"The Galloping Goose" ,
my VW Van with traveltrailer
As a member of the circle of narrow gauge friends, Kiel, Germany, I traveled during the years 1986 - 1990 all over germany and other european countrys, showing my On39 1/4-modules. In 1987, my VW-dasher-station with cargo-trailer with canvas-roof was no longer big enough for transportation of the modules and the equipment like buildings and rolling stock.
The meetings and exhibitions were often in sportsheds or other halls, were I was able to stay with a motorhome or a traveltrailer. This was the reason, why in 1987 I bought a Volkswagen Vanagon, type "Multivan", which I got in november. The next step for my career as a custom-car-fan was buying my first custom-car-magazines, and at last, visiting the 7. international van & custom-car-show in Sinsheim, South Germany. At this show, during lining up for the convoy, the foto of my vanagon was done.
As you can see on the photo, at this time I had modified my "Bully" (german affectionate name for all european vans of this size) with Mangels chromed wheels (7x15 with 215/65 in front and 235/60 on the rear), a frontspoiler and a rear spare-wheel-carrier with chromed cover.
The next logical step was becoming a member of the (at that time) biggest german exclusively van club, the "Friends of VANS, Hamburg, Germany". With the other members of this club, I visited some interesting custom car- & van-meetings until the dissolving of the club.
To stay with some friends and to get informations of custom-car-meetings in Europe, I became some years ago a member of the Belgium Streetcruisers Ass. - B.S.C.A.
During fall 1990, big problems with my friends in the narrow gauge modelrailroad scene appeared. The reason for this was the much meetings during the year, we have done ( up to 7 times a year). The troubles growed up, and at last, I cancled my membership.
Meanwhile I learned how cheap (without the gas-price) it is to drive a fullsize VAN with a V8-engine in germany. At the moment (1997), my Volkswagen van with a diesel-engine coasts more tax and insurance than my V8-van. So, I cancled the planed rebuilding of my vanagon and ordered a used VAN (Dodge or Chevy) with a raised roof at a german dealer. After driving this Chevy VAN for four years, I bought in summer 1995 after some rumours about driving-prohibition for cars without an catalystic exhaust system an model 1997 GMC Vandura 2500 with 350 cuinch V8 and controlled catalystic exhaust system. I sold this VAN during spring 1999 in case of the rising up gas-prices here in Germany. Since buying my first van, the prices raised up more than 50 %, and during the last time I only could drive the car a couple of times per year.
The (first) Chevy Van
The (second) GMC-Van
For the first VAN, I had constructed a small kitchentrailer. I used a open cargo-trailer, gvw 1.300 lbs., added a sidewall raising and a metal cover. In this trailer, there was a camping-refrigerator, 2 cans with freshwater, 1 can for sewage, a bottle with 11 lbs. LPG, a sink and a LPG-cooker. Also, there was a beer-box, a table, two chairs and a grill. This trailer was very useful, but after a distance of 6.000 miles the tyres were defect. The reason for this problem was an incorrect axle, which was defect produced.
Trying to get a new axle was very hard and needed a very long time. So, in spring 1995 I bought my first Eriba Pan travel-trailer. I removed the refrigerator from the kitchen-trailer and built it in the travel-trailer. Immediatly I used this trailer on my next trip to a meeting in South Germany. After return, I weighted the travel-trailer and found out, that the real weight was the same as the GVW. Because of this problem, I sold the trailer and ordered a new Eriba Pan T with a small rest room. As I got the new trailer, the first thing I did was driving with the trailer to a paint shop. After adding new paint to the trailer, which looks good behind my VAN at that time, I fetched the trailer to my home and added some more parts like a stereo-radio, more lighting equipment and other parts for the show-future of the trailer.
The picture shows the interior of the travel-trailer during the Halloween-Custom-Run 1996 in Spa, Belgium.
With my VAN and his travel trailer I visited from april to november custom-car-meetings in Germany, Netherland and Belgium. Because both VAN's where not perfect in my opinion, I only used the travel-trailer for Show-N-Shine. I also need the travel-trailer to transport the food and for cooking coffee.
As mentioned above, I sold in april 1999 the GMC-Van and concentrate now to my loved VW Bully, which is a really good running car and never failed since I got it in november 1987. Only a new header was needed sometimes with around 62,500 miles on the odometer.
But, how could it be different, short time after I sold the GMC Van and saved some money for customizing the Vanagon, he requested for some major repairs. So I had to replace during the past month the waterpump, the clutch, the diesel-tank and at last in october 1999 the complete bakesystem of the rear axle including the bearings. But the car has actually (10.24.1999) more than 140,000 miles on the odometer, and than this seems to be normal. Especially, when you see, that - except the above mentioned header - only the repair of one waterpipe, a cooling-water-container, the last pipe of the exhaust-system and a rubber-holding-part for the exhaust-system had to replaced. Beside replacing this rubber-part, the installation part of the muffler had to be welded..
The front of my Bus with the Bug-deflector.
The "The Galloping Goose" , seen from the passenger side.
The driver side, sadly shaded.
And so does it look, when I remove the corrosion from 12 years debris impact and paint the front new.
The first job was to install the from my GMC Van salvaged bugdeflector to the VW Bus. After that, I've painted the wiper-arms, the mirror-arms and the front-spoiler with an wheel-silver-spray-can. Interesting to see, that this colour is identical with the diamantsilbermetallic of VW. That's just the colour, where the rear-wing with third brake-light is painted. Not to see on the images is, that I painted the plate of the spare-wheel-cover also silver and added the above goose-logo to it.
At last, I changed the springs of the car to lower it for optical reasons.
For the future, the following is planned:
Covering the rear side-windows with sheet aluminium, painted with Goose-graphics.
Changing the bumpers against the Carat-Version with additional spoiler front and rear.
Installation of an overhead-storage-area and an other dasboard-cover.
New paint on the lower part of the car and the rear air-channel, perhaps also to the tail-door. All in
Installation of aluminium running-boards like on my US-vans (see above photos)
In the meantime, I was able to purchase the Carat-bumpers as well as the aluminium-plates for the rear-side-windows. Since the first weekend in july I'm working hard to install an LPG-tank under the vanagon and an LPG-heater inside. The LPG-tank requires some bolts, mounted into the floor of the car. And so, I had to remove the complete interiour. Good luck, with removing the rear-bench I discovered the reason, why I lost since more than ½ year cooling-liquid: the rear heating-system had a leak. After installing a used valve and a new heating-element all is dry again.
After the installation of the LPG-tank, I saw out the hole for the LPG-heater-furnace. After that, I installed the sidewalls as well as the floor and the rear-bench. Also, I installed a new file and a round table, just like in an american van. Also, the rear bench now only can be used as a bed, and so, it's base is complete covered with a storage are.
In summer 2002 I installed the carat-bumpers and started the paintjob. Behind the tail bumper now the body is painted silver, and the rest will follow in future.
In spring/summer 2002 I painted the left rear wheelhouse and the lower area of the left side also in silber. The wheelhouse came out very well, but the lower area not so good, it was just to warm. So, I have to slightly grind and paint it new.
After the VW-Bus-tuning-meeting in Hockenheim in june 2002 I installed a new DTM-style tank-cap and used the chance to remove some corrosion in this area.
At last an photo of the interieur of my travel-trailer, as it is at this time:
But this is not an static display. Every time, I find some item, which I like and which should fit into the trailer, I buy it and put it on display.
Following some informations about, what I changed on the travel-trailer:
New painting in VW tornadored and diamantsilvermetallic
Installation of two 12 Volt 88 Ah batteries in the storage area under the bench on the left side
Black light interieur lights in the rear area above the bench
Stereo cassette-radio and portable cd-player
Blue-white-red decoration at the curtain rail
red strip lighting behind the curtain rail, connected to the outside lights
boomeran antenna with red lights on the roof
Neon show-lights under the trailer
on every side, three marker lamps (red/white) and three side-marker-lamps. The side-marker-lamps at the front-side-area are connected to work as an signal/side-marker-light.
Wurlitzer Juke-box with 12 Volt ligthing system on the refrigerator
cross-stich-picture of Goose #2, installed at the closet.
Dividing curtain with Goose-logo.
The german club Bulli Maniacs created an special web-site, where stolen VW-Bullys can be registred.
Please register here,
so that we can stop this special mafia.