East Meets West: 1986 Ford E-150 Camper Van

In sort of an east meets west configuration, this 1986 Ford E-150 camping van has a Westfalia top and kitchen inside. It’s listed on eBay with no reserve and a current bid price of $3,650! It’s located in Grottoes, Virginia.

This really looks like a lot of fun for under $4,000 to me. The condition seems to be great and it’s hard to argue with that super slick Westfalia kit-o-parts. The seller does mention that the canvas “has patches and screen needs work”, but other than that, and maybe some interior updating, there don’t appear to be any glaring issues. It has a “Yakima 5′ rack/side ladder and 2 folding steps”. It also has rear “air shocks, 2″ Reese hitch / wiring” and new tires. Really, less than $4,000 for this van?

As a traveling architectural photographer I’ve always wanted a rig like this. It would save my clients hundreds if not thousands of dollars on expenses for hotel stays. Not to mention giving me a great, high perch for getting up above other vehicles in parking lots when getting photos. If this one had a diesel it would be very tempting, but even with its current engine the seller says that it “gets about 15 on the highway.”

So, a yellow van with brown door jambs and blue dash and doghouse? Hmm.. something has been changed but it doesn’t really matter. The seats are most likely in need of repair, or again, just leave the seat covers or get some nicer ones. It’s a $4,000 camping van, not a Bentley. Wait, is that a 4-speed on the floor?! Now there is something you don’t see every day! It even has overdrive, hence the decent highway mileage. It also has a new clutch. There are no engine photos but this one sounds like a winner. It has a rebuilt 300 cubic-inch inline-six “new Edelbrook 500cfm 4bbl carb, manual choke, Offenhouser intake, DUI distributor, Taylor wires, EFI exhaust manifold , 4″ alum . intake plenum/4″ cone filter, new exhaust system.” Again, this has to be a deal at less than $4,000.

The inside, though, that’s what most of us want to see. It looks great to me in there. What I wouldn’t have given to have a chunk of a Westfalia kitchen in one of my Dodge van back in the 1980s.  The owner says about the interior: “Westfalia kitchen cabinet, sink, 2 burner stove and dishdrainer, overhead flor light, other cabinets with stowable tabletop, Dometic 12v/120v ref.” I’d be sleeping on the floor for sure with that short bed, but that’s ok. I think this is a killer deal for anyone wanting a unique camping van. What do you think?

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  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    That’s quite a find, Scotty.

    Those 300 inch Ford sixes are pretty strong, torquey units, and having a manual trans behind it means the van can be driven using it all, when required. The four-barrel carb, etc will also help performance.

    Looks like a neat rig.

    • John T

      I agree … Still can’t help wondering where and how Scotty G. finds these!
      If this had dual exhaust would that make it a 4-4-2 Van? 😃

  2. Rock On

    I wouldn’t worry to much about the holes in the canvas top. The way that propane tank is mounted will probably take care of the problem for you!

  3. eggsalad

    Did Westfalia do these conversions, or did someone hack in a bunch of stuff from a VW Kampmobile?

    • Big Mike

      You could buy a Westfalia kit for any van. My Aunt had one that was on a Chevy Van she had for years. You can still buy the replacement tent/screens
      from Bus Depotfor abut 500.00 depending on which one you have.

  4. skagit340@gmail,com

    Nice set-up. The engine,trans combo. are great. Something about the propane tank location makes me fell a little warm in the wrong way lol.

  5. Rustytech

    I’ll bet that bottle hanging on the back makes those annoying tailgaters pause for thought!

  6. jw454

    Constantly seeing that ladder in the rear view mirror would be distracting. It would have to go.You could mount it on the back door after you move the propane tank. I don’t think I’d need to climb up on top that much anyway. The school bus steps may not be that big of a deal. It would be a fun “weekender” type truck.

  7. Chebby Staff

    Wow, at first glance this is a tidy little package! The Westy roof fits nicely on this shorty van. Mechanically, it sounds terrific. Unfortunately the details leave a lot to be desired. That rear bed can barely fit one 6′ adult let alone a couple, and look at those long bolts poking through to put a hole in your head. They are from the folding steps (which don’t line up for some odd reason.) The ladder top brackets seem awfully close to the window glass, makes me wonder if it wouldn’t crack or pop out with use. There appears to be no bed platform in the pop-top, where it really needs to be. Might be an easy add-on, but depends how they cut the hole in the roof. The Westy sink/stove is compact but that fridge is known to be crap. Propane mount is janky as mentioned. The folding table appears to attach inside the food cabinet, but look: there is no way for it to fold up inside that space so it appears you open the cabinet, mount the table pipe….and then the cabinet door comes between the people on the couch and the table. Awkward.

    I am nit-picking here, but I am very interested in a vehicle like this, and having to redo it all to get it right greatly reduces the appeal. The interior “flow” was the genius of the original Westfalia. You do have to wonder how well any of the other work was performed, especially the roof transplant. It could flex like a Tupperware container with a loose lid.

    If the bid gets up to the $6k range you can get an old Sportsmobile for that money and they are built right.

    • Davey

      Come on Mr Negative!!!

  8. Rodent

    DUI distributor? Huh?

    • eggsalad

      Davis Unified Ignition. Like the Pertronix, it replaces the points.

  9. erikj

    chebby, I think you said it all. This was put together for show,but will not function well. Its all for looks. One camp out would start to show it would fall apart around itself and “u” Oh that tank??????????????

  10. Madmatt

    My 73 Pinto hatchback, has less chance of exploding than this…

  11. John T

    The eBay auction for this most unusual stick shift Ford van just ended about an hour ago. The honorable author Scotty G. pretty much nailed it on the eventual selling price. Bidding was at $3,938.88 with less than ten (10) minutes remaining and after a bit of a bidding war involving multiple interested bidders the Ford Westfalia van ended up SOLD for $4,089.00!

  12. Steve

    This van is the bomb!

    • John T

      Especially with the propane tank strategically mounted on the back door! Still can’t get over the fact that it is a straight-6 with a four-on-the-floor … Gotta love it!

  13. Davey

    Too cool. Kayak up top.

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