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To be.. or not to be.. T3 Caravelle camper conversion.

Discussion in 'Kombi Club' started by kimosabi, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. kimosabi

    kimosabi Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Banora Point NSW 2486
    I just had a nice "barn find".. a 1985 Caravelle. It had been work in progress for a few years by the previous owner but too many other projects and a change of circumstance had it come up for sale. Mechanically it seems ok.. the 1.9 fuel injected Wasserboxer starts and runs nicely. The owner was an upholsterer so the bonus is it has new hood lining, re-upholstered captains chairs and all the rear passenger seat are there. Nice surprises were the power steering and sliding metal roof. On top of that at some stage it has had a back to metal full repaint in it's original medium blue colour. Most of the door and window seals have been replace so it's a nice unit.
    The question is.. would taking all the seats out and doing a professional camper conversion add or subtract from it's value. I would not be putting in a pop top, just a swing out kitchen as my previous Trakka had and a Rock n Roll bed.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2020
  2. bruce hh

    bruce hh Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Great find.
    Can’t help you much with your question though, as I’m not a long-term VW owner and struggle to understand this marque’s market. I was always taught to analyse the demographics of your market to determine demand, as much as to analyse supply. With this van the supply side of your equation looks excellent.
    From what I’ve seen at VW events, T3’s are owned by a different demographic than the baby-boomers spending their superannuation who make up a large chunk of buyers in some marques. Their vans often seem to be used as both family transport and weekend getaways, so both Caravelle seats and camper seem to be in demand.
    Maybe the question is how much can you do that is reversible without scarring?
     
    kimosabi likes this.
  3. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,702
    Location:
    Gosford
    If it is a factory sliding metal roof then there are very few of those around so please don cut that out. However fitting a R&R and some other stuff for camping would make it an awesome getaway weekender
     
  4. kimosabi

    kimosabi Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Banora Point NSW 2486
    Agree Luckyphil.. I wont be cutting out the factory sunroof.. but will be making a small mozzie proof "pop top " that clips into the opening for ventilation at night.. and the obligatory R@R bed with some nice cabinetry. As Bruce in the post above eluded it would be best to do it in a manner that has as little "scarring" as possible. Of course the big problem is where to store two rows of seats for future use that may not eventuate.
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  5. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,864
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Somewhere safe would be good as you can guarantee that despite being almost given away at present they will be chased for substantial dollars in near future. ;)
     
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  6. kimosabi

    kimosabi Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Banora Point NSW 2486
    Thanks for the feedback.. Agree Cbus I will safely store un-used seats for another day. I found if I remove the back row only there is still enough room
    for a 6 foot permanent bed... I'll post pic of the interior in a couple of weeks time.
    In the meantime.. I now have refurbished front and rear bumpers and had a body shop give it a machine cut and polish to the slightly oxidised paintwork.
    As with my previous T3 Tiguan wheels were an easy upgrade. With a new exhaust, front calipers, all fluids and a tie rod the van drives nicely.
    A 1.9 muffler for the Blue slip in a hurry was a problem so the old guy at my local exhaust shop fitted one meant for a 253 Holden. He said he had done lots
    of VW's over the years and the 253 muffler was good that it was well baffled but had a good volume. It actually sound pretty good with a nice "burble" to it Here's a few pics to date. unnamed-1.jpg unnamed-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    Alex75, prone, Syncro27 and 10 others like this.
  7. KahunaKombi

    KahunaKombi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    21,534
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Qld
    Now that looks nice and tidy :D
     
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