Have tent, need camper!

During the summer of 1994, while working for a landscaping company, I saw a 1970 westy sitting in a Princeton NJ backyard.  It looked fairly decent from the road, but it was obvious it had not moved in some time.  I’ve always been one to investigate sedentary VW’s and came back later that week to talk with the owner.  Rocky (I remember his name because his house was just south of Rocky Hill) was only too happy to talk with me and show me his bus, which was well used and had lots of owner modifications.  The most interesting of these were very well-made screens for the front door windows.  He had used canvas to sew finished edges on fine screen and then used snaps (similar to what was used on the rear hatch screen) to attach them around the front door windows.  I always liked that idea, especially now that I have a child using the child’s cot up front.  It provides a little extra ventilation.  But I never liked the snaps screwed in around the windows; they just didn’t look nice (we tested magnets for this purpose while in Assateague with moderate success, but this is a topic for a future post!). The overall condition of the the bus was poor, but the motor still ran and it had some decent interior pieces.  Rocky, it turned out, was looking to get rid of it, so I made an offer and the haggling began.  We settled on a price that was a bit high (but a great price now).  I wasn’t thrilled at the time, but figured I wasn’t going to lose any money selling the parts or shell so we shook hands and I departed, agreeing to come back that weekend and haul it away. The following Saturday, I returned to Rocky’s house with a truck and trailer, the use of which kindly came from my landscaping boss.  Rocky popped out of his house smiling broadly and looking like he was just told the best joke of the year.  “I found you some more parts to go with the camper.” he says as he opens the sliding door on the bus.  Lying before me were some fairly rusty pieces of tin, random hose, spark plugs and wires, and other miscellaneous stuff.  I’m always happy to take VW paraphernalia, but didn’t understand why Rocky was so happy about this stuff in particular. Then he opened the front passenger door and produced two VW extension lines used for plugging the vehicle into a electric receptacle at camping grounds.  Having never seen these before, I was intrigued, but I never plugged my bus in when camping and, in fact, never camped at places that have electricity available. Before I could stick my head in to look at them, he told me there was one more thing he found and brought me over to his shed. “Found this in the basement last night.  I forgot I had it, probably only used it half a dozen times.” he tells me opening the door and grabbing two big canvas bags.  My eyes went wide and now I understood why he looked like the fox in the hen house earlier.  “Take them with the bus, I don’t need ’em.” he offered.  The price I paid for that bus suddenly became a very good deal! From that bus, I still have the rear hatch, stool, various lenses/lights, deck lid and apron, a box of little odd and ends, both extension lines, and the canvas bags.  Held onto for all these years (used only once right after I brought the bus home from Rocky’s) and almost sold the summer before Moby joined us in the fall of 2011, those two bags saw sunlight again on the first weekend we owned Moby.  We wanted to see how the contents survived and how they would look attached to our new camper.  The joke of the weekend was that we had this thing kicking around all these years, we finally found the bus to go with it!!

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One thought on “Have tent, need camper!

  1. Pingback: Westfalia accessory tent | Zero to Sixty . . .Eventually

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