In our early years as a German auto repair shop we had a few VW Vanagon Westfalia campers that found their way in for repair. It turned out to be a good fit as each technician in the shop has owned at least one, if not several, Vanagons over the years. We all thoroughly enjoy the ability to travel long distances comfortably in a small and efficient package. Realizing how many Vanagons were in the Whatcom county area we were enthusiastic to see more of them in for maintenance and repair. When a local VW shop owner retired, he recommended us to take over his loyal Vanagon customers and our business grew quickly as a result.
Then came the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter…
Because we are a German repair shop, it only made sense to start working on Sprinter vans, as well as researching and tackling the common issues they were facing as they began to age. After seeing a few Sprinter based campers, we became intrigued with the possibilities of building our own Sprinter camper conversions. A newly minted father, Matt was the first to move up from a Vanagon to the more spacious Sprinter platform—the “guinea pig” so to speak. We quickly familiarized ourselves with the vast array of specific parts and alterations necessary to turn a Sprinter into a capable family camper. Together, we quickly became well versed in the many options and vendors that would supply us with everything we needed. A year later, I was offered an older Sprinter that required a lot of repairs and elbow grease. The winter of 2016 was the right time, so we transformed the low roof first generation Sprinter into “Yeller”—the fully outfitted yellow Sprinter you see here.
In June of 2016, we thought it would be a lot of fun to have a celebration of all things van. We decided to host the inaugural “Vanapalooza” event for all our van owning customers and friends. To our complete surprise, roughly 80 vans showed up from all over western Washington. Everything from vintage 60s and 70s domestic campers, a vast array of custom conversions, aggressive pop-top 4x4 offroad GMC Safaris, Sprinters, Transits, ProMasters, some fully restored VW 21 window busses, and even a full size Isuzu FTR ‘home conversion’ (outfitted with a wood stove and sleeping for 6) showed up for music, camaraderie, and overnight camping.
After successfully completing those two Sprinter conversions and hosting the successful Vanapalooza event, we saw an exponential increase in van owning customers. Finally, we made the move to help our customers in their quest for the perfect rolling weekend home: The creation of Northwest European Vanworks—a new addition to our business that would focus on service, repair and outfitting of the modern camper van.
Northwest European Vanworks has done everything from roof racks and lighting to complete interior conversions. On a number of vans, we have installed more aggressive tire and wheel combinations, and higher performance suspension and lift kits for off road camping. These modifications have made it possible for our customers to better enjoy the local back country camping spots.
Please contact us about maintenance, repair, and outfitting for your camper van!