Tag Archives: Westfalia

What Will We Do?

As folks are planning their 2008 camping season, we are beginning to see some of the activities that they have planned. I have spent hours visiting websites, reading reports, and looking at pictures. How did we find all of these events? Well, we belong to the following Yahoo groups: Ohio Valley Tribe, Westfalia, WetWesties, and Buskatiers (which isn’t a yahoo group). Finally and certainly not least is The Samba!

The event that I just finished exploring is a event called BusFusion this event is being held in Altmont, Ontario, which is on the Mississippi River scheduled for the middle of June. This looks like a lot of fun. They have a jam session, swap meet and Arts and Craft sales by the participants. Something like this could motivate me to do more with my photography. We probably won’t make this year as we have a tentative plan for Yellowstone Park with some neighbors.

Another one I looked at was BBB (Buses by the Bridge), this event was in mid-Jan in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. This looks like a lot of fun, too. Look at the photos from this trip and you will find a very cool bus interior. Marilyn is in love with this one.

And the final one for today is the VW Buses N Boat Bash.  This trip features a 6 mile canoe trip on the Little Miami River just North of Cincinnati and hosted by the Full Moon Bus Club. The thing that is the most amazing about these places are that they are all in small towns, which personally I like.  I have some more I’ll write about later.  I have a migraine that is asking me to shut down . . . .

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Posted by on February 4, 2008 in Things To Do


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Decisions….. Decisions

This is beginning to get a little harder. We are finding many buses in our price range that have bench seats without any camping interior, or no interior at all. I have spoken with Woody (I need a kitchen too) and he mentioned that he is a custom cabinet maker and could build an interior for our potential bus. We also spoke to a gentleman in Denver with a nice bus without an interior. He mentioned that we could buy a camper box from some of the businesses that advertise in the back of VolksWorld magazine. Marilyn set out to find this magazine yesterday.

She found it….. it is a UK magazine….. $8.75 a copy and it is November’s issue! I really appreciate Barnes and Noble giving us a discount on a publication that is 4 months old!

Well, I looked through the ‘zine and it was very interesting if your thing is Bugs. There was only ONE bus in the issue. There were a few more advertisements for buses and campers, but I did not find what I was looking for as far as a Westy Camper Box. Although that isn’t completely true I found that VolksWorld has a separate ‘zine dedicated to buses and campers. We will begin our quest for that ‘zine next. The subscription is a little tall ($50 / yr) until we have a look at one. I suppose that was the ‘zine that the gentleman from Denver was referring to


Wow…. I just found another ‘zine… called Volkswagen Camper & Commercial. This ‘zine is by David Eccles who also wrote the book VW Camper – The Inside Story mentioned earlier. What a bonus! Now I have two ‘zines to look for. If anyone…. really reads this… we would be interested in other ‘zines….. we are very hungry for information

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Posted by on February 2, 2008 in the begining


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Research Continued – Sundial, Westy, S023

Sundial Campers, by Josh Rodgers

Sundial –Edgemont California
Also based on Panel Van distinctive features were 5 Jalousie windows. Kombi & Microbus were also converted. Walls paneled in Ash Plywood (like Westy) Vinyl Flooring.

Type 2, T1 “Camper”
Westfalia Campers
Leading the Way – Westfalia Werks was founded by Johann Knobel in 1844, as a blacksmiths & agricultural tool factory. They made harnesses and horse-drawn carts. At the end of the 1920’s, Westfalia begain producing caravans & multi-purpose trailers. In 1953 the first Campng Box was introduced, it was basically a self-contained unit that fitted against the front bulkhead, with bench seating, a uni was in 3 sections.

The unit could double up for guests in the house, too!

From 1955 a full camping interior was available and by 1957 Westy had produced its 1,000th Camper conversion.

Beginning in 1959, a very different kind of camper was produced by Westy and quickly became the standard in design and fittings. There was a Standard and Deluxe version – the Deluxe included the rear cool box unit. They both included:

  • Cabinets finished in plywood veneers
  • Upholstery was in black check plaid, w/ matching curtains
  • Seating arranged round the table
  • 2 back cushions laying out on the dropped table to form bed
  • Child’s hammock hooked around the back of the front seat
  • Bottom bunk was the front seat
  • A toiletry/washing unit was sited to the left of the loading doors
  • The front of the unit was a shelved cupboard for storing the bowl & kitchen utensils
  • On the side of the this unit was a flap-down shelf to hold a washing bowl
  • The first cocktail cabinet had spun colored aluminum drink set: 6 oz cups & shot glasses
  • 2 clamshell design side lights
  • A wardrobe with dressing mirror was sited just inside the rear loading door
  • Cargo net for shoes across the ceiling of the rear area
  • Sisal carpet flooring was fitted in the load area & attached in place with press studs
  • Marble mat (brown or green linoleum) was on the rear deck
  • Tent awning was red & white stripe, held n place with special mounts on the roof & front bumper
  • Roof rack was also available

That’s all for now folks, this is fun, fun, fun! I haven’t done a research project like this since I lived in the Yoga Ashram in Denton, Texas

Kundalini Yoga Ashram

and I was researching Buddism:)



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Posted by on January 29, 2008 in the begining


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VW Camper Research

Well… Marilyn found a book at the Chicago Public Library it is called VW Camper – The Inside Story by David Eccles. This comprehensive book helped us sort out the Westfalia from the Sundial to a Riveria.

From that book we learned . . . .

In 1951 Westfalia introduced the first VW camper. This camper had removable parts that could be used in the home for house guests! By 1955, Westfalia was producing fully converted buses and in 1959 brought the SO23 to market.

Other companies that were also doing the bus conversions were Devon (1957), Moortown (1958), Dormobile (1961), and finally the Danbury (1964). One thing we found interesting is that during the 60’s only Devon, Dormobile, Danbury, and Westfalia were officially recognized by VW. Other conversion companies had separate warranties.

In the 1960’s, the popularity of the Westfalia out sold the supply in North America. This led to other conversion companies entering the VW camper market such as EZ Campers, Sundial, Riveria, and Road Runner. These companies based their designs off of the Westfalia interiors.

EZ Campers began converting panel vans in 1963/64. There is also a webpage that out lines the history of the EZ Camper that is quite informative. This fellow even has replacement ID tags for your conversion. One of the models, the El Viajero looked very similar to the Sundial, however, the EZ was more luxurious. The 1965 EZ was based on the Kombi. This conversion featured 6 “pop-out” windows and birch panels instead of the EZ grooved style panel

Riviera / ASI


This dealership in Beaverton Oregon partnered with ASI (Automotive Services, Inc) in Vancouver Washington in 1965 to product a VW conversion to help offset the tight supply of Westfalia buses. These buses were .. just like te EZ Campers, based on the Westfalia. Since there are no serial numbers on these conversions it is unknown how many were produced. Most of the buses produced by this partnership were walkthrough panel vans. ASI also allowed customers to bring in their own buses for conversion, which would explain Riviera’s that are pre-1965. One of the obvious characteristics of these buses were the long “picture window” in either a slider or jalousie. The single windows were different that the Sundial and the EZ in that they were sliders instead of flipping open. The interiors were made from lightly stained birchwood. Some of these buses came with “pop-tops” from Sportsmobile in Elkhart Indiana. The Riviera Registry has more information on pre-1968 buses


Posted by on January 27, 2008 in the begining


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