T25 Renovation Project Part 1: Assessing the situation

And lo there was a camper, and that camper was the Volkswagen and that camper was a project, and the owner said: “Behold my project I shall make ye shine and give joy”!

Renovating a VW camper van is a project undertaken with dedication and love.  Whether the camper is a split screen, bay or T25, the project presents numerous tasks which can be labour intensive but, at the same time can produce a great work of art. 

Before beginning the project, you will have to assess what needs to be done.  There is no point putting in a new floor only to find that the chassis or internal panel has a hole.  There is nothing more depressing then looking under your feet to see your drive staring right back at you.  Therefore, the first task to undertake is to closely examine the vehicle.  For more on this, please, see our article on buying tips. 

In my case, the T25 we had purchased for a very reasonable price turned out to have more work needed than first thought.  It was a dream come true, our first VW camper van and all we had to do was put on two new tyres and re-trim it.  Oh how naïve we were.  Upon removing the flooring we found the obligatory rust hole, which at first looked no bigger than a 50p piece.  After our surgeon of a welder placed his healing hands on it, it had grown to half the length of the VW camper.  However, much to our relief the hole was only on the internal plates and the chassis was secure. 

Our first task was to strip out the internals.  In the T25 the kitchen was an all in one unit with sink and a gas stove with two hobs.  Needless to say this took up an awful lot of room.  It was heavy and, as we removed it, we found over twenty years of rubbish hidden under pieces of wood just nailed into the vehicle.  To say that it was a cleansing experience is an understatement.  The quarter bed consisted of two planks of wood attached to two heavy duty hinges screwed into the chassis, and the fridge was glued to the floor.  All the old black carpet which had been used to trim the VW camper van through out was removed; shifting layers of dust and exposing so many holes it looked like a colander. 

After stripping out the van, we were then able to get the welding done and assess what was to be done next.  The decision was simple: let us put in a full length adjustable bed.  We needed a full length bed for two reasons: firstly, we had to install two safety belts for our children, and secondly, we needed the space.