VW LT28 Reimo Camper Update

Over the past few years the vehicle that has proved to be the most reliable on the road and a real workhorse for holidays and trips has been the VW LT28 Reimo camper. Not written much about it but feel the need to update it’s status and throw in some pictures too.


New Forest Camping in a VW

Trips for the year started at Easter with a trip to the New Forest. It all started well but as we travelled the M3 we got some traffic problems and then a problem with front caliper, the front brakes seized on. Luckily we were close to a service area so we pulled in and called the AA. After about 90 minutes the patrol arrived and we agreed the caliper was seized. Together we managed to free the caliper piston but it was not working as it should. It was Good Friday and the beginning of the bank holiday weekend. The AA guy managed to arrange for a new pair of calipers to be in Southampton for 9am in the morning, we set off for some wild camping in Southampton, lead by the AA van and breaking only with the hand brake and tapping the pedal enough to activate the brake lights. We made it to a park in Southampton and waited for the AA guy until the morning. He arrived and we paid for the calipers, he fitted the one that seized and we were on our way. We spent a few days in the forest, horses and all.

VW LT Camper In Paris

We spend the May half term week in Paris and then a couple of days by the coast in Dieppe. What has become a typical start saw us driving to Paris in one day, nothing out of the ordinary, takes all day but worth the effort for a good few days camping in the Bois de Boulogne.

VW LT Camper Camping In- Dieppe

Late July took us on a trip to Cornwall, to the Port Eliot Festival, 5 days camping in grounds of the beautiful Port Eliot house.

VW LT Camper In Cornwall At The Port Eliot Festival

In August we headed back over to France for a road trip taking in Metz for a long weekend, on to Alpirsbach in the high black forest in Germany and then down to Freiburg for almost a week where I spent some time looking to buy a Renault 4.

VW LT Camper In Frieburg

I eventually bought a Renault 4 in Freiburg but on eBay, in Essex. The LT works very well for a family of four, no mechanical issues or camping kit issues on this trip, the van just worked well, actually I remember one minor problem, after two weeks of sunshine we left Frieburg on a rainy morning heading north, joking about how on a trip to Glasgow long ago in the rain the wiper on the T2 camper came off and as if it knew, the wiper came of the LT! Finding a place to stop and do the repair was fun in the heavy rain but we were soon on our way.


I seem to remember Easter was early in 2015 so we spent the holidays in an AirBnB in Rouen, very good but just not camping.

VW Camping In Paris

The camper fun started in May with what had up until then become the annual trip to Paris. Another days driving and we were there. We did the normal things, find the pitch, sort out the bikes etc and fill the on board water tank under the bed with lots of water for a weeks stay. The next morning I went to fill the kettle with water from the on board supply only to find no water in the system, looking in the tank it was totally empty, I knew that I had put about 70L in the day before and we had used none at that point, so where was the water and what had happened?

Looking over the tank and feeling into the almost inaccessible areas where the water enters and leaves the tank I found that all was well there, not damp at all, turns out after much fiddling about that there was a hairline crack in the seam of the Fiamma water tank, all of the water that I put in had run out into the voids under the floor of the van, the ground was dry so all the water was still in the van, not good.

VW Underfloor Porridge

Over the next few days the floor of the van became ‘spongy’ as the water soaked into the 1980’s styrofoam insulation and 18mm old style MDF / fibreboard floor, by the end of the week the areas that you can walk on had become styrofoam porridge and van had started to smell quite interesting.

We made the journey home, windows open and hoping that the water damage was reversible. Over the next few weeks I stripped the van back to the original LT floor, everything was taken out and what could be salvaged was, the bed was fine, everything else on the floor needed to be replaced. We had a plan to leave for Cornwall on July 28 and it was mid-May.

VW Camper Rust Damage to Floor

VW LT Floor RepairedOver the coming weeks I repaired the metal floor, primed and painted it, then treated the voids with waxoil and prepared the area forward of the partition for a new floor.

VW LT Floor Insulated

The first job was to install some battens to screw the floor to, I discovered SikaFlex 221 and stuck the battens down, opting for modern thin foil insulation I packed the voids under the floor with that and then measured, cut, shaped and installed a high quality 12mm ply floor.

VW LT New Ply Floor

VW New Floor and WallThe water had damaged about 8cm of the plywood walls of the van too so I retrofitted some new ply panels to the walls complete with some small vent holes to stop moisture build up behind. All of the new timber was treated with some extrior varnish. The bed was reinstalled but no water tank, I have opted for a jerry can located in the wardrobe, easy to fill, easy to see if it leaks!

VW LT Paint Hand Mixed Match

When fitting the floor I needed some more orange paint, I couldn’t work out exactly what colour it was so I ordered some Rustoleum CombiColor in Red and a RAL 2000 (I think) Orange, mixing the red with the orange until I got it just about right for a match, the original colour is on the outside, my mix on the inside, turns out it is exactly RAL 2004.

During the refit I noticed that there was also a leak in the gutter of the van that was damaging the wall behind the sliding door, after much head scratching I decided to remove that section of wall lining and replace, this involved making a new window frame, new upper lining section and then lower section behind the spare wheel. After having discovered the SikaFlex stuff I just had to use a couple of tubes to reseal the gutter all the way around the van, it’s a job well done the front of the van is dry now and much nicer place to be.

The floor at the rear kitchen area of the van was replaced, the floor under the sink and fridge was left untouched as time was running out and Cornwall was calling, we spent another 5 days at the Port Eliot Festival before taking the Brittany Ferries ship from Plymouth over to Roscoff.

VW Camping Finisterre

It was quite a wet time in France, lots of rain, I discovered that water was leaking in the rear doors, nothing could be done, just had to plug the holes. Further inspection when we made it home revealed the the ladder on the door had actually caused the door to loose it’s slightly curved shape and the seal no longer did it’s job. The ladder has sadly since been removed and the door repaired.

The van’s 30th year went well in the end, not bad for something as old as it is and what is basically a shed driving along the road.


The van year started early with an early MOT, why, because I wanted to start work on the floor at the back of the van and repair it properly. The cam belt, water pump, all the belts and leak off pipes have now been replaced as well and another of the injector pipes, an oil and filter and the engine was back to just how it should be, sounding great for a 2.4L straight six with 400,000+ kms on the clock.

VW LT Camper Sidewall Repair

Stripping out the kitchen revealed quite a bit of water damage, all of the floor needed to be replaced and the walls too, just like the rest of the van. I decided to replace the old fridge too, it was a 12v only unit from the 80s, totally inefficient and a bit to big for it’s internal size. The outer wall of the van need some welding to repair some of the rust / rot, this was done simply and correctly, treated, painted and sealed with wax oil.

I repaired the floor with the same method as I used in the main area of the van, cleaned and repaired the metal floor, primed it, painted it and installed some battens, insulation and new 12mm ply floor. Refitting the kitchen on top was quite straight forward and the van is basically back to how it was but essentially new, I am very pleased with that and it feels very comfortable to be in.

VW LT Camper Windows Install

After all the work was done inside I spent some time tidying up the paintwork on the outside, fitting a new shelf / table under the side window and finally adding a small sliding window to the sliding door, more of a safety thing that a need for more light, it kind of opens up a blind spot, I let my dad loose with a jigsaw.

I had bought a new 3.2M Fiamma F45 awning in a winter sale, so I fitted that too, drilling holes on the inside of the van to secure the mounting plates to, a nice new addition to the van, looks modern too, all white!

VW Camper in Brugge

In May time had come for another road trip, France again, well no, not this time as the French had decided to blockade the refineries and diesel was in short supply. We filled the van in Kent and headed left from Calais into Belgium and on to Brugge for a few days. Some great weather for a few days, cycling around and generally enjoying the more comfortable interior, until day four…

Day Four was wet and windy, in the afternoon we had arrived back at the van in a downpour. After drying off the rain out side got heavier until it looked like a solid wall of water. Suddenly there was a massive ‘bang’ and the van shook, sparks came out of the electric sockets and all of the wiring in the walls was glowing white for a few seconds then it was gone. I assumed that the post outside the van that has a campsite wifi aerial on it was hit by lightning, all over in a flash and apparently no harm done. A short while later after the rain had stopped a German guy came over to tell us that he saw the roof of the LT being struck by lightning, thinking about it I went onto the roof to look, there was a small hole in the fibreglass about the size of a new 5p coin, about 10cm from where my head was inside, all over in a flash.

I discovered a couple of days later that the strike had damaged the wiring to the rear lights, so a lash up was required and we moved on with limited rear lights. Further investigation also revealed that the on board battery charger, leisure battery and a couple of other driving bulbs had been effected too.

VW LT Camper Towing Relay Box

Not much more to say about that other than I spent a day upside down under the van replacing and repairing the rear loom including a new towing relay, the rear lights have never been better.

VW LT Camping At Port Eliot

In late July we set off ffor the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall, 5 days of sunshine and camping in the Cornish coutryside. This time we travelled back to Portsmouth for a Brittany Ferrries ship to St Malo and two weeks in France.

VW Camping In Cancale

After all of the events with the van over past few years behind us we had a quiet trip travelling around southern Brittany, camping and eating AND no van issues at all.

VW Camping in Morbihan

Looking forward to 2017, what will happen next….

Reimo and Flickr

The interest that the Reimo van gets is always a surprise, this though is the most surprising. I found that someone has made a couple of the pictures in the photostream favourites on Flickr, not unusual as this has happened before but what happened next was certainly something different.

I got an email from Leah Giberson in Boston MA, she has posted a painting of the van that she has completed. More surprising is that her other work is of classic AirStream vans and the such like.

Reimo by Leah Giberson

Leah has offered to send a print of the painting in the new year, more on that when it arrives.

Port Eliot Festival and VWs

We spent the weekend of July 20 in Cornwall at the Port Eliot festival. The drive down on Thursday took around 8 hours from Cambridge, similar amout of time to return.

With the diesel leak fixed by fitting a new pipe direct from VW in Germany it was time to test it on a long trip again. Fuel economy was OK, about £150 for the 800 mile trip.

We saw very few LT vans on the way down and from what we could see ours was the only one in the camper fields, lots of passing interest in the van all the time we where camping in it.

While we had the Westfalia we still got waves from other VW owners, Type 2 and Type 25 alike, having visited a lot of VW festivals over the years the ‘enthusiast’ ownership it certainly growing. We still have a Type 4 Caravelle but I choose that for work rather than travelling.

It’s an interesting thing owning a VW van, I have had one since I was 18 in 1988, the first was a VW Type 2 Devon Moonraker bought for £1000 and included a whole other Type 2 for spares. In 1988 there was still a sense of doing something different by owning a VW camper and travelling all over the place in it, I took mine to Glastonbury and numerous other festivals until I sold it in 1992 to get a 1972 VW Panel Van.

Why did I sell the T25 Westfalia? I wanted to do something different, owning an LT is odd enough, a bright orange one, even better. This LT as far as I have seen is unique and certainly gets looked at, and laughed at.

Do something different, buy a VW camper, but something different to the Type 2s and Type 25s that everyone else trying to do something different has…

Off to France and Germany now for a few weeks… more pics from that soon…

LT28 – Camping in Paris

Our second trip to France this year was great, such nice weather in Paris for our stay, a little rain now and then but nice and warm. We camped in the Bois de Boulogne camp site for four days, the van was great, plenty of room for the four of us. With a brief stop over in Amiens on the way down to Paris and a stop in Montruel sur Mer on the way back. A new carbon leisure battery an mains battery charger kept the fridge going all the time and looked after the food and beers.

Driving up the A16 there was a growing smell of diesel in the van, stopping to take a look I found that injector pipe no. 5 had developed a small hole and was leaking fuel. After a brief repair we carried on and eventually arrived in Dover. Time to call the AA for my first relay trip in over 20 years…. It all went very smoothly but lets hope it’s a while before we see the AA man again…

France – April 2012

Just got back from our first trip to France in the Reimo. It was quite an interesting trip with many short journeys spent wondering if the van would actually make it to the top of the next hill. It always did. After a few slow moments I finally found out how hard I needed to push the van in each gear to get it moving. We made it to Arras….

For this trip I removed the bike carrier, it was just a little low at the back and would have been on the ground on and off the ferry, some adjustment needed there.

The van was really good when we where camping, first few days had some rain and the extra space inside compared with our Westfalia was really useful.

In the roof box we had two tables, four chairs, the Fiamma ramps and some table tennis stuff, so that proved to be a good investment, none of that stuff inside the van.

After a few days of getting used to the van on the flat and on the hills it was obvious that it was going to be useable rather than just slow. We went from Dover to Cambridge in under three hours, mostly at around 55 – 60mph and the van gave us about 24mpg even though we had crappy supermarket diesel in it, probably go further on some decent BP stuff.

Where are we going next….?

UK Registration – First Trip

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted any progress on the LT, there has been a lot.

A couple of weeks ago I got the registration number through from the DVLA and had the three number plates made up. It’s come back as B registration, I am happy with that. It’s taxed for 6 months, lets see how far we can go. I think it’s done 248,000kms so far on the engine.

The interior is almost complete, the rear kitchen section has the fridge, cooker and sink installed and all working, leisure battery is installed with the new split charge unit.

I managed to get some left hand drive LT carpet from Caravantechnik Dobrinski in Germany, they look great and reduce the engine noise a little too.

We have been on a few short trips around Suffolk and Cambridgeshire but nothing more than a few miles at a time, I was slightly concerned that with no turbo and an old engine 45mph might be the maximum, if so the van would be almost useless. I got Dad to take a look at the injector pump and linkage, after some minor adjustments we can now to 60mph quite easily, happy to run along the road between 55mph and 60mph without any problems, acceleration is better, but I am used a 1.6TD Joker and a 2.4 T4, so some turbo and lighter weight van, anyway, the speed is fine.

The first longish run has been to Cromer in Norfolk this weekend, we went along quite nicely in the traffic and didn’t hold anyone up for long. We are off to France and Belgium next week….

VW LT28 Reimo – MOT – Passed

We took the van for it’s MOT yesterday. The MOT station is about 6 miles away from where the work has been done, we went the long way to get the brakes cleaned up and test a few things out along the way.

The van only just fitted on the ramp, each tyre was hanging over the side a little. Nothing much to report from the MOT, everything was fine, nothing to advise. So, from a very poor MOT failure to a clean sheet in 5 months. I arranged most of the parts for the job but my dad fitted all of them, it’s a perfect job, everything is done properly, just as it should be.

Today we spent some time making the sub frame for the fridge and fixing that in. We decided to try and use as much of the original timber as possible where it’s to be visible.

The shower tray is now gone, it was damp underneath, so best to remove it. New 3/4″ ply cut to size for the kitchen area, a new piece under the cooker unit, main floor and under the fridge. Original timber used to make the shelf for the sink above the fridge. Also in the picture is the spare wheel cover, in orange of course.

I have the vehicle import forms from the DVLA so now it’s time to fill them in and get the import complete. Insurance is now in place through Adrian Flux, this year it’s £302 for comprehensive cover including the very important a good value European Breakdown cover for £85. Considering we did 3,000kms in the Joker in France, Germany and Switzerland last year it’s piece of mind…

VW LT28 Reimo – Junk, Bed and Water Tank

The new rock and roll bed is now fixed down, plenty of room for the repositioned water tank below it. Some of the old timber from the kitchen area will be used to conceal the tank.

The tank is held in place by wooden battens, these are much more secure than the two screws that Reimo decided where adequate for the job.

The area of the van that was once the kitchen is now almost finished. Dad has boarded the walls and fitted the new custom made (by him) spare wheel bracket.

Outside we have a growing pile of all of the old items that we removed from the van, the old water heater, electrical charger unit, kitchen sink and hob with all the gas fittings, gas tank, waste water tank and even the shower tray, all junk now.

Looking more closely at the mains hookup battery charger unit we could see that it is a total hazard, probably quite dangerous. It looks quite clean now but when we removed it it was covered in dust a fluff, there are some bare wires in there as well. I am pleased this is gone. We fitted a new RCD twin socket and intend fitting a 12v battery charger under the rock and roll bed to maintain the leisure battery.

More updates very soon…

VW LT28 Reimo – New Front Springs

The new front springs for the van arrived and dad set about fitting them. As most of the front had already been apart and replaced it was quite a straight forward job. The old springs where much shorter than the new ones.

With the new springs installed the van is now much more level, the water should run of the roof at the back now rather than collect in the roof mounted pool.

More on the interior work in the next update…

VW LT28 Reimo Camper

This van is a work in progress. Lots more pictures of the works in the Flickr Photostream.

The van is originally from Italy via Slovakia. The van arrived in Cambridge in 2010, failed two MOT tests and was stored on the side of the road until it came up for sale in September last year. I managed to buy it within minutes of it being put up for sale, a bargain at £500 despite all of the problems.

I drove the van home a few days later, it started first time despite standing for 14 months, with four nearly flat tyres, two very worn ball joints, very poor steering, very rust brakes and 6 leaking fuel return pipes, it went well.

First thing to do was give it a very good wash, there was a lot of moss and mould all over the outside, two good washes later, first with some kitchen cleaner then with lots of wash and wax the outside was looking good and started to reveal the work that needed doing, basically a bit of bodywork here and there.

Inside it was hiding what seemed like a lifetimes worth of rubbish and grime. Early on I decided that the internal layout, while functional and in a 1980’s Italian colour scheme, was not really very useful and actually very unsafe, no seat belts and not ideal for travelling. The seats, table, cooker and sink where removed and sold, the seating made £50 on eBay. More on the interior later.

Mechanically the van was quite good, looks like it had been quite well maintained over the years. Initially I decided to renew everything to do with the brakes, the four tyres and quite a lot of the suspension and steering. After getting my Dad to look over everything (he is someone who knows about these things) we decided to keep the front discs at they are quite new, the rear drums where not distorted and out of shape so they stayed too. All four tyres where perfectly serviceable, so we kept those. Looking at my supplier of choice, eBay, I managed to get most of the brake parts ‘New Old Stock’, three wheel cylinders, two sets of rear shoes and front pads for £35. We decided to fit all new hoses, not really necessary but while it was being done…

The front springs looked a little tired, so a new pair of stock springs where ordered from the local car spares shop, around £125 I think, still to be fitted but they should level things up, might even be able adjust the new replacement right hand drive headlights now. I got the new headlights, additional LT28 front trim and a new diesel cap from an eBay seller for £60.

Inside the van looked quite empty with the selected furniture removed, obviously spacious and ready for a new layout that works the way I want. I could see no reason to repair the hot and cold water system, toilet, gas heater, original cooker and sink etc, they had all had their day. I wanted to retain the upper bed and all of the cupboard space so left those well alone. The waste water tank and gas tank from the underside where also removed as they served no purpose in the layout.

I measured and sketched a new custom rock and roll bed, designed to fit within the space between the rear bulkhead and the front seats. It had to be high enough to conceal the stainless steel water tank and leisure battery installation below, long enough to sleep on when extended and safe enough to travel on with integrated seat belts. The bed was made by MKCampers, we visited in November 2011 in the T4 and collected it, it was a snug fit, but it did fit.

When the van arrived there was no place for the spare wheel, after a lot of consideration it was decided that the wheel would have to live inside the van. The rear door hinges are just not up to the job of holding a heavy wheel, mounting on the front is not an option, in temperatures of 30+ degrees all the air is needed to cool the engine. We decided that the wheel would fit inside the sliding door, near the door pillar and be covered with a custom wheel cover, just like the one in my old 1971 Bay Window Devon Moonraker. Dad made the bracket and fitted it, works very and even has a new custom made wheel cover, more on that when it’s fitted.

The van came with a rear mounted cycle carrier that had seen better days, I needed to have a solid carrier so the rack was modified to take three bikes and include a light board with the required reflectors. An additional cycle channel was ordered and fitted.

The awning that was fitted to the van was in fairly good condition, only need a few minor repairs, the awning is very big, almost big enough to get my T25 Westfalia Joker inside it. It fair to say that the van is huge compared to the T4 or the T25, it remains to be seen if the space is as useable as the Joker.

Much more work is still to be done before the van will be ready to use…

There are many more pictures on the Flickr Photostream