tear ourselves away from the Golfe de St Tropez and then headed 52km inland, to the boys choice, actually they had made a good choice, a wine tour and tasting chez Le Château des Demoiselles, La Motte.  Fantastic scenery, culture, history and wine

Armed with new liquid provisions and a sober driver our overnight stop was 40km down the N7 through the roman town of Frejus with it’s Amphitheatre, to St Raphael and Esterel Caravaning.  A 5* campsite with, get this, YOUR OWN private bathroom and jacuzzi on your pitch!! The private bathroom contained: a shower, toilet, washbasin, mirror, blow-dryer, and dishwasher, pure luxury!  All the basics of electric water and drainage as well.  An early evening swim and Wifi time provided a catch up on life.

5- One of the most stunning natural features of the Côte d’Azur is the Massif de l’Esterel, a coastal mountain range of red-ochre rock which forms the backdrop to some of the most iconic images of the South of France. The Massif de l’Esterel is located between St Raphaël and La Napoule, then onwards to Cannes. The N98 coastal road called the Corniche de l’Esterel is a must for driving, plus being in a Campervan brings that added height to enhance the experience through it’s numerous twists and turns. A 30km route to remember, striking red rock and azure-blue sea creates spectacular views.  Along the road we found numerous places to stop and take some holiday snaps plus a mid-morning swim. The road passes through such places as Agay with its sheltered bay and beach, Le Trayas and Théoule-sur-Mer with its scenic harbour and local cafes.

 

Specially organised by 69 Campers, we had an afternoon of water activities with Thierry at Jets’Cool. After thrills, spills and total exhaustion on these top of the range jet skis we drove to our campsite for the night Les Cigales in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. With the nights chef democratically elected we ate chez Margot with Amélie playing the summer tunes. This option was really growing on us – your own private space, eating what and when you like, dressing how you want and drinking as much as you wanted . It is so soothing just to be outdoors, listening to the sound of our neighbours the Cigales (grasshoppers).

6 – Day 6 and a tick in the box for Cannes, girls had a big smile and the boys conveniently forgot their wallets as we shopped in the chic boutiques of La Croisette.  Another must is the Forville market with its vast provençal larder where you can stock up the fridge. Residence that night was Camping Parc Bellevue, a 3 star campsite with all the necessities needed to accommodate our Campers as we headed off for a night in Cannes.

7 – Cannes in a day… no chance.  The girls had found the wallets and we split up. Shopping without the boys, and beach starring without the girls….

 

8 – Heading out of Cannes with the windows open, we spent the day driving in convoy up the coast through the elegant residences that occupy Juan-les-Pins and Cap d’Antibes. A real eye opener to wealth that the Côte d’Azur houses. One thing for sure every turn and twist on the coastal road brings a different shade of blue in the crystal clear sea. Margot and Amélie’s admiration over the week had been growing, two stunning vans in tandem presented another photo shoot at the Château Grimaldi in Antibes which houses the Picasso Museum.  You may be surrounded by wealth and beauty but driving a classic VW Camper beats a wide and loud Ferrari any day.

Two nights planned at camping Le Sourire in Villeneuve Loubet and we are loving this simple lifestyle.  Drive onto a pitch, pop the roof, put the tables and chairs out and in less than five minutes you are pouring your first drink…. silently sniggering at the other campers struggling with their tents.  This is definitely camping in style.

9 – Another day of blue sky and our activities were planned at Marineland and Aquasplash, conveniently placed side by side.  We watched a great sea life show followed by lunch back at the vans with few admirers popping their heads in, our French had improved immensely over the week!  Aquasplash that afternoon with swimwear intact, a great place for all families and ages.

 

10 – An early start and Amelie led the way into Nice (20km), four lanes of traffic and very little road markings provided the mornings entertainment!!  Followed by calming visit to the old town (Vieille Ville) with its narrow streets curving between old buildings with red-tile roofs, small restaurants and open markets.  Driving along the Promenade des Anglais with the windows down and the tunes pumping we were the epitome of cool!  In the afternoon, we headed up the coast – literally- into Villefranche Sur Mer.  The Camper made light work of the hills and we were greeted with a spectacular view of the coastline below.  We drove into the port, a test on the brakes….and managed to park alongside the beach giving easy access to chilled drinks and the picnic.  That evening we escaped the heat with a 20km drive inland to the foot of the beautiful perched village Peillon, which was our stop for the following two nights.

11 – Headed back to the coast in the morning to visit the medieval village of Eze (24km) and the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706).   Amazing girl shopping and the opportunity to partake in the outdoor café culture that reigns throughout the region.  An enriching morning of history followed by an afternoon on a private beach in Eze-Sur-Mer with our very own man-servant providing the mojito’s.  Designated driver took us back to Peillon that evening, there is a lack of campsites in this area so be sure to book in peak season.

 

12 – A big day for the boys as we headed to to the furthest point of our trip – Monaco and Monte Carlo (30km).  They were desperate to drive the race course; another ambition fulfilled although not quite at warp speed.  Margot pipped Amélie by a tenth of a second!  A final drive through the beautiful principality of Monte Carlo to wave at the rich and famous before we headed back down the coast to Cagnes Sur Mer. (36km)  We thought we would brave the motorway and were pleasantly surprised at how well our Campers faired with the lorries.  We cruised along at 100km per hour, albeit on the inside lane, without causing too much trouble.

13 – Final day on our epic trip and we headed inland up the D2085 into Grasse (25km), the perfume capital of the world.  The old town is very interesting with tiny streets winding forever between the 17th and 18th century buildings, up and down ancient steps, passing through arched tunnels and sometimes opening out onto large squares.  We meandered to our final stop in Saint Paul en Forêt (31km), enjoying the country roads and beautiful views.  A evening in a secluded woodland setting drinking the remainder of our rosé…. it doesn’t matter that we have drank all that we intended to take home, summed up this VW Camper experience for us.  As the 69 Campers tagline states, we went our own way, saw many of the beautiful sites this region has to offer and truly experienced the joys of driving and living in a VW Camper van.

14 – A short drive back to 69 Campers head quarters in Seillans and the end of our VW Camper tour.  We handed the girls back, finalised the paperwork and with were whisked back to Nice airport with a camera full of photo’s and a head full of happy memories.

 

Distance total 500km (310 miles)

 

If you like the sound of this, get in touch with 69 Campers, you can find them on our France hire page

Field of Dreams Show Report 2014

Field of Dreams VW Show 2014
Written by Mark Stutt of Camperscape;   Photos by Lauren Frost & Rick Goodwill

We couldn’t make the first Field of Dreams Aircooled VW Festival (FoD) in 2013, so we were very keen to get to this one, it being in the North saving hours on the motorway and that it’s organised by friend, Kate of Classic Volks, was a bonus!

We were also keen to get along as to be honest I’d fallen a bit out of love with VW shows, what were great events focusing on the cars became massive and expensive with traders selling hardly anything VW related or complete tat; the music on offer wasn’t to my tastes and the growth in popularity of T4s and T5s meant air-cooled vehicles were becoming a minority and I say this as someone lucky enough to own a Late Bay as well as a T4! Indeed, a group of friends and I started the Tynemouth Classic VW Rally a one day air-cooled show to counter this trend, and as it’s by the beach with the vibe and atmosphere we wanted and that we felt others did to, we’re onto our fifth one now. I knew anything that involving ClassicVolks.com would be top notch so early bird tickets were purchased, dates put on the calendar and time booked off work.

The great day arrived and we purred (our Late Bay, Gracie, having received a new exhaust!) through the Tyne Tunnel on the A19 and headed south.  An hour and a half later, with more and more VWs appearing, we turned off the A19 (no need for maps or sat nav, 98 miles on the same road!) and into Escrick Park. Straight away one of the selling points of FoD became apparent when we were directed to the air-cooled only parking area! Although to be fair, the steward did have to ask if we were aircooled, so maybe a VW spotters guide should be included for the stewards! It easy to forget that not everyone is as obsessed with aircooled VWs as we are…

A short trundle over the fields, and a friendly chap guided us into our spot and that set the tone of all the stewards/organisers – friendly, helpful and approachable (no ‘hi-vis vest of power’ attitude here).  Awning up, kettle on, camp chairs out and relax! We were pitched at the bottom of one row of aircooled VWs, a mix of Splits, Bays (Early and Lates) and a few T25s with a large area in front of us leading to the marquees and food and drink stalls, so a long walk to where things were happening certainly wasn’t going to be a problem.

Catching up with old friends and exploring the trade area took up the rest of Friday. The trade stand area itself is worth mentioning as it was the best one I’ve seen at a show; enough relevant, quality stands to offer a great choice (including three swap-meet stalls) but not too many that it overwhelmed the show. It’s positioning was ideal, being right by the main site in between the two camping areas and when the sun set the strings of light bulbs for illumination were a really nice touch.

I’ve mentioned there were two camping areas, one was air-cooled only and the other was for any VW or even (whisper it) the odd caravan… These gave people the choice to camp in the mixed area to be with friends who don’t own an air-cooled VW or, if they did, be part of the actual event, as it’s raison d’être! A busy week before FoD led to an early night on Friday but it was very pleasant listening to the excellent music of The Inspectors coming from the marquee and once that had ended a very good night’s sleep ensued.

Saturday started overcast but warm and the appearance overnight of the Rothfink crew from Cardiff. They’d brought the awesome “Rustbus” (drool…). Parked up with them for the Haul of Rust display was a beautiful patina’d Beetle, a couple of ‘Things’ and If you don’t know Rothfink (and why not?) they produce a natty line in clobber and some great photshoots of old Dubs, tattoos, bikes and anything else that catches the zeitgeist. They are a nice bunch too as I found chatting to Jason as our daughters caught some air on the bungee trampolines!

Saturday day was spent chatting with friends, tree climbing, lounging on the handy straw bales listening to some excellent acoustic music and observing Kev’s  masterclass in MCing on the wireless mike! Next to the music marquee with it’s cool Beetle DJ booth was a chill-out tent with more straw bales and blankets in case the weather turned, thankfully it stayed dry, but it was a nice touch.

Due to tragic events at the Manchester Dogs Home the Canine Show n Shine was almost cancelled but people rallied round, volunteered and the show did go on! Bravo to all those who helped. All proceeds from the dog show were sent back to Manchester with Dogs N Dubs to be given to Manchester Dogs Home to help with the rebuild of the home.

Green Bay Café (a café housed in a Green Bay bus…) provided caffeine a converted DubBox trailer provided alcohol and lots of food stalls provided grub (the wood fired pizzas proving very popular with us!) and a very pleasant day was had by all.

The evening’s music kicked of with TEN79 playing some cover versions and their own songs had an early REM vibe with the headline act The Talks and their two-tone, ska, rap fusion going down a storm. The theme for this year’s FoD was ‘A day at the races’ and special mention to Steve (from Dubenhams.com), Honor, Gary and the rest for turning on the style.

To round off a most excellent day Kate had arranged for an exclusive showing of the VW bus film ‘Circle the Wagen’; the tale of a couple of young lads who bought a Late Bay bus off Ebay and decided to drive it from New York to Los Angeles! Needless to say things didn’t run (in every sense of the word) smoothly but along the way they made friends, learnt more than they could have bargained for about air-cooled engines and discovered the fantastic VW community that we all value.

The Show n Shine took place outside our awning door on the Sunday and there were some cracking vehicles, a Split Screen Beetle drawing a lot of attention and for me a gorgeous Karmann Ghia  was the highlight as it was the double of my Uncle Johnny’s that sparked my interest in all things air-cooled and VW. Reggae was playing over the PA and everyone was kicking back and enjoying the show. Our daughter won the Hobby Horse race and I was persuaded/blackmailed in to entering the Men’s Hobby Horse race – the 1.20 from Escrick! I came last but special mention to the awesome home made horse and outfit from one of the Flat 4 Dubbers – outstanding!

We had to leave before the prizes for Show n Shine were given out, but I bet the judges had some tough decisions to make.  All in all Field of Dreams 2014 was without doubt one of the best VW shows I’ve been to, the location was great, facilities spot-on, enough things to keep kids entertained, not too big, but with enough people and vehicles to create a special vibe that other shows just haven’t got. If you didn’t make it this year, make sure you get your tickets for 2015, it’ll be one of the best shows of the year, you heard it hear first.

Thanks Kate, and all the others who put this show on, you nailed it!

2015 dates are 11th – 13th September, tickets are available from midday on 27th October 2014 by going to the website

(www.classicvolks.com/vwfieldofdreams.html)

 

 

Camper Jam 2014

Split pick up at Camper Jam 2014

Once again the masses descended on Weston Park in Shropshire for the fantastic Camper Jam VW Festival.  As the name suggests, this one is all about the campervan, from the Split right through to the T5. The camping was completely sold out a couple of weeks before the show – you have to be quick to grab tickets for this show!

We left York at around 7pm and it rained the whole journey down, the rain stopped as we set up camp with the awesome Split66, Matt, Rachel and little Gage.

On waking on the Saturday morning, the sun was bright and it was already warm at 7am, this looked set to be a great day at Weston Park. As we were first up, and having forgotten pans and a kettle, we headed straight down to the showground to get a coffee from the excellent Green Bay, where we always know we can count on a great coffee to start the day!  The showground was looking fantastic as always and it certainly looked set up for a great weekend, the Camper Jam staff all looked happy and excited and ready to give everyone a fun weekend.

The music was fantastic as always, 16 Stone Pig made their annual appearance, having seen them on numerous occasions I went for the Michael Jackson tribute.  Well, I could have easily been fooled into thinking that Jackson had risen from the dead, there was an amazing likeness.  I did later hear that the the tribute guy had actually had surgery to make himself look like MJ – I don’t know if it’s true but it’s very believable.

Sunday was a fun filled day and we attended the Cooking in a Camper, watched some of the dog show, looked around the amazin vehicles in the show and shine and sat in the sun quite a lot!  There was so much going on, mix that with a fantastic array of traders and I don’t think it gets much better than Camper Jam for me – it’s definitely one of my favourite shows of the show season.

Generally when going to a show I like to get away by about 2 or 3pm, I was so relaxed at Camper Jam that we ended up back at the camp, with the bar-b fired and stayed til around 6pm!

Another great show from the Camper Jam guys – always a favourite show of mine.  They have managed to be big but keep the shilled out and relaxed vibe that we all love.  See you there next year – tickets go on sale 21st October 2014!  Get your tickets from www.camperjam.com/tickets

Don’t forget to pop over and like us and say hi over on Facebook and Twitter.

How To – Upholstery: Recovering Seats

Hi all, its Guest Blogger Christian here.

Thinking about revamping your tired interior to give your classic VW a lift, or merely a change of colour? Well, Caught the VW Bug are here to help you guide you through the process. We used seat covers, which you can pick up from several VW Parts stockists. There upholsterers that do offer a service to make seat covers in just about any colour you desire, or to do the full job for you, we at Classic Volks can highly recommend The Trim Shop, you can click here to go to their Facebook page or call Iain on 01900 817499.

Fitting seat covers should in theory be an easy job, but can be quite fiddly and you need to remember the seat covers seem smaller than the actual base, allowing for a snug fit!  Don’t worry if you encounter problems as everything is a learning curve! After six seat recovering jobs, I have still run into problems so it’s always possible to have a hiccup here and there.

The front seats themselves are separated into two parts, bases and backs (high or low) and the rear seat are two separate parts as well, albeit longer than your front seats.

Before I run through the step-by-step guide, you will need the following tools to aid you in the process:

 2 – 3 People
Radiator
Spanner
A Pair of Mole Grips
Hammer
Seat Bases and New Covers
Stanley Knife
Strong Wire
2 Pieces of Cardboard

 Ready? Let’s go!

Step 1: Heating up the New Seat Covers

Now this is a really simple task, find a vacated radiator in the house to place your new covers on. Leave the covers to warm up on the radiator for a few hours. This loosens up the leather and gives you an advantage when it comes to fitting. If you plan to do this in the morning, merely place them on the radiator, with the leather side facing the radiator the night before.

 Step 2: Kettle ‘On’

Old damaged seat

Old seat, looking a bit tired.

Cup of tea or coffee is imperative for this job, as it needs as much relaxation as possible.

Step 3: Separating the Seat and Removing the Seat Lever

Step 3a

Step 3b

 

 

 

 

 

This is really simple, a bolt either side of the bottom of the seat needs to be removed and simply lift the back off the seat base. The rear seats should already be separate to each other. The seat lever also needs to be removed.

Step 4: Removing the Old Covers

Whether you want to keep or ditch your old seat covers, you need to remove from the seat bases from the seat itself on both the bases and backs. The seat covers sit in small, sharp hooks that are folded over to hold the covers to the bases. A picture is below:

Step 4..To remove your covers, you need your mole grips to pull the hooks up, make sure you pull them up as straight as possible to help you later on when refitting. There are a lot of these, so it should take about 10-15 minutes to lift up all of the hooks and cover out of the bases and backs.

Once this has been completed, proceed to lift the old covers off of the seat.

Now you should be looking at a bare seat base and back. Whether that’s front or rear, that musty smell is always expected and you’re now ready to replace those tired seats with some new, shiny covers.

 Step 5: Pulling the New Covers onto the Seat Base & Back

Your brand new covers are toasty warm and a little more stretchy than usual. What your team need to do is to pull the cover onto the seat base as fast and as accurately as possible. The foundations are laid here so it’s important they’re on nice and neatly and even on the front and Step 5back of the seat. This can be tough to do, but don’t worry if you don’t succeed the first time as everything is a learning curve! After six seat recovering jobs, I have still run into problems so it’s always possible to have a hiccup here and there!

Double check the seat cover is neatly on the seat base and back when you have placed the new covers on. They need to be absolutely 100% level each side as you’re going to have to pull the cover over on those hooks we mentioned earlier.

 Step 6: Piercing the Seat Covers and Hooking the Seat Covers Down

Grab those mole grips again, along with wire if needed and a hammer to knock the hooks back down.

Step 6

In addition, we used wire to further hold the covers down to give that desired and refreshed shape; along the bars of the seat bases and backs, you can see a few holes in the same place as the hooks, which is handy to use. Of course that is optional, but you need to spin the wire tight enough to have any effect.

 

To fit your covers; starting one side at a time; you need to squash the springs on the base or back down as best as you can. One person needs to squeeze and hold the base in place while another lifts the cover over as far as possible to the position of the hook. When at that position, Step 6bpierce the seat cover on the hooks and knock down the hooks so they’re touching the bar.

Rinse, and repeat until all the hooks have been hammered down and you’re happy. If you need the extra wire, or have the resources to do so, this can be done in the same process.

 Step 7: Fitting the Seat Lever (Front Seat Only)

Nearly there! The seat lever needs to be refitted or you will have a seat that you can’t move forward to let your fellow VW addicts in to sit in the back!

A small slit is needed in that brand new seat cover, so no pressure! Grab your Stanley knife and you should be able to feel a small gap where the mechanism is to be fitted. Make a small slit in the gap and fold the leather inside, allowing for more room to fit the mechanism. Once completed, simply fit the plastic plate onto the seat first, and followed by the seat knob.

 Step 8: Fit Both the Back and Base Together (Front Seat Only)

Precursor here is that this can be challenging, yet extremely rewarding as this is the final stage.What’s needed here is your cardboard, your friends or family members, the spanner and your bolts as you have to guide your seat back onto the base. Place the cardboard into the bottom of the seat base and slide the back into where the bolts need to go.

Is your seat in position? Awesome, just remove the cardboard and don’t let go of that seat! Fit the bolts and voila, one new seat! Now it’s time to have that obligatory sit down in your new seat and crack open the nearest bottle of wine to celebrate.

Well done!

Any questions, please feel free to comment below and Christian will 
hopefully be able to help :) Have fun!

CAMPER JAM RETURNS

 

Picture of campers at Camper Jam

Campers at Camper Jam

Held this year on July 4-6 at Weston Park, Shropshire (Home of the V Festival) This summer Camper Jam will be 7 years old! Borne from humble beginnings it has become the most-loved, sell-out VW show of the year. With people travelling from all over Europe to enjoy the show – the organisers are aiming to make the 2014 event the best yet! Camper Jam is aimed at owners and lovers of the VW Bus in all its models and types, but welcomes everyone! The show offers a chilled out, laid back atmosphere in a beautiful Parkland setting and takes the idea of the VW weekend right back to basics. Great people in great buses having a great time. The venue is simply stunning and the acres of rolling parkland give this show a festival vibe all of its own! You can camp as a club, in family areas or with your friends – room to relax is what this show is all about. Special VW displays, trade areas, beer and cider tents, a fantastic food village filled with unique food and drink traders, live bands every night and our infamous fancy dress parties will leave you spoilt for choice. This year the show welcomes NAVI, the World’s number 1 Michael Jackson tribute! For the kids we have our VW Kids Club, a line-up of entertainers, a complete fun fair, treasure hunts and a full activity programme to keep them occupied, too! Whether you want to camp or simply visit for the day, Camper Jam is a fantastic day out for all the family with a huge amount to see and do. Weston Park is just off the A5 easily reached via J12 of the M6 (just north of the M6 toll). For latest information and advance ticket bookings call 01244 881895 Ext 501 or check out www.camperjam.com

77 years old today – 28th May 2014

Source: www.history.com Author: Unknown

On this day in 1937, the government of Germany–then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party–forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company.”

Originally operated by the German Labor Front, a Nazi organization, Volkswagen was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. In addition to his ambitious campaign to build a network of autobahns and limited access highways across Germany, Hitler’s pet project was the development and mass production of an affordable yet still speedy vehicle that could sell for less than 1,000 Reich marks (about $140 at the time). To provide the design for this “people’s car,” Hitler called in the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a Nazi rally, the Fuhrer declared: “It is for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.” However, soon after the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude)-Wagen (“Strength-Through-Joy” car) was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939, World War II began, and Volkswagen halted production. After the war ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.

Volkswagen sales in the United States were initially slower than in other parts of the world, due to the car’s historic Nazi connections as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape. In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the “Beetle” and spinning its diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers. Over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the United States. In 1960, the German government sold 60 percent of Volkswagen’s stock to the public, effectively denationalizing it. Twelve years later, the Beetle surpassed the longstanding worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles, set by Ford Motor Company’s legendary Model T between 1908 and 1927.

With the Beetle’s design relatively unchanged since 1935, sales grew sluggish in the early 1970s. VW bounced back with the introduction of sportier models such as the Rabbit and later, the Golf. In 1998, the company began selling the highly touted “New Beetle” while still continuing production of its predecessor. After nearly 70 years and more than 21 million units produced, the last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla,Mexico, on July 30, 2003.

New Kid on the Block

Christian Tracey, Guest Writer

 Christian Tracey, age 19,West Sussex, GSOH, Aircooled Fanatic.

4 Welcome all, my name is Christian and I am the new kid on the block. Please don’t forget to say hello on your way out. I am very thankful for the opportunity to write on behalf of ClassicVolks.com and I take the great pleasure of sharing my story to all of you interested folk. I am writing to you all because I want to share my passion for all things aircooled, reporting on the shows I attend and hopefully inspire a few of you, especially the youngsters to get involved in classic cars after reading my stories.

DSCF9158 My love for VW Beetle’s personally has been a recent affair, spawning in April 2013. However, the love of Beetle’s has been very strong with my family ever since the late 1970’s! Since my family bought their first aircooled VW, as a collective we have owned in excess of 25 Beetle’s ranging from US Cabriolets to a custom dragster.

 After a 10 year hiatus, a young 18 year old at the time (me if you didn’t deduce) was looking for his first car. I wanted something that was a little bit different, something that perfectly complimented my quirky character and was guaranteed to show up any modern supermini, if it started in the morning of course.

 Anyway, I set my eyes on a bright purple 1972 1600 Bug and instantly fell in love with it, I named it Lola after its L registration and it was completely SLAMMED. My best friend instantly thought it was typical of me to buy something as left-field as a purple classic Beetle, to his quip I laughed and quietly agreed. However, we quickly realised that we bought a deathtrap which needed more welding than most projects. Despite that, I tried my best and progressed a long way into its restoration before selling her on 2 months later over safety fears. Although, it brought back many memories of old for my parents and before long we bought another, and another and so on until in a space of a year there was five on our property (and two in our garden) and finally admitted we didn’t partake in just a hobby of restoring Beetle’s but owned a full blown restoration empire!

 I am now personally the proud owner of a 1968 US-Spec VW 1500 with a cracking Alpine speaker system and numerous rare additions such as US Spec chrome rear light and rear numberplate light housings which are popular with Baja Bug owners, highly sought after and custom Cream + Red, one year only ‘Highback’ seats topping off with our mascot, the Tango Man which has been with us in various Beetle’s for as long as I can remember! He is named McCartney after the legend Sir Paul McCartney coupled with an apt use of wordplay on the word Beetle.

67 Currently, I am documenting my progress of the Fab Five at my own blog, Caught The VW Bug, which produces a not too technical, yet surprisingly humorous insight into Beetle restoration as well as the shows we plan to visit and what the little characters get up to in their spare time!

 My plan for this summer will be certainly a busy and very dirty one. At the time of writing, 3 Beetle’s are chomping at the bit to get on the road in the form of a ’75 1200, a ’77 Last Edition and a rare ’67 which I will have the pleasure of transforming these bugs from rustbuckets to show stoppers. On top of that, I will be attending various shows around my neck of the woods and reporting on them both on the blog and with ClassicVolks.com.

 It’s all very exciting and I invite you to follow this rollercoaster journey.

 Blog2See you on the other side fellow Vee-Dubbers!

 Christian Tracey

 You can follow my antics here at Caught The VW Bug:

http://caughtthevwbug.blogspot.co.uk/

 Or view my images over on Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/christiantracey/

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Words and images by Martin Bellamy

Spring 2011: I’m chatting with my friend and business partner whilst out on a cycle ride and he says, “Did you know that you can buy new VW campervans?” “Really?”, says I, “I thought they were all old ones, that break down all the time” “No”, he says, “I saw an advert in the paper yesterday – they’ve got an offer on with £500 discount*”

 A month later and Mrs B and I are on our way to Yate, near Bristol, to visit the Danbury showroom. We’ve got an appointment for 2pm (you can’t just turn up) but we’re an hour early. The receptionist (sitting behind a desk made of a VW T2 body) isn’t sure there’ll be anyone to see us yet but she’ll ring upstairs to try and find someone. After a short while, Dan comes down and so starts the bewildering process of buying a new Brazilian made VW T2 Kombi.

I suppose driving down to “look” at a Kombi is a bit like going to “view” a litter of puppies. Apart from timewasters and those who can’t stretch themselves that far financially (and, believe me, it’s a stretch of gymnastic proportions) both outcomes are liable to produce a sure fire sale.

We’d thought about buying a classic 60s or 70s Campervan, but I don’t have the mechanical skills to keep one on the road. If it’s a pen you want pushing then I’m your man – but the thought of being stranded by the roadside with my limited skill set fills me with dread. What we wanted was something reliable that we could use at weekends and for summer holidays.

“Why not get a modern T5 then? They have power steering, modern interiors and much more powerful engines” That’s my head talking, of course, whilst meanwhile, my heart is doing cartwheels at the sight of the iconic T2 shape and suddenly I’m the hippie, free-spirit that I dreamed of being back in the 70s.  In reality, I’m MD of a commercial insurance broker in Wigan but, hey, we can all have our dreams.

So, it had to be a T2, and we got down to the process of choosing the options available. I’m 6’5”, so sleeping room was essential and we opted for the full size double bed option. Ker-ching! This meant the spare wheel had to go on the back and we’d need the locking wheel cover, of course. Ker-ching!  Do we want all leather on the seats? – you betcha, we do! Ker-ching! How about having her lowered? Oh, yes and BRM alloys please. Ker-ching!

What about colour? Now, we knew we wanted green over white, but weren’t’ prepared for the option of having ANY green we wanted. We’d expected a small choice like you have with modern cars but Danbury have swatches and swatches of colours. Eventually, we chose Spice Green (“Metallic?” “Yes, please” Ker-ching!)

With the addition of a retro wooden steering wheel and classic bowed roof rack we were done and the order was placed. As we drove away we looked at each other and thought, “What have we done?”

Collection was to be in August so we had 3 months to wait – time we spent worrying about the cost and thinking of where we could go in the new van. I found a Forum specifically aimed at the Brazilian Bay which proved to be a brilliant resource for information and which was so friendly we’ve made scores of new friends in the real world as well as cyberland.

We were so excited by delivery day and the train journey from Preston to Yate seemed to take forever. It was all worth it – our first sight of Absinthe (yes, of course, she’s got a name) was fantastic and we couldn’t wait to drive her home. Paperwork done, Mrs B took the wheel and we set off.

What was immediately obvious after years of driving modern automatic cars was that this one was going to need to be driven. The gearbox and gear stick seemed to have minds of their own and the steering was eccentric to say the least. That didn’t stop us from grinning from ear to ear though (what we now recognise as the permagrin of the VW enthusiast) and being thrilled by the waves from other VW owners.

 

It’s the last bit that has been the real thrill of ownership for us. The VW world is a small one with lots of interconnections and in the main we’ve been welcomed wherever we’ve gone. Sure, there are one or two die-hards who consider anything without an air-cooled engine as less than authentic but, in the main, Absinthe brings a smile to most peoples faces.

The recent ending of production in Brazil has brought the T2 into the limelight again and in 30 years time I’m sure the current incarnation will be as revered as the originals are now. For us Brazilian owners, the attraction is the freedom to use the van as often as we want.

Many of the Forum members use their vans as their everyday vehicles and many have now added power steering to make day to day use even easier. We use Absinthe almost every weekend from Spring until late Autumn and the pleasure we’ve had from her has been immense.

We’ve had 3 week runs through France and Spain and weekends away throughout the UK. We’ve done our first ever Festival (Larmer Tree in Dorset) and have used her as overspill family accommodation at our Static Caravan in the Dales. She’s shifted furniture and been to the tip. We’ve had afternoon teas overlooking the coast and icy mornings in the Cotswolds. She’s even part of our Xmas decorations over the holiday break.

Would we swap her? No! Are we glad we found Danbury? You bet we are.

* a bit like DFS, Danbury nearly always have a £500 offer running

 

 

 

 

 

Go your own way…. Classic VW Camper van hire in the South of France

Image shows the 69 campers advert

It’s the fanatics, the curious, maybe the first timers that continue this story… from the initial “plattenwagen” design that the restorers piece together, the cabinet maker that mixes modern with iconic or the feel and smell of an era gone by.

69 Campers launch their very own and unique way of holidaying in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

A vintage vehicle comes back to life in an area steeped in natural history and beauty; 69 Campers have married the classic VW Camper van to this esteemed region.

A premium range of VW Split screen and Bay windows from the 1960’s and 70’s have been sympathetically restored to realise today’s customers requirements without harming the integrity of the vehicle.

All the Campers hail from the sunny climates of the USA and France, enabling a professional bare-metal restoration and mechanical overhaul. They have new 1600cc twin port engines, re-conditioned gearboxes and new electrical wiring looms.  Bespoke fitted kitchens with two gas burners, sink, fridge and storage give a touch of luxury in a retro classic. Thoughtfully equipped with iPod connection, solar shower, 220v leisure battery, sun canopy and outdoor furniture to name a few… a truly fine product with beautiful toning hand-made interiors complimented by matching linens and tableware.

The Camper vans have all been named to reflect their personalities so a relationship can flourish from the moment you turn that key.  Margot a  1978 VW Bay window is our shimmering light from California, oozing beach and sun in her soft yellow and pearl body work.  Amélie is a 1968 VW early Bay, our sweetie from Alabama dressed in pacific blue and pearl.  Estée is our little star, a 1968 VW Bay window in velvet green and pastel white originally from gay Paris. Finally Gigi, our fabulous 1964 VW Split screen Sundial Camper, an Arizona belle shining in two tone beige and alpine white paintwork.

Margot, Amélie, Estée and Gigi are available for rental all year round, or why not consider hiring one for a wedding or another special event.

Collecting your VW Camper van could not be easier, fly to Nice, Marseille or Toulon, take the TGV or drive direct.  Your self styled adventure starts in Seillans, one of the medieval perched villages in Provence, the home of 69 Campers.  From collecting your beautiful vintage Camper the choice is yours, explore the vineyards, take a culture tour or head for the chic resorts of the Cote d’Azur and Monaco.  Discover Provence and the French Riviera with 69 Campers.

For all enquiries please contact Matt Tombs of 69 Campers

Tel: 0033 483 11 17 75 Mobile: 0033 675 85 25 76

Email: matt@69campers.com

Visit: http://www.69campers.com

69 campers banner logo

Hiring a vw campervan for holiday

2010:  It costs a lot to buy and maintain a VW campervan these days and so it is not something that everybody can do – no matter how much we’d all (VW lovers) like to own one, it’s just not possible. I personally loved VWs for as long as I can remember but I’m not in a postion to own a camper as well as my 1969 VW Beetle – I still have a lot of work to do on her, so to buy anything else right now would be crazy even if I could. But, I absolutely adore camper vans as you will see from my Facebook page and my personal profile if you are a friend of mine. Most people that know me would say I have an obsession – personally I think I just have a real love and great interest!

Anyway, a few of years ago I was over in Scarborough and spotted a campervan with a VW hire website on the back so I wrote it down. As soon as I got home I went to have a look at the site and it came up with “Website Under Construction”. My husband and I also run a web design business (ByitSizePro.co.uk) so I decided to get in touch and see if there was a reason it was not finished.  Anyway, to cut a long story short we ended up designing the website in exchange for a weeks camper hire as payment.
The first of August finally arrived – I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get out and about in Felicity (Felicity is a Brazilian T2 bay camper converted by Danbury). We left York mid morning and arrived at Felicity’s home at around mid-day.  The owners have become good friends over the time doing the website so it was lovely to see them too. There was lunch waiting for us when we got there which was a lovely start to our holiday. We had a nice relaxed lunch and a catch up, and then we were on our way in Felicity.
We headed up the coast road first towards Beadnell Bay. The views were fantastic – beautiful coastline and it lots of castles! The first night we stayed in Budle Bay which is just up the coast from Beadnell Bay and near Berwick-upon-Tweed.
The next day we decided to head further north and ended up crossing the border into Scotland and up to North Berwick. We found a lovely campsite in North Berwick overlooking the coast and just a very short walk down to the beach. Bass Rock could be seen from the campsite too. Here we had some German neighbours with whom we had wine and snacks the first night and then on the last morning they invited us for breakfast. They were a really lovely family and we intend to keep in touch and hopefully visit them at some point in the future. We are also, possibly, having the daughter to stay next summer to help her out with her English (although it’s way better than my German has ever been already).
From North Berwick we had a drive into Edinburgh for the day and had a wonder around. We saw Edinburgh Castle and many of the other sights and sounds of Edinburgh – a really lovely and lively city.  After 3 nights in North Berwick we decided to head to the Lake District for a couple of nights. We drove down to Lake Ullswater in Cumbria and stayed at Park Foot campsite right on the lake for 2 nights. We drove around a few of the lakes and spent a couple of hours in Keswick. We took Felicity right up to the top of Borrowdale where the views were absolutely amazing, we spent a lot of time up in the clouds! The climb by road was very steep and very bendy but Felicity managed it all with absolutely no problems.
After the Lakes we head over the Pennines towards Alnwick and then stayed our last night back in Northumberland. Unfortunately, the time then came for us to hand Felicity back to Paul and Denise. We had had a fantastic time with her and will hopefully have her again sometime. She was so much fun to drive and to spend time in. Stopping here and there to make a coffee in the back was great. And cooking dinner was also great fun.
I would definitely recommend hiring a VW camper to anyone with a love for campers, it’s a great way to see some of the country!

Press release – Field of Dreams 2014

Field of Dreams 2014 HeaderEscrick Park Estate, 12th – 14th September 2014

Field of Dreams Aircooled VW show is back for a second year.  After an extremely successful first show in 2013, tickets for this year have just gone on sale and are already flying off the website!

Those that came in 2013, may have been aware of a couple of issues we had with the venue that were completely last minute problems and totally beyond our control, thankfully, we decided we couldn’t put our trust in a venue that could make things so difficult at such short notice!  We will be putting on a very fine selection of music yet again, this, apart from the fantastic aircooled VWs on show was most definitely a highlight of the first Field of Dreams and is going to stay as part of the show for years to come, with music to suit most tastes at some point over the weekend.  Last year, we had soul, funk, ska, rock, dance, reggae, indie and more, bands that played covers and bands that played their own excellent material, plus DJs, a dance tent, and even an acoustic tent!  All three music tents last year had people dancing on the Friday night, for a full 12 hours on the Saturday and throughout the day on the Sunday.

As well as all the aircooled VWs on show, we also had some fantastic traders, including autojumble, craft, VW gifts and parts along with some unusual stands and some fantastic food! We had a fancy dress theme, we are currently deciding on a theme for this year’s show.  There was a fantastic Canine Show and Shine, run by Manchester Dogs Home and sponsored by Dogs N Dubs.  We had a hobby horse race, I felt we had to have something horse racing related with our venue being York Racecourse.  We will be doing the hobby horse race again this year, so get those hobby horses dusted off and customized, there will be a prize for the best hobby horse!  And then of course there is the aircooled show and shine, I was amazed by both the quantity and quality of the show n shine for our first year, this is bound to only get bigger and better as the year’s go on.

Escrick Park Estate is a fantastic location, easy to find and is roughly, just a 15 minute drive or bus journey from the beautiful, historic, City of York and some of last year’s weekend guests, did pop into the City for a look around and some in fact spent a few days here before the show.  If you don’t know York, it would be a real shame to come to the area and not visit, in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, if not the world!  York has a vibrant café culture, hundreds of museums and historic monuments along with many other attractions, excellent street entertainers, great shopping and so much more.

Field of Dreams, is an aircooled VW show and there is a camping area that is strictly for aircooled VWs.  But, we do have a general camping area that is for all vehicles.  This can be somewhat confusing if you haven’t been before, basically, if you have a vehicle that was built as an aircooled VW, then if you would like to be in the aircooled only camping area then you purchase an aircooled ticket, if you are coming in a watercooled VW or a non-VW, you can only book into the general camping area, no other vehicles will be permitted into the aircooled area.  If you are coming in an aircooled but want to be with your club or friends that don’t drive an aircooled, you may of course book general tickets – the general area is for all vehicles, watercooled VW, aircooled VW and non-VW.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Field of Dreams 2014.  You can buy tickets and book trade pitches by going to the Field of Dreams page on our ClassicVolks.com website www.ClassicVolks.com/vwfieldofdreams.html  Earlybird tickets are well and truly sold out but there are still a few extra discounted advance purchase tickets left, these are at a 10% discount of the advance purchase price. Be quick though because when they’re gone, you guessed it, they’re gone. *UPDATE 21/07/2014 – only a very limited number of these left!

If you are a business interested in sponsoring the show then please get in touch with Kate at events@classicvolks.com for more information.

Field of Dreams, Aircooled VW Show, 2013

Article by Roobarbncustard of http://adventuresinacampervan.wordpress.com

Field of Dreams – Aircooled Exclusive is a new show, organised by Kate of Classic Volks. When we booked the show, we didn’t realise that it was its first year, as everything was so slickly organised.

We took a scenic drive along the A59 (apparently causing one of Custard’s old uni friends to play a game of “Follow the Volkswagen” near Skipton – small world!) and arrived at York Racecourse in the late afternoon. The sun was shining, the ground was perfectly flat and firm and the camping was organised brilliantly, with marshalls at the entrance to point you in the right direction, put your wristband on for you and help you line up in your plot neatly. We were given a fab plot, tucked away behind the marshalls’ caravan, under their floodlights, which not only meant we could see to cook in the evening, but also that we felt really safe, if a little bit like teacher’s pets ;) (Which prompted quite a lot of conversation between us in the manner of Karen Powell, Greg Davies’ favourite student, which was one of those “you had to be there” moments.)

We went for a wander around the campsite and took a few photographs of our neighbours for the weekend:

windsocks fish field of dreams

turquoise splitscreen vw camper field of dreams

grafitti samba vw splitscreen camper 23 window

york racecourse field of dreams

vw bay window blue panel van field of dreams

vw bay window orange camper flower spare tyre field of dreams

spraypaint graffiti vw camper beetle camping field of dreams

vw beetle silver relentless gazebo field of dreams

bay window camper cream red field of dreams pop top

split screen camper red black nose field of dreams

karmann ghia pearlescent paint field of dreams

sky clouds brooding field of dreams

On Saturday we woke up to glorious sunshine, but a bit of a breeze, but we weren’t deterred.

Ruby split screen panel van sunshine red yellow rhubarb custard field of dreams

Whilst eating breakfast, we met Vicki, one of our Twitter friends who came to say hello, and then I got my hippy garb on to go and wander round the show (yes, most people don’t dress up until the evening, but it’s dark then, and there’s no guarantees that I’ll be awake!)

hippy red yellow split screen vw panel camper vanThere was a good variety of autojumble, food, craft, clothing and other unusual stands, as well as entertainment for children, a dog show and shine and a hobby horse race (well, when at the racecourse, you’ve got to, haven’t you?)

brown ratty signwritten vw camper van field of dreams

beetle shell primer field of dreams

autojumble speedometer vintage field of dreams

mirrors autojumble field of dreams

rust splitscreen vw badge ratty patina field of dreams

dog costume show and shine field of dreams

boxer dog field of dreams

bay window camper vans vw field of dreams

split screen deluxe trim camper van vw field of dreams

beetle blue sky field of dreams  After a look around we met up with Vicki, Lesley, Lesley’s mum and Dizzi the dog to enjoy a coffee or two from the Green Bay Cafe whilst watching the hobby horse race.

green bay cafe vw camper van coffee field of dreams

dizzi dog collie field of dreams

 

dizzi dog collie cuddle vicki field of dreams

After grabbing a bite to eat back at the van, we headed back to the show arena to enjoy a pint or two of passionfruit cider and listen to the bands, who were great!

band live music field of dreams

band live music field of dreams

band live music field of dreams evening entertainment

Sunday was a little more overcast and windy, but the rain stayed away, allowing a variety of aircooled splits, bays, beetles and ghias to be displayed in the field. There was a really good turn out, with lots of vehicles to look at, including a few for sale.

Bay window maroon devon interior for sale field of dreams

bay window yellow camper van garfield

bay window vw camper red volkswagger cartoonies field of dreams

blue yellow white black beetle shopping trolley leeds united field of dreams

After another wander round to take in the last of the show and chat with friends, it was time to head home over the M62, where we spotted a couple more campers on their travels!

turquoise white bay window camper motorway

red white bay window camper motorway

Field of Dreams did have its teething problems – the camping and show were split up by a walk around the outside of the racecourse due to last minute decisions that were out of the organisers’ hands, which could make the arena feel too spread out and quiet, and also meant a bit of a trek to get to the show, and the wind made life difficult for the traders on Sunday. But, these are things that can’t be helped – Kate, Kevin and the team kept everyone informed of what was going on, were apologetic, friendly, and had everything else superbly organised. I don’t think we’ve been to a show where the camping was so well sorted, or where the loos were serviced every day!

Small local shows are only as good as the people who support them, traders, campers, day visitors and volunteers, and the Classic Volks team are already planning to make Field of Dreams 2014 even better than this year. Make sure you’re part of it!

Volkswagen T2. A lot of rust. Four crazy thrill-seekers. Big adventure!

Happy Samoje!

Happy with the camper?

We all have dreams we wish one day would come true. Just like these four guys from Poland – but they took a step further and decided to make it happen. They gave up all the things that they ‘had to do’ in their lives and focused on what they actually ‘want to do’ instead. Let’s hear their story… It all started one year ago with just a simple plan to do a Eurotrip in a modern camper van, nice and comfy. However, they felt it could be a bit boring since they don’t see themselves as the kind of people who like doing ordinary things. The ‘ordinary’ plan had to be changed into a bit more of an extreme one. What did they come up with? They have always been in love with a T2 bus, probably since they were kids, so it naturally led to a decision – to buy a classic VW T2 of their childhood dreams and travel around Europe in that iconic hippie bus. There was just one problem – they had never restored or even repaired a car on their own before…

Picture of VW splitscreen at the VW Museum

VW museum

The research started, first on the list was a visit to the Volkswagen Museum in Pepowo near Sopot, Poland to find out everything about their beloved T2 bus. A bit more interesting than a regular day out in the museum!     The main goal of their mission was to find out if such a car can go more than 10,000 km without causing any technical issues. The owner of the museum was incredibly helpful and the guys managed to get to know a huge amount of details about the T2 hippie bus.  Mission complete! However, one pretty massive obstacle appeared on the horizon – the cost of bringing such an old car (of almost 40 years!) back to life. It turned out the price of restoration was comparable to renting a good condition camper van for the whole trip! A lot of thinking had to be done and the decision was not easy… but their love of trying new and extraordinary things took over the reasonable thinking and the decision was made. The search for an old T2 hippie bus began. Eurotrip plans started taking shape – they came up with a marketing strategy and started looking for sponsors. The details of their not-just-ordinary Eurotrip will follow, let’s go back to the restoration adventures now.

Rusty VW camper

This needs a lot of work!

After their visit to the VW Museum they stared looking for a car that would be in as good condition as possible. With constant searching, it took three months to find the right one! It looked perfect on the photo, the excitement was growing… Turned out it was not so perfect in reality, in fact there was nothing to buy apart from a pile of rust. What a massive waste of time and excitement!

Back to searching, luckily it was not long till one of them found another perfect bus! And that turned out to be the real perfect one. They bought it and the restoration process

VW Type 2 camper

This was worse than they’d expected

began. There was a lot of rust at the front part of the bus so the first step was to replace it. This part was quick and easy – all done by a professional panel beater. Not easy for much longer though as they noticed that there was much more rust under every seal… The budget was limited so the guys were forced to do it on their own and secretly hoped for some

Very rusty window area on the VWbus

Surely it’ll buff out?

help from friends and family who knew how to fix the metal issues.

Welding being done on a VW campervan

Time for a spot of welding?

It was time of learning a lot about cars. Their lack of experience did not help – but their massive passion for bringing this old rusty car back to life helped them go through every step of the restoration process. It was a really long process as they ended up having to replace over 50 parts on their own! And that was just the first stage, next to get done was the filling. So much they were in love with this car that they were ready to do it on their own too!

VW Bus with filler

This bus needed some filler!

Okay, car body issues sorted out but to travel more than 10,000 km around Europe they would need an engine that works properly. The car had a 1.6 litre boxer engine that could be started but it was very weak so it was a definite next one on the to do list. The guys would have had no idea how to tackle this problem but luckily one of them was finishing his mechanical engineering studies and with his eye for detail there was no way anything could be missed or done wrong!   6  The entire restoration process started back in March and the body and filling works took more than five months. It was time of hard work, sometimes even seven days a week. After that tough and long process there was time for a more exciting part – the colour! The plan was to go from the old green & gold to a classic blue & white. Sounded easy but even finding a perfect combination of the colour tones took a few trials. Finally, the best blue was chosen.

VW camper ready to be painted

Ready for painting!

Although the car was painted by a professional, guys did not have time off while waiting for it to be done. They split into two teams: engine repairing crew and upholstery team. It worked out very well and by time the car came back with a beautiful new colour both teams completed their jobs. Very efficient!

VW engine being rebuilt

The engine needed sorting

 

 

Finally the car came back with its beautiful new shiny colour. That moment compensated for all the hard moments they had since the start of the restoration works! Massive smiles on their faces – the colour turned out to be even better than what they dreamt of!

Volkswagen campervan painted blue and white

All painted and ready to rebuild.

The guys are a bit secretive when showing photos of their restored T2 bus but since it is a part of their marketing strategy we have to wait till they reveal more. There are more details, photos and videos on their Facebook page so make sure you check this out! They said everything was recorded and their next step would be to get the editing done and put some more videos on their fanpage.   They talk about the whole project as ‘not just an ordinary trip’. The plan is to make it an extreme Eurotrip with all sorts of risky and adrenaline pumping activities happening on the way. Some of that could be surfing (photo below) like this one on the Portuguese coast. As I mentioned they’re looking for sponsor, who could allow them to fulfill their crazy plan and hit the trip! In return they will call whole excursion with the name of sponsor, and furthermore during the entire trip their car can be used for sponsor brand stickers: “We have so much advertising space on our car, so we can give it to our sponsor which will be huge benefit for him or her”  There is a lot to follow so make sure you check out their Facebook page!

Surfing in Portugal

Catching some waves!

THE CAMPER VAN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE CAMPER VAN

News that production of the iconic Volkswagen T2 camper van will cease in Brazil later this year will no doubt have left many of you feeling sad, but while the rear-engined original is gone, a new generation of Volkswagen campers ensure its spirit lives on.

The iconic camper van joined the Transporter line-up in 1951 but it wasn’t until the 1960s when it was adopted by a free-spirited generation. It became a cult symbol of an alternative lifestyle and images of vans painted in crazy colours and psychedelic designs enthral to this day.  The versatile, practical camper van captured the spirit of the times and has been the epitome of independent travel ever since.

Old and new campervans

The end of an era!

And those 60 years of globetrotting experience runs through the latest generation of Volkswagen campers – The California SE and California Beach.

Inspired by the past, built for today, the Volkswagen California introduces new standards of comfort, performance and safety, thanks to its modern purpose-built design and superb engineering.  But the ethos remains the same.  The latest evolution of Volkswagen’s iconic camper van still symbolises the fun, freedom and adventure that was such an appealing quality of the much-loved original.  The ability to go where you please, when you please is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s – maybe even more so.  Yes, there are those who love the nostalgia, but the appeal of the California lies across a generation.

Whether it’s a family camping holiday, a festival weekend, or a voyage of discovery road trip, the Volkswagen camper van gives you the freedom of the open road and provides a place to relax, eat and sleep.

Travel is not just about the destination, it’s about getting there, too.

Volkswagen Camper Van Milestones:

1949: The first ever Volkswagen Transporter van is launched at the Geneva Motor Show, with its distinctive smiling face.
1951: The Volkswagen Transporter is developed into the iconic Volkswagen camper van.
1960s: The camper van is adopted by the hippie generation, becoming a cult symbol of an alternative lifestyle.
1967: Second generation Transporter, known as the T2, does away with the classic, ‘splittie’ (split windscreen) design and introduces panoramic vision, gaining the nickname ‘Bay’.
1969: A Volkswagen camper van becomes the ‘Mystery Machine’ in hit cartoon series ‘Scooby Doo’.
1979: The T2 becomes the T3, boasting a more angular design
1990: The Transporter turns 40 and the fourth generation, T4, Transporter is launched.
2003: The fifth generation T5 Transporter launches to critical acclaim and provides the basis for the latest Volkswagen California camper van.
2013: Volkswagen California celebrates its 25th anniversary, with around 100,000 California camper vans rolling off the production line since the start of production.

 

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF TRIUMPHS AT WHAT CAR? USED CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS

The Volkswagen Golf has been named Used Car of the Year by What Car? magazine, Britain’s biggest car buyer’s guide.  The 2010 Golf SE 1.4-litre TSI five-door model claimed victory in the Family Car class ‘over £6,000’ category, before going on to win the overall Car of the Year accolade.  The Golf is no stranger to What Car? Used Car awards, having also won its class last year.

golf-award

The What Car? Used Car of the Year judging panel was made up of experts from all areas of the motor industry including car dealerships, auction houses and What Car?magazine itself.

In commenting on the reasons for the Golf’s win, John McIlroy, Editor of What Car? said: ‘The What Car? used car of the year and family car winner, the Volkswagen Golf has consistently proved that you don’t have to buy big to get impressive cabin quality and refinement.  Volkswagen has got it right with the Golf, each generation of Golf gets better and better making it such a great used car buy.’

The Golf Mk VI is praised for offering buyers ‘genuine value for money’, thanks to an impressive and economical engine, a spacious and stylish cabin with an ‘exceptionally high quality look and feel’ and strong safety credentials.  In short, says What Car?: ‘No other small family car matches the Golf for fun and comfort.’

Collecting the award on behalf of Volkswagen was Head of Sales Operations, Ian Plummer, who said: ‘We’re delighted to win this award.  The seventh-generation Golf has claimed a number of high profile accolades since its launch so it’s tremendous for us that the previous generation is also still winning titles too.  Excellent value for money, high quality and a strong reputation mean the Golf is always a popular choice with new and used car buyers and we’re grateful that What Car? has recognised this.’

Volkswagen’s used car programme, called ‘Das WeltAuto’, ensures that customers not only get a quality product, but also high quality service when they purchase a car from a Retailer.  Rolled out across the manufacturer’s network in 2011, Das WeltAuto is designed to make the purchase of a secondhand car as appealing as that of a new car, with ‘Used cars you can trust. Guaranteed’.

Every car sold under the Das WeltAuto banner comes with a number of features, including a no quibble exchange policy, free servicing for two years when bought with Volkswagen Finance and a used car warranty.  Full details, as well as an online used car locator, can be found at  www.volkswagen.co.uk/used.

The full results of What Car?’s Used Car of the Year awards are published in the November issue of the magazine, out 19 September.

An old bus gets a timeless restoration

Enthusiast Jo Hamshaw loves to restore VWs. She has four parked outside her house on the southcoast of England all lovingly labored over by her and her partner; A 1957 Splitscreen campervan, 1971 Beetle, 1991 Golf MKIII and a 1998 T4 Transporter.

camper2

When Jo happened upon the 1957 Splitscreen it had been sitting in a workshop for 17 years, unloved and untouched. And, was in need of a serious overhaul.

In usual VW bus fashion, it had quite a charming past. One of the first generations of Volkswagon campers, the Splitscreen was shipped straight to Britain from Germany into the hands of a refrigeration company. After which it found its way into the hearts of a southcoast beat band called the ‘Southbeats’, where it spent it’s days as a DJ tour bus.

As soon as Jo laid eyes on the rusty old bus she was on a mission, and dedicated most of her spare time converting the camper back to its former glory. Which meant stripping the bus right back, and removing all the parts that weren’t in keeping with its original charm.

 “You know how people buy cars and tart them up with performance lights and alloy wheels, they did that in the 60s in a big way. As newer versions of the VW bus became available, they’d fit them up to give them a more modern look.”

 It took about a year of weekend tinkering to get the bus back to standard – but it was Jo’s attention to detail and patience that paid off.

 “I would trawl the internet all day looking for parts. My other half didn’t have the patience. It’s great if you love to shop, which I do. I would spend days finding parts from all over the world.”

 The buzz blue color was not uncommon for a van of that era, however to find the buzz grey hubcaps which featured on that style of bus took a lot of trawling, it was a rare feature on that style of camper and a lot harder to find.

She tracked down a company located in the US which sold the buzz grey color and had it shipped to England. It helped working for Essex firm VW Heritage spare parts when sourcing rare bits from all over the world.

 Jo’s handywork was also applied to the curtains and cushions, which she made out of a blue and white hibiscus fabric she sourced all the way from Hawaii, giving the bus that surf-wagon look it is so well known for. The woodwork and camping interior was made by a chap who specializes in the restoration of vans in British surf haven Devon, called Smith’s of Cornwall.

 Any tips for anyone out there wanting to restore a worn out old bus or any timeless piece of machinery?

 “Just get on with it. There are plenty of resources for anyone wanting to get involved in a restoration. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”

 As time moves on and the old beauties become harder to come by, a new generation of vehicles shift into the classic or vintage car space, re-defining what’s considered classic in the eyes of enthusiasts. For example, both the Golf Mk1 and the 90s Golf Mk2 are considered classic cars, and worthwhile investments. And the Mexican VW Beetle, which stopped production in 2003, is deemed a classic car just by definition, even though its only ten years old.

Jo Split

Although, if you’re thinking of going down the route of a conversion for investment opportunities, it’s worth noting that VW’s have a way of getting into the heart’s of their owners. And, as Jo discovered after lovingly nurturing her van back to its former self, parting with her big old blue bus would simply be out of the question.

 Megan McAuliffe is a writer, journalist and blogger covering ethical and sustainable issues in lifestyle, community and culture. You can find her on Twitter @Mxxsy

York nightclub gets a tiki makeover!

kudabar2

York nightclub formerly know as The Gallery recently had a makeover. Although I live in York, I have not yet had the chance to visit but I will definitely be making the effort to go an check it out at some point.

The interior has taken on the look of a Tiki Bar, with VW campervan included!

So if you’re heading up to York for our event ‘Field of Dreams – the airooled exclusive’, why not stay an extra night and head to Kuda Bar.

Split Screen single cab found after 45 years!

Don’t you wish you were this lucky?  A couple were out for a Sunday drive in the foothills around the Idaho Falls area in the USA.  Driving along in their Syncro they spotted this single cab buried 2 feet down.  They later found out it had been buried there since 1967 – 45 years!

The whole process took 9 hours but the video shown here has it condensed into just 15 minutes.  Although not in the greatest condition, having been buried for so long it was fairly rust free.

We would like to see what it looks like now so if any of you know the owners please ask them to get in touch.

 

FIRST GERMAN-MADE AMAROK IN UK WILL SAVE ANIMALS WITH THE RSPCA

The Amarok has been a huge success since its European launch in 2011, and to improve supply and availability, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is now producing this model at its factory in Hanover, Germany (production also continues in Argentina).

The first right-hand drive Amarok pick-up model to be produced in Hanover is to be put into action with the RSPCA in the United Kingdom.  It was officially presented to the RSPCA by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at a special event in Hanover, followed by a tour of the factory.

The RSPCA’s vehicle is one of the latest Amarok models.  It has a powerful and efficient 2.0 BiTDI engine, now with 180 PS, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is new to this model.  In addition, to improve fuel economy and emissions, it is fitted with BlueMotion Technology, which is now available across the Amarok range.  The 180 PS BlueMotion Technology model with automatic transmission and 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive offers combined fuel consumption of 35.3 mpg.

The Amarok will be delivered to the RSPCA in the UK once accessories including a hardtop and protective seat covers are fitted.  It will then be set to work at one of the RSPCA’s biggest and busiest centres, the Southridge Animal Centre, handling rescued animals ranging from domestic pets to pigs, goats and horses.  The Amarok’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive and pulling power will be needed when retrieving animals from off-road locations, and for towing equipment around the 16-acre site.

Kevin Degenhard, Chief Inspectorate Officer of the RSPCA, who accepted Volkswagen’s invitation to the event in Hanover, said: ‘The Amarok is a very impressive vehicle and we are privileged and proud to have the first one from the European production line.  Our staff are looking forward to the Amarok joining our fleet, and I assure you it will be put to very good use and tested to extremes.’

Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the UK said: ‘At a time when incomes for charities are under pressure, we are delighted to support the RSPCA with the perfect off-road vehicle with plenty of traction, load capacity and towing power.  The RSPCA is often seen as another of the emergency services, and I know the Amarok will be working hard.’

NEW AMAROK 180 PS WITH BLUEMOTION TECHNOLOGY AND AUTO TRANSMISSION

The Amarok is now even more powerful and economical, thanks to a power upgrade for the 163 PS BiTDI engine to 180 PS, and the introduction of BlueMotion Technology models to offer improved efficiency.  In addition, towing limits have increased from 2,800 kg to 3,000 kg for manual models, while a new eight-speed automatic transmission has been introduced and has a higher towing limit of 3,200 kg.

To improve supply and availability, Amarok models for the UK and the rest of Europe are now being produced in the same factory as the Transporter in Hanover, Germany.  At the same time, new features introduced include: Bluetooth, front and rear parking sensors, heated washer jets, tachograph preparation, cornering fog lights and 19-inch alloy wheels.

BlueMotion Technology improves fuel economy and lowers emissions by using low rolling resistance tyres, Stop/Start and regenerative braking.  This means that although the 180 PS BlueMotion Technology is over 10 per cent more powerful than the previous 163 PS model, it is 3.9 per cent more economical, with a combined fuel economy of 37.2 mpg compared to 35.8 mpg.  Better still, emissions drop by 10 g/km to 199 g/km.

Torque for the eight-speed automatic transmission increases from 400 to 420 Nm, delivered at 1,750 rpm.  It is available exclusively as a Highline model with BlueMotion Technology and permanent 4MOTION for a retail price of £25,105 (plus VAT).  It achieves combined fuel economy of 35.3 mpg with emissions of 211 g/km – the same as the standard manual model.

The new 180 PS BiTDI engine is available with a six-speed manual transmission in Startline, Trendline and Highline trim levels and selectable 4MOTION all-wheel drive with retail prices from £19,795 (plus VAT).   The 2.0-litre TDI 122 PS engine is still available in the Startline range from £18,795 (plus VAT).

‘The new 180 PS engine and automatic transmission make the Amarok even more refined, plus with BlueMotion Technology also now available, it can offer more efficiency, too,’ said Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

‘The Amaroks from Germany are now arriving in Van Centre showrooms, with demonstrators available for test drives,’ he continued.

Full details of the Amarok range are available at www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk, or by calling 0800 717131.  For the latest updates find Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on:facebook.com/VolkswagenCommercialVehiclesUKor on Twitter @Volkswagen_CV.

Amarok performance and technical specifications:

Combined MPG 0-62 mph
(seconds)
CO2
(g/km)
Payload
(kg)
Previous163 PS 4MOTION Selectable 35.8 11.1 209 1,064 to 1,108
Previous163 PS 4MOTION Permanent 35.8 11.1 209 750
New 180 PS 4MOTION Selectable 35.3 11.0 211 1,091 to 1,145
New 180 PS 4MOTION Permanent
BlueMotion Technology
37.2 11.0 199 772
New 180 PS 4MOTION Permanent
BlueMotion Technology automatic
35.3 11.3 211 1,077

Amarok retail and on the road (OTR) prices:

Retail £ (ex VAT) OTR £ (inc VAT)
Startline
2.0 TDI 122 PS 4MOTION Selectable
2.0 BiTDI 180 PS 4MOTION Selectable
£18,795
£19,795
£23,526
£24,726
Trendline
2.0 BiTDI 180 PS 4MOTION Selectable
£20,795 £25,926
Highline
2.0 BiTDI 180 PS 4MOTION Selectable
2.0 BiTDI 180 PS 4MOTION Permanent BlueMotion Technology
2.0 BiTDI 180 PS 4MOTION Permanent BlueMotion Technology auto
£23,375
£23,375
£25,105
£29,022
£29,022
£31,098

FREE WINTER CHECK FROM VOLKSWAGEN COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

VW Roadside Assistance van
VW Roadside Assistance van

Roadside Assistance from Volkswagen

Over the past two winters, Volkswagen Roadside Assistance has attended 2,500 battery related call-outs and 700 wiper and washer related call-outs, so to make sure your van isn’t a victim of the cold this year, take advantage of the free Winter Check now available from Volkswagen Van Centres and authorised repairers across the UK.

The free, 30-point Winter Check includes essentials such as battery, lights, tyres, wipers and washers, plus screenwash and antifreeze levels.  If the screenwash is low, it will be topped up for free with Volkswagen genuine screenwash, which can cope with temperatures of minus 70°C.  If any items need replacing, a range of Volkswagen approved replacements are available at competitive prices, including winter tyres, which provide extra grip and traction when temperatures fall below seven degrees.

In addition, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has produced a video of top winter driving tips, with help from the Volkswagen Roadside Assistance partner, the RAC.  This can be seen at www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk, or on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/vwcommercialvehicles.

‘People don’t realise the importance of basics like good quality screenwash which works at much lower temperatures than cheaper alternatives, or that the correct antifreeze level is essential to reduce the risk and cost of burst pipes or frozen water pumps,’ said Stephen Bateson, Head of Aftersales and Customer Service.

‘This free Winter Check will help van drivers keep their vehicles on the road this winter, and save the cost of unnecessary repairs and lost business if they breakdown,’ he continued.

To find your nearest participating Volkswagen Van Centre, call 0800 717131 or visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk.  For the latest updates follow Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on Facebook:facebook.com/VolkswagenCommercialVehiclesUK or Twitter @Volkswagen_CV.

Biggest Ever Group Test

Which Motorhome, the UK’s number one magazine for motorhome testing, has just completed its biggest ever group test of twelve Volkswagen campers at the Caravan Club’s site in Ferry Meadows.

All campers tested were based on the current shape Volkswagen T5, featuring the classic side kitchen layout with an elevating roof. The campers tested included Volkswagen’s own California, while the remainder were from all the UK’s leading manufacturers: the Bilbo’s Komba SE 35, Bilbo’s Celex LWB, Bebb Sport Lifestyle, Rolling Homes, Jerba Cromarty, Danbury Surf, VWKC Komet, VWKC Karisma, Concept Multi-Car Trio Style, Leisuredrive Crusader and Hillside Birchover.

All the campers were tested by Which Motorhome’s highly experienced road-testers, who found a surprising variation between them. The results of this test, along with the winner are published in the December issue of Which Motorhome, on-sale on 8th November.

Which Motorhome was established in 1986 and is widely recognised as the leading magazine for those looking to buy their first motorhome or upgrade their existing motorhome to a new model.

Which Motorhome has recently been relaunched and includes more motorhome tests than before, while the magazine is often first to test new motorhomes as they are launched. Which Motorhome covers everything from new A-classes to luxury low-profiles and secondhand bargains, so there is something to suit all budgets!

Editor, Peter Vaughan said: “Which Motorhome introduced group testing to motorhome magazines in the UK and we continue to lead the way with this, our biggest ever group test. And with more motorhomers downsizing, as well as rapidly growing interest in VW campers, there has never been a more appropriate time to look at these unique and highly-aspirational vehicles.’

Managing Editor, Daniel Attwood, added: “This issue of Which Motorhome is a must read for anyone interested in Volkswagen campervans. The team have pulled off one of the greatest tests of VW campervans since their introduction some 50 years ago… and it makes for great reading!”