Category Archives: campervanculture.com

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Westy Bravo form Venture Libre

Introducing the “Westy Bravo” organiser

With the Westy Bravo, the valuable, under utilized space on the rearmost panel of your Westfalia wardrobe cabinet becomes a practical, well organized and even beautiful storage space.

Offering 3 flap-top, snap close pockets and 16 3D patterned open tool slots, there’s space for everything you need, conveniently next to the engine bay where easy tool access is most helpful.

Made of high quality ‘Crazy Horse’ saddle leather that only gets better with age, the Westy Bravo features heavy duty stitching, reinforced, riveted corners, durable construction and two colors to complement the standard brown and grey Westfalia interiors.

A bold and functional organizer for the rearmost face of the Volkswagen T3/T25 Vanagon Westfalia cabinet.

  • Premier quality saddle leather, aka: ‘Crazy Horse’.
  • Designed to take a beating and always look great!
  • Hand-crafted in Mexico
  • Heavy-duty stitching
  • Reinforced and riveted corners
  • Built to last!

We have very limited stock of these available in grey and brow. Buy yours here.

Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre Westy Bravo form Venture Libre

 

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First official trip out, this time ABENTEUER & ALLRAD 2018.Managon #6

Hey guys..

It has been a full on few months right here to get to this point where we are now ready to give something back to the community. At CampervanCulture.com we are as always in your debt for the support you give us by supporting what we do and allowing us to be much more than just another web shop selling parts. Your direct support is what keeps us stocking and innovating the more interesting products rather than just things with off the shelf part numbers *YAWN!*

Sooo.. the last 6 months has been full on, and it was much needed work so we can slip back into making the short films that we are known for bringing to you for your viewing pleasure, in the hope we may inspire some of you. On the flip side of this coin it also gives a lot of you to reach out to us so you can (and almost 100% of the time) inspire us into doing something or going somewhere via social media interaction.

 

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Driving The Managon back to the UK #6

Well it was time to finally go fetch the truck.

The formalities of doing this are as follows for those interested in how to do it.

  • The Vehicle needs to be registered to the person you are buying it from.
  • The vehicle needs to have a valid Dutch MOT.
  • In our case we managed to get it registered in Holland as a Motor Caravan to save hassles here in the UK later.
  • You need to get export plates from the Vehicle registration office in Holland before you can drive it out of Holland (this takes 10 minutes and is very easy). You need the previous owners documents, your driving licence and your passport.
  • Unlike Germany insurance is not possible to buy with your export plates at the vehicle registration office, no matter what people tell you. You need to arrange your own insurance before you leave in the UK.
  • The Caravan and Motorhome Club will give you insurance using the chassis number. They were the only one apart from one other place (the other places quote was over £2000!) that would issue this pollicey. Other companies will issue on chassis number but the vehicle has to be on UK soil so no good for export.
  • If you have RAC recovery for UK then The Camping & Caravan Club (different company to the Caravan and Motorhome Club) will give you a code if you join (£45 per year) that you can give to the RAC and they will upgrade your UK policy to cover trucks for the UK and for full European cover for an extra £80 per year.
  • The Channel Tunnel crossing can be as little as £55 for a truck each way. This can be done by buying a ‘Frequent Traveller’ package. You buy 10 crossings up front for £44 each way and pay a £11 surcharge on top per crossing when booking your crossing time. I had my time booked for 7.30PM and arrived at 4.30PM. They let me cross for free at 4.50PM and the crossing takes just over half an hour. You just need to book one day in advance. You stay in the vehicle all the time so can have a quick nap or make food in the truck.

 

I thought I was really on the ball this time but after booking everything I realised last minute my passport had expired! This then meant everything was the usual mad rush to try and pull this off.

Did I manage it?

Check out the blog below to see how things unfolded,

 

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This Slow Truck Is Quickly Turning To A Fast House #5

Man what a full on two days that was…

This is going to be an update of very few words as I am just so sleepy after a full on couple of days.. In a nutshell I got the windows and doors into the habitation box and fitted the new exhaust by routing it under the truck rather than up out of the top where it was before.

Now the habitation box can be lifted onto the back once the last bits of trim are fitted to the edges.

Let the the video do the talking while I catch up on some sleep.

 

This Slow Truck Is Quickly Turning To A Fast House #5 from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

VW T25 T3 Vanagon Square headlights

Brand New VW T25 T3 Vanagon H4 Square Headlight Kits

Who would have thought this would ever be available..

Through CVC, brand new VW T25-T3-Vanagon H4 Square Headlight kits for both LHD and yes…. RHD! Complete with brand new backing plates and adjuster screws and tips.

VW T25 T3 Vanagon Square headlights

This is not a wind up, and also get this… Brand new grilles with or without badge.

VW T25 T3 Vanagon Square Grille badgeless VW T25 T3 Vanagon Square Grille with badge

The headlight prototypes have been running around the UK for a good while now under top secret conditions (actually not really, they have been on full view the whole time but they are that good nobody noticed 😉 ) and production has been underway and due to land with us at CVC ready to ship out at the end of January 2018. Stock will be limited so we are giving you the unique opportunity to pre order a set.

Remember USA customers who spend under $799 don’t pay import duty if they buy from us and you don’t pay the UK VAT at 20% so this is especially amazing for you guys even before you consider the epic exchange rate you get just now.

UK you still get an amazing deal and a chance to own what has been up until now the holy grail of VW T25 parts.

On the continent? You guys get a excellent exchange rate with the Euro v Pound right now too and we give good shipping rates.

If you would like to take advantage of the pre order cost please order via this product category page, https://campervanculture.com/product-catego…/vehicle-parts/…/

There are only so many that are being produced so don’t miss out. Oh, and you might want to tag your friends in this to share the love so they don’t miss out too.

If you have any questions or queries drop us an email.

Please note that the headlight image is for illustrative purposes only.

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The Start Of Autumn Weekend 2017 & Some Trip Vlog Testing..

After a couple of months of the CampervanCulture.com Westy Syncro being out of action due to yet another shagged gear box we had a stoke of luck. It was expensive luck but we did find a rebuilt Syncro gear box for sale at Busfest a couple of weeks back. Because of all the support we get from you guys and girls who support us from buying from the CampervanCulture.com web shop and at the shows we trade at we had enough to buy the gear box. Believe it or not at £3000 this gear box was a bargain! and not only has this put us back on the road but we should be able to get the old one rebuilt so we have a spare… With a spare rebuilt Syncro gearbox sat on a pallet we can really travel with a bit more confidence knowing via our UPS or DHL shipping accounts we can receive a new gearbox anywhere in the world in under 5 days!

We realise that all of you recognise CampervanCulture.com as not just another internet web shop and totally appreciate your support. With the support you give us it means we are completely self funded and it allows us to give something back via the short films we make so you can watch them any time you like and as often as you want for free.

This trip is just a short one. A quick weekend away into the Surrey Hills, we really hope you enjoy being with us in the passenger seat or virtually walking side by side with us on our hike.

This short video is more than us just getting out for a weekend exploring, it has been a bit of an experiment. Been thinking for ages just how viable daily or 3 times weekly video logs would be on our next trip. I like just picking up the filming gear and making a film series for you all for when we get back but…. let’s say… just for fun it would be possible to put together a series of regular video logs from out on the road and launch them every couple of days. It would be a lot of work but just as a tester this short film was put together to see what could be done which just an hour and a half of editing as a tester to see what is in reach..

 

The Start Of Autumn Weekend 2017 from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

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Subframe Built And Other Snippets #4

The building of habitation box has been ever so slightly delayed due to Erik breaking his wrist while doing an overland trip down to Greece. The good thing about this is at least he did it having fun so not so bad.

We have had a crazy busy couple of months at work with CampervanCulture.com.. Like really busy, all of us have been feeling the burn… And just now can see the light at the end of the tunnel with all that, now we have got Busfest and The Adventure Overland Show behind us. CVC trades at those two shows every year and as well as giving us a much needed boost in income it also gives us the chance to meet face to face with you good folk and get to know you. Some of this years extra pennies we took at Busfest went on buying a new gearbox for the CVC Westy Syncro after the old one threw it’s toys out of the pram again on the trip over to Adventure Allrad in Germany a couple of months back. Just the weekend before last I headed down to Doug’s VW Werks were Doug and I swapped the gear box on his ramp one Saturday and changed the clutch set up.

The extra sales we took at The Adventure Overland Show will go to the final payment on The Managon habitation box so a massive thanks to all of you amazing people who are buying from us and making this happen.

Of all the hundreds of people we got to speak with at both Busfest and The Adventure Overland Show this year the most asked question was, “Hows The Managon Build Going?”. Well here is where things are at…

I wanted to do this update now as the pace of the build is about to gather some speed and momentum. The panels for the habitation box are due to be ready today and to be picked up tomorrow so here is an update of what has been going on in Managon land since the last update.

Subframe – As previously mentioned in the other updates a trucks chassis flexes and if you just bolted a box to it the box would just get torn apart. There are a few tried and tested ways of mounting the box so it will allow chassis flex and The Managon is having a subframe with spring mounts. It was all made a few weeks back and part of it was sent away to be moulded into the floor of the habitation box.


High Roof Over Cab – Remember back in the previous update that VW LT I chopped bits of the roof from in that scrap yard in Oxford? Well I worked some magic and got those bits all bonded together on top of a single cab roof chop I managed to get my hands on. This also gave me a chance to mess with a few colours and I am pretty sure I have now chose the final colour the truck is going to be. As soon as I know the distance the habitation box will be from the cab I can trim the back of the high roof I made to fit in with what is going on. Then I can decide if to do a full hight walk through or just choose a couple of storage options instead.

 

Interior Units – I really need to keep the weight down on this truck as much as possible to keep it under 7500KG. I have Granddad rights on my car licence so can drive a truck up to 7500KG, but the truck is good for over 9000KG so when driving in remote areas we can really load up on cargo to see us through. The interior will be made to be as light as possible. Made pretty much entirely of 3mm aluminium composite sat inside an aluminium square tube frame it will be super light. I built the kitchen unit just to get familiar with the materials while I had the spare time waiting for Erik’s wrist to heal.

 

All of the interior will be made using this system, I really like the utility look of it. I have been in a nice position with extra time on my hands to look for stuff over the last month or two so grabbed most of the primary and secondary back up heating systems as well as the hot water system from Ebay and get some knock out deals. This has saved a lot of money for sure!

Support Vehicle – Because The Managon is a big old slice, popping out down the shops or along to a local market may be a bit of a mission. It was always part of the plan to have a motorised bike of some kind. One Sunday morning I bid £430 on Ebay for a year old monkey bike and to my surprise won it! I named it ‘The Looser Cruiser’ but despite the name this little bike with fold down handle bars and knobbly tyres is a little gem and somewhat of a pocket rocket! Both lightweight and small I have plans to how this will fit into this project for some added extra freedom on trips to explore local areas. You can carry two people at a time and after burning around all week on this thing the whole family are totally smitten with it.

 

So that is it for just now. Fingers crossed there will be an update real soon with the habitation box on the truck and now there is a working gear box in the CVC Westy Syncro I can zoom over to Adventure Trucks HQ in NL to do some work on the less interesting areas so the registration can get underway over there to make the registration swap over happen this end.

Stay tuned and don’t forget to use the subscribe feature so you get alerts of when new content has been added to the website so you can follow the adventure.

 

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2018 Calendar Submissions

It’s that time again to get your submissions in for the second CVC calendar! Photos need to have been taken at some point in 2017, be horizontal and high resolution, and with just your van and mother nature (let’s leave those pesky humans out of them). Please email your photos to submissions@campervanculture.com. Include van year/model and where the photo was taken, plus any other interesting details. Get snapping!

Deadline is November 1. Those chosen receive a free calendar.

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Exploring The West Coast Of Ireland

With the CampervanCulture.com webshop closed for 2 weeks the CVC team went there separate ways for a well earned break. Anne, Noah and I (Dan) headed off from the south coast of England, up to Holyhead, then across the Irish Sea to Dublin to explore the west coast of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy.

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Busfest & The Adventure Overland Show

This September come visit Campervan Culture at both Busfest and Adventure Overland shows.

Busfest runs the weekend of  September 8, 9 and 10. You’ll be able to find us in our usual spot in the Avon Hall. The Adventure Overland show is the weekend of September 23 – 24.

To save on postage costs we are happy to bring along any preordered items ordered through the webshop. Just choose “for local pickup” when ordering and add a note mentioning which show you wish to pick up from. Please bring your order number on the day to speed things along.

Make sure you come by and say hello. Jed and Dan.

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Gathering Parts & Inspiration #3

The habitation box panels should be made during the end of July (this month as its July 2nd while I am typing) and this has given me the luxury of time to gather parts for and inspiration for the build.

Probably the biggest thing to push things along on the inspiration front was taking a week off to visit the Abenteuer Allrad Show in Bad Kissingen Germany, the biggest overland vehicle event in the world! We have a video of that floating around in the review section on the website but I will pop it on the end of this post for you to watch just incase you missed it.

Now I have an actual large part that will be fitted to The Managon here in the UK while the truck is still in The Netherlands (remember the roof chop from the last post in #2?) I got my head around what colour I wanted it to be and thought I had nailed it first time.. It was exactly what I had in my minds eye, not to military looking so it would be a problem when crossing boarders in North Africa etc and would blend in (if it is even possible to blend in a 7500kg truck) to wild camping environments.

I was feeling pretty dam please with myself until we reached The Abenteuer Allrad Show and this truck caught my eye and I really love the colour of it but am a bit concerned it is to green/military so might have to flip a coin now.

 

Anyway…. loads more to be actually be decided before I need to press the button on that one.

We did the very final habitation box drawing, it had to be adjusted as Dan and I forgot to leave 2500M of wall space at the back for one of our ARB awnings so things got shoved up a little. I had already submitted the OK for an entrance door to be custom made and this was not a problem until I found a really nice set of Aluminium steps on Ebay and bought them. I wanted to hang the steps upside down on the back of the door when not in use as the actual step parts will make some handy storage space or shelving for wet coats or wet boots. The door I ordered was going to be to narrow for this now so a new door is going to be made and the smaller door is going to be sent back to be cut into two doors. One for the habitation box and cab crawl through and the other for under the rear bed for the ARB chest fridge freezer.

And with the green Army paint removed..

With all of this happening I got down to ordering a few more of the items so I can look at what I am going to be making the furniture and units out of that will house things like the cooker.

We have never had an oven in a camper van before so this will be a luxury,

 

The sink I chose has a flip down lid so this will free up some extra food prep space. I also ordered in the windows and after a good think about it I went for sliding ones up at the front around the table seating area so we can drive with those open. The ones at the rear for in the back fixed sleeping area are top hinged and don’t need to be open when driving. The idea of the top openers in this area are so we can kick back in bed and admire the view with the windows open, even if it is raining. I went with the Seitz windows, mainly due to budget restrictions but the quality does seam good and I am really happy with the built in mozzy nets and thermal black out blinds.

The shower tray also got ordered so I could make sure this worked out with the bathroom lay out. I am going to be making the bathroom lay out the same as the Bliss truck featured in The Abenteuer Allrad film at the end of this post so to get the shower tray now makes sense so I can start to think about what toilet to get. If there is any room in the budget for a porcelain throne that would be good as the plastic ones have to many nooks and crannies and the flush on them is usually sub standard as it just spirals down the pan with one loop and doesn’t really rinse the bowl properly. The porcelain ones I have seen have loads of small holes around the top that water comes out of to flush and rinse the whole bowl so I would really like one of these as it is a fixed loo that is emptied from the outside. The portable ones that split in two are a bit a pain in one respect as you have to carry poo through your camper but good in another way because you can just take them out of the vehicle after every trip and power wash them.

 

So apart from all of the above I managed to score a 30L hot water tank/engine coolant heat exchanger from a boat on Ebay at a good price. Also I purchased one of the really early Webasto 24V engine coolant heaters from a member of one of the groups I follow. He was in Holland but with having the luxury of a really good UPS account getting it here to the UK was not a problem. The Webasto is pretty big but with being a very early one it won’t need to be re set electronically and won’t be as sensitive to altitude etc.. It will be mounted outside of the living and cab areas so I am not to worried about the safety sensors the new models have. Although I have had lots of hours of pleasure from Eberspacher heaters in the past my own view of them is that they can be a bit temperamental and if they are not working this can be the difference between a cosy time and a wet and cold miserable time. Due to this I am actually fitting two ways to heat the truck and the hot water. The first way is via the Webasto coolant heater, it heats the engine coolant when parked up (good in sub zero conditions too) and on the way back from the heated engine coolant heating the hot water via the 30L hot water tank/engine coolant heat exchanger, it passes through a couple of heater matrix units that have a small radiator and low draw electric fans. In fact when the trucks engine is running it will also heat the hot water tank so thats three ways of heating I guess. The second heater I am considering is one of the Planar diesel heaters  from Russia. They are the kalashnikov of the diesel heater world apparently and used extensively in Siberia where I guess they don’t have to be as sensitive as the Ebberspacer. Parts are still really available for them and I have read good things about them. Best of all they are much cheaper than the European heaters. I also bought the second (or is it third now) water heating method to go with the hot air heating. I did see Truma do a water heater heat exchanger tank that the hot air from the heater blows through and head up a small tank of water. They also have a 240V heating element on a thermostat on the inside too for the very rare times we may be plugged in so I guess that is a 4th way to heat the water now.

 

Anyway another pile of stuff is building up in the CVC unit,

 

I have personally been reading every travel blog I can find both online and in print over the last ten years and have the deepest admiration and respect for all of them. Pretty much most of them have decided to do a trip, set a date then go about finding then building a vehicle, sorting visas, container shipping etc with a strict dead line. The vehicle build and the issues that driving an old modified overland vehicle throw up always cause drama and time lines always lead to sleepless nights through worry and punishing work hours on the build. To try and do as much forward thinking now at the build stage while there is no rush and you have time to think, spend five days searching door handles and locks, a few evenings reading up on pluming and electrical instals, buying in small samples of light weigh board and most impotently grabbing things at a bargain price because you can wait for stuff as you don’t need it next day are all real bonuses. If you have the time you can save yourself a good bit of cash and make the vehicle as bullet proof as you can manage. I have to admit to being particularly turned on by one of the biggest reasoning why this build even started. To have a factory built vehicle with the most basic of 6 cylinder none turbo mechanical engines, a strong gear box and running gear with a huge load carrying capacity all from factory that is made to work together.

Oh and I nearly forgot.. I gave the replacement VW LT headlight grill a coat of paint and repair ready to bring the Managon back to the VW dark side.

Lots more to follow but as promised here is the Abenteuer Allrad film from Bad Kissingen just incase you missed it,