VW Camper Family

A camping forum for VW bus and camper owners.

Here's a suggested outline for introducing yourself to others in the group. 

Look forward to getting to know you.


Hi, I'm _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (name)


1. I own/drive a VW type .....


2. First VW purchase year


3. Location including country


4. Where you have driven in your VW


5. Where you have camped in your VW


6. Most fun moment(s)


7. What got you started in the VW world


8. What you most love about having a VW


9. What you'd like from this group


10. What you'd like to offer to this group


11. Your personal likes/dislikes or something else about you


12. Are you on Facebook? If yes, please post your name (a copy your page address, http:// ...is best), so we can find each other.


13. Anything else?


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Hello everyone,
I'm Carole Brown, owner and driver of the YesWeCan CamperVan, or Dexter (named by previous and first owner, also female).
My VW is a 1971 Bay window Westfalia. 1971 is the last year of the 1600cc engine and small rear lights; first year of disc brakes. A good year apparently.
Currently garaged at friend's home in Millbury, central Massachusetts, USA for the winter. I'm between Millbury and my condo in Provincetown, Cape Cod, which I'm hoping to sell.

In December 2009, I collected my van from the eBay seller (a dealer) and drove 10,000 miles between Oregon and Massachusetts, spending 5 of the 6.5 month journey in California. I camped with other VWs at club events and overnighted free wherever I could; see my blog for where we stayed (http://yeswecanjourney.wordpress.com pages Route, Thanks & Travel tips).

Most fun? So many of examples. I guess it's the SLOW DRAG race at the Spring Fling event held by the Orange Empire Bus Company near Corona, California on 1st Sunday in May. We came 2nd in the 2010 race. Watch the youtube video of the final here.

What got me started was a reunion with cousins in the UK in August 2009, some of whom had VW vans and buses.
What I love most about my camper van is that it's like the dog I don't yet have: it introduces me to other people who are always nice (like you) AND it makes others (and me) smile! My THANKS page on my blog makes me smile very time I read it; the people who befriended my and my VW van on the road between OR and MA were wonderful. When I set off, I knew only three people I was going to visit. I could never have imagined all the new friends that were ahead.

I'd like this group to be about supporting each one of us with our dreams related to our VWs, building confidence for our travels, and giving us connections across the USA and around the world. I'd also like to gain more understanding of my VW and ways to keep it in tip top condition.
What I can bring to this group is my initiative for starting new things; my energy and enthusiasm, skills in social media, blog design, writing and photography; and my strange British sense of humour.

Something about me: I dreamed of coming to America yet never knew it would take 15 years for my green card (which allows me to live and work in USA). During all those years I flew back and forth countless times, living half a year in Massachusetts and half in England. Now I'm here, I'm ready to start my life over. At the age of 55 it's a bit of a challenge! My YesWeCan road trip in 2010 was to inspire me and others to follow our dreams.

I'm on Facebook as The YesWeCan CamperVan and Carole Brown
ALSO PLEASE JOIN ME HERE at the YesWeCan Journey blog

I can't wait to meet you all!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hell everybody, my name is Annalee (Anna) Ragen and I drive a 1970 VW Camper Bus named Cosette, but I call her Cozy.

 I got her in January of 2013, she was actually a surprise. I had told my mother about this Craigslist listing of a Bus in pretty good condition, but this had been probably the twelfth time I had told her about a Bus so it was a real shock when I came home and she was in my driveway.

I live in Vacaville, California!

I haven't camped or driven anywhere significant in my Bus yet, she just takes me to school currently. MY first camping trip is right around the corner though!

I drove her out to a lake by my house with my boyfriend as our second date and it was so much fun and the views were incredible. 

In about middle school, I noticed a Bus somewhere and I've been obsessed ever since.

What I love most about owning a Bus is when people stare or honk and wave. My personal favorite was a small child pointed and started jumping up and down very excitedly, and the time a guy leaned halfway out of the passenger window to get a better view.

I am hoping for a sense of kinship, and tips from more experienced owners and drivers. I'm also excited for future trips this group may set up! All I can offer this group right now is my charm, but I'm sure eventually I'll gain some knowledge that may become valuable.

I am on Facebook as Anna Ragen, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to join such a wonderful community!

Hi Anna, It's so lovely to have you join us here. My VW bus and I look forward to meeting you soon.
It's great you are nearby in Vacaville. We have visited Vacaville a few times to get repairs. Robert Skinner had liked us on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TheYesWeCanCamperVan) and when he saw we were driving over 7500 miles across country from MA for a good cause, he said if we did make it as far as CA he would give us a few body repairs for free. He was true to his word. That was in 2012. 

See our facebook page and blog for lots of past posts. Hope you can like our facebook page.

Cheers for now, Carole

P.S. Anna, I can't find you on facebook. There's several with your name. Can you friend me at http://www.facebook.com/carole.brown1

Anna Ragen said:

Hell everybody, my name is Annalee (Anna) Ragen and I drive a 1970 VW Camper Bus named Cosette, but I call her Cozy.

 I got her in January of 2013, she was actually a surprise. I had told my mother about this Craigslist listing of a Bus in pretty good condition, but this had been probably the twelfth time I had told her about a Bus so it was a real shock when I came home and she was in my driveway.

I live in Vacaville, California!

I haven't camped or driven anywhere significant in my Bus yet, she just takes me to school currently. MY first camping trip is right around the corner though!

I drove her out to a lake by my house with my boyfriend as our second date and it was so much fun and the views were incredible. 

In about middle school, I noticed a Bus somewhere and I've been obsessed ever since.

What I love most about owning a Bus is when people stare or honk and wave. My personal favorite was a small child pointed and started jumping up and down very excitedly, and the time a guy leaned halfway out of the passenger window to get a better view.

I am hoping for a sense of kinship, and tips from more experienced owners and drivers. I'm also excited for future trips this group may set up! All I can offer this group right now is my charm, but I'm sure eventually I'll gain some knowledge that may become valuable.

I am on Facebook as Anna Ragen, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to join such a wonderful community!

Hi Everyone! 

My name is Angie and I drive Miss Daisy who is a 1972 VW Campermobile.  

Our partnership began November 23, 2013 when she was towed from Fillmore Ca. to Canoga Park, Ca.  Canoga Park is located in the San Fernando Valley which is a suburb of Los Angeles.  

Miss Daisy needs some repair but works well enough to take me to local places in the Valley.  There are many places that we'd like to camp and cannot wait until Miss Daisy is up for the challenge. 

Interesting what happens when you love something so much that you'll do what it takes (face personal challenges),  to achieve what is needed. I've always disliked driving stick shifts, but since Miss Daisy, I've been having so much fun with her that driving stick is not a scary thing anymore. 

I've always liked VWs. Growing up, my parents exposed us to so many different kinds of cars.  We had a 412 which drove beautifully and I've always wanted a van, but it wasn't until my Dad had a 1969 transporter that he transformed into a camper, was the moment that I wanted one too. 

What I love most about having a VW of my own is knowing that I achieved a life long dream of mine and that the options of creating something comfortable for myself is limitless. I have an actual relationship with my VW bus as if I gave birth to it.  I'm motherly towards something that I never thought I would be. I adore Miss Daisy. 

As for this group of special women and their buses, I just like the idea of belonging to this group. I look forward to learning and sharing stories.  I am happy to share any information that I can with all of you. 

Miss Daisy has a facebook page and if you'd like to see her transformation, you can find her at https://www.facebook.com/VWBusDaisy

Hi Angie, I am smiling at reading your story. Your enthusiasm is infectious and it's so lovely to feel how happy you are.

When I bought my campervan it transformed my life. I'm so happy to "meet" you here and share stories.

Our group on facebook is more chatty, but now and again we'll get a new member here, and a few women here are not on facebook at all. Perhaps you can bring in your new energy and revitalise us in this group :) 
You are most welcome to post as often as you wish and post photos of Miss Daisy's changes to come.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Kim and I am now the proud owner of a 1984 Vanagon named "Vardo".  I chose the name from a Dickens story in which he describes Mrs. Jarley's  gypsy caravan with its bed, stove, closet or larder and several chests (Old Curiosity Shop, ch. xxvii):

One half of it... was carpeted, and so partitioned off at the further end as to accommodate a sleeping-place, constructed after the fashion of a berth on board ship, which was shaded, like the windows, with fair white curtains... The other half served for a kitchen, and was fitted up with a stove whose small chimney passed through the roof. It also held a closet or larder, several chests, a great pitcher of water, and a few cooking-utensils and articles of crockery. These latter necessaries hung upon the walls, which in that portion of the establishment devoted to the lady of the caravan, were ornamented with such gayer and lighter decorations as a triangle and a couple of well-thumbed tambourines.

I have a dog named Towser and we've been camping together in various pop up campers for the past few years.  We "upgraded" to a vanagon last fall and we have taken little trips since then.  We set off on our first big trip last Sunday to the Russian River camp-out but we only made it to Buellton - Bummer!  Hopefully we will be back on the road soon and then we'll get to meet some of you in person.

Happy Travels,

Kim

Hi Kim!  I would LOVE to see the inside of your "Vardo", as you can see from my pics, I have a gypsy wagon too.  =])  http://cikanvuz.weebly.com/as-the-story-goes

Hi Cikan,

Thanks for sharing your pics.  I have a long way to go to get my van looking half as gypsy as yours.  I'd just like to get the darn thing on the road - spending way too much money!

Kim

Yes, that happens to the best of us; I must have spent well over 13k on her so far since I got her two years ago; and given I had at least 80% of the stuff I used on her interior already in my house ( I just re-purposed it), that amount went to her purchase price, fixing the motor, tranny, and just about everything else sadly. But after I replace her front drums, pretty much everything will be new or like new and hopefully last me a long time ( so long as I take care of her).

Best of luck to you on your creative journey with Vardo!

Is this still an active group?

My name is Jimi;  I'm newly retired, live in golden colorado and bought my first vw camper in 2013.  She is an 82 air-cooled orange vanagon westfalia.  Her name is Chelsea.  I had one wonderful camping trip and then the engine blew.  (Totally my fault, i believe).  So after waiting a year, after the snows and gathering funds, i had the engine rebuilt.  I haven't been entirely sure that it is running correctly, so haven't been out on the road, except for two camping trips about 40 min away. ( the luxury of living in the foothills of the rockies-full mountains 30 min away).

I bought Chelsea so I could do some traveling and now I'm concerned about being "out there" and having mechanical difficulties.  Do any of you VW women have any tips, suggestions, etc., for getting me out on the road?

I'm so excited by this forum, where many women can help me learn the ropes.

A few items of concern:

What do you do for air when it's hot (no compressor for air) and in the same vein, heat when it is cold?

Do you always boondock and if so, did you find these areas via website?

If you have spent a good 30-days traveling between places, what is your average cost for these travels?

Did you ever have concern for your safety?

Have you bought some nifty gadgets to help out?  Mind sharing?

Anyone out there with air-cooled, what is your average speed going over mountain passes and what was the elevation of the highest pass.. (I've been told my girl won't make it up 11,000 ft).

Please write back ladies, I'm excited to find you all.

Evenstarjm  (Jimi)



Cikan Vuz said:

Yes, that happens to the best of us; I must have spent well over 13k on her so far since I got her two years ago; and given I had at least 80% of the stuff I used on her interior already in my house ( I just re-purposed it), that amount went to her purchase price, fixing the motor, tranny, and just about everything else sadly. But after I replace her front drums, pretty much everything will be new or like new and hopefully last me a long time ( so long as I take care of her).

Best of luck to you on your creative journey with Vardo!

hi

Hi, was wondering, do you perform all the mechanicals on your vehicle, or do you have a mechanic?

Hi Jimi

Yes, I do what I can but if I do not have the tools, or simply do not want to tackle the job/task at hand, I either take her to Dave's VW Repair in Hemet, CA, ot I have my friend VW Jeremy of Hemet, help me.

Oh, I do   not know if you are on facebook, but most gal's here are and are in the group VW Women.  You should check it out as well.  =])                       https://www.facebook.com/groups/VWwomen/?fref=ts



Jimi said:



Cikan Vuz said:

Yes, that happens to the best of us; I must have spent well over 13k on her so far since I got her two years ago; and given I had at least 80% of the stuff I used on her interior already in my house ( I just re-purposed it), that amount went to her purchase price, fixing the motor, tranny, and just about everything else sadly. But after I replace her front drums, pretty much everything will be new or like new and hopefully last me a long time ( so long as I take care of her).

Best of luck to you on your creative journey with Vardo!

hi

Hi, was wondering, do you perform all the mechanicals on your vehicle, or do you have a mechanic?

Hi Jimi

Nowadays mostly we chat on facebook, so it would be great to see you there.

It's kinda hard to answer all your questions. I think the best thing is to get out on the road as often as you can and see what happens.

When I was new to having my Westy, another VW gal helped me with some simple tips that were really useful - things like use rain-x on your glass to reduce your need to use wipers, buy a plastic flex tube and also a locking tube to use when you add oil (because its so difficult to get the quart of oil anywhere near the fill tube!). I was lucky in that my eBay purchase turned out to be a splendid bus. I drove her home from Oregon to Massachusetts after exploring lots of the west coast. You can read about our adventures at http://yeswecanjourney.wordpress.com/

Wishing you lots of happy vw adventures,
Carole

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