I own a 1997 Volkswagen EuroVan Camper, purchased in March of 1997. This
page describes the van and things I've done to it. I get pretty detailed,
and this page is mostly designed to be of interest to other EuroVan owners or
Thumb's up to the sign at the start of Sonora Pass on California's
highway 108! I've taken my van over much steeper, twistier, more
treacherous roads (many of them unpaved), but this one has my favorite
sign. It's a beautiful scenic drive that reminds me why I won't drive
anything much bigger than the EuroVan.
Click Here for a Guided Tour of the Van, featuring
interior photos, and a whole lot of useful gadgets that I keep stashed
in the various cabinets.
Click on the thumbnails below for a few interior details and descriptions of
modifications I've made and accessories added.
Some modifications I've made to the van:
Soft foam tape
on the front of the upper bunk, a result of hitting my head on
the sharp surface too many times.
big 2D Maglite flashlight
mounted in permanently attached brackets in the front of
the van, on the console near the floor between the seats, below the
little 2AA Maglite flashlight
mounted in a
permanent bracket above the fire extinguisher, just inside the sliding
door. This is an extremely convenient location when you need a light
for those midnight trips to the bathroom or wherever.
compass on the dashboard
- A pair of
designed for a sailboat) mounted on the front and side of the driver's
area, to judge how level the van is when I'm choosing a spot to park
for the night.
clipped to a hook permanently
mounted on the front of the galley.
- A GPS antenna permanently
mounted under the false fiberglass roof above the driver's head, with
cable routed so that it comes out at the base of the driver's seat.
I've also wired 12v power for the GPS unit to this same location. The
power and antenna cables are long enough to put the GPS in my lap, the
passenger's lap, or in the little storage bin on the front center
inside the upper cabinet, to make
better use of the space there.
- Replaced the factory stereo
featuring a CD player and
- A headlight warning buzzer that works for any door. Volkswagen
builds the vehicle with a buzzer that buzzes when the headlights are
on and the driver's door is open. This is fine if you always leave
via the driver's door. However, sometimes I leave via the sliding
side door, so I wired a buzzer up myself. It's hidden behind the
panel aft of the sliding door (above the rear cupholder). One wire is
tapped into a rear parking light, and another wire is tapped into the
switched terminal on the courtesy light above the sliding door. This
switched terminal is grounded when any door is open. A diode is in
series with the buzzer, to prevent reverse current leakage.
- I've disabled the Daytime Running Lights (DRL's). Someday soon
I'll put a switch in, so that I can turn them on and off, but for now,
I've disconnected them entirely (my regular headlights work perfectly
when I switch them on, of course, just like all cars used to before
DRL's). The reason I really hated the DRL's was because it's
impossible to operate the power windows without turning on the
ignition, which switches on the DRL's, disturbing your campground
neighbors. Also, I sometimes like to be able to switch my headlights
off and on as a signal to other drivers.
I mounted a
(brand name: Fellowes, available from your
local office supply house) in the rear of the linen closet. This
holds the Winnebago owner's manual binder, plus a folder for
all maintenance receipts, and the Volkswagen owner's manual. It keeps
things upright and in-place even on the bumpiest of roads. I held it
in place with two small screws.
A good quality
mounted in the monitor panel above the refrigerator, to monitor
the coach battery's state of charge.
mounted on the dashboard, to monitor the temperature.
I've labelled the freshwater drain's "open" and "closed" positions
with a Sharpie marker. I never could remember which way was which
until I labelled them.
I reworked the refrigerator's
so that the thermostat
controls the temperature when running the fridge on 12 Volts DC. As
shipped from the factory, the thermostat only works on 120 Volts AC
or propane, and 12 Volt operation simply runs continuously, with no
I installed a CB Radio
so that I can hear trucker's road condition reports, and perhaps call
for help someday if needed.
If you want to see a detailed checklist that
I use for camping, click.
Here's a list of problems I've had with
the van. Almost all the problems were relatively minor Winnebago
problems that were there when the vehicle was first purchased.
Here are my
A wonderful resource for EuroVan owners is the ev_update mailing list.
http://www.egroups.com/group/ev_update/ to sign up or to view the
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©1999,2000 Richard Cochran