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VW beetle conversion - Printable Version

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VW beetle conversion - Fivealive - 08-28-2019

Not my photo, saw it on Reddit.

RE: VW beetle conversion - JohnnyM - 08-29-2019

Awwright !


Thanks for posting Smile

RE: VW beetle conversion - eDJ_ - 08-30-2019

There are a bunch of these around yet.   I passed on buying one in Zanesville, Ohio (motor  issues) but it was only about  $1200.    

When I opened the engine compartment there was an electric fan from a school bus (like to cool the driver of the bus) mounted to face the engine.  But it had always run hot according to the owner .  Being an old VW Buff....and having turned wrenches on VW's for some time I spotted the problem immediately but I figured the damage had already been done.   I could see the ground all around the engine.   There was no sheet metal to seal the top of the engine from the underside.  Very important. Just look how a VW Bug (air cooled ones) is set up.  What happens is the air goes faster under the vehicle than it does over the top which leads to the cooling fan of the engine not being able to get adequate air supply to cool the engine and it is of major importance.  A lot of builders of these Bug RV's didn't understand this.  (as air cooled vehicles aren't that common)

I've seen a number of these listed over the years stating that the vehicle has no engine.

The VW engines used a flywheel that weighed around 17 pounds.  That helped to keep the VW's speed consistent when traveling against a head wind.  The frontal profile of a Bug RV is much larger a head wind can mess with maintaining the speed limits. The 4th gear of a VW transmission is nearly an overdrive ratio but the head winds may have you back into 3rd gear while traveling.  Just some things to know about this particular rig.  If one is only using it around your immediate 
locality to go hunting, fishing, or for short camp out's and day trips, then it may be a good match for that type of use.

RE: VW beetle conversion - eDJ_ - 10-05-2019

In my Vanconversion website below,  on page 8 there was this early 60's kit that was sold so that when installed on the front seats the seat back would fully recline.   When the front seats were moved all the way forward and their backs reclined,  the seating in the Bug would become a Bed.

Removing the back of the rear seat allowed for even more room.

[Image: VW_Bug_Bed.jpg]

Another popular item in the same time was the hinged gear shift lever.  (so it could be folded down when the bed was to be used)

[Image: 463112.jpg]

So if one owned an old Bug and fitted the seats with this kit today they could Nomad in it  In the 60's there was no internet that would enable one to find the national network of Gyms,  or Laundromats etc which would enable a Nomad
in a VW Bug like this to travel far and wide.

RE: VW beetle conversion - maki2 - 10-05-2019

The VW Bug camper is in the June 1977 issue of Mechanix Illustrated. The magazine was selling the plans as a DIY project. So yes there were quite a few of them around. If you wanted to you could likely still find a copy of the plans, buy and old Bug and make one for yourself. But of course the sources they would have given for purchasing some of the items that went into the build are highly unlikely to still have all of those exact same items even if those sources are still in business. That means you will have to find alternative sources and parts for the project. Of course common hardware items won't be difficult to find.

RE: VW beetle conversion - maki2 - 10-05-2019

Here is a source where you can purchase a download of the original plans for the VW Bug Camper for $55.00

RE: VW beetle conversion - 66788 - 10-05-2019

about as useful as an appendix transplant.

VW beetle conversion - Cammalu - 10-05-2019

But it’s cool

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

RE: VW beetle conversion - maki2 - 10-05-2019

(10-05-2019, 07:19 PM)66788 Wrote:  about as useful as an appendix transplant.
surprisingly it had a built in propane stove with a metal locker for the gas bottle, built in icebox, 2 beds, storage cabinets and a water tank too.
That does make it more useful than an appendix transplant.

The last Volkswagen Sedan, the version of the Bug that was made in Mexico, rolled of the assembly line in July of 2019.

2022 might be the year the new VW electric powered Bus arrives in the USA. The seats do fold down to make a bed. Of course I doubt it will be easy to find a place to plug it in out on the BLM and NFS land.

RE: VW beetle conversion - eDJ_ - 10-08-2019

If I found one of these that was in good condition yet today I may be tempted.  Especially if it didn't have a motor.

I could then prep an engine I would want just for it.  It would have the VW Bus flywheel which is larger and the clutch
cover has more springs  It would have the camber compensating bar across the rear axle and heavy shocks to make it 
stable.  The engine would  be sealed properly and I'd have an improved fresh air intake for the engine cooling fan.

The one I looked at in Zanesville, Ohio had swivel front seats and that "pull out" cooking stove.  There was a roll out awning with it so the stove (which basically sit in a drawer that when shoved in was in the interior kitchen and when pulled out would allow for cooking outdoors under the awning).  A nice feature when in camp and pulled up parallel to the narrow end of a picnic table.  Skillful cooks would appreciate such a kitchen layout.  Also this provided for an external kitchen and dining space thus increasing the usability in terms of space. 

For a younger couple this would be a low bucks RV.  Most RV salespeople will tell you that the buyers that they deem qualified to buy Class A & C RV's are  for the most part empty nester's.    What I understood from the seller was that there were some guys who worked at cabinet shop who partnered and others at a body shop that would buy wrecked or damaged VW Bugs to convert like this on the week end.  Trees fall on cars all the time, parked cars get hit, VW Bugs blew engines and so on....and the VW Bugs took their share of those kinds of accidents.  Many were scrapped in junk yards, some became dune buggies, and numerous others became these VW Bug RV's.  It may not be something you would want to full time in for years,  But for the weekender and summer camp-outs set it may be just right.

So a lot of these got built, and they always draw a crowd when they show up.   Just like the Oscar-Mayer Wiener-Mobile.