We love it when we spot vintage vans and motorhomes like ours on the road or at festivals and shows. On this page we’ve now got over 90 pictures of older (pre 2000) RVs, motorhomes and campervans that we’ve come across on our travels.
If you’re still at the stage of looking for a campervan or motorhome, our gallery will give you some idea of what’s out there.
The fact is that there are still many great older vans on the road and bargains to be had!
We picked up our VW Cree for just £6000. Most of the classic motorhomes and campervans you’ll see here would fall into the £5K to £10K price range.
Just to say that if your campervan or motorhome is here we hope you don’t mind us showing it! And if you’d like to add your van to our gallery just get in touch.
To make it easier for you to view this page, we’ve added a table of contents below so you can go straight to the vans you’d like to see the most…
All photographs are © Copyright Motorhome Hobos 2021
- Van #1 – A 1991/92 Fiat-Talbot Elddis 300 – seen in Stowmarket, Suffolk
- Van #2 – A Fiat/Talbot seen in Lavenham, Suffolk
- Van #3 – A VW T4 ‘rat’ style, seen at Woolpit carboot sale, Suffolk
- Van #4 – A 1978 T2 Red Cross ambulance, seen at ‘Alive and V-Dubbing’ Festival
- Van #5 – A 1994 Peugeot, again seen in Stowmarket
- Van #6 – An old Talbot on the way to France
- Van #7 – A wonderful moment in Bonnie Scotland!
- Van #8 – A lookalike of our Cree!
- Van #9 – Small is beautiful (so they say!)
- Vans #10 and #11 – A Talbot and Fiat at one of our wild camping places!
- Van #12 – A Mercedes ‘Hymer’?
- Van #13 – A VW T4 ‘Kiowa’ in Ipswich, Suffolk
- Van #14 – A VW T4 ‘Compass/Navigator’
- Vans #15 and #16 – A Fiat/Talbot Kontiki and a ‘Coachman’
- Van #17 – Another Talbot!
- Van #18 – An Autotrail Fiat Ducato
- Van #19 – Another Fiat/Talbot Elddis 300
- Van #20 – A VW T2 Campervan (‘bay window’)
- Van #21 – Another Cree! At last!
- Van #22 – A Cree lookalike – a VW Comanche!
- Van #23 – A Mercedes Sprinter
- Van #24 – A Chevy Express 3500!
- Van #25 – A Fiat Ducato ‘auto-roller’
- Van #26 – An LDV Convoy at Shotley Marina
- Van #27 – Another Chevy!
- Van #28 – VW T3 Westfalia
- Van #29 – A VW T4 long wheel base
- Van #30 – A VW LT35 at Dunwich
- Van #31 – Another VW T3 Westfalia
- Van #32 – A classic VW T2 campervan
- Van #33 – Another classic VW!
- Van #34 – Yet another VW T3!
- Van #35 – A Fiat Ducato
- Van #36 – A VW T3 (off-roader?!)
- Van #37 – A Fiat/Talbot Swift
- Van #38 – A Bedford Rascal Campervan
- Van #39 – A Peugeot Boxer (?)
- Van #40 – Another VW Navigator – as seen on TV!
- Van #41 – A gorgeous VW T3
- Van #42 – A trusty old Ford Transit campervan
- Van #43 – Another VW T3 – seen in Dolgellau, Wales
- Van #44 – An old Talbot seen at Felixstowe
- Van #45 – A VW double-cab pick-up
- Van #46 – Another VW T3
- Van #47 – A Ford Transit ‘stealth’ van
- Van #48 – A Bedford CF 250 – a true vintage!
- Van #49 – Another old Talbot
- Van #50 – A VW T2 Microbus Deluxe
- Van #51 – A Talbot Express ‘Rambler’
- Van #52 – ‘Mr Orange’ VW T3 van
- Van #53 – A Fiat ‘mini’ campervan
- Van #54 – Another VW T3
- Van #55 – A Peugoet ‘Kontiki’
- Van #56 – Another VW Cree!
- Van #57 – Iveco Daily Campervan
- Van #58 – A Renault Trafic
- Vans #59 and #60 – 2 more VW T4s
- Van #61 – A Leyland DAF 200 series
- Van #62 – Another Renault!
- Vans #63 and #64 – Two more classic VW campervans
- Vans #65 and #66 – two VW T3’s at Old Felixstowe
- Van #67 – Another classic VW T2
- Van #68 – A VW T3 in Bury St. Edmunds
- Van #69 – A Fiat Hymer
- Van #70 – A VW T4 at the Christmas Lights Cruise
- Vans #71 and #72 – VW T2 and T3 on the Christmas Cruise
- Van #73 – A Ford Transit seen at Felixstowe
- Van #74 – a Fiat Kontiki
- Van #75 – A Talbot Autotrail ‘Cheyenne’
- Van #76 – a Mazda Bongo called Betty
- Van #77 – A VW T4 Compass Navigator 310
- Van #78 – Another VW T3 pick-up
- Van#79 – A Toyota Granvia campervan
- Van #80 – A Renault Rapido
- Van #81 – A VW LT35 campervan
- Van #82 – A Dodge/Renault 50
- Van #83 – A Talbot Express – FOR SALE!
- Van #84 – A 1980 Mercedes 508D – FOR SALE!
- Van #85 – An LDV Pilot campervan
- Van #86 – A Winnebago Chieftain!
- Van #87 – Talbot Autosleeper Executive
- Van #88 – A VW T-25 Subaru!
- Van #89 – A Ford Transit campervan
- Van #90 – A Classic VW Type 1 ‘split screen’!
- Van #91 – Iveco Daily campervan
- Get your vintage van in our gallery!
Van #1 – A 1991/92 Fiat-Talbot Elddis 300 – seen in Stowmarket, Suffolk
We’ve seen this vintage van a few times round town and have only just figured out that it’s a Fiat/Talbot.
The styling is much like a Mercedes Hymer.
The rest of the coach-build is of that period, much like our ’92 VW Cree, though we’re not sure if there’s an overcab sleeping area with this older van. It’s right hand drive and it looks like you enter the van via the hab door. Note: there is no actual driver’s door!
We suppose that’s one of the things we like about older, vintage vans and motorhomes – the quirky features that you simply don’t see on more modern vehicles.
Van #2 – A Fiat/Talbot seen in Lavenham, Suffolk
We believe this is a Fiat/Talbot, seen in the picturesque tourist village of Lavenham, village of the crooked houses.
It’s all the way from Germany and is in fantastic condition but, because of the German plate, we don’t know the exact year of the vehicle.
Looks like a mid to late 80s model. And is that a pop-up roof?
Van #3 – A VW T4 ‘rat’ style, seen at Woolpit carboot sale, Suffolk
We loved this and took lots of photos from different angles, every one of which showed something new and unusual. We could have spent hours taking note of all the very interesting details and features.
It looks like it’s all been done by hand. Marvellous! This isn’t just another T4, this is one of a kind!
It’s a 90/91 model on an H plate, possibly one of the first T4s? Thirty years old and still going strong!
Van #4 – A 1978 T2 Red Cross ambulance, seen at ‘Alive and V-Dubbing’ Festival
We go to Alive and V Dubbing at Haughley Park most years and there’s always a great mix of all things VW, from classic Beetles and campers, right through to things like this T2 ambulance or, as they say in Deutschland, Krankenwagon.
Surely this does rightly qualify as ‘vintage’?
We have yet to see another Cree, though, at the festival. We joke that we’re, “The only Cree in the village.”
Seriously though, if there are other Crees out there – or if you’d like to share a picture of your van, no matter the make or model – post a photo on our facebook page and we’ll put it up on here. It just needs to be pre 2000. That’s the only qualification.
Van #5 – A 1994 Peugeot, again seen in Stowmarket
In excellent condition and probably 5 or 6 berth, we love these older Peugeots. Something like this would have been on our radar had we not got the VW Cree.
It’s a couple of years newer than our van but you can still see the similar coachbuilt styling. And it has the same ‘Autotrail’ symbol on the front, over the cab.
Van #6 – An old Talbot on the way to France
We were on our way to Wales, parked up somewhere off the M4 at a service station, when this Talbot drew up beside us. We got talking – like you do – and they were heading from Wales and were on the way to Southern France.
It gave us hope that we might be able to do this ourselves (we’ve not been out of the UK in Cree yet). And with the Talbot being the same age, surely our van would get us there and back? “Ye of little faith”, we hear Cree saying!
The Talbot here is very similar to the one we looked at before getting our VW. But when water kept dripping from the ceiling we walked away. The story is told in our free ebook.
Van #7 – A wonderful moment in Bonnie Scotland!
Driving through the Cairngorms, we saw what we first thought was another Cree parked up at Balmoral. We turned around and raced back to check. It turned out to be a ‘Cherokee’ (on the left, above).
Virtually the same body on the outside (except for the positioning of the hab door and size of windows), the Cherokee however, has a very different interior layout.
The best thing about this chance meeting – apart from spending an inordinate amount of time looking at each other’s vans – is that we made some lovely new friends who are as passionate about older, vintage vans and motorhomes (and VWs in particular) as we are.
The vans look happy to have met each other, too!
Talking of Scotland, we wouldn’t have had such an epic time without the guidance of Martin Dorey’s excellent book, ‘Take the Slow Road’. It’s a book you must take with you on your travels north of the border…
Van #8 – A lookalike of our Cree!
From a distance we thought we’d seen it – another Cree! Coach-built, obviously by Autotrail, with blue lines – same as ours – and it’s even got the same ladder and similar roof rack.
On closer inpection it turned out to be a Talbot, seen here parked up in St. Botolph’s car park in Colchester. We’ve seen this van a few times since, up and down the A12 and A14 and we always give it a wave.
Van #9 – Small is beautiful (so they say!)
Parked up in Wivenhoe, Essex, this little 89/90 Bedford campervan is a fine example of something Trudi wanted herself.
We’d seen a white one at Rendlesham Forest and it looked so much cosier and more practical than a tent Trudi had been used to lugging about herself at Download Festival for a number of years!
We looked inside…perfect…for one person! Just about!
Vans #10 and #11 – A Talbot and Fiat at one of our wild camping places!
These two vans are always parked up at a location in Suffolk where we sometimes wild camp. They never seem to move!
Van #10, the first here, is a ’93 Talbot. We wonder if someone lives in it and maybe works in the area. Van #11 is an F reg (1988) Fiat Ducato.
Both these vans are in reasonable condition. Are they yours? Do you use them? It would be great to hear your story!
Van #12 – A Mercedes ‘Hymer’?
We spotted this driving into Shotley Marina, near Ipswich. It’s certainly got the look of a Hymer but we didn’t see this written anywhere. It’s got a huge windscreen and side cab windows that resemble a greenhouse! We wonder if it gets hot under the sun?
Hymers are another model we considered before getting our VW. We’ve heard good things about them and we love their ‘Winnebago’ styling. This one is left-hand drive from 1981. Nearly forty years old and it looks great!
Maybe we’ll look into joining The Classic Camper Club?
UPDATE FROM THE OWNER! We were thrilled to hear from the owner, a Mr John S. who said…
I have just seen these pictures and picture number 12 is my old motor home. It’s a FFB TABBERT MC 8 ON A MERCEDES 308. We live in Bristol and we were up in Ipswich for a golden wedding party and had a little ride around. I’ve owned it for 13 years and love it. Just downloaded your book and loved it.
Thanks John! Hope you enjoyed Suffolk and glad you liked our free ebook. All the best!
Van #13 – A VW T4 ‘Kiowa’ in Ipswich, Suffolk
We had to do a double take on this one! Was it a Cree? Gav turned round and drove back to get the picture.
Turns out it’s a ‘Kiowa’, another VW named after a Native American tribe, like our Cree. It seemed to be a trend of Autotrail’s at the time, other vans being called Cheyenne, Mohawk, Cherokee, and Lokota.
Notice how the overcab design is different than ours, even though it’s only a year newer, this being a 93 model.
The van is in beautiful condition on the outside and, we suspect, it’s been just as well looked after inside.
Van #14 – A VW T4 ‘Compass/Navigator’
Awaiting a clean at a local car handwashing place, or otherwise lived in by one of the workers there?
We couldn’t resist taking a quick snapshot of this VW T4 coachbuilt as it’s very similar to our Cree, though, undoubtedly, the layout inside will be different. The van is in good condition and, although obscured in the picture, Gav snuck a look at the plate – an N reg (1995/96).
As we keep saying, good older vans our out there!
Vans #15 and #16 – A Fiat/Talbot Kontiki and a ‘Coachman’
Seen at the same place as the VW above, these two look great side by side. We suspect they’re being lived in, and why not? Perfectly big enough.
The Talbot is one of those 6-berth models. We love these and there are some fantastic models still on the road.
The Coachman is even bigger! It’s huge, more like a US Winnebago. A full-time van-dweller, surely?
Van #17 – Another Talbot!
We spotted this coming back from Bawdsey. Yes, another Talbot.
On a K plate, this model looks to be in very good nick. It’s similar in design to the one we tested before getting our Cree. We hope this one doesn’t have condensation dripping from the ceiling! We talk about this is our free ebook.
The coachbuild is very much like our own, minus the front window above the cab.
Van #18 – An Autotrail Fiat Ducato
Another lovely older van spotted in our home town, this is a 96/97 Fiat in really good condition. As we keep saying, good, older vans are out there!
This is coach-built by Autotrail, same builders as our Cree.
If you look closely you’ll see a large branch-scratch along the side near the top. Our old van has similar scratches. It’s something you really can’t avoid, especially if you’re driving along narrow country lanes and meet someone coming the other way.
Van #19 – Another Fiat/Talbot Elddis 300
Same as van #1 above, this is another good example, spotted in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The number plate looks private so we’re not sure if the N means 1995 though it is of that era.
We can see from this one that there is a proper hab door along the side into the ‘living quarters’ whilst both front passenger and driver enter the cab through what look like smaller hab doors. Typical Italian/French quirkiness.
Van #20 – A VW T2 Campervan (‘bay window’)
Another oldie spotted in our home town. Indeed, we often go past this one, parked up on the roadside.
It seems to be having some repairs done to its paintwork. A true 1971 vintage, we love this little van even in its current condition. Full of character and charm. We wonder if it’ll be fully restored?
Perhaps we’ll have ‘before and after’ pictures? We’ll keep you posted.
Van #21 – Another Cree! At last!
Finally, we hear of another VW Cree! Ben contacted us via our Facebook page and told us he’d just bought his and kindly sent us some pictures. Like when we acquired ours, he’s got to sort some damp issues!
Ben’s Cree is slightly different to ours though…
He’s lucky enough to have an awning on the side (ours doesn’t). There’s a second air ventilation grill (ours has only the one) and there looks like a large skylight or solar panel on the roof. And the blue stripes on the cab have gone, possibly covered in a respray?
The other pics Ben has sent us shows that this Cree is an ‘M’ reg, 94/95, model and she’s looking sweet. Enjoy it and good luck sorting the damp issue.
UPDATE SEPT 2020: Ben is thinking about adding a turbo as he’s had the same problem as us when it comes to going up hills! Let us know how you get on Ben!
Van #22 – A Cree lookalike – a VW Comanche!
We couldn’t believe it! Is it another Cree, just round the corner from our home, we wondered?
Well, not quite. Although identical from a distance, this is a VW Comanche. Notice the hab door is positioned close to the back, compared to the Cree in the picture above.
We daren’t get any closer to take the picture because we wondered if people were in it (notice the open skylight). This one is an H reg (1990) and is looking great.
Van #23 – A Mercedes Sprinter
We got speaking to Emile who had spent the whole of lockdown in his S reg Mercedes Sprinter at Bawdsey Quay!
A full time van-dweller, he told us he’d bought it for only £350 and kitted it out himself and with the help of some friends.
It had never let him down, despite several trips around Europe and his next destination is Greece.
Mercedes Sprinters are one of the most popular vans for DIY conversion. We’ve recently partnered up with a van design company with incredible software that lets you see what your van conversion ideas will look like…
Van #24 – A Chevy Express 3500!
Gav’s son, Isaac, spotted this in the Co-Op car park at Elmswell in Suffolk. We soon got talking to owner, Pete, who told us it was a 6.5 litre V-8 ex flat-bed truck from the US army. The previous owner had turned it into a proper American RV.
It’s got a ’97 plate on it and Pete says it’ll do about 20 mpg (if he’s lucky!) He drives all the way to Italy where he lives in the van over winter and spends his time jumping off mountains for fun!
Thanks for telling us your story, Pete, and this Chevy is a great looking beast of a van!
Van #25 – A Fiat Ducato ‘auto-roller’
We have to admit it was the number plate that caught our attention with this one! Looks like ‘Big Poo’ from a distance! (You don’t see POO on number plates anymore. Why not?)
So, E reg makes it a 1987/88 model – four years older than our VW – and it looks great for the age. Notice the big plastic side trim that matches the front bumper, typical of Fiat (and also Peugeot) body styling at the time.
We spotted this van on a trip out to Shotley on the Suffolk Coast. Let us know if she’s your van and tell us a bit about her!
Van #26 – An LDV Convoy at Shotley Marina
It must have been a good day out for older vans. This one was photographed on the same day as the Fiat, above.
It’s a 1999 LDV Convoy so just qualifies for our vintage van page. LDVs were derived from British Leyland Sherpa vans, commonly used in the UK by the Post Office and other utility companies.
Today, this van has its own unique styling and we had to chuckle at the lettering on the side that says, ‘Temperamental – half temper and half mental’.
It’s the same type of van Van Dog Traveller drives. See our review of his book How to Live in a Van and Travel.
Van #27 – Another Chevy!
We’ve walked past this several times in our home town of Stowmarket and always admired it. We thought it was about time we took a pic and added it to this gallery.
We don’t know the model but it’s an M reg (1994) and says ‘Astro’ on the side. It’s not a big van but would make for a great road trip. Do the seats fold down to make a bed, we wondered? Perhaps you can let us know.
The styling is unmistakably American – it’s left hand drive – and we love the colour. And look at those fantastic wheels! Beautiful.
Van #28 – VW T3 Westfalia
What a beauty this little van is and she’s currently up for sale (end of July 2020).
We spotted this parked up at Stonham Barns in Suffolk and couldn’t resist going over to take a pic. She’s in immaculate condition with what looks like a recent respray which has been done to a very high standard.
There’s a bright yellow ‘For Sale’ poster on the back window. It’s a B reg, 1984 and looks superb in and out. Get along to Stonham if you want to snap her up!
Van #29 – A VW T4 long wheel base
This van was also spotted at Stonham and it proved to be the start of an epic day for seeing older vans.
This VW T4 has a long wheel base and looks great. We love the colour and it shines like it’s just been waxed. If it’s your van can you let us know what polish you use please?
We also like the black stone chip protector on the bonnet. Something our van could do with!
1997 and looking as fresh as when she left the factory. That’s VW for you!
Van #30 – A VW LT35 at Dunwich
From Stonham Barns we headed along the Suffolk Tourist Route, then up the A12 to Dunwich where we spotted the next six vans in this gallery. It seems to be a van-spotters paradise!
Taking a picture of this M-reg VW LT35 was the first thing we did when we arrived.
We later got chatting with Julian, owner for six years, who told us her name is ‘Broada – The Roaring Tortoise’. Despite some rust which, we think, gives her even more character, she easily gets the family to France and back without a problem. These engines seem to run forever!
Nice talking with you, Julian, and we’d love to know more about Broada. Contact us here.
Need some stuff for your campervan?
Van #31 – Another VW T3 Westfalia
For a while, it seemed like everyone with a VW van were turning up at Dunwich on the same day, like some kind of van-fest. Perhaps we were making up for the cancelled ‘Alive and V-Dubbing‘ show this year?
This beaut is possibly from our ancestral home as it had Welsh stickers on the rear window. Lovely colour and we liked the white rings on the tyres; makes it stand out and gives it real style. Nice finishing touch with those curtains too!
If this is your van we’d love to hear more about it. (Yes, that’s our Cree in the background!)
Van #32 – A classic VW T2 campervan
It wasn’t easy to get the best view of this classic VW camper and by the time the car park had cleared a bit she had up and left.
It might not be the best pic but she still deserves a place in our gallery. She’s a 1970 H reg model and is in immaculate condition. Whoever has done the respray has done a mighty fine job.
Looks like there is a pop-up roof as well, though we didn’t get to see this open up. And the suspension has been lowered but not ridiculously so.
Sounded lovely when she drove off and we’d love to have the chance to take a better pic next time.
Van #33 – Another classic VW!
And at the other end of the car park was yet another classic VW! Told you it was like a VW Fest!
Like the one above, this T2 ‘bay window’ looks superb and also has a pop-up roof but there’s no lowered suspension here.
She’s an R-reg, making her a 1977 model, and we reckon she’ll be on the road for several more decades. If she’s your van we’d love to hear more about her. Contact us here.
Van #34 – Yet another VW T3!
Yes, and still at Dunwich on the same day, another VW turned up.
This one is either a work in progress or is happy to be part of the ‘rat-pack’ look. It’ll be interesting to see it a few months down the line.
It’s got a V plate making it a 1979/80 model and we’re not sure if the roof pops up on this one. Notice the gap on the roof between the cab and the living quarters. What do you reckon?
Van #35 – A Fiat Ducato
VW’s dominance at Dunwich was finally ended when this E reg (1987) Fiat Ducato arrived. And what a wonderful van!
The picture – taken through our hab window – doesn’t do it justice as she is in really lovely condition and has been well looked after or restored. (Sorry, we really didn’t mean to pry but we simply had to add your van to our gallery! And we’d love to know more about her).
As we keep saying, good older vans are out there. You’ve just got to take your time and keep looking!
Van #36 – A VW T3 (off-roader?!)
We spotted this G reg VW T3 on a walk through a new estate in Stowmarket. We had to cut down a cul-de-sac to get the pic but it had to be done. What a great van!
The two-tone black and white paint job is well finished and we just love those chunky tyres, ready for off-roading, we reckon! Not to mention the ‘bull bar’ bumper on the front. Superb.
This old V-Dub really does look like it could take on the world! A no-nonsense machine, ready for anything.
Van #37 – A Fiat/Talbot Swift
Coming out of Colchester and into Lexden, we quickly pulled over and took a snap shot of this 1988 Fiat/Talbot.
It’s similar to the one we test-drove before getting our VW Cree. Let’s hope this one doesn’t have water dripping from the ceiling! (Read the full-story in our free ebook)
It looks like there is a twin ‘Dixie’ horn on the roof if you look closely. Now that, we would love to hear! Can you imagine cruising along the road in your van sounding like the Duke’s of Hazard!? Or a great way to announce your arrival at a camp site!
Van #38 – A Bedford Rascal Campervan
On one of our many trips to Bawdsey in Suffolk, we spotted this lovely little Bedford Rascal. And what unique styling she has!
We had a lovely chat with Adam and Sharon, the owners, who had come all the way from Kent. They told us the van had originally been beige in colour. Now it looks fab as a mini Tudor house on wheels.
When Adam and Sharon are not on the road participating in historical re-enactments, the van doubles up as a farm-hand, shifting stuff about on Sharon’s daughter’s farm. There’s more room in these little Rascal’s than you’d think. Indeed, Adam describes it as a Tardis.
It was great meeting you guys and we’d love to know more about the van and hear more of your adventures. Get in touch with us here!
Van #39 – A Peugeot Boxer (?)
Again at Bawdsey, we saw this Peugeot and we are guessing it’s a Boxer Autostratus coach-built by Elddis. It’s a P reg, making it a 1997 model and she appears to be in lovely condition.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this van here beside the river. In fact, it seems to be a permanent fixture!
It was on this visit that we were unable to park our van. We headed off to another wild-camping spot, only to find it now had signs up saying ‘No Overnight Staying’ and there was a locked gate keeping everyone out! So, we headed for option 3 and luckily had a good night without trouble.
But the thing is wild camping in a motorhome is getting tougher. What’s your take on it? We’ve put together a short questionnaire and would love to hear your wild camping experiences.
Van #40 – Another VW Navigator – as seen on TV!
For van#40 we thought we’d do something a little different. It might seem a bit nerdy but Gav couldn’t help himself with this one.
Whilst watching the BBC series – Ibiza Dreams – this van appeared on the screen. Gav pressed the pause button and took a picture in true van-spotter’s style.
Another shot tells us it’s a 1994 M reg and we love the big hab window that opens right up, like it’s an ice-cream van. Perfect for Ibiza weather.
Van #41 – A gorgeous VW T3
We parked up at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre in Wales and spotted this little beauty straight away.
The owner was sat inside chatting to the people in the van beside her so we waited to take the picture. We hope you don’t mind!
Looks like she’s had a gorgeous re-spray job, done to the highest standard and we love that pop-top roof. A G reg, so that makes her 1989/90, possibly one of the last T3s?
Van #42 – A trusty old Ford Transit campervan
On our latest trip to Wales (August 2020) we headed up the West Coast, stopping at Llandanwg to visit the little church in the sand dunes, resting place for our Roberts’ ancestors.
On the way back we spotted this N reg (1995) Ford Transit ‘Auto-Sleeper’. Because of its length – almost as long as our VW Cree – we assume it must sleep four.
That looks like a sleeping area above the cab, though there are no windows. Can you tell us otherwise?
Van #43 – Another VW T3 – seen in Dolgellau, Wales
Yet another T3, and just as immaculate as the last.
We turned up at Bryn Y Gwyn campsite in Dolgellau and snapped this straight away.
We were intrigued by the bar below the bumper. Looks like a row of LED lights?
Y reg, making this a 1982/83, and she’s looking marvellous.
Van #44 – An old Talbot seen at Felixstowe
We’ve passed this elder of the tribe a few times on the way into Felixstowe, Suffolk.
On this occasion Gav decided to whizz into the car park close to Lidl and take a few pictures.
This Talbot is the same year as our Cree, J reg, 91/92. She’s had a bit of patching up over the rear wheel arch but otherwise looks in pretty good nick for her age.
A handwritten note in the windscreen says she’s fitted with CCTV so this old girl seems to be well loved and looked after.
Van #45 – A VW double-cab pick-up
What a beauty! We couldn’t believe we spotted this as we walked through Knettishall Heath. It glowed orange through the trees from a distance!
It’s a B reg (1985) VW double-cab pick up with a left-hand drive. It has a Swedish sticker on the side window and we love the black face protector on the front and wooden slatted roof rack. We have no idea what ‘SJ’ means.
She’s in excellent condition and looks well-loved. And if she’s your van we’d love to know more!
Van #46 – Another VW T3
Trudi was busy taking pictures of the Harry Potter house in Lavenham when Gav’s attention was drawn more to this G reg VW T3.
We got speaking to the owner – who had pulled over to take some pics of the house himself – and he told us he’d had the van for four years.
He’s contemplating getting her resprayed. However, the interior is still in lovely condition.
Van #47 – A Ford Transit ‘stealth’ van
As we continued our walk around Lavenham we stumbled upon this Transit campervan in someone’s yard beside the footpath.
It’s K reg, making it a 92/93 model. As was typical of all Fords at the time (cars and vans) there is rust around the wheel arches. (Gav had Escort’s and Cortina’s that suffered the same fate).
Seeing this van got us thinking about owning a more stealth-type vehicle, the sort of van you could park up – even in a town or city – and sleep overnight because nobody would know you’re in there! We might have black glass put in the side window though.
Van #48 – A Bedford CF 250 – a true vintage!
On a drive through Long Melford, Gav spotted this and quickly did a u-turn and pulled over. What a gem!
A 1971 Bedford CF campervan, looking sweet!
These Bedfords were in direct competition with Ford’s Transit vans in the 70s and 80s and we don’t know which were best. What’s your opinion?
The CF was actually ‘the last solely Vauxhall engineered vehicle’, according to Wikipedia, font of all knowledge!
Van #49 – Another old Talbot
We couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of this in someone’s front yard in Stowmarket.
It’s a 1993 L reg Talbot which looks like it’s seen better days! Gav got speaking to the owners who said the hab door got ripped off late one night, coming back in the dark at a festival. Too much beer?!
Although she’s dry inside, the engine needs fixing and she’s currently not roadworthy. Shame. Perhaps this elder of the tribe will one day ride again?
Van #50 – A VW T2 Microbus Deluxe
Wow! Our 50th van picture and what a beauty, spotted at Landguard Point in Felixstowe.
She’s a 1972 K-reg VW T2 all the way from California. Owner, Simon, told us he’d imported her several years ago already in this immaculate condition. Must be the West Coast weather!
He puts her away every winter and she comes out again in May just in time for the annual Ipswich to Felixstowe Classic Vehicle Rally. 2021 will be the 50th anniversary of the rally and we’re hoping to join it ourselves!
We love the little windows on the sides of the roof and the wheels with the circular ventilation holes – a new thing in ’72. And look at the roof itself! We’ve not seen another T2 with that exact styling. Maybe it’s a one-off?
It was a delight to chat with you, Simon and we’d love to know more about the van. Hopefully we’ll see you at the rally!
Read the review of our all-time favourite van life book…
Van #51 – A Talbot Express ‘Rambler’
Gav has always loved these vans and this one was spotted at Asda, Ipswich.
These Talbots were either 2 or 4 berth and we’re not sure what this one is. If it’s your van can you let us know and tell us a bit more?
It’s J reg (same as our VW Cree) making it a 1991/92 model and it looks in really nice condition for the year.
Van #52 – ‘Mr Orange’ VW T3 van
On one of our many trips to Felixstowe, we spotted this VW T3 down a side street overlooking the sea.
Great colour, chunky off-roader tyres, and goes by the name of Mr Orange. (We saw a sticker on the back window).
C reg makes it a 1985/86 and it looks like it’s going to be around for another 30 odd years!
Van #53 – A Fiat ‘mini’ campervan
This was an epic ten minutes of van spotting in Felixstowe! Not only did we spot Mr Orange (above) but we then saw two more vintage vans to add to our gallery.
We’ve called this a ‘mini’ camper because we don’t know the proper name of it. It’s obviously a Fiat (doh) but other than that we have no idea of the model. Can you help us out here?!
Looks like it might just be high enough to stand up in, and is that an over-cab sleeping area?
If she’s your van or you know anything about these Fiats, let us know!
Van #54 – Another VW T3
Just a few yards away we saw this lovely VW T3. Three vans added to the gallery in 10 minutes! Gav was like a kid at Christmas!
This is a 1983/84 T3 and has had an excellent make-over. Or is it all original? If she’s your van let us know.
As we keep saying, good quality vans are out there. You’ve just got to stay patient and trust that the right van will turn up for you.
Van #55 – A Peugoet ‘Kontiki’
During a very windy walk in Southwold on the Suffolk coast we spotted this lovely Peugeot/Talbot. These ‘Kontiki’s’ look very long and we believe they sleep 5 or even 6 people.
This H reg (1990) looks to be in excellent condition, though a hub cap seems to have gone flying somewhere.
We believe the owner was sat inside whilst Gav took this shot. Sorry, but it had to be done! She’s a great looking elder of the tribe and simply had to go into our gallery!
Van #56 – Another VW Cree!
Lee sent us this pic of his VW Cree to our Facebook page! Thanks Lee.
To think, there was a time not so long ago that we thought there were no other Cree’s remaining! Now, along side ours and van #21 in this gallery, we have this beauty.
She’s a J-reg like ours and looks like she’s still got the original pull-out step for the hab door.
Apparently there is an Autotrail VW Facebook group, mostly consisting of Cree owners!
Van #57 – Iveco Daily Campervan
We saw this Iveco ‘Daily’ in Stowmarket and got talking to the owner. He told us he’s only had it four weeks and because of the awful October weather hasn’t been anywhere in it yet. We say get out there, no matter what!
His plan is to change some of the interior layout and put in slightly bigger overhead cupboards. As we chatted his ebay purchase turned up – a set of VW/Audi seats for the cab – the most comfortable he’s ever sat in, so he told us.
This van is R reg (1997), making it a second generation Iveco and she’s in wonderful condition, inside and out. And yes, that is a TV aerial at the back.
Van #58 – A Renault Trafic
The first Renault for our gallery and yes, we’ve spelled Trafic correctly (with one f).
There are several of these Renaults still about but they are usually of the smaller campervan variety. This one is a really neat-looking compact motorhome which we parked next to at Pinecone’s campsite on the north Norfolk coast.
The light was fading when we arrived so it’s not the best picture but we just had to add her to our gallery. She’s a P-reg (1996/97) and if she’s your van we’d love to know more!
Vans #59 and #60 – 2 more VW T4s
We’ve put these two long-base VW T4s together so you can compare and contrast. What a difference!
The first, seen at RSPB Snettisham, is painted a rather Cold War East German Stasi-style grey. (We have friends who spent their childhoods behind the Iron Curtain who’ve told us ‘everything was grey in East Germany’ – and they’re not speaking metaphorically either!)
The second van was seen the next day as we drove through Cromer. Gav pulled over in the rain and got a few pics. He especially wanted to highlight the wide wheels of this ‘rat style’ T4.
Which do you prefer?
Van #61 – A Leyland DAF 200 series
We followed the road from Cromer down to Happisburgh (pronounced Haysborough) and saw this lovely little Leyland DAF sitting in the car park.
Her lights had been left on for some reason. (She’d gone by the time we got back from our walk so no flat battery, thankfully).
These Leylands were often seen being used as Post Office vans and this L reg model could have been one of the first of the 200 series which were made from 1993-1997. Lovely condition and hopefully she’ll be on the road for another decade or longer.
Van #62 – Another Renault!
Like buses, you wait for ages then two come along at once! Just a couple of days after van #58 above, we spotted this Renault Trafic at Asda in Ipswich. However, this one was definitely more campervan-sized than motorhome.
We’ve heard really good things about these Renaults. What’s your opinion? Have you (or do you) own a Renault from this era?
This van is R reg (1997), is in really good condition and looks well loved. She has the name ‘Poppy’ written in bright red on the back. If she’s your van please tell us more about her!
Vans #63 and #64 – Two more classic VW campervans
On our latest trip to Shotley we’d been for a walk and when we returned were delighted to see these two beauties parked up next to our Cree. It was like a little VW convention for an hour or so!
Gav got speaking to the owners, Jackie (who owns the blue van called Flump) and Shelley (owner of the green ‘un), who told him they did the NC500 three years ago at an average 24 miles per gallon.
Shelley’s green camper’s message perfectly echoes our sentiments: ‘This is my happy place’.
Next September we hope to see them both when we join the VW charity-raising parade ‘Run the Ring‘ around the M25.
Vans #65 and #66 – two VW T3’s at Old Felixstowe
On a bright and sunny day in early November (one of few such days this autumn) we made our way to Old Felixstowe and couldn’t believe what we saw! On the horizon, parked up near the cliffs were loads of campervans and motorhomes. It looked like a Van Fest!
Gav got into geek mode and took pics of several vans, including these two T3’s…
The white one is an E reg (1987) Westfalia with a pop top. The owners were sat in the van enjoying the views out to sea.
The yellow one is also a Westfalia and is a W-reg (1981) model. You can just make out all the other vans about on this day. It really was like an impromptu motorhome/campervan convention!
For more about the location check out our Motorhome Guide to Felixstowe, one of our favourite places in Suffolk.
Van #67 – Another classic VW T2
On a walk through our home town Gav stumbled upon this classic 1972 VW T2 ‘Bay Window’ parked in a little car park. Great condition and interesting green bucket seats inside.
We’re wondering if the VW logo has been lost or left off on purpose? Remember those crazy days when VW signs went missing from cars? Did vans suffer the same fate?
Something to do with the Beastie Boys, if memory serves us correctly. Looks like VW has had the last laugh, far outliving those second-rate rappers!
Van #68 – A VW T3 in Bury St. Edmunds
On a trip to our birth town of Bury St. Edmunds we spotted this T3 in the Ram Meadow car park (parked in allocated motorhome spaces). You can park here overnight for £1 but we’re not sure is there are any laws about sleeping in your van.
Her name is Doris and she’s a 1988 F reg. Looks like she’s had a serious hit to the side/rear and both front and back bumpers are missing. Maybe it’s work in progress?
Van #69 – A Fiat Hymer
We were parked up at Old Felixstowe, looking out across the sea when this Hymer turned up. Gav first thought it was a Mercedes but he got speaking to the owners who informed him it is actually a Fiat.
R reg (1997) and looking very nice inside and out. We were curious about there being no driver’s door, like van #1 and van #19 in this gallery. Seems like the only exit for the driver is the hab door. Or maybe you slide across and exit via the passenger side (where there is a door!) Quirky Italians!
And we wondered about that very tall but thin locker door at the back which was less than a foot wide. What goes in there? If you know please tell us!
Van #70 – A VW T4 at the Christmas Lights Cruise
As members of the VW owners’ club, the Suffolk Bugrs, (yes, it’s spelt like that) we attended the Christmas Cruise from Ipswich to Felixstowe. It was great to see so many V-dubs gathering at Anglia Retail Park before heading to the seaside and over £700 was raised for charity.
This T4 is in great condition and is the same year as our van, J reg, 1992. The owners hadn’t had it long and told us the van would stall on the motorways! Never a good thing. They’ve since had it sorted and are ready for some road trips in 2021.
Just to note that the van behind it is the VW T2 Red Cross van, featured earlier in this gallery (van number 4).
Vans #71 and #72 – VW T2 and T3 on the Christmas Cruise
Once in Felixstowe we all lined up along the seafront and enjoyed fish and chips.
Naomi and Andrew – owners of 16 years of the immaculate K reg (1972) red T2 – told Gav her name is Poppy. Fantastically decorated for Christmas, we must say! (Naomi actually runs Suffolk Bugrs, so get in touch with her if you’d like to join the club).
And the brown VW T3 – also in really good nick – was recently purchased for £6000 by a young chap who plans to use it as a mobile shop at festivals, selling T-shirts and the like. Brilliant idea and we wish you good luck with that.
Van #73 – A Ford Transit seen at Felixstowe
Continuing in Felixstowe, we’ve passed this Ford Transit campervan several times on the way toward the older side of the town. On this occasion, Gav pulled over and took a few shots.
It’s a G reg (1989/90) and the coach-build is typical of the time. She’s in nice condition and we were intrigued by the quirky little windows in the over-cab sleeping area. And is that ‘hab’ door original?
If she’s your van we’d love to know more about her. Let us know.
Van #74 – a Fiat Kontiki
Very similar to the other Talbots in our gallery (van #37, van #44, and van #55) this one was spotted in a village near Stowmarket when we went for a drive to check out the local flooding situation (late December 2020).
We’ve always loved these vans and probably would have gone for something like this had our VW Cree not come along. We believe they sleep 5 or even 6 people and this one is in pretty good condition considering she’s over thirty years old. This one is an F reg, making her a 1988/89 model.
See the black lines/streaks on the body work? This seems inevitable with caravans and motorhomes and the best thing we’ve found so far to quickly get rid of them is this stuff called ‘Silky’…
Van #75 – A Talbot Autotrail ‘Cheyenne’
We couldn’t believe it when this Talbot turned up whilst we sat enjoying a cuppa at Redgrave and Lopham Fen. Gav jumped up like a kid getting out of bed on Christmas morning!
It’s not the best picture as the car park was full and Gav couldn’t get the right angle. Still, she had to go into our gallery!
She’s an L reg (1993/94) and the owner told us she cost £7000 at the start of lockdown after their previous van had been damaged beyond repair. The story goes that their neighbour’s vehicle rolled off the driveway and smashed into their beloved former camper. Damn it!
Looks like you’ve got a great replacement, guys, as this van looks to be in really good condition. We noticed she has the exact same rear bumper as our VW Cree. Good old Autotrail! (See more old Autotrail models).
Van #76 – a Mazda Bongo called Betty
After a walk around a very wet fen, Gav spotted this Mazda Bongo. (You can see the Talbot – van #75 – in the background).
Zeb, owner of the van for 6 1/2 years, had brought his family all the way from London to see the murmuration of Starlings (which happens quite often at Redgrave and Lopham).
These Bongos have a ‘pop-top’ roof which gives enough space for the kids to sleep. Zeb fitted the chrome wheel arch covers to hide a small amount of rust – quite common on these Mazdas. We think it’s a nice finishing touch and makes Betty look even more cool!
Good to speak with you, Zeb, and we hope you and the family enjoy many more adventures in Betty!
Van #77 – A VW T4 Compass Navigator 310
Alasdair contacted us and told us the story of finding this treasure of a van sitting in someone’s yard – a 1996/97 VW T4 Compass 310. It had sat idle for five years but started first time and only has 44,000 miles on the clock. It’s hardly run in!
These 2.4 litre T4 engines are known to do a quarter of a million miles so we reckon Alasdair has got years of road tripping in this elder of the tribe.
And the best thing is he picked this beauty up for just £2000! It’s more proof of our belief that good, older vans are out there. Get this cleaned up and it’ll be worth 8 to 10K, at least!
Van #78 – Another VW T3 pick-up
Now, we don’t normally do this – taking pictures of vans in people’s gardens – but this little beauty simply had to go in our gallery. If it’s your van we hope you don’t mind.
We were on a walk through Stowmarket and Gav felt he had to take a picture. It’s a G reg (1989), making this possibly one of the last rear-engine VW vans (before T3s were replaced by front-engined T4s in 1990, much to the disappointment of VW traditionalists).
We especially love the canvas tent-like covering over the back. Superb condition, and we’ll be waving when we pass her on the road!
Van#79 – A Toyota Granvia campervan
Our first Toyota in the gallery! Like the Mazda Bongo (Van #76, above), these little campervans are excellent for solo travellers or petite couples! Parking is easy compared to the big motorhomes and there’s no need to worry about height barriers either!
They are slightly bigger than the Bongo’s and have become popular as an alternative to the VWs for van conversions.
Indeed, these Toyota Granvia’s are actually rather Tardis-like, as the pictures on Autotrader confirm. There’s everything inside that you could possibly need (apart from a loo).
In good condition they still sell for in excess of £10,000. This is a T reg (1998) model and is 4-wheel-drive.
Van #80 – A Renault Rapido
What a lovely thing to find in a garage!
We were contacted by a lady who had found this 1986 Renault Rapido in her late uncle’s garage. She was asking if we knew how much it was worth as she intended to sell it.
It’s in really good condition – inside and out – and has had only two owners from new (35 years!). Not only that, but this van has done only 51,000 miles. You can see the pop-top roof in the picture.
There’s not a lot of info online about these old Renault’s but we did manage to find some pictures of another model.
Van #81 – A VW LT35 campervan
Gav got speaking to Heather, owner of this 1995/96 VW LT35 campervan, at Bawdsey, Suffolk.
She’s called Edie and she’s been all over Greece and several other parts of Europe as well! These VW’s seem to run forever.
Heather bought the van for £3500 with just a few thousand miles on the clock – hardly run in! Inside she’s kitted it out lovely with an old antique chest, rustic wooden ceiling, double bed and a wood-burning stove to keep herself nice and cosy.
Heather is a full-time van-lifer and made an interesting comment about the differences between van-dwelling in the UK and Europe. On the Continent there is so much more freedom. Over here, so much more paranoia, especially around wild-camping, which we suspect will only get worse.
Nice chatting with you, Heather, and we’d love to hear more of your story.
Van #82 – A Dodge/Renault 50
On a recent trip to Walsingham in Norfolk, we stopped off at Swaffham and couldn’t believe our luck! Gav soon got chatting with owner John, a full time van-lifer who had kitted out this 1993 Dodge 50 himself.
This old workhorse (check out those tyres!) has a 4 litre engine and averages 18 miles per gallon. We love the Road-Runner decal on the door!
We spoke briefly about whether he ever gets any hassle from authorities – police and council ‘officials’ – as he always wild camps. But John replied that he’s never had any trouble at all, never even being asked to move on! Well, who would mess with a van like that?!
After a night or two somewhere, he always moves on to a new location – the eternal nomad. Good on you, John!
Lovely chatting with you and enjoy the Peak District and Scotland.
Van #83 – A Talbot Express – FOR SALE!
We were contacted by one of our subscribers who informed us that her 1988 Talbot Express is FOR SALE! ‘Valerie’ has only done 59,000 miles and has a year’s MOT (until April 2022).
She’s had a full safety check and full service and is ready to hit the road!
The owner has recently listed her on Ebay so if you’re keen on finding out more please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the seller.
Just remember, make sure you view any van in person and don’t rely on photographs. Don’t even make an offer or pay a deposit until you’ve seen and test-driven the van yourself.
Van #84 – A 1980 Mercedes 508D – FOR SALE!
This beauty is also for sale!
Another subscriber asked if we could mention her 1980 Mercedes 508D Dudo Breitmaul campervan/bus as she and her partner are now moving to the other side of the world. Sadly, the van won’t be going with them.
It’s a left-hand drive (as you can see in the picture), has done 198,000 km (about 120,000 miles) and because of her age, is MOT exempt.
Contact us if you’d like to know more and we’ll put you in touch with the seller.
Van #85 – An LDV Pilot campervan
With lockdown over here in the UK we were off van-hunting again and spotted this lovely little LDV Pilot campervan during another visit to Felixstowe.
P reg, making her a 1996/97 model, she looks to be in superb condition. We love the little window in the raised roof. You can pick these little beauties up for around £2,500 – £3,000, depending on mileage and overall condition.
If she’s your van, please get in touch and let us know more about her!
Van #86 – A Winnebago Chieftain!
Our first Winnebago!
Spotted in Felixstowe by Hobo Trudi whilst Gav was concentrating on the road, he soon turned round and pulled over and was in van life heaven!
Gav has always loved these old Winny’s and was fortunate enough to have a look inside of one several years ago. Notice the little footstep just behind the front wheel to help you get inside the cab.
This is van #86 in our gallery and coincidentally, this Winnebago is an ’86 model. She looks like she needs some TLC and a good scrub with Silky – the best stuff we’ve found – to remove those black streaks…
Van #87 – Talbot Autosleeper Executive
On a walk through Stowmarket Gav grabbed his phone when he saw this Talbot hurtling towards us!
It’s a K-reg (1993) Talbot Autosleeper Executive and looks to be in mint condition! Gav had actually spoken to the owner a couple of years ago but didn’t have his phone on him at the time so it was good to bump into the old ‘gal again!
You can find out more about these Talbot Executives in this YouTube video that shows a near-identical van.
Van #88 – A VW T-25 Subaru!
Hobo Gav got speaking to Dave, owner of this lovely 1981 T-25. Forty years old and still going strong!
Dave is a member of the Suffolk Bugrs, like us, and said he’d bought the van for 10K a couple of years ago but hadn’t been far because of lockdown.
Look closely and you’ll see a BMW grill on the front, Porsche alloy wheels but get this…it has a Subaru engine (with four tail pipes coming out the back!) Sounded nothing like your usual VW camper when he drove off!
Good to meet you, Dave, and maybe we’ll see you at a VW show in the future.
Van #89 – A Ford Transit campervan
Steve, one of our a subscribers, got in touch with news about his latest project: sorting out this 1989 Ford Transit campervan. He and his partner have been busy cleaning and mending the upholstery, as well as renewing gas pipes and electrics.
Steve tells us that she has some ‘Avondale’ logos on the bodywork but he’s not sure if they actually did the coach-build. Above the cab there is very faded lettering which looks like ‘Pinewood 21’. The coach-build looks very similar to our Autotrail Cree: it was the style of the times.
Next on Steve’s agenda will be cleaning the outside. Make sure you check out our motorhome cleaning page, Steve! Thanks for sharing a picture of your lovely old van.
Van #90 – A Classic VW Type 1 ‘split screen’!
Van #90 and our first VW ‘splitty’!
This classic VW Type 1 campervan first hit the road way back in 1967 (E reg) and is in near original condition. Unlike many of the classic V-dubs, this has not had modifications, such as lowered suspension, and we think she looks fab.
But gets this…
Owner, Chris, has had this classic van for 45 years, buying it when he was a student in London back in 1976! It was the first thing he ever really owned and, in Chris’s own words, the van has ‘become part of my psyche’.
The full story about Chris’s classic split-screen VW campervan – including some brill photos – can be found on the Adrian Flux ‘Forever Cars’ website. It’s a must read article if you love your classic VWs!
Van #91 – Iveco Daily campervan
We met Renny and Sally at Old Felixstowe who told us of their S reg (1998) Iveco Daily campervan. These things look so long!
Renny bought the van for just £2100 on ebay when holidaying in Portugal. Turned out that it needed lots of welding doing to it (which he was able to do himself).
Gav had a good look inside; there is a fixed bed at the rear with loads of storage space from which Renny is still finding things, including a picnic table he didn’t know he had!
And there’s a shower hose on the outside so you can stand there and hose yourself down after a dip in the sea – or cool off on a hot summer’s day!
It’s the sort of van Mike Hudson drives – author of of our favourite vanlife book How to Live in a Van and Travel.
Get your vintage van in our gallery!
We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these ‘elders of the tribe’ and we’ll keep adding more photos of other vans as we find them. We really are becoming van-spotters!
And, as we said, if you’d like your older van or motorhome featured (anything pre 2000) we’d be delighted to put it up. If your van is already in the gallery please tell us more about it!
Contact us here to send us pictures or tell us about your van’s story. Who knows, she might well feature in a forthcoming book we’ve already started working on!
Remember, if you’re thinking about getting an older RV or campervan download our free ebook that tells you what you need to look out for.
And if you already have a campervan or motorhome check out our shop which has all you’ll ever need, from everyday essentials to satnavs and solar panels.