Categories: Our Hacks | Aesthetic | Body | Conversion | Electrical | Engine | Extended | Flooring | Food Truck | Interior | Mechanical

This 1990 Vanagon Carat has a turbo diesel engine, but the interior is what caught my eye. The seats have been reupholstered in what appears to be leather (or vinyl) and it looks great. It completely changes the interior feel of the van. You can hit up for more pictures.

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File this one under more Vanagon gauge placement ideas. This owner decided to put a couple of gauges in the A/C duct. What a perfect place to have them available, but out of the way. One thing is for sure, these gauges will never overheat.



We all want to add more gauges to our Vanagons but where do we mount them? There are a ton of ideas out there and here are just a few. Replacing the ash tray with a cluster is very popular, but there are many more options. Click through to see a few more.

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Is this the best Vanagon build ever? It certainly could be. There is so much to say about this Vanagon we could literally build an entire website around it. Luckily, someone already has. This is a fantastic build with so many mods and hacks it’s ridiculous. Just look at the picture above and admire the multitude of accessories, new bumpers, storage, etc., etc. The paint is new and she’s ready for the road. Click through to see the interior.

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Many Vanagon owners make their own door panels for their vans. We have featured several of them here. If you’re not one who wants to work at it, you can purchase after market door panels for the Vanagon. Check out They have a variety of solutions for Vanagons.

Here is another source for custom made sliding door screens for your vanagon. This one is red, but they have several colors to choose from. Check them out at

The folds at Texas Vanagons really know how to build high quality Vanagon cabinets. Check out this custom build. It matches the original cabinets and includes a fold out table. This would be perfect for Weekenders and Westys. Check out for more info on this build.


One of our favorite additions to the Vanagon is this Power Bright Inverter. It allows us to plug in laptops, chargers, rice cookers, coffee makers, or anything else we can imagine. The Power Bright Inverters come in various sizes but we chose this 1100 watt version. It rocks! You can pick it up here and have it shipped right to you.

We tried several inverters but most of them include a loud fan. The Power Bright runs well and is very quite. In our Carat we mounted it behind the driver’s seat. In a Westy camper you can mount it to the cabinet.

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I noticed oil spots in my parking space one day and was worried that I had a serious problem. I was told by one mechanic that my oil pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. Several automotive friends of mine told me not to worry because “Vanagons leak oil.” I couldn’t figure out why a car would simply leak oil for no reason, and that mechanics would not be worried about it, or offer a fix.

As it turns out they were all wrong. Oil was leaking through the drain plug, but it didn’t have to. After weeks of relying on other opinions I finally found a guy who had a suggestion. He said, “use a fiber washer.” We changed the oil and used a fiber gasket instead of a plastic or metal washer, and the oil leak is gone. I have no spots in my parking space and it’s been over a year. Problem solved.

clean plug

Vanagon owners find all kinds of ways to create storage areas on the Vanagon. As you can see, this owner mounted a toolbox on the front bumper. This provides lots of room for tools that are out of the way until you need it. This will put some weight up front, but the Vanagon should be able to handle it.


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