In November 2013 one of our dreams came true. We purchased a 2000 VW Eurovan Camper. We had been talking about it jokingly for years and years. There was even a little bus toy in our downstairs bathroom that I would play with while I, ahem, yup. But, I NEVER thought it would happen. ‘Twas a but a fun pastime Pam and I shared to put a smile on each other’s faces.
While I was out on the road playing music with my friends, Pammie spied a squeaky clean, Colorado bred, ’00 Eurovan right here on the seacoast of Maine. WTF!?! Zoiks! She told me about it but I poo-pooed it BIGTIME! “Too old…too expensive” I crowed. Pam is patient…and tolerant!
As it turned out, quite serendipitously, I had the opportunity to drive a Rialta while on the road. The band I was with borrowed one to travel from Seattle to Portland. I drove that puppy in a torrential downpour, loaded with musicians, wives and gear and everyone arrived alive, relaxed and ready to play! The thing was a TANK! Too big and cushy for my tastes but quite impressive on the road.
Meanwhile, as I texted, emailed and Facebooked videos and pics of the Rialta, Pam was back on the home front keeping an eye on the ’00 Eurovan lurking around Eliot. She inquired at Thompson’s Auto about the price and condition of the vehicle. The guys at Thompson’s thought the price that the owner was asking was outrageous but they said the van was very clean and in great mechanical shape.
So, I get back from Seattle and we agree to take a look at the Eurovan. We meet the owner at his house in Kittery and take a spin out 103, over to route 95, down 95 to the Eliot exit and back over to Kittery. We both loved it, but, we already knew we would! After dropping the owner off back at his house, Pam and I started scheming. We had to have the vehicle checked out by the Seacoast’s greatest VW garage. It had to go to Doug Bennett and Kevin over at European Auto for a full checkup!
Doug is not a fan of the Eurovan at all. Seems the vehicle is too heavy for the drivetrain is his opinion and many of them develop a problem with the timing chain getting stretched out and gears getting mashed up and all hell breaking loose with possible repair bills in the $4000+ range. CURSES! The check engine light IS on in the van and, clearly, it’s a lost cause and I’m a little relieved because I’m not going to have to part with my meager retirement savings to make this puppy mine. Fahk it! It’s a junker. Take it back to it’s owner and call it a day. PHEW! Close one!
Well, seems that Kevin is going to do the Eurovan once over so hang tight and let’s see what he has to say. He pokes, prods, wiggles, climbs under and over and then we take her for a spin. Kevin is not as down on the Eurovan as Doug. He says this one looks mighty clean, has been well taken care of and looks like it’s got no major issues as far as he can see. He resets the the check engine light before we take it for a spin and says the codes are minor and nothing to really worry about. Whaaaa?! Shit! I may have to buy this thing! Kevin checks a bit more, notices some rust around the windshield and says that’ll have to be fixed soon but, other than that, she’s clean!
That’s all I needed! I haggled with the owner a bit on price. Had him compensate for a new windshield and a few other things. When we agreed on the final price, we had to scramble to get some money together! My initial plan was to call the guy in charge of my .02 and beg him to let me take the money I needed out of my retirement account. FORTUNATELY, he talked me out of THAT! He came up with another plan altogether and, lo and behold, it actually WORKED!!!
After a bit of scrambling, deck repairing, bank haranguing, etc., on November 8th, 2013, I rode my bike over to Kittery and relieved the owner of his Eurovan and Pam and I became the new owners. It was a bittersweet moment. The previous owner had bought the vehicle brand new and had put every mile on this puppy, with his family, all over the Colorado area. They HATED to see it go! I felt kinda terrible about their loss but I also felt kind of INCREDIBLE about our new van! So, now you know how the dream came true!
I have read TONS of stuff about the VW Transporter line. I am not going to try to add anything to that literature. It’s all over the web, in books, the stuff of legend and so much more. All I’m going to do here is document some of our travels so you can enjoy them too. If you do, let us know or share them with someone who would enjoy them! HAPPY TRAILS!