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Volkswagen EuroVan



  • We've had the 2003 eurovan weekender since Thanksgiving and like it pretty well. It's not our primary vehicle so it mostly does short trips around town and tailgates every chance we get. So far we love it. The poptop is great and we've fit 2 adults, 2 kids under age three, and 2 dogs in it for a half-dozen weekend camping trips. Gets kind of funky in there by Sunday night, but it's been a great camping rig.
    Our question is about roof racks. We both whitewater kayak and have always put the boats on thule or yakima roof racks on the other cars we have had. But can we install a rack on the poptop? Boats can't go on a hitch-mounted rack like bikes do. I'm worried that wind resistance at highway speeds would pull the top up, and I don't think thule recommends using a roof rack with the weekender Eurovan. I've started noticing other Eurovan campers and think I see three different options:
    1)Mount a rack to the poptop using the bolted-on gutter mounts that thule recommends for pickup truck campers. I've seen a few of these but haven't been able to talk to the owners. Downside could be leaking through the boltholes, poptop not made to be bolted into, and perhaps a need to unlaod the boats before opening the top (not a big deal). Maybe beef up the poptop latch so it does not blow open.
    2) Mount the rack to the actual van gutters and straddle the poptop (I saw a guy on I-95 who had done this). Seems more structurally sound, but you would have to remove the entire rack just to open the top. Pretty inconvenient, and I don't trust myself to properly install the rack each and every time.
    3) Forget the rack idea and get a small tow-behind trailer. Several manufacturers make them and advertise them for small-car use. They are maybe four feet wide by six feet long, and the top is about four feet off of the ground. Gear goes in the trailer; bikes and boats can go on top. Some of them have a rack built into the top, and other accept a thule or yakima rack. Upside is that less of the gear has to be crammed into the van. Downside is cost ($3,000 - $4,000) and the need to keep, maintain, insure, and store the trailer. Plus the minor hassles of towing a trailer on our boating trips.

    Does anybody have any experience with these options? I know that vw does not sell many Eurovan weekenders in the states, but since the people who buy them are probably the camping type, somebody must have run into this problem before.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Aw, come on. Playboats are so short these days you can carry them inside now. I saw one last week strapped to the top of a Wrangler... sideways!

    My Yak rack towers pop off pretty quickly but it would be a pain to do every night, but I prefer having my canoe/kayak on top instead of having to pull a trailer.

    I don't know what I'd do in your case although mounting the rack brackets to the popup itself has a lot of appeal, and your boats plus rack may be light enough that you may get by with popping the top without having to remove the boats.

    You may want to check on Usenet (search google groups) and see what other Weekender owners are doing. Hmmm, maybe not; only got a few hits there, and none helpful. (Edit - here's a link suitable only for canoes/sea kayaks, but maybe it'll trigger an idea).

    Steve, Host
  • My '02 Eurovan has been plagued with a noisy front end since the day I took delivery. Knocks, rattles, squeaks. The ball joints, shock absorbers, and related nuts, rings, and seats have been replaced on the left and right side. This was an improvement, but now there's a knock/rattle coming from the passenger side/right side again. Has anyone had a similar experience, or does anyone have any suggestions? Its driving me crazy ...Thanks.
  • Ok... I've read all the reviews, good and bad, on the Eurovan MV and have decided that the MV Weekender holds top rank for what we want w/ a new vehicle. Trusty tells me that invoice on this model is 29,030 and there is a manuf. to dealer incentive of 1,000 until the end of Sept. Just curious to know how much luck folks have had working from invoice on up on these vehicles. Visit #1 to the dealer (just check out the interior without a serious intent to buy) and the salesperson said they'd knock off a grand off MSRP... not what I was looking for. If we can get it for 500 over invoice, I'm sold. Possible? I figure since it's been sitting on the lot for a while (when were 03's released to dealers?), I may have some leverage, but who knows. I cringe at the thought of dealing w/ the sales process in general!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Excellent question, if a tough one.

    Eurovans and Weekenders hold a bit of fascination for me but, like the '69 VW bus I had, I worry about repair expense and parts costs. VW sells so few Eurovans here you'd think the dealers would love to dump them off their lot as quickly as they could.

    Apparently it doesn't work that way, and there's evidently a pool of die-hard VW fans who pay a lot of money for these vans. And the fans of the Weekenders, like Westfalias of old, are even more die-hard and forgiving of gremlins and break-downs.

    I think I'd try a blast email and/or fax and not limit my search all that close to home. It'd be great fun to pick it up 1500 miles away and camp all the way back home.

    And VW, bring on the new Microbus!

    Steve, Host
  • Thanks for the reply Steve. Well... here's the scoop. My local VW dealer has the only MV pop-top in the state of Oregon. I called every single dealer in the state in search of another, but came up short. And from the sounds of it, dealers from all over the state have tried to get their hands on this one, but the local dealer has chosen to keep the sale local and have held on to it as such (or so they say). Needless to say, they wouldn't budge on price except to knock 1k off MSRP as originally said, and they get that back through their incentive. So, I'm just gonna sit back and wait for a bit and see how the cookie crumbles.
  • Sclark900 -
    I'd do the blast-fax. Or try an online-purchaser like You might save enough to pay for the trip, and it would make for a hell of a story after you've had it for ten years.

    Why let yourself be mugged by this one dealer? Wouldn't a camper from any other state drive as sweet?

  • scmike1scmike1 Posts: 10
    I just bought an 03 MV. Not the weekender or camper. Got it at Bob Lewis VW in San Jose, CA. They had a few poptops on the lot. A used 02 and one or two new ones. Might be worth giving them a call. Not that far a drive from Oregon. One good long day. Got mine for $26,700 plus TTL.
  • I've always liked odd duck vehicles, which is why I've driven Saabs for so many years. Now that my family is growing I'm looking for a van type vehicle and find the EuroVan interesting. I like the looks and the fact that you don't see them parked in everyones driveway.

    I've read through all of the discussions on this list and get the idea that the EuroVan is a lot like Saab in the fact that one often has a love/hate relationship with them. One loves the vehicle but hates the fact that things tend to break more often than one would like and getting parts and people who know how to work on them is difficult and expensive. I understand that.

    The one aspect of the EuroVan discussions that seems to be lacking is safety. Even doesn't list any crash testing results, but that is because they weren't done. I'm sure it isn't worth it to crash test such a low volume vehicle in the U.S., but I'm sure crash tests have been done in Europe, and there obviously must be a history of real life crashes.

    Does anyone have any information on this? A poor showing in crash tests would be the only thing that would keep me from buying a EuroVan, that and I have to convince my wife that a second sliding door isn't really necessary. :)


  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    there was another site which used to compile US, Euro , Aussie and Japanese crash tests results but seem sto be gone now
  • Greets to the group from this new member.

    I've leased a 2003 EV MV Weekender, and I'm enjoying it a great deal, even though I was formerly a "lifetime" Toyota Tacoma truck owner (4 Tacoma trucks over 8 years).

    I had a bad "creak" noise coming from the pop-top latch, and at high speed (about 75 mph) with a window open, whistling from the heater/air vents.

    The cure: I greased the pointy latch pole that pokes through the latch on the roof with a long-life typewriter grease. This stuff never dries out, and the squeaking from the bouncing roof has never returned.

    As to the wind whistles, I was surprised to note that the air direction settings don't include "face AND feet", but rather you can select the upper vents, or the lower. However, by setting the knob halfway between the two vent settings, I now get air from both upper and lower vents, and the whistling has stopped.

    Hope this helps any others out there.

    PS.... I chased a "rattle" for about a week, then remembered the 3 St. Pauli Girl brewskies stowed in the fridge. lol! That's a rattle I can live with!
  • Hey there folks. I just brought my newly purchased '01 eurovan in to the local dealership for it's 25k oil change. I just about died when I got the bill... $69 for an oil change! They charged 33 for labor, 16 for the filter, 12 for the oil (at 2/quart), couple bucks for a filter gasket, and a 7% mandatory charge on labor for "misc shop supplies". Now... I know the Eurovan's are a quirky beast and might be a little more tricky than the typical oil change, but this just seems crazy! I'm curious to know where other Euro owners are taking their rigs for oil changes and if I'm in the typical cost range at the dealer. I hesitate to take it to a quick lube, but really don't know specifically if there would be a true negative for doing so, but who knows. Any thoughts/comments?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide shows that oil changes are a bit pricy for the VW; but more gets done than oil.


    Steve, Host
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Looks like they charged $ 69 for oil change alone - and gouged him on the price of the oil and oil filter too. Typically dealerships buy oil in large quantities and if they buy it in a 55 gallon drum, they get it for less than $ 1 a quart. The Edmunds maintenance guide lists additional inspections such as brake inspection which would probably take another one hour of labor at least.

    Our local Mazda delership recently advertised $ 10.99 oil change special. This includes up to 5 quarts of Castrol GTX oil and a genuine Mazda oil filter. I cannot beat this price even if I buy the oil on sale and the filter with 20% discount from Mazda and do the work myself. This should convicne you that $ 69 oil change charge is outrageous. Of course, I do not believe that the dealership is making any money on this special, so a $ 20 or 25 charge would be reasonable to pay for labor. The special is designed to attract new customers and buy the cars from this dealership.

    Advice: Do your own oil changes. You can also perform other simple maintenance tasks such as checking the fluid level and tire pressure, drive belt tension, and battery connections on their vehicle. Buying a shop manual for your vehicle is always helpful.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I see posts all the time around Town Hall about cars that require 5w20 or other non-typical weight oil.

    When they take their car in to the dealer for an oil change, they wind up with 5w30 and the service desk tells them it makes no difference.

    The real reason of course, is that it's lots cheaper for the dealer to get the 5w30 in bulk and use it for every car that comes in the door.

    Yet another reason to d-i-y.

    Steve, Host
  • icec97icec97 Posts: 17
    My first VW was a 1981 Vanagon and loved it. Drove it in 1986 from Virginia to California taking I-40 and I-80 coming back. Encountered no problem at all. The only set back was, under powered but very reliable. Sold it in 1987 and bought me a 1987 Wolsburg edition Vanagon. I'm still driving it. I don't know the mystic about it but I intend to keep it until it falls apart. The only major repairs I had were changing the heads twice. 1st in 1994 and 2nd in 2001.And also having to rebuilt the tranny in 1997 for $850.00. Minor repairs were changing the brakes. To me I think this is a solid vehicle. It has the same power as before and starts every time except one time when it needed a new computer power box which I was able to find one in a junk yard for $80.00. This is just my input to this vehicle.
  • Please, please... I want a Microbus NOW!
  • 58vw58vw Posts: 12
    My dear wife loves God, then her children, then our 2002 eurovan then me...

    absolutely delightful vehicle, stout v-6.

    To the guy who changed oil at the dealer: my jiffy guy said it has to go onto a hoist, i bought filters at the dealer took it to a guy with ahoist, asked him to avoid smashing my pop-top into the ceiling, he changed the oil, apparenlty the filter is hard to reach. But no excessive charge. Good luck ps using mobil 1.
  • Hello. I have been a Westy fan for years. I didn't know this was coming to the US when I saw it, but according to people on this board, it is.

    It's not in English, so I am not quite sure what it says.
  • johnj62johnj62 Posts: 10
    It appears that '03 is the last year for the EV here in the states. Does anyone have any information on importing a Multivan from Germany? I assume that it has to be easier than it once was back in the '80's. Does anyone think that the Multivan will come here or is VW putting all their eggs into the Micro. My family of 6 stretches the limits of conventional mini vans and would love to get a used EV or a new Multivan.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Most of the future vehicle talk I've seen has revolved around the new Microbus. (VW Microbus 2005)

    But most all the other North American minivans have grown, and the Microbus would buck that trend.

    Steve, Host
  • Has anyone had a problem with their 2002 Eurovan having paint chipping? I have 4 or 5 paint chips about the size of an eraser head (maybe some smaller) on the front of my van. Also, my van frequently "surges" when I start from a stop (like at a stop sign) and even when driving on the freeway. My van is Colorado Red and behind the chips of paint it is white.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Any luck Swarner7777?

    In the news, the retro design has been thrown out <sigh>.

    2005 Volkswagen Microbus

    Steve, Host
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    the retro design has been thrown out

    Maybe because it isn't retro at all. It could have been retro, maybe with round headlights and a little more flat nose. I don't know where those squinty eyed looking headlights came from.... maybe from a Chevy truck parts bin somewhere.

    Overall, it looks more like the Previa sitting in my driveway and than the microbus sitting in my driveway. I don't understand VW's incompetence vis a vis vans. VW thinks it needs to compete with the Chevy Astro by offering a V6 with a slushbox that gets 17 mpg. For some reason, VW chose Astro as the target of the now departed EV and the New Microbus Concept. Why? I don't know. They don't use Cavalier as the target for the Golf. Or Grand Prix as the target for the Passat. They bring over something distinctly European with a nice engine and tranny offerings.

    Someone at VW was smoking too much of that stuff that used to be smoked in microbuses.

    Maybe as we approach Al Gore's dream of $3.00/gallon gasoline, they'll open their eyes and start shipping over TDi EV's with manual trannies. That's what VW customers want. They should pay less attention to their Kalifornicated design studios and more attention to VW customers.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Another version of the story:

    No Microbus for VW Until '07

    Steve, Host
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    when it is George Bush's War in Iraq and back scratching of BIG OIL that are the causes for skyrocketing gas prices.
        Back to the Eurovan: Volkswagen has NEVER produced a powerful minivan with decent gas mileage like the Astro.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Let's just stick to the vans please.

    And a diesel would be popular:

    "Right now, we are seeing probably three times the number of people coming in the doors asking for the diesel products than we used to see," Momentum VW Sales Director Dustin King."

    News24 Houston

    Steve, Host
  • champ203champ203 Posts: 4
    Told my wife that her Eurovan would be history when gas got to $2.00/gallon. She's driving 04 Passat TDI now. Eurovan was basic transportation that she liked - high driving postition, lots of room for kids/luggage, cool looking (in her eyes), decent performance for a big vehicle. My complaints - too many days in the shop, recall, a/c had to be replaced, no tilt steering, too much like driving a bus seating position, not half the vehicle that the Jetta was that we traded, very lousy gas mileage (avg 14 mpg), and the first set of tires lasted 22K.

    For the same money there a lot better choices on the market.

  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    >too many days in the shop, recall, a/c had to be replaced... very lousy gas mileage (avg 14 mpg),

    The a/c and electrical component problems wouldn't be solved by a TDI EV. VW just can't seem to get those things right. However, I think a lot of people would overlook some of those issues for a van that gets excellent MPG.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The reason the Eurovan does not get fuel economy is simple: small engine that has to be geared down considerably to produce good power, aerodynamics of a refrigerator, and high curb weight (over 4000 lbs). The auto transmission does nothing to help the fuel economy either.

    For comparison, some vans get batter fuel economy when cruising due to low engine RPM in top gear, which can be easily achieved with a larger displacement engine with higher torque capability.

    One way to get decent fuel economy out of Eurovan is to use a turbodiesel engine with a manual transmission. Unfortunately, this combination is not sold in the US, and until it is, I will not even consider buying this vehicle.
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