Monday, April 4, 2016

High Top: 1988 Sven Westfalia VW Camper

Just when you think you had seen every variation on the VW camper theme, another one pops-up (bad pun intended).  Here is an example of a configuration that does not pop up, but when it comes to travel amenities it is heads above the others.  Find this 1988 Sven Hedin Westfalia Volkswagen Camper here on eBay for sale in Blanco, TX for $18,900.

No, the VW camper isn't the easily affordable and abundant flop-house-on-wheels that it was during the Jerry Garcia era.  You can pay as much as you want for a Westy, as they are now fetishized for their kitschiness and nostalgic qualities.  Even recent models are getting expensive relative to their domestic equivalents and this one is no exception.  

If you are going to pick up one of these beauties, this may be a great choice.  A fiberglass shell that doesn't retract means that you can store more gear on your trip.  Look at all those cubbies in the below photo.  Also, the heavy-oil power plant is located up front meaning you don't have to share living space with a flat four in the back.    

Westfalia campers generally don't have the space for a full bathroom, but with this one you do.  While it may take a little effort to maintain and winterize, you will be glad it is there.  You are no longer limited to campsites with services, so your adventure options are much greater.

See another great way to heed the call of the wild? email us here:

'88 VW Vanagon Spectra Premium Ignition Coil for $53.99 via Advance Auto Parts.
'88 VW Vanagon Carquest Wearever Brake Rotor Front for $83.19 via Advance Auto Parts.


  1. Set your radio and hand held devices to "Wind Warning" settings.

    What a cool, yet laborious way to see the scenery.

  2. 0-60? Only if it says low gear warning at the top of the hill

  3. Great VW camper, I actually tried to rent one in Europe for one of my vacation trips. Ended up with a Fiat which was fine. Just remember that no VW dealer in North America has parts for these and the owner does not state whether he has converted the Euro fittings for AC/DC, water & propane for NA service stations & campsites. I ran into this problem when I found a Euro RV trailer in Toronto. George

  4. Uncle Rico, would you move your freakin van and take the time machine off the kitchen table! Gosh...

  5. Vince & readers: this isn't a Vanagon - it's an LT which is a midsize commercial van. More akin to the Sprinter. Larger and beefier in every way than the Vanagon (T3), but saddled with an anemic diesel inline six.

  6. The LT's I6 diesel should share some parts with the 80s diesel Volvos that were sold here, but otherwise this is gonna be a tough van to support in the states. If I was going to deal with that drama, you might as well get a larger VW LT, this is the smallest version. There's a 4x4 version as well.

    The Westfalia James Cook edition is similar, but built on the predecessor to the sprinter. They seem to be a 'bit' more common here, the engines at least are found in more domestically sold vehicles anyway.

    Would to fun to road race a Westfalia James Cook with a Westfalia Sven. Start in Bakersfield, CA...end at Magic Mountain.

    1. The "Volvo D24" is in fact the VW LT engine with a few ancillary differences (oil pan, accessories, brackets, and so on). If parts were available for the Volvo version then yeah it might be good news for an LT owner, but good luck even finding Volvo parts! I have one of these engines - bought a 245 Diesel a few years ago as a project car.

      Side note: Sven Hedin was a cool explorer and had an epic mustache at one point. There used to be a website called where you upload a photo of yourself and it matches your face to a celebrity or historical figure. I used a pic of me with a giant dirt mustache from a dirt bike ride, and got Sven as my doppelganger.


    2. CFlo, you better update your family tree on Maybe when you add Sven, you will see a new Leif (get it? like Leif Ericson..... never mind....)


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.