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VW Bay Window Camper Van (Type 2 T2) buyers guide

Bay window camper vans age really well, and there are lots of great examples around.  But could you tell the difference between a solid example ready for the road and a rusty heap ready for the breakers?

This VW Bay Window camper van buyers guide should help you find a great example.

When buying any camper look out for...

  • Rust, particularly on the bottom 6 inches all around...
  • Rust on chassis box sections
  • On front and rear outriggers
  • On roof guttering, sills, wheel arches
  • On floors in front of the rear wheels
  • Behind front seats
  • Under cover plates which can hide a horror story of trapped moisture and rust


Be careful of campers with suspension lowered to make them look cool...

  • The ride can be harsh
  • Visibility is reduced
  • You can't crawl underneath to do repairs


Check the engine carefully...

  • Oil leaks near the gearbox flange usually mean an 'engine out' job
  • In gearboxes listen for bearing whines
  • Check all gears work and don't jump out of gear (a floppy gear change is normal)
  • Pull and push the bottom pulley wheel: if you feel a loud 'clunk clunk' the engine needs a rebuild. Very small movement is OK


Other things to look out for...

  • Inoperative heaters and controls - requiring new heat exchangers,
  • Smell of petrol inside the vehicle usually means rubber pipes need replacing
  • Tanks can also rust through where they come in contact with more rust
  • Steering should be direct with hardly any play. If not check the steering box Get repairs advice from...
  • Any experienced VW camper repair shop that's been there for more than 5 years
  • Inspect a car they've restored or get a customer reference


Get spare parts from...

  • eBay.co.uk, www.justkampers.co.uk
  • Alan Schofield for most body panels.
  • VW Motoring magazine for other leads

Prices you can expect to pay for a Bay (1967 onwards)...

  • Totally original and unrestored with MOT £5000 - £15,000
  • You can still buy new Bays built in Mexico, vans (c £10000), minibuses (c £13,000) or campers (c £30,000) - see VW Motoring or Volks World for prices
  • Restored with MOT £5000 - £15000 (Watch out for hidden patched over horrors)
  • MOT'd but needing work £2000 - £6000
  • A 'basket case' £1000 - £2000


Reasons why you shouldn't buy one...

  • Because it looks cool or restored but you haven't looked underneath and don't want to constantly maintain it
  • It has a six volt system when you want reliability, though conversion to 12 volts is easier than people realise see www.nls.net/mp/volks/
  • You think it will be fast and/or economical

VW Bay Window Campervans For Sale on eBay.co.uk

Comments (3)

  • twinwebber16001972's picture

    also , gently lever out the rubber seal around windscreen at the bottom edge , a USUAL & BAD BAD place to have to repair / replace,

    Feb 20, 2012
  • pex's picture

    A lot of MOT people dont seem to know what counts as structural on a camper (1971 bay window). For instance, a front wheel arch panel replaced a couple of years ago was pointed out as a failure this year because it was not welded all the way on the inside by the door.
    This was a second MOT place's advice after the first one aborted an MOT because I had put some fibre glass under the wheel arch to protect from rust.
    Has anyone got any guidance or experience on what genuinely needs welding?

    Thanks

    Feb 25, 2012
  • Tracy's picture

    Hi do you know the difference between a T2 continental and a T2 malaga
    Thanks

    Jun 06, 2014

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