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Old 12-06-2006, 01:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRoffe
I like that quote. Good advice for the worry warts out there, including myself.

Sam
I got the quote from "The Gift Of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. It's a book I would recommend to anyone.
I don't mean to hijack the thread.
Dave
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by thewestyguy
I'd be curious to know how many people moved up from a VW westy like we did, seems like a natural evolution.
Hi thewestyguy,

welcome to the forums and thank you for buying a german quality product! Your Airstream Westy is nearly the same as the Euorpean Thomas Cook modells made by Westfalia. I think it is more a tax and customs thing that they are assembled in the US. I think I read somewhere that they mainly put the roof on the Chassis and install some electric stuff wanted by Airstream like LCD-TV and so on... Unfortunatly it is a 'natural' upgrade from a VW Westfalia to a Mercedes Benz/Dodge/Freightliner Westfalia as there are no VW Chassis used today. Westfalia is owned by Mercedes Benz (Daimler/Chrysler to be correct) and VW refused to let their leisure and camping model be produced by Westfalia. We used to own a VW T4 California Exlusive (long wheel base and the solid high roof) and really lowed it. It was a blast and running really fast and still safe. Mileage was 29 gallons per mile going not more than 75 mile an hour.
I drive a Sprinter Van on a daily bases at the moment, with a short wheel base. It is a nice Van, reliable and solid, good milage and an easy drive.

So enjoy your Van and enjoy camping!

Thanks again for shopping in Germany...

Bjoern
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:42 AM   #17
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Assembled in USA?

As for the Westfalia, I think not.
However, I have been to the Freightliner factory (free, you can go too) and watched as the bodies were unloaded from trailers which had come fom the ports, and then assembled to the chassis, which had come from another locale, which I did not see or hear, and then driven out the back door. Yes, they were badged as Dodge Sprinters, Freightliners and Mercedes. all one and the same. Someone is buying a lot of them as they were quite busy.
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:44 AM   #18
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Ok,

two things to clear this up...

1. its not a Thomas Cook, but a James Cook
2. they are assembled in Wiedenbrueck, Germany and only the rooftops are put on the Van Body in the US and some Airstream specific extras are installed. I am pretty sure that as the roofs are not mounted when arriving in the US it might have some tax advantages as it is an uncompleted product. So putting the roof on it in the US makes it complete and roadready...

hope this helps to clear this up...

Bjoern
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:21 PM   #19
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The Airstream Westfalia is the 140 inch wheel base Sprinter van with a top put on for an upper sleeping compartment and step up rear kitchen and bath. The Airstream Interstate is the 158 inch wheel base sprinter that is not topped like Ford and Chevy B-Vans because they are already tall enough to stand up in. The Westfalia is essentially a European James Cook model that is Americanized in RV amenities and US laws. The Interstate is a raw van that is completely outfitted in the US. Underlying them all is the Mercedes Sprinter model that has been badged both Freightliner and Dodge in the US.

Both Fedex and UPS are using them in my neighborhood and around the country. I am seeing more and more of them being used by contractors such as plumbing and electrical servicers. Bachmann's Flower Shop is using them in Minnesota as is Lund's/Byerley's Grocery for home delivery.

The current models end with 2006 in the US. New design 2007 models for RV converters will probably not show up for nearly a year. Thus, a pinch is supply and maybe one reason Airstream is not continuing the Westfalia model. James Cook is being sold in Europe with the new design so I suspect it will be imported here again if not by Airstream perhaps someone else.
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:33 PM   #20
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We still have our 1990 VW Westfalia, the last of the California models. This might just be our best performing asset. We bought it for $20K and it's now worth about $24K. The Westfalias are so much better designed and executed than the Winnebago conversions that followed on the Eurovan. The resale values bear this out. Quality matters.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:53 PM   #21
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I have a friend running a Sprinter van doing arts and craft shows all over the country. 80K miles and zero problems! UPS, FED-EX, and DHL all use Sprinter vans. Our local driver had one for awhile. He thought it was OK, but not big enough to do his route in one shot.
In short....I wouldn't worry. Enjoy it.
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:44 PM   #22
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When you mention fleet vehical use ,all bets are off .the drivers mostley
abuse the fleet vehicals and Ive done alot of fleet work over the years .I
see it all ,all kinds of overloading and racey driving ,hard braking etc etc .
I worked at American /Airlines many years ago for Skychefs and the drivers would pop wheelies in the tugs and throw them in reverese while still going forward.the worst offense was when we were going to cater the planes and
one guy kicked a hole in the dash of one of the Top kick GM trucks we were riding in ,(plastic one piece dashes) a crime for sure ,they were terrible with
the trucks .So then NEVER go with the fleet owners on wear and tear .you
will never see that with your personall rig .any vehical can be labled as poor or unreliable if its not taken care of .

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
We still have our 1990 VW Westfalia, the last of the California models. This might just be our best performing asset. We bought it for $20K and it's now worth about $24K. The Westfalias are so much better designed and executed than the Winnebago conversions that followed on the Eurovan. The resale values bear this out. Quality matters.
Er, you might check that value again. There was one of that vintage advertised for sale in the Twin Cities this past year at a whopping $45,000!
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:19 AM   #24
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westfalia headaches

we just bought a sprinter westfalia from airstream and it has been the largest headache of my life. they handed me our $80,000 rig with keys that didnt work to the door locks and plastic panels that were falling off the vehicle. since the purchase a few months back, i have had severe flooding from the side windows. the side doors are rusting were the mechanics scraped of the silicone from the black plastic panels that continuosly fall off, my auxillary outlets dont work, my reverse lights have continuously stopped working, my shower hose wont recoil, and my van is a mix of duct tape and plastic to fix the problems. Airstream has made it clear that they have no intention of going out of there way to fix any problems. In addition the 5 star dodge dealer wants nothing to do with the service of this sprinter van. I have driven over 50 hours to different shops trying to fix my problems, especially the flooded window and the only result of my trips has been the purchase of a snorkel that i can to swim in my vehicle. if you have a million dollars and a couple hundred hours of free time to fix the bugs then this is the perfect vehicle, otherwise this van will be your full time job.
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