Volkswagen campervans have been around since the 1960s, and the models produced from 1993 through 2003 are specifically referred to as EuroVans. While the classic Vanagons and Westfalias are well-known for their (often) underpowered, rear-engine/rear-wheel-drive configuration, the more modern EuroVan did a complete 180 and adopted a front-engine/front-wheel-drive. The Eurovan MV Weekender was originally designed for shorter weekend trips and did not include a sink, refrigerator, or stove but did come standard with a pop-top (installed by Westfalia). The rear seats in the Weekender convert into a bed, and the pop-top offers a second, lofted bed platform.
Miguel and his wife bought their 1993 Eurovan “Kermit” to use as a full-time adventure vehicle for traveling in Central and North America. It has the standard VW/Audi inline-5-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine with a 5-speed manual transmission. They also added solar, a refrigerator, and other amenities to make it more comfortable and practical for full-time travel.
“After having worked abroad for 14 years, we decided it was time to take a break and explore. We left our jobs in Panama and bought Kermit from a couple who had brought it down from the US.
Our trip started in Panama City, where we prepped him for our journey through Central and North America. We installed a 300-watt solar system that powered an ARB fridge/freezer, our phones, and computers, and allowed us to camp in the shade without [electrical] hook-up for up to five days. The fridge was comically mistaken by locals on the trip from anything from a printer to a safe.
We thoroughly explored all of the Central American countries with ease in both tropical climates and elevations of nearly 10,000 feet. And although we thought we might have needed 4WD, we actually never did. With the clearance Kermit had, it carefully managed even some rough dirt roads wandering into the wild. We spent a wonderful 15 months living in the van, sometimes sleeping in the pop-top for an Atlantic sunrise, but most of the time on the roll-out memory foam mattress down below. Boondocking on the beach, we’d throw up the original VW mosquito net and sleep with the trunk open to the sound of the ocean. If needed, we would use our self-installed adjustable fan to keep cool. In the mountains, we’d keep the top down and were comfortably warm with a decent blanket. And every evening after a hike or a swim, we’d set up our fairy lights powered by the solar system, kick back, have a home-cooked meal and a cold beverage enjoying either a volcano or an ocean view.
Along the trip, people were super interested in the van, our setup, and how we lived. The Latin Americans thought it was really special how compact we could travel while living with everything we needed. The van gave us a lot of liberty to move about in cities and camp in rural areas because of its size. We’d have onlookers and those who’d pass by interested in our story. Even the police in El Salvador wanted to kindly see how we lived, mistaking our solar shower for a rocket launcher! And then there was the morning we had an unusual visitor shaking our van. At first, we thought it was an earthquake. Nope. Turned out to be Vaca Lola, a calf who was rubbing her nose on our hood. She then proceeded to have a sniff inside and check out our living situation herself. [It was an experience] we’ll never forget.
We took great care of Kermit, put work into him where it was needed—and even sometimes not needed—because it was our home. We got comments from mechanics during regular tune-ups with oil changes or when we put new tires on, for example, that he was surprisingly rust-free for his age. It’s hard to let him go. Kermit served as a comfortable living space, equipped with everything we needed on our trip. He intrigued many locals, giving us a closer experience of the diverse cultures in the Americas.”
Full Vehicle Specs can be found in the original Expedition Portal Forum post, here.
Kermit, the 1993 VW Eurovan MV Weekender Westfalia, is currently located in Toledo, Ohio, and is priced at $16,000. You can contact Miguel with questions or offers via his contact info provided here.