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Rent a vintage VW camper for a unique getaway

January 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Are you tired of the same old fast-paced driving vacation? Consider taking the bus.A local company rents vintage VW camper buses for several days or several weeks for a different kind of vacation getaway.

Longtime VW bus enthusiasts Bill and Diane Staggs started Vintage Surfari Wagons with a website and one camper for rent, and quickly found thrill seekers who signed up for the adventure.

They've added more buses year after year, all different colors and Diane Staggs designed each interior with a different theme.

"We're the Volkswagen equivalent of the Madonna Inn, I guess," said Bill Staggs.

The campers rent for about a $100 a day, starting at a three-day minimum. Rates vary by season, and there's even a monthly rate.

Inside you have everything you need to live or camp in relative style. There's plenty of space for two to sleep in the convertible bed, plus two more small people can sleep in the bunk up in the pop-top tent. But four people living with the minimalist facilities might get a little cramped, and there's no bathroom.

The van only has about a 70-horsepower engine, so you're going to be in the slow lane, especially on hills. There's no air conditioning, and as for safety equipment, the seat belt is all you've got.

Many of the vans use the four-on-the-floor stick shift, though a few have automatics, which move even slower.

It's all about slowing down, leaving technology behind, and enjoying the scenery in something way more interesting than a chain hotel.

"It's just like staying in an old Victorian versus staying in a modern home," said Bill Staggs.