Great day for an oil change

Not that it really matters what the day was like.  It’s just good to be getting the hands a little greasy along with the arrival of spring weather.  Moby is almost back on the road! Just a few more items to tackle, most notably a problem with the back, right-side wheel hub.  Are they supposed to smoke? 😀

Draining the oil


One person’s treasure…

In my post the other day about a customized bug I saw for sale, Tom made a great comment that, when responding to, drew me into a new post.  His comment fits into a larger debate (Pandora’s Box?) about the value of classic cars in terms of the type of work done and how this work fits with the often-overused term, restored.  Note: the debate about the value of the bondo-filled, rust-bucket someone is trying to sell for $10,000 is an entirely different issue.

I know there are lots of opinions out there and that a definite answer does not exist, eye of the beholder and all, but I still enjoy listening to the various sides of this debate because I never fully made up my mind.  I do appreciate all-originals the most, but also really enjoy some of the unique twists that come out of customization.  However, in Continue reading

Roadside emergencies (Flat tire)

In June of 2014, Moby developed a flat front tire on the driver side while en route to to Maryland.  The cause, as it turned out, was a faulty valve stem that cracked where it passed through the tire rim.  Then last summer, on the way home from Assateague, MD, the front passenger tire lost its air less than 15 miles from home on our return journey.  The cause?  Again, a faulty valve stem that broke in the same place as the first.  I never encountered valve stem failure before, not even heard of it in fact, but I certainly understand that all parts fail sometimes, even those that seem to encounter so little stress.  The first flat I chalked up to this type of failure; just a possible defect in the part, perhaps something struck the valve, or I was a little overzealous in cleaning around it when washing the bus.  But to have two fail on the same vehicle?  That seemed a bit odd.

The guy at the tire shop informed me that in many cases, when new tires are installed, the stems never get changed and eventually succumb to dry rot.  It is possible that this Continue reading

1971 Tin-top Camper

While bus hunting last spring, Tom got a line from a friend about a bus sitting at a local VW dealership.  His investigation turned up a ’71 tin-top Westy in mid-restoration and was kind enough to share his photos.  While I never found the tin-top camper quite as comfortable as the pop-top version (it’s always nice to be able to stand when putting on your pants), the tin-top holds a special place in my memory – my family’s first VW camper was a white tin-top.

Photo Credit:  All photos by Tom (Thanks!!)


Beautiful exterior paint.


Bumper guards are very popular these days. I encountered them on one of my past buses and found that, while I don’t mind them aesthetically, if the bumper collides with an object, the guards bend backwards and dent the body (think poor drivers in a parking lot!).

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1969 Camper for sale ad

A few months ago, I came across an ad for a ’69 camper.  I see ads all the time, but what struck me about this one was the unique pop-top canvas replacement the owner installed.  Poor ventilation aside, it seemed like a pretty good idea for an inexpensive alternative.  The For Sale note gave me a chuckled too: “you have to love it more than I do!”  Well, obviously anyone wanting to buy this bus is going to have more commitment than the seller at this point 🙂


Overall looks to be in nice shape.

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Happy Campers – Erik, Martha and ‘Moby’

I had the honor of guest blogging for Wild about Scotland, a great blog about Scotland, outdoor adventures, and camper vans. After following this blog over the past few years, my bucket list has steady grown!

Happy Campers is a segment where people can write about their own experiences with a camper van.

Wild about Scotland


Erik and Martha have had a relationship with VW buses for a long time and they’ve painstakingly restored ‘Moby’ over the last five years.  They enjoy the way the world passes by at a gentle pace in an old bus, taking them up and down the US Eastern Seaboard.  They don’t see restoration work and repairs as a chore but simply part of the joy of owning a vintage VW camper.  One day, they hope to take a long road trip right across the US.

‘Happy Campers’ is a series of posts featuring camper vans and their owners. It’s designed to offer advice and inspiration to new and existing camper van owners – featuring members of the WildaboutScotland community. To take part, please send an e-mail to me using the the ‘Get in Touch’ form on the sidebar, answering the standard question format below together with a good photo or two.

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