If you are lucky enough to own a vintage 1960's or 1970's VW Bus, or are thinking of purchasing one, here are some tidbits of information to know about maintaining them. The vintage buses can take you across the country if you treat them well, and here are some suggestions on how to do that.
Keep that Outer Shell Shiny
If you do have a vintage VW bus, chances are that you respect the vehicle and want to keep it looking well-groomed. Wash your bus weekly, and to keep a shiny gloss to the paint, get your car waxed. There are newer wax products out there that are really good for cars.
Wax your car yourself or get it professionally waxed at least twice a year. Waxing not only improves the glossy appearance of your car, but helps prevent scratches as well.
Keep the interior clean and use car-seat covers to help the vinyl or leather last as long as possible. Vacuum once a week, depending on the frequency of use. You don't need to own a vacuum for cars; you can just borrow a friend's or go to a self-service car wash that offers interior vacuums.
Care for the Parts
You may have heard rumors that VW buses are dangerous, not drivable at high speeds, or difficult to update. These tales are exaggerated. Almost any vehicle can last if you are willing to take good care of it. Sometimes that means you may have to put money into it, but if it is a passion or hobby of yours, go ahead and spend money on it.
Some safety tips to remember are:
- While the VW camper bus is perfectly functional and able to be taken on road trips, it is not meant for traveling at high speeds. Wherever you go, try to go 60 mph or slower, which should be doable on most freeways and highways if you stay in the slow lane.
- Avoid driving in high winds, as the vintage Volkswagen buses have been known to become unsteady in heavy gusts.
- Maintain the fuel system, so as to lessen the chances of any fire hazards.
Find a Volkswagen service mechanic you can trust, or a connoisseur of vintage cars, and make him or her your go-to mechanic for any problems or questions.
If you really are worried about safety issues, keep your old VW bus and drive it sparingly, or trade it in for a newer model. The SpaceCamper TH5 is a recent model that comes with all sorts of neat features—and it goes really fast.
There are even new VW Microbus models are just on the horizon for US sales. Even so, people love their old VW campers, and the cult following of bus lovers is not dying anytime soon.