VW Camper Models: A Guide for the Confused
Type 2 split screen 1950-1967
This was the first VW caravan adapted from the VW bus (known as the Samba), which in turn was an adaptation of the VW van. You will recognize the rounded VW caravan with the V-molding at the front, the huge VW badge, the split windshield and the big round headlights like the classic VW Camper.
Production of the first generation of ‘split screen’ Transporters, known as the Type 2 (the Beetle was Type 1), began in Wolfsburg for the 1950 model year with a tiny 1100cc air-cooled engine that was developed borrowed from the Volkswagen Beetle. By comparison, today’s Transporter has a choice of four 1.9-liter to 2.5-liter TDI PD diesel engines.
Volkswagen imported the first VW Campervan to the UK in 1955 and a year later, the production of transporters moved to a new factory in Hannover. The motorhomes were developed by Westfalia, a body shop that worked in partnership with VW for many years. There were a large number of furniture setups and other companies produced conversions as well. The split screen caravans had the same air-cooled motors as the panel vans and the same 6-volt electrical components.
Type 2 motorhome with bay window 1967-1980
The taller and larger VW camper had a 12-volt electrical system, a sliding side door, and a larger motor. It still had a round and friendly shape but with better visibility and more space. More than three million were manufactured during 12 years of production. Westfalia continued to carry out conversions, and a large number of other companies in the UK, including Devon, Danbury, Canterbury and Dormobile, also joined the market. There are also VW camper vans that have been converted by small businesses and DIY conversions. At the top were a wide range of pop-ups to give more space: the ones that go straight up, the bellows examples, fixed on the sides (often Dormobiles) plus the front-hinged type (wedges) from Devon. The bay window versions are still in production in Mexico and were produced in Brazil long after VW stopped production.
Type 25 VW – the Vanagon 1980-1991
The third generation Transporter was introduced in 1979. The VW t25 was again larger and offers considerable space. It was known as the Vanagon in the US and is often referred to now as the VW t3. This model is much more angular with a very ’80s shape. In 1982, after 32 years and with a total production of more than five million vehicles, the Transporter switched from air-cooled to water-cooled engines, but still mounted. In the back.
The Volkswagen T4 1991-2003
The fourth generation Transporter was introduced in 1990 and was a major change. It was the first to have the engine at the front to leave a completely flat cargo area. It’s a steep wedge, but it’s still a relatively sleek shape with a great deal of space. Autosleeper, Bilbo, Reimo, Danbury and Westfalia produced motorhome conversions. The Caravelle is the minivan and the California is the Westfalia caravan. The other conversion companies have their own names for their model range.
Q5 2004 to present
The current fifth-generation Transporter made its debut in 2003, and in 2007 rock legends The Who performed live at an official event celebrating 60 years of Volkswagen vans in Hannover, Germany. It attracted 71,000 visitors with an incredible selection of more than 5,000 Transporter vans and motorhomes. Over the sixty-year period, more than 10 million conveyors have been manufactured. VW camper van conversions have been produced for every transporter model, and by a large number of companies. And then there are the small businesses and hobbyist conversions as well. But now you have a good overview, so you should at least ask what questions to ask, when you are shopping or just admiring a VW Camper.