Farewell to the VW T2 camper?
It’s almost the end of the production line for the Volkswagen T2 – the base vehicle on which so many iconic camper vans have been built. Finally even the Brazil plant will stop manufacturing new T2s, because this elderly vehicle design no longer meets regulations coming into force in 2014.
Luckily there are still plenty of new and pre-owned vans around, and converters keen to turn them into camper vans.
We forecast a welcome storm of nostalgia as the news sinks in… The ITV kicked it off with a programme this week, the Daily Mail has reported the story and you can read a blog – VW Camper: Growing up in the back of the van – on the BBC website.
In the Guardian there’s a funny nostalgia piece – The VW camper: farewell to a van so laidback it forces you to unwind – all about a trip in a camper dubbed Ethelred the Unready ‘for reasons all too well known to camper van owners’.
Run your mouse over the target shapes on our interactive guide…
Quick guide to the VW T2 Bus – Image courtesy of Confused.com, who used some of our Practical Motorhome web stories for reference.
Plenty of us are filled with nostalgia whenever we see these old VW buses on the road. Painted in sunny colours and driven by cheery people for whom it is as much fun travelling as it is to arrive, these ‘vans have a huge fanbase.
GORGEOUS AND GAUDY PAINTWORK
Our Practical Motorhome Pinterest board VW camper is full of fabulous photos of owners’ VW campers decorated in every style under the sun. There’s one painted like our British Union flag, another studded in 3D flowers, and many more happily conjuring up the 60s themes of flower-power, peace and love.
The funny thing is, a lot of their owners are far too young to remember the 60s! There’s a new generation of young, beautiful people getting into camper vans, joining VW clubs and waving that special wave, tooting the horn and flashing their lights as you pass.
Bristol-based Danbury is still converting VW T2 and T5 vans into camper vans – and the results are beautiful. Since Danbury’s HQ was featured in the ITV programme on 24 November and the National press picked up on this story, Danbury says its phones have been ringing off the hook!
“The phones are going crazy this morning since the national press have announced production on the new VW T2 stops soon. We still have build slots left but be quick if interested ! Please bear with us and we do have an answer phone facility should your call not answered. Someone will call you back within 24 hours should we not be able to take your call. Contact telephone number is 01454 310000 or you can e mail us from our website . Thank you”
At The Motorhome & Caravan Show in mid October Danbury will display one of its retro-style VW campers on its stand.
Bilbo’s Designs in Godstone, Surrey, is another firm still championing the VW camper. To be honest, the larger T5 base vehicle enables the converter to create a much more comfortable camper. I’ve enjoyed touring Devon in a Bilbo’s Celex and Cornwall in a Danbury Surf.
TV CHEFS IN CAMPER VANS
Food and T2 campers go together – loads of them pop up at festivals, converted into tea wagons and food outlets. Martin Dorey, the author of The Campervan Cookbook – and star of his own BBC2 TV series – chose a 1979 VW campervan for his 2,500-mile tour for his programme.
TV chef Jamie Oliver went off in his own VW camper for Jamie’s Great Escape on Channel 4.
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FAREWELL TO THE VW T2 CAMPER
Kate Taylor, Practical Motorhome magazine
Read more about VW campers:
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Plus – before buying a new VW van conversion or an older VW campervan read our Owner Satisfaction Awards stories to find out which motorhome dealers and converters were rated the highest by our readers.
See more celebrity motorhomes, quirky motorhomes and fun photos in the photo albums on our Practical Motorhome pinterest page!
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