SMALL post about BIG improvement for beloved Syncro & family’s camping lifestyle!

August 5, 2011

It has taken me a month or so to realize I suck at blogging. I have realized this but am going to press on nonetheless, in hopes that there will be something to look back on after this van is looking as sweet as I plan it to look. Plus, this really is a VERY EXCITING process!!

Sooooo, the pop-top was installed! Basically, for those who’ve stumbled upon this blog, I’ve purchased a ’87 VW Syncro 7-passenger van and am converting it into a sweet camping machine. We have saved the body work for later and tackled the “Westy pop-top” first.

Just wanna say, that North Westy in Renton rules! Kirk Meeks is the owner down there and they do great work, are honest and stand by the work they do (wow, i know, rare these days!). Web-site:

Here’s a few pics of what they did:

Notice the great color match they did on the once red camper top? Very nice! They also did some touch-up paint on the two primer strips on the driver’s side of the van and I’ll try to get some pics up of that the next time I post (hopefully soon!).

Future work to be done (so much that I probably won’t be able to think of it all right now):

-rust remediation and dent removal

-new paint job (color still yet to be decided on)

-roof cage with two bars in the middle for having the option of attaching my big ®Thule cargo carrier:

-rip off old bumpers and substitute with a custom pipe bumper that will fit up to three normal size gas containers to slot in the front:

-attach hidden hitch to front and back for a variety of accessories (bike rack, winch, etc…):

-new windshield

-complete remodel of interior of van (swapping inside blue panels with grey weekender/carat panels and dark grey carpet in front, wood or heavy duty rubber mat floors and custom headliner that…will have a world map screen printed on it–North & South America & a bit of Antarctica above driver/passenger, Europe & Africa & bigger portion of Antarctica under fold out portion of pop-top camper bed and Asia & Russia & the rest of Antarctica in back. North & South America will be conveniently placed above our heads to put tacks into the states (AND FUTURE COUNTRIES) the Syncro travels through!

-New stereo system (I installed the new antenna a couple days ago and got rid of that ugly & dangerous jousting thingy that threatened to take an eye out)

-Weekender seat, table and storage:

-Deep cycle battery in extra battery compartment under drivers seat, trickle charged and inverter for 110 power

-ABR fridge:

-ABR awning:

-custom cabinet behind passenger seat to go over fridge/freezer that will have a cutting board block on a hinge that will swing outside for putting coleman stove on and chopping/preparing food

-Make-shift sink on top of custom cabinet behind passenger seat (probably just a larger camel pack with back-pack straps attaching to passenger seat head-rest) with drainage out-side

-LED lights circling outer ceiling of the interior

-last but not least: swapping the current 2.2 liter Subaru engine that’s in the Syncro now with the 2.5 in my Forester, whose transmission is on it’s last leg, if not it’s last pinky toe…

OK, maybe I did think of just about everything. And, I guess this post was longer than anticipated…I just got excited thinking about everything again. Now, of course this all is going to take something I’m not super privy to at the moment: cash. But, we’ll get there…

That’s it for now. I’m hoping to be around North Westy a bit more in the upcoming months (maybe years 🙂 as a helping hand. They just moved into their first official shop (right next to R&R rentals in Renton: 4111 Sunset Blvd, Renton, WA) while trying to accommodate their increasingly growing list of customers, so they’re pretty busy and in need of some help. Needless to say, I’m hoping to put some more exciting pics AND VIDEOS of the very cool magic they perform there!


One Response to “SMALL post about BIG improvement for beloved Syncro & family’s camping lifestyle!”

  1. Marius said

    Nice, just stumbled on your blog from TheSamba.

    Judging by your pictures, it looks like you might be an east-sider. I think I recognized the Overlake mall in one of the photos – let me know if you want to get together sometime if you need any help with the rig.

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