LA Times Article

The Volkswagen Bus’ long, strange trip from hippie van to hot collectible by GUSTAVO ARELLANO

…From 1950 to 1979, the German automaker churned out over 4.7 million of them under different names and models —Westfalia, Samba, Kombi, Transporter — to create one of the most beloved lines of cars worldwide. Its basic frame — a raised, boxy body, a weak engine in the back, bench seats on the inside, a plethora of windows — attracted a devoted worldwide following. Aficionados turned them into everything from surf wagons and homes to taxis and work trucks. Even movable beer gardens…

Click  Here  to Read Full Article

Click Here to Read Full Article

Concertgoers sit on the roof of a Volkswagen Bus at the Woodstock festival in Bethel, N.Y., in mid-August 1969. (Associated Press)

Concertgoers sit on the roof of a Volkswagen Bus at the Woodstock festival in Bethel, N.Y., in mid-August 1969. (Associated Press)

How to Urban Camp

Urban camping, boondocking, pirate camping, stealth camping… whatever you want to call it, it’s free. Basically, urban camping is street camping.

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Early on in our vanlife days we found ourselves up in Carmel, California without a place to stay for the night. We drove into a fuel station and drew the curtains within the bus. Then we deployed the bed, made the bed up with linens for the night, and prepared ourselves to hit the sack. Next, we found a parking spot on a residential street, parked, turned out the lights and climbed into our bunk for the night.

In the morning, you roll out of bed and climb in the drivers seat. Start her up and drive to Starbucks for a coffee and a bathroom break. Simple, no?

Now, this isn’t exactly legal, and probably not for the faint of heart because you won’t be getting any shut eye if you’re worrying about being asked to move on. If possible, finding a private and safe spot where you can rest for the night is much better than an unsafe side-of-the-road option. But, ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” EXACTLY… “tap, tap, tap… is anybody in there?” Ignore it, or answer and then move on. The beauty of the VW bus is that it is small and insignificant, it doesn’t stick out in a lineup of vehicles on a street like an RV would. Since our first night of boondocking in Carmel way back when, we’ve practiced this type of camping time and time again.

8 Tips for Urban Camping

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1. Park Somewhere Safe

Safety should always be your #1 priority. If you don’t feel right about it, move on. You won’t get any sleep worrying anyways.

2. Stay Quiet

Try to blend in to your environment. Don’t make it obvious that you’re in the bus. Keep noise to a minimum.

3. Leave Early in the Morning

When parking in neighborhoods, try to leave before people start driving off to work. This way you can avoid confrontation and you can catch an awesome sunrise and surf sesh.

4. Have a Clear Path to the Driver Seat

Always clear a path to the driver seat in case of an emergency, where you can easily start or stop the bus immediately.

5. Check for “No Trespassing” & “Private Property” Signs

This is pretty obvious but always check your surroundings.

6. Move to a Different Location Each Night

Don’t stay at the same location each night to avoid suspicion from locals.

7. Plan Ahead

Have in mind where you want to stay each night. This will eliminate any anxiety that may arise from not knowing where you will be camping each night.

8. Clean Up & Have Fun

Respect the location you camp at. Leave your area cleaner than you found it. Remember, every moment is apart of the adventure. Even the midnight knocks to move locations… Have fun!!!

Are you ready to go urban camping? Adventure Awaits.

What is a Westfalia?

Vintage Surfari Wagons’ fleet consists of Volkswagen camper buses. Not all of them are Westfalia campers. In fact, we have come realize that many folks seem to be a wee bit confused about what a Westfalia is. So here’s the dope… Sometimes referred to as a Westy, it simply denotes the type of camper configuration inside the camper bus. Westfalia camper configurations can be found in VW’s ranging from the 1950’s through the early 2000 model year buses, some are pop-top campers, some are tin-top campers (sans pop-top) and then there are the newer Weekender Westy campers. The name Westfalia comes from the region in Germany - Westphalia, where Westfalia-Werke, the contractor that built the vans, was headquartered. Westfalia began converting Volkswagen buses in 1951.

Other types of campers found in VW buses are the Winnebago, Sundial, and… feel free to add to the list via comments ;)

Example :: Westfalia Camper Interior [with a Vintage Surfari spin]

Example :: Westfalia Camper Interior [with a Vintage Surfari spin]

Buses by the Bridge Road Trip

20 peeps, 2 canines, and 11 Vdubs gathered outside VSW headquarters - stoked and ready to roll along in a California quintessential sorta way out to Lake Havasu for one of the biggest VW events on the planet, Buses by the Bridge. Joshua Tree, Route 66, Havasu, Parker Dam, Le Haut Desert Aerie (cherry on top), and cruising thru the Cali desert were our expedition hi-lights. Chef and famous rock n' roll photographer Ed Caraeff (@thebucketlisttrip) joined our crew supplying us with savory vittles as we journeyed together. The takeaway, new friendships forged, and a road trip to be remembered for a lifetime!

RV's aren't just for Grandad

"Recreational vehicles used to be as fashionable as sandals and socks. That's all changed, as millennials find their inner nomads - Instagram feeds such as van.crush (117,000 followers) or vanlifers (245,000 followers) give a sense of the cool factor. Retro campervan rentals, via companies such as Vintage Safari Wagons, will ride the revival next year, as nostalgic travelers don't necessarily want to drop thousands on a rig they'll use only a few times a year..."

First Comment: Stoked to see an article mentioning little old us in an American Airlines publication!

Second Comment: Tsk, tsk, the spelling of our name is incorrect, it's SURFARI, you didn't do your homework did you?

Third Comment: We've been riding the revival wave for 13 years now, and hopefully it will continue far on into the future. We kinda think so... VW's simply ARE nostalgic... Inherently iconic, the quintessential California road machine, there's nothing that compares.

Fourth Comment: For those of you that don't know (that would include the writer of this American Airlines article), we, at Vintage SURFARI Wagons, ALSO turn VW interiors into 'high-end interiors' and 'camping beasts'. Amen.


Happy Trails Desert Campout

This past March we experienced the Super Bloom as we wandered through the Anza Borrego desert landscape on our group journey, of at times up to 12 VWs, 20 peeps and 3 pups! We hiked, swam and partook of handcrafted libations & camp vittles, and campfires every day of our adventure. In the end new friendships were forged and once in a lifetime memories were made that we'll carry with us on into the years ahead. Here's a peek...

Special Delivery

For the past few months we've diligently poked, prodded and ultimately transformed this neglected VDub into a beauty of a Bay... it's hard to say goodbye, but it's time to hand Buscation back over to it's Mummy 'n Daddy.



Buscation's Daddy, Val [left]

Buscation's Daddy, Val [left]

A room with a view.

A room with a view.

Client wishlist:  Southwestern vibe - check!

Client wishlist:  Southwestern vibe - check!