How to winterize your Westfalia 0Happy November! Look at the snow on those mountains... yikes! --> With winter fast approaching, now is a great time to weatherize your van to make sure it stays in great shape during the cold, wet months. Here’s a handy checklist to help protect your van and keep it thriving – whether you plan to store your van or drive it all winter. We hope you find it helpful!
If you’re an all-seasons driver…Water & Fuel Systems 1. Drain your fresh water tank 2. Blow your outside waterline 3. Inspect the engine and fuel lines for wear and tear and replace as needed 4. Top up your antifreeze 5. Change the oil to a cold weather-based oil, e.g., 5W30 Interior 6. Protect rubber gaskets & weather stripping with rubber care gel 7. Cover your seats and floor mats to protect them from wet outerwear and footwear 8. Camping? Stock up on extra sleeping bags and blankets 9. Add a Propex heater to make sure you're warm and toasty Exterior 10. Wash, compound, and wax the exterior to protect it from the elements 11. Let a small amount of air out of the tires to increase their grip in cold weather 12. Annually undercoat your van -- especially if it's your daily driver! If you’re storing your van for the winter Water & Fuel Systems 1. Turn off your propane tank 2. Drain your fresh water tank 3. Blow your outside waterline 4. Add stabilizer to your fuel tank if storing more than 6 months 5. Fog the engine and drain your fuel lines 6. Top up your antifreeze Interior 7. Remove all food - even canned items 8. Thoroughly clean and vacuum the inside of your van 9. Wash and store all bedding etc. in a dry place 10. Remove top bunk mattress and prop up the loose cushion above the engine 11. Mouse-proof your engine and interior – you’ll find some great tips here 12. Replace all worn rubber gaskets and weather seals 13. Protect gaskets and weather seals with a top quality rubber care product Exterior 14. Wash, compound, and wax the exterior to protect from rust 15. Scrub down all awnings with hot soapy water and an anti-mildew cleaner 16. Make sure awnings are 100% dry before you retract and store them 17. If possible, park it under an overhang, shed, or RV tent 18. Be sure to park on concrete or a tarp - NOT bare ground 19. Annually undercoat your Westy to reduce chance of rust developing 20. Cover your tires Battery 21. Disconnect your battery 22. Disconnect your auxiliary battery … Once you’ve checked all the items off the list, you can rest easy knowing your beloved van will survive the winter in top condition. Got any great winterizing tips of your own? Share them with us on our blog!
Our Favourite Weather Protection ProductsOn sale until November 30th! Hook-Up Inlets - save $40 Prevent corrosion and leakage by replacing your hook-up inlets before winter hits. Our hook-up inlet kits are custom made from the refurbished molds used by the original parts manufacturer for Westfalia North America. Guaranteed to fit and last! Use the coupon code: WINTERHOOKUP to save $40 on your purchase before November 30th. Learn more Seals - 10% off Protect your van from moisture and mould by replacing your old, raggedy seals with brand-spanking new ones. Use the coupon code WINTER10 to save 10% before November 30th. Pop-Top Seal & Cargo Seal Kit Our pop top seal kit is the best on the market. It's not only better (and cheaper) than any competing aftermarket product, but it's better than the $600 original German pop top seal as well. It protects your camper better, installs faster (with no adhesive required), last longer, and looks closest to stock. Learn more Front door window seal These useful window seals protect the interiors of your doors from road grime and prevents rust from developing. Also keeps your window mechanisms functioning smoothly. Learn more Wurth Cleaning Products - 10% off Make sure your van is sparkling clean before you put it away for the winter to ensure it looks and smells great in the spring! Use the coupon code WINTER10 to save 10% before November 30th. Wurth Rubber Care This excellent rubber care product hydrates your Vanagon’s rubber and extends the life of your rubber gaskets and weather stripping. Prevents freezing so you can open your door no matter how low the temperature drops! Learn more Wurth Tar Remover This great tar remover easily and effectively removes tar, road asphalt, and underseal splashes from your varnish, glass, and painted surfaces. Learn more Wurth Cylinder Lock Spray This is a great product for lubricating your cylinder lock and preventing rust and corrosion. It prevents freezing and does not contain resin, acid, or silicone. Best of all, one small canister lasts a LONG time! Learn more Wurth Rost Off Rust Eliminator This powerful rust eliminator provides lasting protection against rust and corrosion. Use it to loosen rusted-in screws, eliminate squeaks, protect brake linkages and prevent water from reaching the ignition. Learn more Wurth Stone Guard – Paintable Underseal Spray This tough product creates a textured gravel guard coating that protects your rocker & valance panels from stone chips and other road abrasions. Offers excellent adhesion to painted or bare metals. Learn more Wurth Insect Remover Easily remove dead, dried-on insects from windscreens, radiator grills, bumpers, headlights, and license plates. Use it before taking your van to the car wash for an even deeper cleaning. Learn more Biological Odour Eliminator No more holding your nose when you've got this powerful odour eliminator on your side! It works fast and cleans deep by effectively rapidly breaking bad odour molecules at the source. Effective on hard and soft surfaces. Learn more Eco Fabric & Upholstery Cleaner This natural, citrus-based product eliminates odours and removes mould, stains, and fabric spots. It's completely colour safe and non-hazardous to people, and is quick and easy to use. Learn more That's it for today... We hope you're enjoying a wonderful fall season!
Video: 2nd Annual VW Sunshine Coast Campout Sept 2013 by Curt Long 0If you're going to watch ONE video online today, make it this one! Our friend Curt Long used his GoPro camera and fancy remote control helicopter to record this fabulous video of our VW Sunshine Coast Campout at Katherine Lake last month. It showcases the beauty of the campsite -- not to mention all the great vans that showed up! Featuring the music of Canadian artist Jesse Cook. You can learn more about him here. Admit it: don't you want to make sure you attend next year's event? Thank you so much, Curt, for documenting our weekend! Your video is awesome and so are you. :-)
The 2nd Annual VW Sunshine Coast Campout was a blast! 0A huge, enormous thank you to everyone who came out to the 2nd Annual VW Sunshine Coast Campout! We had a blast and we hope you did, too. About thirty vans joined us for the Sept 13-15 campout at Katherine Lake, forty minutes north of Sechelt, BC. It was so great to see old friends and make new ones, too. Westfalia folk are the coolest people out there! As always, we spent most of the weekend walking around and checking out each other's vans. There were some sweet vehicles there (there always are!). It's amazing to see how each van really does have its own personality--a hallmark of all the love and attention its owners have poured into it over the years. Some of us also took the opportunity to do some repair work and tuning up. We had a good number of families join us, which was great. It's so wonderful to see kids spending their childhood enjoying awesome Westy adventures. Often their parents grew up doing exactly the same thing--which is why they have a Westy now. We had several four-footed friends with us as well.
The weather cooperated nicely. We had fog on Saturday morning but it burned off to give us a gorgeous sunny afternoon. Most of the kids and a good number of adults took advantage of the heat to get some swimming in. The water was fabulous and the campsite was absolutely beautiful. Sorry there are no pictures of people swimming at the beach. We were too busy swimming ourselves to take any! It was interesting to see all the different types of awnings and tents people were using to extend their living space. We actually used the campout as an opportunity to check out a new product we're now offering in the shop -- the Add-A-Room shelter! Those babies provide a 9.5' x 10.5' fully enclosed room and stretch out to provide an additional 15 square feet of space when the front and side walls are set up as awnings. You can learn more about them here. We enjoyed a fabulous potluck dinner on Saturday night. There was delicious leek soup, salmon, sausages and sauerkraut, chili, chicken wings, 7 bean dip, amazing cheeses and salami, and many other dishes -- plus an incredible selection of dessert. Westy owners are amazing cooks! There was also a cribbage tournament for the card players in the group. The winner, Lyle, received a great cribbage board in the shape of a classic Vanagon-Westfalia! We also drew the winner of our WIN AN EZY AWNING contest. Michael Egge of Alberta was the lucky guy who won a EZY Awning complete with 3 walls to make a fully enclosed room. We gave away a number of other fun prizes as well. Major thanks go to Kathy and Sheane, managers of Katherine Lake, for providing us with such great service! The campsite was spotless and it was such a luxury to enjoy a hot shower in a sparkling clean bathroom!
All in all, the event was a great success! We're already excited about new activities we can add to next year's event to make it even more memorable. We hope to see you there! All our love, Trevor, the Skylight Guy and Cheri, the Skylight Gal Until next year!
Edbee's Westfalia Sink Faucet Story 0One of our friends recently sent us a great article he put on his blog about having to replace the sink faucet in his blue '91 Syncro. (As opposed to his white '91 Syncro or his brown '84 Westy -- he has 3 of them and has had to replace all of their sink faucets over the years!) Edbee bought the most recent sink faucet from us and gave us a nice little shout-out as a result. Thanks so much, Edbee -- we hope the faucet works well for you! To read Edbee's Westfalia Sink Faucet story, click here or on the image below:
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Dometic Fridge Info 0Do you have questions about the Dometic fridge in your beloved Westfalia camper van? We've got answers! We hope some of the links below will unravel some of the mysteries of operating, lighting and maintaining the Dometic Fridge found in most Vanagon-Westfalia vans. We often hear Westy owners expressing consternation over the Westfalia Fridge - aka "that stupid fridge" - which is generally a Dometic RM182B. The most common complaint is not knowing how to get the fridge to operate on all 3 systems: 12v battery, propane or 110v electric. Our friend Derek Drew on the East Coast gave us some of these resources that he has found to post on here - to assist fellow Westfalia owners with their fridge problems:
- Fridge start or lighting directions
- Manual for the Dometic RM182B
- Dometic Parts List
- Substitutions for Dometic parts
- Replacing the cooling unit