the bus

this is E
E is our 1967 Type II VW Bus.
E wasn’t always such a looker.  Below is a list of our major projects to date.

Demo days

Sound Deadening

Thermal Insulation

Camper Design

Body Work and Paint

Rust Doctor

Camperization

Propane Install


Curtains = Stealth Mode

Solar Panel Housing

ARB Awning

 

Other projects of note:

Bugscreen

Let There be Light!

Final Paint Job

Brakes Upgrade and Suspension work

New (to us) seats and cushions

New windows and seals


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Doug Haynes

    Hey Bryan, what did you use for your solar setup?

    Doug

    • brydanger

      Hi Doug
      We have a kyocera 135w panel and 2 AGM batteries (because they are stored inside the bus).
      You can read a lot more detail http://www.thedangerz.com/solar-install/, or let me know any specific questions
      bry

  • beautiful story and life ur living! i wanna do the same thing! lol i got a 74 vw camper safari but it needs a lot of work. Also im wondering what kind of website this is? its nice, wanna make my own. Take care! xo

  • Gustavo

    Hi there:

    I’m SO thankful for your quick answer, it was amazingly fast. I guess -if I go ahead with the plan- that we will eventually meet and I’m looking foward to it. I already went to the Sanborn’s site you gave me (I adore going to their restaurants when I’m in the DF) and this is what it says: ‘Coverage under this policy, excludes Mexico, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua’. They also say that you can buy insurance coverage at those borders. Is this true? Did you do it?

    I have so many other questions that I’m sure I’ll keep getting back to you with more and more details about what I have to consider before taking off. One question is this one: as a Canadian citizen would I be able to buy a Westy in the US and keep its US registration plates? I doubt it but it’s worth investigating this possibility.

    I also keep thinking about the age of the vehicle because I don’t find it fun to keep fixing problem after problem even if this menas meeting nice local ‘helpers’. Mechanical problems stress me more than anything else and altough I am quite a skilled mechanic I rather prefer having a reliable vehicle. However, I believe that Westfalias are not imported in many Central and South American countries so parts finding may become a real nightmare. For this, I believe the blog is an invaluable tool to find helping people ready to give you a hand from all over the world. Although I’m an IT guy I am clueless about creating a blog like yours. How should I proceed? How do I make sure that at least a couple of people will follow it? I guess becoming a club member in one Westfalia goup is a good means. Do you have one in particular you advise me to join?

    The daily shower is a necessity for me, I can’t spend more than 24 hours without because my skin starts to burn in some body parts. I’ve seen Westies with a portable shower and I don’t know if this requires a particular option in the vehicle to have one. Do you know this? Also a portable toilette bowl is something I’ve seen and I guess I’ll have to look for it. Regarding buying all kinds of options, I am pretty sure that they are cheaper in the US than here. Any suggestions regarding a particular Web site where I can explore what’s available?

    Security keeps being a concern for me especially because I have very expensive photography gear (Nikon D700 camera with teles, flash, tripod, monopd, etc) and I guess I’ll have an -old- laptop to be able to download my pictures and get connected with the planet. Regarding moving around, I have a program that runs on a laptop with US maps and tips on scenic views not to miss, etc. Did you have any king of GPS system or electronic maps to move around?

    I plan also to bring a good tool box with me to help me fix the problems that I’ll for sure encounter. This is also expensive (I have quite a few Snap-on tools and they are not cheap). One way or another then I’ll have to keep an eye open on these items. Sleeping with all doors open doesn’t seem to be an option for me then. I guess if I get a good guardian dog I’ll be able to do this, otherwise… Any advise on the kind of items that are a must to have for this kind of trip?

    Living both of you on less than $50 /day sounds almost impossible guys! I know for a fact that Costa Rica is quite expensive (this country along with Chile are the most expensive ones in Latin America) so how did you manage to do this? I’m pretty sure that gas is on top of the list of expensive items.

    I’ve traveled already in the following countries: Mexico (one of my favorites), Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. As you can see I’m not jumping into the unknown and Spanish is my mother tongue so I think I’ll survive. However it’s the details about vehicle maintenance, cross-border issues, insurances (including health insurance) and the fact that so far I’ll be alone which I know isn’t ideal. Maybe I’ll have to post somewhere that I’m looking for a traveling companion Emoji

    Well, I think this is enough for today.

    Best regards,

    Gustavo

    • brydanger

      Hello again Gustavo

      They also say that you can buy insurance coverage at those borders. Is this true? Did you do it?
      – Some countries actually require you to buy their insurance. Its all part of the border crossing process and you wont/cant proceed without doing so. We only had Sanborns for Mexico as we didnt realize they covered all (where needed) of CA

      Canadian citizen with US registration plates?
      – i have no idea. I think most states require you to have a residence in the state to permit a vehicle. Mexico and the CA countries wont really care where youre vehicle is permitted. We entered some with Canadian plates and some with US plates =)

      creating a blog like yours. How should I proceed? How do I make sure that at least a couple of people will follow it?
      wordpress makes the whole thing simple.
      getting followers- i have no idea. im not sure how people find our blog and im constantly amazed that they enjoy it and find it useful (but im thrilled that they do)

      The daily shower and a portable toilette
      – we had a camp shower that we used from time to time, but if youre in a campground youll be more likely to simply use the one there. We also had a folding toilet seat for emergencies. It didnt get a lot of use, but we were glad we had it when needed!

      Security
      – youll have to decide how you handle this and what youre comfortable with. We had a laptop, an ipad and a dslr camera as well. I built a hidden “safe” to put these things in when we left the van…but if someone wants your stuff badly enough (in any country) they will find a way to get it.
      i wouldnt personally recommend getting a dog for security. Remember that your in a very small space and the dog can add a lot of work at times. You cant just leave your dog in the van and walk away as its usually very hot. If you have a dog or want one as a companion…than by all means take your four-legged friend with you, but there are other much easier ways to deal with security.

      Did you have any king of GPS?
      – we didnt, but almost everyone else did.

      tool box items that are a must to have for this kind of trip?
      – that really depends on what vehicle you choose. IF you choose a newer vehicle i would highly recommend taking extras of all electronics. i understand they are really difficult to find and the salt air plays havoc with them (and everything else).

      Living both of you on less than $50 /day sounds almost impossible guys! how did you manage to do this?
      – gas is absolutely the biggest expense and costa rica by far the most expensive country in CA. We cooked most of our own meals, often boondocked or slept without the expense of a campground etc and made sure we sought out good/local prices. We also tended to stay at more local places than the campgrounds most panam travellers know about and hit as a circuit. Many of them know that they are getting gringos and therefore ask gringo prices..
      – We have been on a stiff budget for years while prepping and made sure to keep it in check while traveling. It was pretty easy for us while on the road but is proving more difficult here at home and around friends…

      details about vehicle maintenance, cross-border issues, insurances (including health insurance)
      – much of this you just get a feel for en route. Military checkpoints and border crossing used to terrify us- now they are simple enough, just mundane and a big time suck.

      I’ll be alone which I know isn’t ideal.
      – depending on how you choose to travel, you could time your trip with others. There were several groups last year that traveled together for most of their time and moved at the same time…

      Hope this helps!
      Bryan

  • Mary McC

    I’m most curious about the operable front windshield/windows, but haven’t found any info on yr. site. Are they original?

  • i must have missed it. how much?

  • kevan

    is the bus still in san jose? Is it still for sale?

    • brydanger

      yes, and yes…for now.

  • Kevan

    Price?

  • Brett Vierling

    I read in the original article that lead to your blog that tou had some horsepower added to your engine.
    as a former owner of a 1970 VW bus, I know the top speed leaves a old t be desired.
    What did yo do to boost the power and are you satisfied with the change?
    Brett Vierling

    • brydanger

      Hi Brett
      Not sure what article led you to our blog…but we never added anything. The engine that was in the bus was a dual carb 1776, which someone thought would add more power. Seemed to be less power and more problems for us during our time with it. It eventually died and we took the opportunity to return to a stock 1600 single carb. Ill happily give up an extra 5mph on the freeway for an engine that will work trouble free! 😉