@colinjoseph_ makes some great van art on Instagram – of course the finest being his rendering of @wkndvanlife’s Sprinter Westfalia!
Category Archives: photos
Update: The van has sold.
Abe sent me the following info about his van:
2005 Airstream Sprinter Westfalia.
Location: Spokane, Washington.
Update: Van has sold!
I posted the van for sale before I’d taken interior shots – I finally took them and uploaded them, so here they are:
Update: Van has sold! Happy trails 🙂
(Added interior pictures here: Interior pictures of my van for sale.)
The time has come to sell my van! You can tell by the fact that I keep this blog that I LOVE the Sprinter Westfalia 🙂 But I’ve just bought a house and I can’t keep the van anymore. I’ll be saving up my money for another one, though – there’s absolutely nothing like these vans in the USA.
The van is near Maltby, WA – about 30 miles northeast of Seattle. Price is $55k.
(Update: I had the mileage wrong when I posted this ad. Actual mileage is 44,000.)
Ian Stock’s blog post is a great overview of the vehicle for anyone unfamiliar with a Sprinter Westfalia. Basically, it’s an award-winning European camper converted by Westfalia, on the Mercedes Sprinter platform. In 2005, Airstream imported just 250 of them, making them literally the van for one person in a million 🙂
The van is in excellent shape; everything works except the air conditioner, which is the only unreliable appliance on these vans. More and more owners are replacing their original units with simpler, lighter modern American versions; some have removed them altogether. I was planning on replacing ours with a solar panel. (Update: I should make clear that the rooftop air conditioner is broken, but the dash air conditioning works perfectly!)
The generator fires up each time, the propane stove works beautifully, the hot water heater provides plenty of shower time, the fridge stays cold. I upgraded the black water system on the van, replacing the stock tank with a custom tank twice the size (20 gallons).
At the same time that I replaced the plumbing, I added digital tank sensors to the black and grey water tanks. Instead of the 33% / 66% / full gauge that came stock, the new sensors provide 1% levels to the digital display.
There’s a Stowaway Max cargo carrier in the rear hitch, which provides 16 cubic feet of storage on a swingaway frame. We carried firewood for the trip, camp chairs, Tonka trucks, and more! It has a locking lid and a locking hitch pin, and is completely waterproof.
Even without the box, the van has an amazing amount of storage. There are cupboards and shelves throughout the entire vehicle, and we happily camped as 2 adults and 2 young kids with all of our stuff.
The engine runs beautifully, and I’ve always used Mobil 1 synthetic. There are 44,000 miles on the odometer – barely broken in for these 5-cylinder diesel engines! I’ve averaged over 20mpg this whole time. Though I never took the plunge, many have run straight biodiesel in their identical Sprinters with fantastic results.
So there you have it! I’m sure there’s stuff I’ve forgotten to mention. You can get in touch with me through the contact form on this site. I’d love to talk with anyone on the phone, too – just email me first and I’ll send you my number.
Jerry sent me this awesome photograph of his van at a VW swap meet in St. Pete. I asked him what sort of reception he received; he says:
The moment I drove up and they saw the Westie logo I had a crowd of people welcoming us into the VW group. They were really impressed by the interior because it had the familiar feeling of a Volkswagen camper. I hung around and swapped stories about past camping trips. I’ve also have owned a 1971 Volkswagen westie, 1987 Vanagon camper, and a 1991 Eurovan camper. So we really had fun talking about what if…the Airstream Westie became the next Volkswagen.
Thanks Jerry for sharing this!
Everybody else, please feel free to send me photos to post.
Winter’s a bit slow for us when it comes to vannin’, so the site has pretty much been a string of for sale ads recently! To break that string, here’s a couple of old pictures of the van – the only ones I had on my phone, since the rest of my photos are on a hard drive elsewhere right now.
(Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind for sale ads at all, but I like to entertain current owners as well 🙂 )
The first one is at a parking lot in Banff National Park, from a trip last year:
Also from last year, when we were at our most vanful, and wishing we were in California still 🙂
Feel free to send me your own pictures!
Update: Sold for $52,500.
This one just came up on Ebay:
Buy it now for $53,995. It’s a very clean looking unit with only 33K miles on it, and missing nothing. I’ve only seen it in the photos on the ad, but it certainly looks like one of the cleanest I’ve seen. I’d say the price is very good for a unit in this shape, and it likely won’t last long.
I have no affiliation – I just post up any Westy that I come across for sale.
We had a beautiful weekend of camping at Deception Pass State Park, on Whidbey Island, WA. Perfect weather, and some of the most beautiful sunsets right from our campsite.
For our last camping trip we picked up a Coleman 10×10 shade structure, the screen walls for the same, and the sun wall. The sun wall is a 50 SPF fabric that’s made to attach neatly to the Coleman structure. It so happens that it fits perfectly to our awning, too!
The top of the fabric has three hooks: one for each awning leg, and one that hooks over the plastic bar in the center of the case. Each side of the fabric has elastic loops with hooks, that wrap around the awning legs. On the bottom are hooks that go into the awning feet, and loops for tent stakes.
In a decent breeze, the sun wall just flapped lazily. There’s enough give in the elastic loops to let the wind spill out the sides and bottom.
I only wish it was a bit more colorful!
Instant Shelter (10´ x 10´) Straight Leg (Amazon.com)
Coleman Screen Walls for Instant Shelter (Amazon.com)
Coleman Sun Wall for Instant Shelter (Target.com)
The first two are Amazon links, but I ended up buying everything in-store at my local Target. I think I ended up with an older model (the canopy is grey instead of green) but it works perfectly well.
I had a crazy day on Friday putting all of the pieces together for my new black water setup, in preparation for a 4-day camping trip the next day. At 5pm I was happy with it all, and filled the tank with water for its water test… unfortunately it failed miserably at a glued joint!! I didn’t have time to fix it up before the trip, so it was one more camping trip without the bathroom – luckily the campground we were at had very nice facilities, so we weren’t put out too much.
One part of the system that did work was the SeeLevel II tank monitor. It provides fullness levels for all of my tanks in percentages, giving a much clearer picture of where I’m at with each tank:
It uses electrical sensors on the outside of each tank, so there’s nothing to get gummed up:
There’s also a wire for a propane readout, that works with electrical senders. After spending a bunch of time online trying to find out how to fit an electrical sender to our propane tank, I went outside to see what model of gauge is installed. Lo and behold, an electrical sender is already fitted to the gauge! So it’s just a matter of running a wire from the panel to the tank, and a ground from the tank to the frame.