A guide to VW Split Screen Camper Van (Type 2 T1)

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

Prices you can expect to pay for a Split (pre-1967)…

  • Totally original and unrestored with MOT £9000 – £25,000
  • Restored with MOT £8000 – £20,000 (Watch out for hidden patched over horrors)
  • MOT’d but needing work £5000 – £8000
  • A ‘basket case’ £1500 – £2500

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

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