VW Eurovan Camper

I’m going to take a year to drive the perimeter of the US to dance, hike and read. The best vehicle seems to be the VW Eurovan Camper. I found one (1997). Anyone have good or bad experiences to share? What should I be sure is right about it before I hit the road?

We had this post some time back. All those who particiapted had unfavorable experiences with respect to breakdowns, parts, and general lack of reliability.

Unless you are very mechanically inclined, go for a North American van based on a pickup truck chassis. These are used as hotel courtesy vehicles, car rentals shuttles, etc. You will get more time to dance, hike, and read. My wife’s best friend had one of these Eurovans, and in spite of great care (she’s a nurse), the vehicle gave no end of problems.

If yoy check the Consumer Reports, you will find confirmation of what I just wrote.

The Eurovans are a little better than the Vanagons were, reliablilty wise, but when they do break down, they are far more expensive to fix, due to high parts prices and difficult repair procedures. Plus there are many parts of the country where you are not going to be able to find anyone who can really work on them at all, so add to that high tow bills. Also, just in my opinion, the Eurovans lack the charm of the older VW vans-- for one thing the gas mileage is quite bad for what is essentially a minivan.

Unfortunately, the VW’s are the only camper-vans that you regularly find. If you take your time and are willing to expand your search to a wider geographic area, you can probably find a camper based on a domestic van. Another possiblilty is a small slide-in camper for a small pickup, although these don’t always have the amenities of a van camper.

Do you want to live in it? If so, consider the RVs that Docnick recommended. Otherwise, cosider a passenger van. You might also consider a pickup truck with with a camper in the bed, depending on how much room and ammenaties you want.

I would recommend visiting a Eurovan specific forum and get the skinny. I know a few owners of Eurovans and they are not bad as far as reliability but pricey to fix due to parts mainly. The owners absolutely love the vans.

In terms of a 1997 vehicle I would say you are far better off with a Toyota Previa. The engines and transmissions are bullet proof (known to go 300,000 miles and more) and the rear seats fold flat for sleeping or fold up to the side for more cargo room.