VW Westfalia versus Boler-13' - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #21
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Name: Franck
Trailer: Westfalia
Quebec
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Once again... Thank you all for sharing so many varied point of views. I was not expecting so much, you guys rock!!

Evenwilliams: Your list matches ours..... Many advantages falls into the Boler section. More than into the Westy. The boldest VW point being.... It's cool, very cool indeed.

Anne H: You're right on the day-trip point. But.... we do have other plan for this, see further down.

Barnaby: Yes, we do have a suitable T.V, recently acquired... and here is the problem: I like it very much. It's an 18 years old Mercedes Station wagon (W124). I find it so smooth and relaxing that I'm feeling now more inclined to travel long distances in it rather than in the Westy. It's a 7 seater, great for car sharing, it's reliable, reasonable on gas etc...
The Westy on the other hand is a bit more of a brut! it has been converted with a Subaru engine which solves all of the maintenance issues, fire hazards and underpowered specs as well as being 30% more fuel efficient. But, it's rough on unpaved roads or damaged Quebec roads, difficult to drive smoothly in town.... and expansive to maintain or/and upgrade... + bloody registration fees & Insurance!! Oh and... we don't drive it in the winter to save our investment + many other reasons.
A couple more things as well: The passenger seat in the VW does not recline very far which makes napping uncomfortable; as much as we love sleeping in the upper berth (pop-top), the mattress is toot thin.

Terry G: 30k for a Westy is a bit too much but not so much. We paid 17K for our first 1979 full camper, and 20K for our current 1985 Weekender (allready converted). I know for a fact that the 5 to 10 k bracket always leads to heavy maintenance and, according to fellow VW owners..... it's a lot of work, or expansive, and sometime both! On the other hand, we fully enjoyed the first van, and are fully enjoying the second..... not a single break down.

Yes...Shrinking the stable.... (I love the expression!) as they are other project too!
Like my Citroen 2cv6 currently waiting for a full restoration: That's on the ice due to a sudden lack of cash (other half decided a brutal change of career meaning no revenue for some years). Selling the VW for what it's currently worth would finance a 13' trailer, the restoration of the Citroen 2cv and some cash left for the T.V (the wagon). Then, I'm currently planning to convert to electricity a Japanese Micro van as well, for those downtown very short journeys that count for most of our gas expenses (+deterioration).

This would leave us with:

- a bicycle for me to commute to work (same as previous years, no change)
- An electric micro van for Nat instead of the Subaru outback guzzler (terrible mpg for winter short trips)
- A citroen 2cv for spring/summer/fall day trips..... loads of fun and cheap to run (45mpg)
- Our beloved wagon for whenever the electric van can't take us (range), or car sharing (we do that often.... and too many times, we ended up with passenger seating in the outback's trunk... not legal or safe!)
- A combo Wagon+Boler for camping week ends, vacation, road trips.

Finally, I got in touch with a couple, not far from us, who like have on child and currently travel with a Boler13'. They kindly offered us to visit them in order to show us their way.
Seeing the real thing will help greatly in making a final decision I guess! Can't wait!

Franck
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:36 PM   #22
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having had a van,,,a motor home, and a couple trailers,, i will say get the trailer. you still going to need something to pull it with of course.
my reasons, fast to set up camp,,, and you don't have to put it all away everytime you want to run into town.
you don't have a whole vehicle,,motor and trans to maintain that you only use part time, expense is reduced a lot.
and other reasons too.
but! you will miss the van. so just realise that. those westies are cool.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:55 PM   #23
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Name: barnaby
Trailer: boler 13
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Franck-I love all the choices in transportation that you have made so far:
Mercedes w124
citroen 2cv
electric microvan
Bicycle for commuting

You must be reading my mail!

I think a Mercedes wagon/Boler combo may be the ticket as well. Also, I guess I did lowball the current price of a Westy at 8K, I bought mine for $3200.00 sight unseen in Reno and drove it back in '06, so maybe that is still in the back of my mind.
I just wanted to give a good airing of the positive benefits of Westy ownership. Good luck to you.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #24
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Bon jour! What a coincidence! I was coming to post my first post here on the site and found this thread instead. I was going to do one of those "Hi, I am Maud from Wisconsin and I just bought a 13' Scamp.... " but truly, the huge news in my life is that I just parted with my beloved 1985 VW Westy with a full camper - Harold.

For decades my husband and I were always a one-vehicle family until 7 years ago when Harold came into my life. He became our first second "car." I loved him so. I sewed new curtains. I got a little body work done. I put in a new radiator. I bought 4 new special European tires. I bought a couple new starters. I put in new power steering lines.... Everything rare, special, German and expensive. Alas, even though he had only 80,000 miles, Harold needed owners who were much more mechanical than me and my musician husband. Camping was fabulous. Driving him was best ever. But a 27 year old vehicle is not the car for the likes of us who had to hire all of this done.

Meanwhile, a 2002 Lincoln Continental (with a v8 and a towing package)was dropped into our laps.

Oh, one more thing. My husband and I rarely drive. We bike everywhere. To work, to grocery shop, to go out to eat. We even do most of our camping with two bikes and two bike trailers. Problem is, we now had THREE vehicles! Each one had a battery that would go dead if it wasn't used often enough. All three vehicles were just atrophying in our tiny (garageless) driveway. We realized that we had to get back to one car and Harold was not "the one"

Once the decision was made, everything just started happening. Come to find out, our Scamp-owning friends were also making life/vehicle changes. Unbeknownst to us, they put their 13' foot Scamp on Craigslist. They had done all sorts of work on it - including new axle, tires, and floor. We had already fallen in love this the Scamp long ago and as soon as we found out we put our own ad on Craigslist (Harold sold to a very good home within 24 hours to the first caller). Last weekend we picked up our new Scamp and took it for a maiden voyage to a little campground just outside of town.

I miss the Westy very much but I am beside myself joy over my new little rv. She is so very, very cute. Right now I am choosing a name (possibly Purl or Agnes, not sure) and thinking curtains. The Scamp has no fridge like Harold did so I am mulling over that upgrade as well.

Oh, and one other coincidence... we were planning our first road trip with her next Summer to Ottowa & Montreal! Now that we don't have to worry about hot-start problems, tiny little headlights, a leaking gas tank we are no afraid to take a long road trip. The world is our oyster and our Scamp is our new little pearl.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:03 PM   #25
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Name: Franck
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Quebec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnaby View Post
Franck-I love all the choices in transportation that you have made so far:
Mercedes w124
citroen 2cv
electric microvan
Bicycle for commuting

You must be reading my mail!

I think a Mercedes wagon/Boler combo may be the ticket as well. Also, I guess I did lowball the current price of a Westy at 8K, I bought mine for $3200.00 sight unseen in Reno and drove it back in '06, so maybe that is still in the back of my mind.
I just wanted to give a good airing of the positive benefits of Westy ownership. Good luck to you.
Thank you Barnaby! This is precisely what I was after. It helps to remain objective.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:07 PM   #26
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Thank you Maud. I see that we're pretty much on the same wave. I know that I will miss the vw very much too but.... There are choices to be made.
Good luck with your trailer. I know for sure that I will want to customize our trailer too if we end up buying one. Stay tune!
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:05 AM   #27
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Question VW vsTRL

We have owned Westfalias and Trilliums. The biggest hang up with the Westy was getting parts if we had a problem on the road. They are available from a variety of sources but the wait was sometimes three(3) days or more. After a particularly harrowing trip to northern Ontario a few years back we decided to go back to the Trillium. The Westy was sold last year and I now have a '76 Trillium 1300.
I have just completed a 24 day run to Michigan and the Falls for two rallies and family visits. Pardon the pun but it went off without a hitch..
You could mothball the VW, make a few trips in the trailer and then let your own experiences be your guide. The final decision is yours but there is always good advice here so take it all into considration.
Welcome to the site and good luck.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:21 PM   #28
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I have found this discussion very enlightening. I am currently looking at both options--a Boler or a Westfalia. I'm thinking footprint--how much gas each solution takes, and wanting to use as little as possible. I'll be travelling with dogs, and want a place to leave the dogs safely, so it's clear the Boler (or similar) is the best solution...if I can keep the fridge safe from them. And the cost is better. It would be nice to be able to claim a spot and have the car to go do things with, too. Thanks for beginning the discussion. I do love VW vans, though--and was even considering the older, less-reliable but funky air-cooled vans.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by YukonRed View Post
I do love VW vans, though--and was even considering the older, less-reliable but funky air-cooled vans.
But a Boler or any other small camper can be so funky to !
'Cause I do love funky style camping !

Not mine, but look at this one !

giving a boler a touch of nature. | light & soul
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #30
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If this guy's Boler ever gets stolen, it should be a little easier to find.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by YukonRed View Post
I have found this discussion very enlightening. I am currently looking at both options--a Boler or a Westfalia. I'm thinking footprint--how much gas each solution takes, and wanting to use as little as possible. I'll be travelling with dogs, and want a place to leave the dogs safely, so it's clear the Boler (or similar) is the best solution...if I can keep the fridge safe from them. And the cost is better. It would be nice to be able to claim a spot and have the car to go do things with, too. Thanks for beginning the discussion. I do love VW vans, though--and was even considering the older, less-reliable but funky air-cooled vans.
It seems to me, that love for VW camper is irrational.... I truly loved my previous VW camper aircooled 1979. It was in a pristine original condition. But I did not like working on it and, driving it was very uncomfortable for both myself and Nat.... I'm too tall and she's too short for the 'baywindow' or 'toaster bus'..... Still, it looked gorgeous on site...
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:10 AM   #32
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Unfortunately, it's not the first time. Keri Latimer sings a happy tune on recovering her missing Boler - CBC Manitoba Aside from putting a hitch lock on, wonder what folks can do to protect their 'babies'.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Mireille L View Post
But a Boler or any other small camper can be so funky to !
'Cause I do love funky style camping !

Not mine, but look at this one !

giving a boler a touch of nature. | light & soul

Well, it's definitely growing on me !!
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:17 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Bonnie and Claude View Post
Unfortunately, it's not the first time. Keri Latimer sings a happy tune on recovering her missing Boler - CBC Manitoba Aside from putting a hitch lock on, wonder what folks can do to protect their 'babies'.

Take a wheel off? Or both?
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #35
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hi all.we did the same thing ,we sold our 74 westy,and now just use the trillium,way less expence and more room in side,plus u can leave trailer at site and not have to unhook everything and put top down to travel around on daily tours
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:41 AM   #36
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hi all.we did the same thing ,we sold our 74 westy,and now just use the trillium,way less expence and more room in side,plus u can leave trailer at site and not have to unhook everything and put top down to travel around on daily tours
And no regrets.... ? It seems not.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:43 AM   #37
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Westfalia versus Trillium 1300

Right....
I should really re-titled this thread.....

As planned, we visited a happy Boler owner who gave us a tour. We left thinking that switching to a Fiberglass trailer is a valid option..... but I'm afraid the Boler is out of the game!
I'm too tall (6'2")for the Boler (inside height 6').....and the fact that front and back window don't open is an issue for us.
Then I came across some Trillium specs and noticed the 6'2" inside height...... oh, and the jalousie windows.... 4 large ones with that!.... The outside look is not as charming as the Boler but.... It's not bad either.
So I searched for a Trillium 1300 for sale locally, found one, one mile from my office.... The owner was home all day, I went to see it straight away. Not to buy of course, but too validate the Trillium as being a good option.
The verdict is very positive. I liked the inside very much. The more angular look has its advantages. I can stand in it, I loved the windows, the rest is very similar to the Boler. Great set-up. In terms of price, Trillium don't seem more expensive or rarer. (?)
I can begin to draw (mentally still) my ideal Trillium. It would have to be customized with a modern inside and more retro simplified outside. Some chrome trim would be lovely!....

'Westfalia versus Trillium' it is then....
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #38
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Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300
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Wow...the latte color on this West is wonderful !
But, don't worry,The Boler crowd is somewhat similar to the Westi crowd...or so it seems !
Reading forums and camping with both, I found that they have a lot in common. They like small rig, are very social people, they wave at each other, they like nature and moving around. They adore their rig and love to make them shine ! I'm not sure yet, but I'm starting to believe that there is some secret cult around those camping equipment. Maybe when I finally get mine, I will be invited to join !
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:53 AM   #39
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Rephrase previous post with Trillium ...or any small FG trailer !
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:19 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Mireille L View Post
But a Boler or any other small camper can be so funky to !
'Cause I do love funky style camping !

Not mine, but look at this one !

giving a boler a touch of nature. | light & soul
It's beautiful, but it sure made a lot of tape and empty, unrecyclable spray cans for the trash...though I guess those cans don't use ozone-depleting gases, and the heat was turned off for the garage's open door!

Quite artistic, but I'd prefer the subdued look of the original.
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