In 2007 I fell madly in love with a 1971 Volkswagen Westfalia.She belonged to my Aunt and Uncle and I begged them to sell her to me. They said IF they ever wanted to sell, I would be the first to know. Jump almost 10 years later and it was time to pass her on. Of course I didn’t have the money, I didn’t think they would ever let such a beauty go, but a quick interest free loan to myself off of a credit card, and she was mine. (I made my first payment today! Woo!)
The only BIG problem was that this Volkswagen lived in Utah, over the mountains, and I live in Iowa.
Everyone loves a good adventure, right?! We rented a vehicle, loaded up the camping gear, tools and the kids, and we were off!
The plan was to drive to Utah, work on the van a bit and drive her back to Iowa. Yes. Drive her back. This vehicle had been sitting for 15 years, undriven. What could go wrong?
Achievement unlocked! During this trip, the kids quickly learned how to set up the tent themselves.
After only two days, Rory had her ready to go!
Starla rode with him while I followed behind in the rental with Trent, just incase there were any problems.
And there were.
For starters, before we left, she wouldn’t start. We never did get her to idle and had no reverse the entire trip.
Double checking to make sure the topper didn’t blow off while driving…
Fuel filter change… Over heating…
Majestically looking over Utah while she cooled down.
And then the scariest thing ever happened. While trying to make it up a mountain and hitting 10,000 ft. in elevation, she just couldn’t do it anymore. Between not being able to idle and 2 mph road work, she quit. Rory had to roll backwards onto the shoulder while I watched and basically crapped my pants.
Being the awesome guy he is, while waiting for the Volkswagen to calm herself down, he walked around seeing if other people, who were having trouble getting up the mountain, needed help. Do you see that incline?!!
To add insult to injury, we had to be damn sure she could make through the construction, as there were multiple places we would not be able to pull over if there was a problem.Getting over the mountains from south Utah to Colorado, over some of the most difficult terrain, in a 44 year old Volkswagen that hadn’t been driven for 15 years is absolutely not something I recommend for the faint of heart.
But we absolutely loved it. Even better, the kids loved it.
After three full days of driving, we made it back to Iowa. Getting from Denver to Nebraska to home was a piece of cake as we dropped elevation. The flatness of the midwest suits her.Extra bonus? Idle kicked in the next day when we took her down to the car wash! But that is for the next post along with what my future plans are for this beauty…
Soap and a Volkswagen Part 2 – Disassembly
Much Love, Kylee Lane
You can see more photos of our building adventure with hashtag #SoapBus on Instagram!
(Interested in being a part of this project? Check out the patreon here!)