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Volkswagen EuroVan



  • lindaf2lindaf2 Posts: 1
    Our '93 Eurovan overheats in hot weather only. The radiator fans do not seem to go on. The fuse is fine.

    When we took it to the dealer, the horn wasn't working either (the horn and radiator fans are both on fuse circuit 13), so I was sure something was wrong with the electrical circuit. The dealer replaced both horns and they work fine. BUT the overheat conditions remains.

    Has anyone had experience with this problem?

    J. Freeman
  • romaroma Posts: 1
    I drive a VW Caravelle, which I believe is the same model as the Eurovan, only under its European name. When I bought it last year here in Norway, I also had trouble finding hard safety info, but did run across a couple of comparison tests in Norwegian newspapers. It did well against Japanese competitors, but this wasn't saying much, since the Japanese vans/club wagons were reported to be death traps.

    A mechanic told me the Caravelle is safer than minivans, because everyone sits higher than whatever cars you're likely to collide with, and the energy from the impact travels under the passengers. I'm not an engineer, and don't know if this makes sense or not. The Caravelle is certainly a lot heavier than most cars on Norwegian roads (blessedly free from SUV's, which are too expensive and drink too much 4-dollar a gallon gas), and that weight is a big advantage.

    I think that the most vulnerable point for these vehicles is the side-impact, so look both ways before crossing the intersection!
  • nagathanagatha Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if VW will plan to make/offer a 2001 EVC, one dealer I spoke with eluded that they (VW) may not offer the EVC next year. Rumor? Sales pitch? Has anyone heard the same or contrary?
  • walterchanwalterchan Posts: 61
    Anybody out there and can tell me if the Eurovan is a comfortable van? Also, how's the handling of the van?
  • scott549scott549 Posts: 2
    This is a pretty subjective thing. We are seriously considering the Eurovan after driving the MPV (smaller and engine's a little weak), Sienna (boring, cushy ride, a little small), Honda (very nice but not very exciting) and VW. My wife and I both think the VW handles the best of all of them. It has a more nimble feel and a stiffer suspension, which a lot of people don't like, but we do. Our biggest problem was the price, so we are trying to negotiate a deal on a demo or look at a used 1999 or 2000 model.
  • scott549scott549 Posts: 2
    We're picking up our new black Eurovan MV tomorrow. It's going to be fun! We got a great deal on one the dealer had with 3,200 miles on it, full warranty. We thought this van would be much more fun than a standard minivan; the only problem was the price, and that problem was solved with the great discount we are getting. I'll post updates if anyone's interested.

  • I was very impressed with how the EV handles. I deliberatley test-drove a well-broken-in "stripped" '99 on a fast twisty road. I think I scared the salesguy who went along for the ride. Tires will make all the difference, and the stock Michelin truck tires work very well indeed. One guy liked his Nokia tires. Honest. I've _heard_ an upgrade to Bilstein shocks will help. Don't know. This van is based on a delivery truck, not a Camry or an Accord, so I'm sure it's not as cushy, but I prefer the firm Teutonic feel. The EV Camper is built on the long wheelbase platform, this affects turning radius, but shouldn't affect handling much if any. No Miata in the turns, though. It's the extra weight of the Camper package, including all the interior stuff, the top (higher center of gravity), plus over 100 lbs of extra water and propane, and camping gear and personnel that'll slow it down a bit. The engine gets a little winded lugging that excess, and won't win any races, but there's a price to pay for fuel economy...

    I cannot find safety information either. Please let us know if _you_ can. I'll just put my faith in the operator, the ABS, the seat belts, and all that mass up front. Plus hot bags of gas exploding in your face if you really need 'em. And maybe being up so high. For slippery conditions, the locking differential doubles (or more) the drive traction. Do other vans have these? They're cool!

    I looked into tax deductibility. IRS sez you gotta have a potty in there to make it a "second home." I wonder if a portable one would suffice. Some of the Busses of yesteryear had one between the non-swiveling front seats. Or get a loan secured to your house if you can, then it's a given. I was able to from my credit union. "Consult your tax advisor for details."

    The '93 that overheats: the fan is controlled by a thermal switch soaking in coolant, possibly screwed into the radiator (don't know). With a clip lead/wire you can wire around the switch and see if the fan(s) kick in. If so, that switch may be your problem. Dealer shoulda done this. Or wire the fan(s) directly to the positive battery terminal to see if they work. If all else fails, get thee to a radiator shop. It could be time for a coolong system check, maybe a new radiator or a boil-out if the old one's crudded up. Good luck, these things can be hard to pin down, especially with an older, tired engine that puts out more heat.

    lastly, a word on reliability. If you want a laugh, or to get sympathetically depressed, or to feel superior in your choice of VW, go see what the poor folks who bought GM Astros/Safaris have to say. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
  • wallyfwallyf Posts: 1
    Hi: Would any MV owners kindly provide some info
    as to how big the folding table is, how close it is to each the rear-facing seats and rear seats? I'm interested in whether 5-9 year old kids can actually (and safely) use the table while the Eurovan is in motion without having to "stretch" too far forward away from their seatbelts

  • vwprovwpro Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 Eurovan MV and it experienced an overheating problem last summer. The electric fans were not coming on. I traced down the problem to the large plate/bar fuses in the power cable from the battery to the fans. These fuses are located in the battery compartment area under a black plastic cover. You will see the large power cables coming from the positive side of the battery to these fuse boxes. Upon disconnecting the battery and checking continuity across these fuses, I found them to be bad/open circuit. Upon a visual inspection, I found hairline cracks in the fusible links. I also found some white powdery deposits on the connection. I suppose the close proximity to the battery caused the deposits and this contributed to the cracks/failure. If this is your problem, the dealer may be the only source for these fuses.

    On the subject of tires, these vans require special tires (reinforced sidewall). The load rating for these tires are higher than the standard tire size. When I purchased my van 4 years ago, someone had put standard tires on it and it handled poorly. I realized the problem about a month later when checking the air pressure in the tires. The sticker on the driver side door post listed a higher tire pressure than the air pressure listed on the tire side walls. When I went to the tire stores, I found out that the tires were not commonly stocked, but could be specially ordered. The tire size is 205 65R 15 98S. The 98 is the load rating. The loading rating needs to be this number or higher. This is important as this is a heavy van and lower rated tires could be dangerous.
  • jgolden1jgolden1 Posts: 1
    I have just experienced the overheating problem first hand on my 93 EV Weekender. I was driving up the Grapevine (to Los Angeles) and started to Over heat. After pulling off the freeway, the car started steaming and then caught on fire ( there is a new recall notice about potential problems with the connecting ends of the fuel hoses) To see what happens see
  • My wife and I just bought a 1999 EuroVan GLS. Our impression of the van has been nothing but favorable. It only had 5,700 miles on it and it was never sold. The dealer said that "it was used to transport a VW company employee around town". The van smells, looks and feels like a brand new vehicle!!!. The van was being sold for $26,500 but my wife and I haggled it down to $22,300-very close to low Kelly Blue value. So far so good, I must add. We hope that the van turns out to be a good purchase. It seems that the majority of reviews on the van mention the "high price" as being the main reason for not buying it. Since we got such a good deal on it, my wife and I feel that we made out pretty good.

    The room inside is incredible and the power of the VR6 is too good to believe. We hope that somebody knows if a running board is available on the aftermarket. My wife and I are both under 5'8'' so getting out and in is sometimes "a little difficult." If you do, please reply.

    Even though it is a 1999 model, the dealer did not receive the van until March of this year. We also noticed that the radio and A/C seem to be 2000 versions. Am I rightwrong?

    Here's to all the happy VW owners...we're a breed apart!!!
  • scottp3scottp3 Posts: 1
    I bought my Euro Van new. It had a lot of space and the fold up table is great. It was in a car accident "hit a tree" the Van was totaled and there were three people in the car. 1 had no injuries. 1 had a toe injury. and 1 had a sore back. She did not have her seatbelt on.

    The problems I had with My Euro Van are similer to what I have read here.

    1. In the summer it had a problem overheating and the horn did not work.

    2. It almost caught fire, it was smoking and I disconnected the battery.

    3. Service was a problem. The dealer would keep the Van for several days. because of parts on order, and it was expensive

    overall I liked My Euro Van. Its is a great family Van and was great on trips
  • That's right, the Eurovan's appeal has gotten to you. The fact is that the Eurvan is totally convenient and cool. We have 3 kids. We are on our second Eurovan. I had a 93MV for a little over a year. I had some reliability problems - but those were due to the Mechanics I had to use due to a non-factory warrenty (bad deal by the way). In anycase, we bit the bullet and just purchased the 2000 MV model and absolutely love it. We also wisely purchased the 75 mile bumper-to-bumper factory warrenty (negotiate hard on this, you can get discounts). Yes, the car is pricey, but its usefulness to our family is tenfold compared to the other two comparable options (the Astro Van and Olds Silhouette). Both nice vans, but not half as fun and useful as the MV. I spotted another 93 (I emailed you on where to get it) and was really tempted to trade my 86 Vanagon in for it - the only thing that stopped me was I need a commuter car with 30-40 miles to the gallon... (oh - also, my wife said take a deep breath boy)..darn. Anyway, I recommend the Eurovan even if the price is a tad higher - you're using the van for more than just a typical minivan.
  • I brought my 1999 GLS Eurovan early this year
    from a VW dealer and got a not too bad deal on it ($24K). The van only had 60 miles and it actually looked & smelled like a new car. I have been very pleased with my purchase since then and the van really runs great ! The more I drive it, the more internal beauty I discover about it. The thing really impressed me is about the power from the VR6: even at over 80mph the power seems like never ending upon request, and the van tracks very well on the road. The auto air-cond. really cool down things quickly (I live in PHX area) and the ABS works excellent. Give a test drive on it before you put your deposit on other minivans.
  • jsreed1jsreed1 Posts: 3
    I am considering replacing my '96 Subaru Outback with a 2000 Eurovan Camper. Since moving to the west coast a few months ago, I hope to travel near and far with my young family. Have contacted Winnebago about installing a potty, but they suggested a portable one. Where would I find this? Some other questions that the dealer couldn't answer include: when traveling with pets and want to go for a hike, can I leave the air conditioning on(need to know this for those desert trips)? Does the driver seat raise? (Our '96 Golf had this standard.) Can the bed be folded out with the center bench seat installed?

    Also wanted to mention that after reading many of the other Eurovan messages, that the price of $37,000 seems rather expensive when compared to other mini-vans, but not so expensive when looking at the conversion vans or even the new Eddie Bauer edition subaru. (It's the same price, and also has a waiting list in this area.) I just think one usually gets what they pay for.

    Thanks to anyone who can help.
  • lmac1lmac1 Posts: 13
    While my 90 Multivan doesn't have a center seat and the Vanagon size is quite different from the Eurovan and I havn't yet seen a Camper with center seats, we have used a Sears' portable potty in our Multivan. Also don't know about leaving the AC running. Because of our special needs (we now need room for two wheelchairs in the passenger area), we have started looking at full size vans, and Sportsmobile does advertise that their aftermarket AC can be left on, using either 12 volt or 110 volt if available. You can also get a portabile potty in a Sportsmobile. You might look at their website ( They have a CA location. Sportsmobile did VW camper conversion starting in the 60's.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Walmart and any RV store has the portapotty. Can be had for under $50.

    Eurowinnie van does not have enough room to deploy the Z-bed and also have the middle two person seat in place. Maybe you could install a rear facing jumpseat out of a Eurovan MV behind the passenger seat. This would be costly and you'd still only have seating for three (with the rear bench made into a bed.)

    AC- only if you leave the engine running. Same with the Sportsmobile unless you park where you have access to 110 (normal household electricity).
    FWIW I visited the Indiana Sportsmobile factory this week and was VERY impressed. There are so many options on these things. Definitely first rate quality. No plastic stuff like the Eurovan. Sportsmobile can get pricey, if you throw in 4wd and all the other goodies like generators. However, if you outfitted one like a Eurowinnie Camper, you could get more vehicle for the same money and have no difficulty finding parts.
  • jsreed1jsreed1 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the responses. I have checked out the web site and am quite impressed. Unlike VW they put diagrams and photos of the vehicles they sell. Will be in Indiana for winter holidays, so will try to stop by. My husband did own a '98 Dodge quad cab before we moved, and we both liked it. It was the first and only American vehicle we have owned. Usually the suspension and handling seems a bit squooshy.

    The VW brought back memories of my husbands childhood... good memories. So I wonder what his reaction to the Sportsmobile might be.

    I do wonder what a Eurowinnie is... this may show my ignorance of the VW camper culture, but I'll ask anyway.

    I have thought about accessing and cost of replacement parts and repairs. Our first vehicle was a Diahatsu Rocky;we loved it. (In fact, I saw the Rocky driving down the street and followed it into a parking lot to give the current owner a business card if he should ever want to sell it.) The draw back is that the company didn't do well in the US and pulled out. All of the parts have to be ordered from Japan. So thanks for reiterating this point.
  • I have had an overheating, or what I thought was an overheating problem with my 1993 Eurovan...let me explain. The voltage regulator in the dash circuit board was faulty and the socket the regulator connected with had cold solder joints. This I repaired myself at a cost of around $25 (symptoms were: increased temperature - according to the guage with no overheating problem present and a magical increase in the amount of fuel in the tank - according to the fuel gauge). The regulator controls these two gauges.

    A real overheating problem (or at least running hotter than normal) has occurred with my van. As mentionned in post #139 there are two ceramic resistors (mistakenly called fusible links or fuses) which are supposed to lessen the initial current draw through the fan relay while the fans are spinning up to speed (the white powder mentionned is the actual ceramic/glass compound of the resistor breaking down with heat - do not touch these while the fans are running - they are extremely hot). I have had to replace both of these resistors (only available at the dealer) and the original fan relay which controls both fans (it melted because one of the resistors burned out and the remaining fan would operate non-stop trying to cool the engine). The relay was replaced with two starter relays which have proven totally reliable for over 80000 kms. This is not a recommended fix by the dealer, however I have had no trouble with it or experienced any overheating since. The temperature sensor is in the radiator itself and they very rarely cause any trouble whatsoever.

    Hope this helps,
    A dedicated Eurovan owner
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Sort of derogatory. Westphalia formerly converted VW vans into campers. These are lovingly known as Westy's. (Some other American companies had also converted but the typical camper van is a Westy.)

    Winnebago now converts the vans. The vans can be had as Eurovan Campers,

    or Rialta campers

    Some claim that fit and finish have suffered under Winnebago. (Of course some claim that only German brake pads will suffice.) I have no first hand experience with the newer vans. Winnebago does use components (ie refrigerators) for which parts and service are readily available in the US.

    Happy Hunting
  • JSREEDL asked about the above. My experience with the 1999 EuroCamper is that a Port-a-Potty fits fine in the space at the bottom center in the back. We keep it there all the time since it is lightweight.
    My experience also is that the bed DOES fold down with the middle seat in place. Now my middle seat is the single seat (the 'Buddy' seat) which allows full use of the refrigerator, not the double seat.
    As for leaving the engine running to keep the AC on for your pets while stopped, I do not recommend this. We tried it, only to have the Service Engine light come on and not go off for weeks. You also run the risk of the catalytic convertor causing a fire depending on where you park. Bar-B-Que puppies are not a good thing! Instead, we run two DC small fans through the auxiliary battery, park in the shade, and keep the top vent open as well as whichever screen windows open we feel safe with. We placed a thermometer inside to monitor the temperature and make sure there is plenty of cold fresh water. We also carry a small (5000 BTU) air conditioner which we can install in the front passenger window and plug in when we are near an AC electrical source. Finally, we have tinted our windows for cooler temperatures inside as well as for privacy for our dogs.
    Now as far as the question of the table being near enough the back seat to be usable while the kids are still belted, be assured that the tables are fully adjustable back and forth so you can put them wherever you want; also you can use either two or just one of the tables.
    Since you mentioned kids, please know that a 9 inch AC/DC color TV/VCR combination fits exactly between the two front seats, can run off the Eurovan's auxiliary battery, and is real nice when the going gets tough, if you know what I mean. Hope this information helps.
  • I'm looking to buy a 2000 Eurovan Camper in Southern California. My local VW dealer is not backing off the sticker price of 37150. They say the demand for the car is to high in San Diego to negotiate . My question is has anyone bought a 2000 Eurovan Camper in So. Cal for less and from what dealer?


  • hi volks,
    I have a 95 Eurobago (the other term for the winnie conversions). we're fairly happy with it. for those searching in earnest for good maintenance, shopping, repair info & general email conversation about the eurovan, look over the user group:

    it's a chatty group, but usually excellent advice.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Walk away. They will call you. Eurovans chemically bond with the dealer's parking lot and cannot be moved from that position despite the best efforts of the sales staff.
  • Thanks to everyone who has replied to my questions! We did purchase the eurovan camper, and will be taking it on its second outing this weekend. As we use the camper, solutions to some of my questions become clear. Thus far it has been great, and the kids like it. I am adding a foam crate to the beds, as they are a bit too firm. We are in the planning stages of a 3 week adventure for springtime... all of the suggestions will be near to my heart as the departure time draws near.
  • I will soon part with my much loved SAAB 900s and venture into the world of owning a Eurovan Camper. This is your big chance to unload your advice and let me know what you know.

    What do you wish you knew or had considered prior to buying your van?

    Did you find your dealer good to work with? so far, mine is an [non-permissible content removed].

    Is there a way locate vans or must I really wait til spring on a populated waiting list?

    What options should be avoided or included?

    Do you find the stereo adequate?

    What aftermarket stuff did you find that works well?

    Are there persistent or common problems I should be aware of?

    I live in northern UT so this will experience both temp. extremes. Does the furnace work in temps near 0 deg.F?

    What type of carriers work well for XC skiis and poles? Canoe?

    Nuff with the questions, thanks for your time. Ken
  • Just looked at a 2000 MV weekender. My San Diego dealer wants $39k for it. I was SHOCKED. According to the VW website, it should be low thirties. For what you get, it should probably be more like mid to high twenties. Its got the poptop and not much else. I could understand mid thirties for a camper, but high thirties for the weekender??? Anyone had any any luck bargaining dealers down on these things?
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    though weekenders are a bit more rare and in more demand.

    If you don't need the poptop, regular MV's can be had for thousands off their sticker (at least on the east coast). Of course, thousands off the sticker is still thousands too high.

    Consider a Sportsmobile, also. If you don't get wild with the options, one can be had for around the cost of the VW. And you won't have to deal with VW parts and service dept's...
  • Sportsmobiles don't look bad, although still certainly not inexpensive. I have to admit that I do like the quirkyness of the Euro's, but I'll never pay $40 plus for a new camper, much less a weekender. The geeky but cool thing only goes so far. The dealers also seem to have an odd attitude about selling and servicing them. Perhaps a used one w/ the 140 hp engine in a couple of years...
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Perhaps a used one w/ the 140 hp engine in a couple of years...

    Believe me, I bleed vw. There's a vanagon in my driveway right now. But I don't think the future of the Eurovan is bright. I'd never buy a used one because there just aren't any on the road. The service tech's at my local dealership have never worked on a eurovan. This all leads up to VERY high parts and labor costs.

    I just hope the next generation vw van is marketed a little more effectively.
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