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Old 02-24-2009, 08:26 PM   #15
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2003 31' Land Yacht 30
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Another option...

I just entered the world of the Airstream B190 Van. Think VW Bus on steroids.
It can certainly handle an AS TT - within limits.

Just don't expect V-Dub gas milage...

Take a look at:

B190 Enthusiasts

Ralph & Margie Day
Lizzy the Borderline Collie
Old Hickory, TN
Between 'steams...
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #16
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Vanagon or microbus -- a small teardrop or der Kleine Prinz is about your only possibility. Except for that Airstream being privately owned and revered as nearly a museum piece. Or you could nurture the exceptional skills of Carlos -

Anybody ever install a higher performance (yet fragile) Corvair aircooled plant in a microbus?

You aren't the first to ask the microbus question - VW bus


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Old 02-24-2009, 08:49 PM   #17
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As a previous owner of 2 VW vans, a VW dune buggy and several Beetles, my advice is : don't do it. I think that even with a remote oil sump and an additional oil cooler, the engine will eventually melt. I can't imagine going uphill against a head wind. Then there's the old saying about an accident waiting to happen.........
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:58 PM   #18
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The Subie engines are great for an engine replacement with a waterboxer (water cooled). They work great. I don't know of many that have been done to an aircooled bus or van. They have been done but are few and far between.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:58 PM   #19
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If 37 years with VW service has taught me anything itís that Type 2 owners are a bit eccentric. This means that they will take great pleasure in doing something just to prove you wrong.
Here we are taking a new member to task for thinking outside the box.
Whoís to say that clicknathen doesnít have a Pacer or Bubble hiding in a barn somewhere?
Engine mods are easily accomplished and readily available. Iíve seen a T2 with a diesel stuffed in back. One of my colleagues had a Drag Bug that would tear the splines out of a C/V joint hub after 3 passes. Torque and Horsepower issues can be overcome. Same goes for the suspension and brakes.
Longevity, practicality and safety may only be secondary considerations.
Heck, Iíve even towed a 17í canoe filled to gunwales with camping gear to up to the UP and down to Florida on the back of an overloaded í70 Camper Bus.
Seriously, while there is a Forum member that tows a Bus behind an Airstream motorhome, I think that turning the tables could be a recipe for disaster.

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Old 02-24-2009, 09:02 PM   #20
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VW made vans with a diesel for a year or two in the 80's. Strong engines but very slow.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:21 PM   #21
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No friggin way...

Originally Posted by clicknathan View Post
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience towing a small Airstream with a VW Bus.

Currently, we live in a 29' Class C RV. It's great and all, but it's on it's way out and I've been itching to get a little '79 VW Bus and fix it all up. I know they have a small engine, 60HP at best, so I'm not sure if I would be able to tow anything, let alone even a small Airstream.

Anyone have any ideas on this? I'm even open to the idea of having a larger, more powerful engine put into the VW if necessary.
As an owner of a '75, I wouldn't trust my life to it. You could drop in a Subaru boxer or toyota 22RE and have plenty of power, but you still have the hitch issue Andy mentioned. The late 70's bus is almost a uni-body frame. It simply isn't designed to pull the weight. It's purpose is a self contained little traveler.

Now lets assume you did get a big subi motor in it, and a hitch welded up. That big bread box of a van handles like a turd. The slightest crosswind and you're white knuckling it. You watch your mirrors for overtaking Semi's so that you can brace yourself for the 'fun'. A 12 hour drive is downright stressful. I love my bus, but there's no way in hell I'd attach something even bigger to the back.

Buy the bus. It's awesome fun. Buy an Airstream. Just use them for different types of trips. Blitzkrieg weekend trips sleeping in parking lots: the bus. National park week long stays: Airstream.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:24 PM   #22
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Wally Byam and VW's

Wally Byam did it!
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:57 PM   #23
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Yes you can!

If you choose wisely!
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by PeeWee View Post
Wally Byam did it!
Wow!!! I'm impressed!
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:18 AM   #25
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On the question of repowering the VW van with a bigger engine. Yes this can be done and has been done successfully many times. The downside is the transmissions. Owners report replacing the transmission every 2 or 3 years if they use the new power, and that is without towing anything.

I had a 79 VW Westphalia a few years back, with a bad engine. I seriously considered shelling out the engine compartment and installing the business end of a Chrysler 3.8 V6 car. The Chrysler New Yorker and Imperial from the late 80s and early 90s had a track width narrow enough to fit in the VW wheel wells, and this was the biggest front drive that would.

The idea would be to keep the Chrysler power train and wheels in the original cage with the fenders dashboard bumper etc removed. Shell out the back of the VW and drop the VW body down over the Chrysler subframe.

I'm sure this could be done and the resulting Frankenstein would tow an Airstream. But it would be more or less a stunt or freak show for nothing. You can go out and buy a better tow vehicle for less money.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:29 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
You can go out and buy a better tow vehicle for less money.
Yes.. For example our 1993 Nissan Van 150HP/180TQ easily handled our Airstream. It would cruise at 100KPH hour after hour with no problems relating to towing.
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Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:15 AM   #27
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Another Alternative !


T & K

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:19 AM   #28
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Towing with too small a tow vehicle can be tricky. Take a look at this unfortunate vacationer who found out the hard way.

You Tube Vid

1999 Chevy Suburban 7.4LT "Tugger" Last of the big boys! Still going strong. 1992 Saab 900s Convertible 60K miles Not my TV
Almost always sunny here unless there is a hurricane bearing down on you. And then it's time to hook up the burb and roll. So far I've been very lucky.
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towing, volkswagen, vw bus

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