Archives for posts with tag: VW


My girlfriend, Natalie, discovered this great picture on Pinterest the other day. This happy little Type-2 Camper graces the pages of a book called My Cool Campervan, by the across-the-pond duo of Jane Field-Lewis and Chris Haddon. The book features 30+ camper vans across 160 retro-inspired pages.

They even made a video. Read more to check it out. Read the rest of this entry »


Do you have a VW Syncro (or other European 4×4)? If so, you can take it to Syncrofest, happening Thursday, April 19th to Sunday, April 22nd at Hollister Hills SVRA, about 40 miles southeast of San Jose. The site says they’ll have driver training and skills tests. Camping will be $40/vehicle or $10/vehicle day use.

Registration is now open.


What happens when a 4×4 makes love to a Rabbit? You get the VW Golf Country 4×4. According to an older Bring a Trailer article, only 4000 of these were ever produced and none of them were officially imported to the US. This 1990 model, however, is reported to have legal residence in Sacramento, California.

It’s available on ebay for another couple of days for $12,500. That said, a 1991 model sold in Canada for US$ 6750 a couple of years ago, so you may have some room to bargain, if you’d like to use this thing to fahrvergnügen to your ski haus. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re back from following the footsteps of Mark Twain through the eastern Sierras (more on that in future posts). After having set the tent up for the fourth night in a row, the conversation turned to self contained 4-wheel-drive camping vehicles. The VW Westfalia Synchro came up. Only about 1500 of these rare, 4×4 campers were sent to the US between 1986 and 1991 and prices have risen into the $40k–$50k range for clean examples and into the $80k range for restored ones. Back at home I wondered if anyone still produces a small 4×4 camper that could be considered a spiritual successor to the old Syncro Westy.

My research turned up the Fuso Earthcruiser from Queensland, Australia, the spiritual home of off-road travel. The Earthcruiser is built on a  Mitsubishi Fuso light truck chassis and features turbocharged diesel engine and a pop-top camper. Four-wheel-drive systems vary depending on the buyer’s specifications. The available 5-speed manual transmission is mated to a 2-speed transfer case and offers traditional 4-wheel drive. The available 6-speed automatic offers all-wheel drive and a single speed transfer case. Either spec includes a limited slip rear differential. 37″ tires are standard and enable a 3-foot (900mm) fording depth. All that and it’s still compact enough to fit in a standard shipping container.

Inside the Earthcruiser offers about 80 sq. ft. (7.5 sq. m) of sleeping, cooking, showering and living space. The vehicle also includes 23.8 gallons (90l) of water in two tanks. Not only can the water system purify water from any nearby stream, it can provide hot running water and showers (indoor or outdoor—your choice) with a Webasto diesel hot water heater. This same heating unit heats the interior air and, on the North American model, also heats the house batteries and water tanks, a boon for winter camping. As far as electricity goes, a solar panel-assisted electrical system will power the living space for up to ten days (given clear skies). After that, it’s simply a matter of topping up the house batteries with the engine alternator.

The Earthcruiser is available in the US for $220,000. While it’s not quite the spiritual successor to the Syncro on price, it does seem to step up the old Westy’s game quite a bit.