The van, history etc

Splits 1950 – 1967   Bays 1967 - 1979

The first VW Campervan featured the distinctive split windscreen, now fondly known as the ‘Splitty’. In an age where private transport was still a luxury, people started using their work vans for camping trips at the weekend, adding extra seats, beds and even sinks. This was soon adopted by companies like Danbury and Westfalia: professionally converting interiors, adding extra windows, push-up roofs for more sleeping space and home comforts such as cupboards and cookers. These iconic vehicles are universally recognised and adored. You’ll be driving a little piece of history.

 

 

Geeky Spec

An average of 25 MPG may seem a little thirsty but when you are travelling at a slower pace, the journeys are more scenic. The four-speed gearbox, dash-mounted handbrake (on earlier models) and drum brakes makes these vintage vans an acquired taste – but once you’ve got the bug you’ll be king of the road. 1967 hailed the introduction of the bay-window camper: larger and heavier than the splitty with a single pane windscreen, sliding side doors and refinements including wind down cab windows, disc brakes, improved suspension and gear linkage.

 

 

Insides & Facilities

With the exception of Noddy Windsor, our Splitties each have a front cab bench seat allowing three to travel up front. The rear bench seats & table provide an ideal eating area or space for stretching out with the Sunday papers and a cuppa.  Notable features include a tiny sink, diddy cupboards, 12v cool box and two burner gaz hob & grill. In the bay-window we find conventional twin front cab seats, while the more accessible kitchenette offers a '3-way' mini fridge, two burner hob, grill and larger sink.

 

 

 

Layout for sleeping

Those familiar with sleeping under canvas will find this luxurious. This is retro-luxury though! The main bed in a Splitty is assembled from a jigsaw of table and bench seats. Noddy Windsor & Barbarella boast an elevating roof, with two canvas hammocks: ideal for children or small teenagers. The padded boot section in Barbarella and Barbarossa makes a cosy toddler bed. The Bays feature rock-and-roll beds: quicker and easier to convert from day to night layout. Elevating roofs on all these 1970s campervans offer additional accommodation and valuable head-room.

 

 

Where can I go in my van? 

We ask our customers to remain within the glorious counties of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset while exploring in one of our vintage campervans. They are far happier pootling along country lanes than charging down the motorways! Their air-cooled engines require plenty of breaks (cup of tea opportunity!) and gentle handling but their compact size makes them well-suited to the narrower roads and country lanes. Check out our Travel Guides page for some interesting circular tours and ideas to make the most of your campervan adventure.

 

 

Family Friendly?

The iconic Classic VW Campervan is undeniably a hit with families of all ages. Small children love their comic-book character and easily recognisable appearance. Older children look forward to sleeping in the roof beds, while teenagers will welcome every opportunity to pose beside their surf bus. Top parent points for booking! The variety of sleeping layouts available are useful for families travelling with more than two children. Our VW Campervans offer an unforgettable retro adventure with endless photo possibilities. Just don’t forget to take some snaps of the kids, too!