VW Camping Tents


Vintage Camper getting a little crowded? Vanagon stuffy? Consider an accessory tent package, often called an "add-a-room." Produced by various manufacturers for the VW camper over the years, these can double or triple your enclosed space, vastly increasing comfort levels (especially on a long campout and/or during inclement weather). And among lullabyes, nothing compares to the billow of canvas on a breezy evening.

For that period look, try for a "correct" tent for your classic or vintage camper. They don't pitch, strike, or stow quite as conveniently as modern equivalents, but who cares? They're cool. They rool. They tha bomb. Which, along with the fact that there aren't very many to go around, is why some of them are getting pretty expensive.

On these pages, I'll pass along what I've picked up over the years. Not so you'll consider me an expert and adulate (ouch!) me -- though of course you should feel free -- but because I've become a kind of sump towards which a lot of tent info migrates, and it's only right that I share the dredgings with you, in the truest and most noble sense of cyberspace. No cookies, no forms, no SSL.

Just make your choice on the menu bars at the top & bottom of these pages. Should you feel the need to harangue me, I'm at jsclark.net -- but I'm not a source for tents, I just like 'em. Your best bets on the 'net are probably the vanagon, type2, and/or vintage bus lists, which you can find out about joining at www.vanagon.com/ and www.type2.com/, respectively (the vintage bus list is also headquartered at type2.com).

Update, January 2011: I kept these pages current from about 1994-2000 and there have been few changes made since then. This is thus a legacy website; for example, the images are small because bandwidth was at a premium when I first began. I hope one day to completely update the images with fresh, hi-res scans where possible and incorporate any new information that becomes available. Feel free to contact me with corrections and updates, but I can't guarantee anything. ~Joe Clark

Site Map:


These pages would be paltry indeed without the generous contributions of information, text, and images from a number of people. These are some of the original corntributors (in alpha order) - others are listed in the pages themselves. I used to maintain mailto links where possible, but so many of these became outdated in the 15+ years since the site began that I have removed them, but if you're looking for someone, let me know and I'll pass along what I have.

Jim Arnott
Many thanks to Jim and the WetWesties crew for offering to host these pages when (in 2011) I left the world of hosted websites after almost 20 years of experimentation.
John "Grungy" Gladu
John provided images of the Carbak Camper on the Miscellaneous page. I'm currently using Blade-Runner 3D photo enhancement technology to triangulate the location of the rental storage area where Frunobulax and the tent reside.
Rick Gordon
Rick prodded me to expand my coverage to later tents with his description of a vanagon model.
Ross Harmon
One of the things that first led me to become a wild-eyed, drooling tent fan was a spread on Ross's Westy in DB&HVWs. I included a scanned .gif of Ross's tent in the first incarnation of these pages. Then, around the beginning of July, 1995, who should I hear from via email but The Man Hisself! Thanks to Ross for some great images of privy and bigtop tents on the splitties page.
Michael Heron
This guy is inexhaustible! Michael has graciously sent copies of Westfalia literature of all sorts. I'm especially grateful for his help with the Dove tents and post-'70 tents. I have plans in place to take a commando team, enter Canada, and ransack Michael's house one day.
Dieter Dworkin Muller
Dworkin (remember Zalazny's Amber series?) came through with a place to put the sub-pages when a previous ISP decided to enforce its 1MB limit on web pages. Without him, the site wouldn't have been much in its early days.
Jack Stafford
Jack provided some nice shots of his Drive-Away tent.
Harris Upham
Harris forwarded some great leads on another non-Westy tent that fits on the back of a van.

And the following references:

Bobbitt, Malcolm. Bus. Dorchester, England: Veloce Publishing Plc., 1998.
Crandall, Rick and Susan. "Westfalias: Chapter One." Old Bus Review, Nov/Dec 1994 p. 8. See online.
_____. "Westfalias: Chapter Two." Old Bus Review, Jan/Feb 1994 p. 8. See online.
Hedges, Lee Thomas. "VW Camper Tent Options." VW Trends, June 1997 p. 40.
Meredith, Lawrence. VW Bus Custom Handbook. Bideford, Devon, UK: Bay View Books Ltd, 1994.
Plus various brochures, ads, and xeroxes collected over the years.

For more general VW camper information, see the Type2 Camper Resource Library, maintained by Ron Van Ness. Also see the great early westy literature pix gallery at Thom Fitzpatrick's site.

A little treat for fans of classic ASCII art: one of the .sigs used by Jim Ellis, alias Rusty VanBondo...

    Rusty VanBondo                       -----
 Phoenix, Arizona (AZ) USA              _|###|_
   '67 SO 42 Resto          _._________/___|___\
                             |       0=|_\_|_\_|=0         *
           *        *        |  ####   |O\ v /O|          *+*       *
          *+*      *+*       |         |__|w|__|         *****     *+*

These tent pages are originally © Joe Clark, 1994-2000.