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

Suzy, I love your van! She looks just like our's did back in the day =)

On the other hand, we very rarely see VW Vans out here in Chicago!! We are really looking forward to being

reunited with ours and then finding a nice spot to hang out on the weekends. Suzy, yours looks younger than ours! 

Hi, I'm Sarah.  I have a 91Westie camper.  I live in the Hill Country in Texas, on Lake Buchanan, and I've taken the camper up to Washington state every summer since I got it, four years ago.  I spend about 6 weeks on the road and the other 6 weeks visiting my daughter and friends in Washington.  It gets awfully hot down here, and it's great to be up in the pine trees or on the coast.  So far I've camped in all the western states from Montana down and west.

I camped with a little dog I picked up on the road (she was ancient and now she's passed away), and last summer took my first trip with a hound dog-catahoula mix, quite a character. 


I like it that VW bus people are so friendly.  I love talking with them when I'm on the road. It does get awfully quiet traveling alone. 

I think my funnest time was camping east of the Grand Tetons and Clark's Nutcrackers kept buzzing me and doing loop de loops and showing off.   Or waking up to find deer grazing all around the van and the mothers stashing the young fawns right there by me while they went off to do deer things without them.  Or kayaking on the Clark's Fork, not quite sure it was going to turn too rough before I took out at the place down the road (though I was pretty sure it would be okay and it was).


I'm not at all mechanical, unlike some of the people in the group, so when the van breaks down (as it does often) I have to rely on the mechanics wherever the dice landed.  So I'd like to hear about mechanics.  And I like the idea of networking and tips for travel.  I think I'd get overwhelmed at big shows and meets, but I like the idea of smaller rendevous or camping for a night or two with any of you who are on the road.  I can share tips on the good places I've found to camp.  I tend to go for National Forests.  I have also experienced some smaller cities I've gotten towed to and found to be cool (my favorite was Las Vegas, NM)


It's good to know there are other women out there solo camping. ( I guess it's solo when you have a rambunctous dog leaping about and expressing his interest in everything). 


I am on Facebook:  Sarah Webb 

I'll put  picture of the van up when I figure out how to do it.

Hi, everyone! I'm Donna from Austin, Texas. My husband and I share a 1997 Eurovan camper named Maytag (because it looks like a big white refrigerator) and a 1984 Vanagon camper named Kelso (after the character in 'That 70s Show'). I think we bought the Vanagon in ~2000 and the Eurovan in ~2004.

We've been on camping vacations in California, Oregon, Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas. We don't seem to camp in Texas much because it's too damn hot most of the year, although far west Texas at certain times of year is wonderful.

The Eurovan is our tailgating vehicle for Texas Longhorns football games. My husband is also a craft brewer, so between the van and the keg, everyone knows where to find us on gamedays!

The husband is currently working on installing a new engine in the Vanagon so it's more than just the "mobile storage unit" in the driveway. We've joked about turning it into a "Woodie." Who knows? Maybe it will happen.

I like the "uniqueness" of driving a VW camper van. You make friends wherever you go; people always want to look inside or tell you about the van they used to have. :)

I'm happy to share any of our experiences re: camping, mechanics, auto repair, etc., that would be helpful to the group.

You can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/donna.seago. Just tell me where you found me if you send a friend request so I don't ignore you!

Sarah, are you going to the Texas VW Classic in Fredericksburg April 15-17? This will be the first year we've attended. I'm very curious about the event. If you'll be there, let me know. Would love to get acquainted.



Sarah Webb said:

 I think I'd get overwhelmed at big shows and meets, but I like the idea of smaller rendevous or camping for a night or two with any of you who are on the road. 

HI Carole - and everyone!


It's exciting to see other women VW owners/lovers and Carole, you even being right here in New England! 


I'm Ola Lessard, from Londonderry, NH.

I bought my dream ride, an '82 turbo diesel westy, last Spring - and promptly drove it to Prince Edward Island, Canada, for a papermaking get-together.   I fell in love with the westys when my husband and 2 daughters and I borrowed my brothers '84 westy and drove it from his place in San Francisco up to the top end of Washington State, along the Oregon coast and all sorts of wonderful stops in-between. 


Actually, the love probably went deeper than that... when I was 7, my parents took me and my 3 brothers (ages 2-11), put us all 6 of us in a VW bus (no popup!) and drove around the US for 6 weeks.  I do recall that wheat was banned from the vehicle at one point, because my older brothers realized that, when combined with a straw, wheat made a pretty good blow dart.


I have some work to do on my Westy - sink doesn't work, and it makes a terrible diesel stink when it starts up, and it could use a paint job - but we all love it.  Great for family trips, getaways with girlfriends, or just time on the road alone.


Feel free to come visit us if you're traveling through NH.

Hello to newest members ... Suzy, Sarah, Donna and Ola .... what a joy to see you here and read your stories. Thank you.

Now we are 40 strong and starting to become a network, I'd love more than ever for members to post ideas on the discussion topics for ways to meet and connect.

I'm sorry I've been on line very infrequently since I came over to London at the end of February but I've been busy making lots of updates to my litte old house with the aim of renting it for a few years while I return to my beloved USA. One month of work turned into two and then I had to stay to see the Royal Wedding, didn't I?

All the jobs are almost behind me now so I'm looking forward to coming back to Massachusetts and delighted that Ola is quite close.

I can't wait to take my 71 Westy (from Oregon; read about our drive across to MA in 2010 on our Facebook page or blog mentioned later) out of the garage and go down to Cape Cod for the summer. I must get a  job to fund my roadtrip across America to California from late September onwards, so please wish me luck on that score. Also if you can think of any ways I can earn money with my VW in a tourist town (Provincetown, MA) then please email me with ideas or post them on my blog under the post that talks about our trip across country....

 Hope to meet some of you on the way across the States and would love it if anyone wants to do part of the journey with me, even if only for a few miles. In fact, accompanying me on the road for any distance at all is one way you can support my 'drive for a cause'. Please visit my blog and read more about why I'm driving across the USA at  http://yeswecanjourney.wordpress.com)

Cheers Ladies,
from Carole


Hi Ola, Been trying to send you a message on here about meeting up in New England when I'm back on the road with my 71 Westy but can't do that until you join me as a friend on VW Family. Can you do that please? I can't see any other contact info for you so can't take up your invitation, yet.
Cheers, Carole

Ola Lessard said:

HI Carole - and everyone!

It's exciting to see other women VW owners/lovers and Carole, you even being right here in New England! 


Feel free to come visit us if you're traveling through NH.

I love this! It is so difficult to find women who actually love VWs and not because their men do!

My name is Adrienne Hanchett. I live in the good old hot desert of Las Vegas. Never lived anywhere else, it's depressing, I know. I love to travel though (by car) and my summers are filled with VW shows or going to see a VW. This addiction started when I was 16. My first VW was a 1966 Bug named Buddy.My grandfather, Bill gave me the $900 dollars and it was pretty decent. My Dad and I fixed him up together and we've been doing it ever since. My first Bus was in my senior year when my parents and I were traveling from visiting family in B.C. coming down the scary US 95 when I saw a 1966 Bus on the side for sale in Goldfield, NV.( No ghosts were taken home) I had paid $1300 dollars for it! LOL! You won't find that kind of deal anymore!!

I met my husband through VWs too. He had a 1969 Bug . We got married. A year later,a guy under the influence hit me when he ran a red light. A year after that my hubs without my okay, traded my Bus for a Ford Escort with a racing engine in it( can you believe that, ugh) So now ten years later, he surprizes me for my birthday by buying me the 1966 Orange and white 13 window Bus I have now by flying me to Fresno, CA and driving (Alejandro) all the way back to Vegas. It was wonderful so all is finally forgiven.

***If anyone is ever in Vegas look me up! I'm on FB under Adrienne Lin McMaster Hanchett! I love VW enthusiasts!****

Hi Adrienne,

Thank you for your enthusiastic response - because I've just been wondering what our group is for and what our mission is (see comment section) and your feedback is encouraging.

Thanks for sharing such a fantastic story. A 1966 13 window bus - WOW - what a gift!!! Your husband must have been saving up all those years since he traded your first bus for an escort :)

I love Vegas, yet on my one visit there in 2005 I was on my own, so it's great to know you are there next time I come. I planned a couple of days in Vegas last January when I flew in from Boston to visit Buses by the Bridge in Lake Havasu, but my plans were all messed up by a big snow storm in the northeast that cancelled all flights for two days. So no sooner had I landed in Vegas I had to get to Havasu arriving at BBB one day late.

Thanks for your friend invite on Facebook and for your invitation to all of us if we are ever in Vegas. I'm hoping my next visit will be luckier and I get to meet you and see your lovely bus. Can you post a photo here?



Hi everyone. I'm Shona and I live in Whitehorse Yukon. Yes, the furthest north member so I'm told. I appear to be a token Canadian too, which is weird because there are a lot of vans and buses up and down the West coast. I have a 1990 blue Vanagon I purchased over the Internet in 2004. People didn't buy vehicles on the internet then and everyone thought I was crazy. We've since converted the engine to a 2.5 l Subaru.

We've never named our van, it has always just been "The Westy", although when we got the engine done we took to calling it a Westy-ru.

I love the Westy.... I don't let friends borrow it, although many have tried. I love pulling up to the campground with friends who have different types of trailers or tents, etc. And yet we are always th first ones setup.

We do tow a trailer with 4 kayaks no problem.

Hi Yukon Girl,

Great to meet you. Can you post a photo of Westie-ru?

Yukon, eh, yes I imagine you are further north than Paula Robson from Newcastle, UK, aren't you ?

I was going to say I'm the most eastern, in Cape Cod, MA, but that ain't the case because we have  eastern Europeans here too. 

Having said all that, if the earth really is a globe, it's all circles anyway right?

Cheers, Carole



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