The wrong kind of rot

Discussion in 'Buying a VW Camper' started by rustbucket, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. it seems that at the moment the buses I'm seeing in classifieds fall into one of four catagories.

    1. Fully restored with loads of pics showing work. Mega money and out of my range.
    2. Freshly tarted up. No evidence of before/after respray. Still mega money. Best avoided.
    3. Underside fairly sound. Maybe an import but body work needs attention.
    4. Underside needs attention but body not too bad.

    I can really only afford to buy from cat 3 & 4. So I guess never having spent money on repairs which is the bigger money pit as a general rule? If a bus needs welding to the rail and new outriggers, jacking points, floor etc is that a bigger job than new sills, gutters, battery tray panels etc. Bearing in mind it I suspect I'd end up getting both kinds repainted anyway in the end.

    One thing to bear in mind is that in the end I might be able to do mechanical work but I have no garage, my bus will be under a cover on my drive, so body work I'm guessing is gonna have to be done by a local body shop and welding will need to be done by a VW specialist if such a thing exists near Bedfordshire.

    Your thoughts appreciated.
  2. I have done a few buses, not as many as many on here and have always had the view that I would rather be chopping out Wolfsburg rust and replacing with parts that fit than dealing with someone's ideas of restoration. Rot underneath has never bothered me that much but I wouldn't touch one that had rot higher up, prob cos I am lazy. Do research on here and elsewhere-not all replacement panels are equal, there is some absolute rubbish out there.
  3. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Knowing what I know now, if I didn't have a garage, I wouldn't consider buying one.
    The rate of decline stored outside and inside are massively different.
  4. Depending on if you're inclined that way I'd say learn to weld and do it yourself. I'm mid way through restoring the underside of oura. Yes it's a lot of work (I'm probably taking twice as long as someone who has done it before), but it cuts the cost dramatically and you learn something new. I'd say that body work would probably be the bigger job as getting the paint looking right takes time, whereas underneath is a bit more industrial.
  5. Based on what you have said, small budget, don't do mechanicals or welding, no undercover/garage storage, I don't think you should consider buying an old van like a Bay.

    Have a look at other campers out there, such as the mazda bongo or maybe a T4 or T5. With your budget you could buy a good modern usable van and go out and enjoy it. I feel a cheap and rusted Bay would become a money pit and you may end up running out of cash.
    Sproggy4830, 14platoon and JamesLey like this.
  6. Solid advice above from @mgbman. You either need deep pockets to keep these running or the willingness to do it yourself. I loved our van too much to get rid of it, so am doing as much as I can myself. I've spent a fair bit on tools andparts, as well as a huge chunk of my time (currently doing 2-3 nights a week plus a day at the weekend). Would be worth taking someone along to any viewings of buses you do. Where you based fella?
    Robert Jackson likes this.
  7. when I was knocking out buses ,this is the thing I went for ....

    But like said above get a t25 ,t4 etc ,get some experience and when you think you can fix everything trade it in for a t2 ,at least you will be on the ladder...

    btw if you buy from cat 3 & 4 and cannot do the work it will cost you the same as 1 and 2 ....:hattip:
    Faust likes this.
  8. wouldn't disagree ... mine seems to have faired much better this year having been over wintered in the garage
  9. My mgb was restored 12 years ago and has been dry garaged since then. The body and paintwork and chrome is still like new.

    The van sits outside on driveway in all weathers, restored 4 years ago and its starting to suffer.

    T4 or T5 would be a good bet for you.
  10. I can't add anything to this conversation, but enjoyed reading it.
    Sproggy4830, Pickles and JamesLey like this.

  11. My MG like yours is in the garage and the van stays on the drive. It weathers fairly well with very little getting inside - but I have to keep on top of the rust that creeps into sill edges etc..
    mgbman likes this.
  12. Mgb is rust free and as you do, I have to keep an out for rusting on the van and deal with it before it becomes a big problem.
  13. My advice is don't buy one if you don't have over £15 grand ,pointless unless you can weld and are a great mechanic :thumbsup:
    chad and mgbman like this.
  14. Dont know what your budget is but if your getting others to do the work at £30/40 an hr it soon mounts up plus you wont be using it , why not save some more money and get something you can use and learn to tinker on see if you like it . And what congi says ^^
    mgbman likes this.
  15. Hi everyone.

    Once again thank you for your replies.

    I own a top spec transit which I use for work. It's got every option you could ever want. It's a great mobile toolbox. It's fast. It's reliable. It's economical. It's utterly soulless and boring. I'm worried a t5 will be just like driving my everyday van but with access to cold beers.

    My parents have a garage that they don't use and I'm sure I could over winter a bus in there. I'm not so sure they will run to it being turned into a restoration workshop. It's only three mins from my house. So maybe the on going rust issue won't be as bad.

    The thing with not buying a finished one isn't the final bill. It's being able to do it over a number of years and chuck some money at it when I have a bit spare whilst still being able to have days out in it. If I had the money for trouble free bus fun shock horror I'd buy a Danbury Brazilian. Come on lottery.
    paulcalf and Mack like this.
  16. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Wash your mouth out!
    The main problem with that is "have you had a look at a 5 year old brazzy bay?"
    They rot much much worse than the originals mainly due to the environment they were built for.
    chad, paulcalf, mgbman and 1 other person like this.
  17. Drat and double drat (in a dastardly and muttley voice)
    Baysearcher likes this.
  18. Yuk :thumbsup:
    No lottery winners ever have taste.
  19. You'll probably get more for your money if you wait until the end of the summer /autumn/winter, and maybe you can save a bit more money between now and then to up your budget a bit.
    At the end of the day, you'll spend money on them no matter what you lay out in the first place, but hopefully if you get a good base to start with, the money will dribble out over the years rather than in great lumps. And you'll get to use it too, rather than look at it sitting on axle stands in your parents garage!
    If I'd had the courage, I'd probably have gone for a LHD dry state import; again you get more for your money, plus the starting point of less rust (although perhaps they just catch up quicker once introduced to British drizzle, I don't know).
    Good luck with the search.
  20. I've had mine for 6 years now and thought I'd learn on the job. Turns out I'm rubbish at the mechanicals but can keep on top of the bodywork issues. It's cost me a fair bit along the way and I have to keep it covered on my drive through the winter, (because it doesn't fit in a normal garage) but as the sticker on the side says 'Sell my van? I'd rather shove wasps up my a**e!'

    Just get one, you only live once and what's the worst that could happen...

Share This Page