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Old 12-05-2006, 12:28 AM   #1
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2005 18' Westphalia
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Angry Frightened new Westy owner

I've just spent some time on some of the Sprinter forums and read some truley bad stuff about problems with the vans, brakes, turbos, batteries,cumputers, etc. A lot of owners ended their rants with "don't buy one of these vans!". A bunch of the posts were from "fleet" owners. Has anyone here had troubles with their Sprinter Westfalias?

I was also curious, I read the Spinters are shipped from Germany in parts and assemble here by Dodge to avoid the tarrifs, since the Westfalia conversion is built in Germany dose it come over whole? Would it be better to have it all done by Mercedes? I know some stuff is done here by Airstream.

Please tell me I didn't make a huge mistake. Right now we're in love with our new baby ('05), but it's only been a week. Our old Wesfalia (VW) gave us 18 yrs of good times.

Hopeful
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:46 AM   #2
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Hi, A quote from my Mom. "Don't worry about anything until it happens" The sky isn't falling yet enjoy your new Westfalia. A person can worry themselves sick for nothing!

Bob
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:54 AM   #3
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How many miles are on these Sprinters when they have problems? 150,000? More? How many years do you think it will take to run up that kind of mileage? Also, you said these were fleet vehicles, that means they are driven by everybody and their brother, and hard.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:19 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums. I have no personal experience with the Westy but have met people in campgrounds with them who rave about their campers. I would say don't worry just camp and enjoy.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:32 AM   #5
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(background) We bought our first Westfalia in 1971, and took the train to the factory where it was assembled. Since then we have owned three other VW Westfalia conversions. The improvements in comfort and utility have been continuous; the first one had an icebox, and the last one had an Electrolux 3-way refrigerator, as an example. If my experience is worth anything, the camper package will be fairly useful, nothing to worry about.
I would not worry about the van, it has been in production since 1995.
We now own an Interstate, which is a Sprinter converted by Airstream, and have got about 15000 miles on it, no problems with the Sprinter as yet. I would worry about fuel prices, truckers, cops, weather, and put the "Westy" down near the bottom of the list. Enjoy!
regards
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:39 AM   #6
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Smile Hey, Thanks

Thanks for the great posts, breathing easier now, good advice.
Reading LOTS more from the all the forums it seems most Westy owners love their rigs. The rants seem to be more from the Sprinter/commercial side.
Maybe "good vibes" keep them running better.

I'd be curious to know how many people moved up from a VW westy like we did, seems like a natural evolution. I know when we first saw our Airstream Westy it was love at first sight. The Westfalia heritage was all there and we knew we'd found our "upgrade"

Thanks again
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:33 AM   #7
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good luck with your WESTY-------
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:37 AM   #8
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Online forums tend to emphasize rants. They can be useful when taken as a small and selected sample. The folks who are not having problems do not have anything to post about so you don't hear from them very much.

The fact is that the Sprinter is a very successful and popular commercial van. That means it survives some very hard use in a cost effective manner. That is one reason why it was chosen as a basis for the Wesfalia.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:19 PM   #9
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The Sprinter RV owners seem very satisfied with their choices on the message boards I frequent. I would not get too worried. You are right. If you read boards from the commerical users you might get a lot more griping. The Sprinter RV converters seem to all do a good job. You did not make a mistake. Enjoy your Airstream Westfalia. Unfortunately, it is winter in Minnesota and not much you can do right now unless you are planning on heading south.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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. I know when we first saw our Airstream Westy it was love at first sight. The Westfalia heritage was all there and we knew we'd found our "upgrade"

Thanks again
Our first camper was a 1968 VW Campmobile without the pop up, I think it was called a Kombi. Then a travel trailer, followed by a full-blown Campmobile in 1971. Both VW's had the "finished by Westfalia AG" label.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:19 PM   #11
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Westfalia

We bought a Westy in '78 at the factory. We lived in it four months. We spent a fantastic month in Morocco and Western Sahara. The Atlas Mountains were the best part of the trip. The funniest part of the trip was when the snake charmer performing on the great square in Marrakech hung one of his cobras around my neck.
Our westy VW was perfect...we drove it places a 2X2 is not supposed to go... altogether the best vehicle for such a trip. Wife and I are softer now... we now own a classic, which to us is a rolling palace. I would not worry about the Westy you bought with a Benz chassis. With reasonable care it'll take you anyplace you can imagine.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:10 PM   #12
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"The fact that you are worrying is proof that it hasn't happened yet. If something happens, you will then take action and won't be worrying any longer."
Something someone smarter than me said, and useful for all aspects of life.
Dave
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:50 PM   #13
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I thought Westies were dogs...

I think UPS is running a bunch of them.
Do a search for some UPS workers forums (I'll bet they exist) and ask the end users.
I too had a VW Kombi with a Westfalia? Conversion. Mine was a 67 - the last of the split front window models.
Never did much camping per se, but I did inveigle one or two pretty hippie girls to ride with me for a time.
The newer ones had the whole top that lifted up and maybe had a bunk up there or some such.
Mine just had about a 3'X3' bubble on top that you could stand up in and look out the screen.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
"The fact that you are worrying is proof that it hasn't happened yet. If something happens, you will then take action and won't be worrying any longer."
I like that quote. Good advice for the worry warts out there, including myself.

Sam
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