The wrong kind of rot

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

  1. If you do think of scrounging the garage, make sure you measure up the opening and if its an up and over door, the door may hit the van. I bought my tin top as it does just fit in my modern garage, but a pop top wouldn't fit.

    Ideally you would need room all round the van to work on it and easy access to be able to raise it using jack and axle stands.

    Think about your parents' neighbours if you will be welding or grinding or spray painting as they may get complaints.

    I agree with the comments about T25's. My son has one and it needs constant work on everything to keep it alive. They also rot badly.
  2. :burp:Screw this I'm buying a bongo.
    fritt, Lasty, mgbman and 1 other person like this.
  3. Good decision. Enjoy using it.
  4. From the Bongo forums:

    Unfortunately, some Mazda Bongos were not under-sealed when they were imported into the UK. As vehicles are not under-sealed as standard in Japan, you will need to have the underside of your Bongo inspected to avoid expensive bodywork bills or MoT corrosion failures.

    So really it makes sense just to buy the bay. It'll be as rusty as the Bongo, but you'll love it....
  5. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Administrator

    Buy a Bay and enjoy it. You wouldn't think that this was a T2 forum!
    paradox, Dubs, zedders and 3 others like this.
  6. Think I will just build an extension on the house. Ask the builder not to seal the roof very well so I get a few leaks and shove a camping stove in it.

    Do any of you actually use your t2 or are they permanently either being welded, repaired or resprayed?

    I flew a helicopter and the guy told me it's about £250 for maintenance for every hour flown. I'm beginning to think t2's might be the same.
    nicktuft and mgbman like this.
  7. I use mine - its still pretty new to me, only had it a few months had a rusty T25 prior to that. I bought a bay with welding done but some mechanical issues, so there is the occasional breakdown, but once these teething issues are sorted I reckon it will be fine.

    At the moment is just done north wales and Derbyshire, but will use it most weekends over summer for pleasure trips, plus as my daily driver (

    I'd just buy one, don't over think it... Oh, and if you can wait, buy in the winter. It'll mean you can afford a better one.
  8. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Administrator

    The fact that you've come on here to ask the question suggests that you are aware that there may be pitfalls. You'd be amazed how many don't.

    It is a labour of love when all is said and done but there are more smiles than frowns along the way :thumbsup:
    paradox likes this.
  9. :lol:
  10. Hi @rustbucket again.

    I am retired so I have time to maintain my van and work on it which seems all the time sometimes. Little things go wrong and need attention.

    My son bought a cheap rusting air cooled T25 about 5 years ago and straightaway it became a time and money pit and sat on the driveway more than using it. It still needs money spent on it, more welding, new rear suspension arms, new brakes. The original outlay was £3,000 but has cost another £6,000 since and still going.

    That was my vw camper van learning experience. 3 years ago I went out looking for a T2, like you I had a budget of £10,000 ish but I wanted a tintop so I could garage it if need be.

    Took me a while to find the right one, it had been recently restored with full photos and the body was top class, the 1600 engine was rebuilt and the van had a reasonable paint job and a lightweight birch ply interior and 3/4 bed. The brakes were new and the van had been lowered (I am going to raise it back to stock) with front adjusters and 2 splines down at the rear.

    Cost me £12,000 and I have spent another £2,000 on it since.

    Some of us on here may appear to be putting you off buying a T2, for good reason. £3,000 for a rusty T25 is not too much to suffer, but a similar T2 may well cost £8,000 plus, and there are so many rogues out there trying to sell 'good restored' bays, when they are little more than hidden rusty wrecks, which would cause you pain.

    I stand by my suggestion of a Mazda Bongo if its the camping experience you want. Enjoy the camping and the trips and later on when you have more cash you could think about a T2 again.
  11. I think that's a very fair point. Right up until the bit about the bongo. lol.

    It's disgraceful that people pass on dangerous rusty shells to someone who they must know might be taking kids in it on camping trips. I've learnt so much from you guys in the short time I've been on here.

    Before I was looking on eBay and liked all the shiney ones. Now the first thing I'm doing is reading the description and if it mentions bodywork done but nothing about the underside then I'm wondering why.
  12. Someone on here mentioned about being able to check a van's mot history online. Google checking mot history. As long as the ads show the reg number, you can enter it with the make as VOLKSWAGEN and get I think at least the past 5 years history. Always interesting!

    As with any vehicle purchase, go and view it. Always ask for more pics and if they say its restored ask for the resto pics and bills for work or paint etc. If they are genuine, they will give you full details. If the seller doesn't cooperate, then walk away and look for another.

    The one I bought was up for sale at a show and I had all day to look at it. The elderly chap that was selling it was open and honest about the van and was happy to point out its faults. I took some pics and a few days later went round to his home and did a further inspection, took more pics, looked through the paperwork and the dozens of resto pics showing the work done along with the bills. I went back a few days later and drove it around town and out into the countryside. It went well and I decided to buy it. I was cautious, took my time, chose a nice van with an honest owner and it paid off. I wasn't going to be rushed.

    I suggest you pick out a few vans on ebay to try out the mot history check, its an eye opener when you see the recent fails. There is a good looking red/white van on ebay now for £12,500, looks good but you should see the fails its had with its bad brakes, rusted body and worst of all, bald tyres , bare tread and cracked walls, awful. That's not a sign of a careful owner. See what I mean?

    Remember, you cannot rely on a van having an mot. My son's T25 came with an mot which was 4 months old. It should have failed but somebody passed it.

    You could always pay a small fee to get the AA or RAC to inspect a vehicle and give you a condition report. Worth the money if you have doubts.
    Pickles likes this.
  13. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    If you buy right they don't have to be money pits.
    I've spent a fortune on mine but I did it because I wanted to, not because I had to.
    Look at plenty so you get the feel of what to look for, and get someone who knows buses to go with you.
    Buy the best you can afford.
    Welding, bodywork and paint is expensive, mechanicals are comparatively cheap.
    We all moan about them but they're bl00dy good fun really!
    paulcalf, Flakey and mgbman like this.
  14. As my mate who runs a garage that carries out MoT testing told me "Just remember an MoT is the minimum standard acceptable for use on the road".

    Wise words.
    Lasty and mgbman like this.
  15. Buying right is the difficult bit.
  16. I haven't read all the posts, so am probably repeating other's advice, but I'd buy an import from the u.s. You sometimes see rot free vans with no engine/interior etc for 3-4K.
    Anyone can bung a turnkey engine in and do the basic mechanical stuff for an mot, and anyone can fit a rock 'n roll bed and interior units. What scuppers most people's 'bay dreams' is rot, which takes time, money and some expertise to sort. Buy a basic rot free import and do the other stuff yourself:)
    The other quicker, cheaper, better option is a T25 of course. There, I've said it;)
  17. I love mine and even though I've spent a few years getting it sorted I don't regret it. You only live once, so do it. It doesn't have to be perfect - mine is far from it - but there's nothing better than sitting down for a nice cuppa with a view of the sheep and the hills and the whispering cool breeze tickling your shoulder blades through the louvres of your secondhand Westy window.
  18. :lol:
  19. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Not if like this guy, you do your homework.
    dan H and Flakey like this.
  20. Shame mot's can't have a points top up system. A bit like driving tests. That way a lot of advisories could add up to a fail as they would indicate a generally all over poor condition. Vehicles could be sold with a score. Low number good. High number means lots of small stuff which on its own isn't an immediate fail but would serve as a warning to the none technical. Ie me.

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