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

Have you wondered why there is no light over the passenger’s seat in your Vanagon? With a little work, you can have one. We purchased an extra light from GoWesty and then started the project.

Final result of the Passenger's side light.

See the project after the jump…



We installed a backup camera in the Vanagon last year, but we had several issues. First of all, the camera was big and more fitting for a large bus. We could not find a spot to mount it easily because the cable was too large. We mounted it under the bumper but the aspect left a lot to be desired. The camera stopped working all of a sudden, so we decided to replace it. This time, we went with a simple license plate backup camera. The installation was fairly straight forward, and the picture looks amazingly good. Click through to see how we did it.



We have upgraded more of the wiring on the Vanagon. Our first wiring upgrade project was to place a 4 gauge wire from the alternator to the starter. This upgrade did a lot to relieve the bottleneck of power for charging of the batteries. The next project was to upgrade the wiring for the multiple accessories we installed. Click through to see how we did it.



Soon after purchasing my Vanagon we installed the GoWesty Auxiliary Battery Kit. Along with the kit, we installed a Battery Tender charger under the driver’s seat to keep the auxiliary battery topped off after prolonged use. We ran the charger’s cable out the front of the driver’s seat battery compartment, then attached an extension cord each time we wanted to charge the battery. The extension cable would have to run out one of the windows which meant bugs could get in the van. It became clear we needed another solution. Click through to see how we installed a retractable extension cord reel.


vanagon alternator wiring harness upgrade

If you have an auxiliary battery in your Vanagon you may want to beef up your alternator wiring harness. GoWesty sells an alternator wiring harness upgrade kit for $40 that will upgrade the entire harness. It consists of the wire that goes from the alternator to the starter, the field wire, and the wire that goes to the fuel injectors. It’s a nice upgrade, but we decided to do a partial upgrade ourselves for kicks. Click through to see how we did it.



I have a hard drive full of video content that I wanted to stream in the Vanagon. Placing an iPad on the table works, but it is not as handy as having an iPad permanently mounted and out of the way. I purchased this iPad magnet mount with hopes of being able to mount it in several places throughout the Vanagon. The magnet was not strong enough to hold the iPad because there isn’t enough bare metal in the van. I then moved to the second option of modifying the mount to fit my needs. Click through to see how we did it.



The fluorescent light in the hard top Vanagon comes with a push button switch. I have always wanted a toggle switch instead, but never gave it a thought until my push button switch died. One of my lights was getting increasingly more difficult to turn on so I knew we had to change the switch. We decided to change from a push button to a toggle switch and results are fantastic. Hit the jump to see how we did it.



The back hatch of the Vanagon does not include lights and we decided to solve that little problem. Whenever you open the hatch to get something out of the back it’s just too dark to see. I’ve stored flashlights and magnet lights back there for years, but we came up with a better solution. I purchased a couple of dome lights from Go Westy, and some LED interior lights from Van Cafe and we were ready to go. Click through to see how we did it.


Vanagon Lighter plug

The Vanagon lighter plug has always us because it was loose. Even after installing a new plug it still felt loose when you pulled out an accessory. Searching the Internet gave us few clues about how to solve this problem. Some people have tried adhesive, or clamps behind the dash, but none of the suggestions seemed right.

We finally found the fix, courtesy of our friend Joel. By removing the plug assembly and placing an O-ring around the outer green assembly, the problem is solved. The O-ring sits behind the dash and keeps the lighter plug in place. Ideally, the plug should have a threaded nut behind the dash instead of clips, but the O-ring is a nice substitute for the nut. Hit the jump for more the rest of the fix.


Apr 30, 2014 | Category: @Our Hacks, Interior


This isn’t really a hack, but a nice addition to the Vanagon. We have all sorts of lights in the van just in case we need them. We decided to mount a MagLite next to the driver’s seat for those emergency situations. We bought these mounting brackets and screwed it right in. It works very well!



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

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