The motor homes of Westfalia

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Westfalia is a kind of camping + company. The company delivered everything very early to upgrade a VW bus, an LT or Benz-Transporter to a real motorhome. And at that time a camper was something for adventurous travelers instead of dynamic pensionados.

The approach was that the builder brought in his own - new or used - basic vehicle. And after that the motorhome builder / owner could make it as luxurious as he wanted.

A quality product

In this way, Westfalia was able to deliver ready-to-assemble and finished roofs, tanks, heaters, furniture and other items. And all those things were equipped with crystal-clear, simple manuals with German reliability. For people who found it all too much trouble, Westfalia could also supply ready-made motorhomes. The Joker based on the VW Transporter was the ready-to-wear hit.

The Joker

Such a Joker, despite its compact exterior dimensions, had a great deal of practical interior space. Traveling and spending the night with a Joker was no longer a job for tough adventurers. In addition, such a Westfalia camper also remained usable outside of the holiday trips. And the interior? All trips and tests withstood that perfectly. Westfalia had also thought about the safety of the passengers. After all, it is at least inconvenient for the driver to get a cupboard door in his neck during an emergency stop. Westfalia took that aspect seriously.

Tests and rules

Crash tests and roll over tests were done before a product or model went into production. In that entire process, it was also taken into account that Westfalia did not just improvise out of the blue, but that the company made its developments in close consultation with the car manufacturers themselves. And of course everything was done in accordance with the already impressive stack of EEC regulations and requirements.

Booming since 1979

For the Transporters from after 1979, the expansion roof with luggage space and headroom was a must. And that standing height was serious: 213-255 cm. In the storage space of 120 x 50 cm, 50 was allowed to carry kilos of luggage. Raised roofs made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester were also available. The roofs were aerodynamically shaped and offered sleeping accommodation for two people who had to get along well. The roof construction was a good example of the approach at Westfalia. He was provided with hollow steel profiles for reinforcement.

Such a set was supplied completely for the DIY staff, including a silicone sealant.

The same story actually applied to the VW LTs and Mercedes Transporters, but in a larger size.

Everything was possible

The accessories included: compact shower cells (with washbasin), clean and dirty water tanks, connection sets for a second battery, an Ebersprächer parking heater, wall and floor covering sets, curtain sets, awnings, awnings, luggage racks, bicycle racks, surfboard carriers, ski carriers, mosquito nets, headrests etc. etc.

Now for rent again. And for sale

In the meantime, there are even companies that rent out these types of classic motorhomes. A Westfalia Camper in good condition is just as dated as it is reliable. When purchasing, please note that part of the Westfalia's was once built on retired company cars. And they could have done quite a big message. We knew an LT owner whose diesel fuel made the entire campsite disappear in a cloud of smoke every time it started. The parts supply for the basic vehicles is fortunately still good. The parts supply for the various Westfalia sets is - certainly in Germany - also good.

Dated but deployable

The classic motorhomes were a lot in their time. In comparison with their descendants, the classical Westfalia's are now small, slow and dated. But with the right attitude, after all, traveling is in no hurry and roads are the nicest roads, such a combination of German quality components is still a party to celebrate.

And for people who already want to dream away while saving or building, there are plenty of scale models.

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In the beginning
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A reaction

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  1. At home in the late seventies we had a T2 with Westfalia built-in and pop-top roof. Not too big indeed, but very practical and awfully solid. In accordance with its design, the T2 was somewhat sensitive to wind, but certainly not slow. Equipped with the two liter engine, it took part in normal traffic with a finger in the nose. Accelerated very well and ran up mountains without having to downshift. The T3 that later succeeded the T2 was a disappointment despite its 1.9 engine.

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