By on August 12, 2018


While the United States seems intent on pushing vans into the work-vehicle category, Europe continues to enjoy them for leisure activities. That’s a shame because there’s a chance some of that interesting van culture would have trickled over the ocean were it not for the chicken tax and unwarranted prejudice.

Volkswagen has several such lifestyle units, with the California being arguably the best in its fleet. Funnily enough, the model isn’t sold in California — nor anywhere else in the U.S. — but a recent update could hint at the direction VW will be taking with the I.D. Buzz. Based on the Transporter and outfitted as a camper van, the California is the true spiritual successor to the microbus. It can certainly trace its linage back to the Type 2 via the Transporter, while its motorhome amenities and optional paint schemes help to finish the job.  (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2010

into the woods

The last post on Mercedes campers got me thinking (wistfully) about the open road and how I have a grand total of four digital photos I could share with you from our six years and thirty-five thousand miles worth of travels in our 1977 Chinook. Like lots of amateur photographers, I have boxes and boxes of prints from our early years, and our first two kids. Guilt and a nagging wife kept me shooting film through our younger son’s childhood. And I took some nice shoots in a few dramatic places with the Chinook, on film. I transitioned very late to digital, partly because I couldn’t bear to give up the Canon 35mm rangefinder I bought new in ’77 and still works perfectly (I’m on my second digital, and the lens motor is already acting up). (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2010

one of my many desires

I’m a lover of vans, especially those suitable for camping. Few things beats hopping into a vehicle with all the basic necessities of life and hitting the road. I have a vintage ’77 Dodge Chinook that I bought for $1200 in which we’ve racked up 35k memorable miles in trips to Mexico and all over the west. And in my younger days, I had a ‘68 Dodge A100 that I converted to a less wife-friendly (no bathroom) spartan camper. But all along, I’ve had my eyes on Mercedes vans. As a kid in Austria, I was absolutely in love with the delightfully rounded L319 (van) and 0319 (bus) Mercedes: (Read More…)

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