Vanagon – westy kitchen unit score

Answered local buy and sell ad and met up with ex-vanagon owner Warren. Really nice guy selling some left over parts including a later model westy kitchen unit ( the type that has the lower front end and different lid), a rear heater, home made pressure bleeder for brakes, and various other little bits and bobs. The kitchen unit does not have the stove parts nor the fridge. The space where the fridge went has some shelves installed.

The later style kitchen unit allows the driver seat back to recline a little more. I’d like to incorporate that into my earlier style unit but that mod will have to wait. But right away I could use the larger capacity drawer.

Early vs later drawer.

More room but still being used as junk drawer.

The faceplate wasn’t perfect but much much better than the one I had. So it got swapped in. But still using my black painted indicator panel.  I think I’m remembering correctly, krylon espresso satin brown is a close match.

  1. #1 by daswolfgang on June 4, 2017 - 10:58 pm

    Nice to see you got a bargain? Not for everyone, but seeing your fridge compartment with no Westy fridge in made me wonder if you would consider a more modern 12 volt compressor fridge over stock with solar? I think you may have seen my setup. Initial outlay isn’t particularly cheap but works well and leaves gas entirely for cooking. Just a thought.

    • #2 by albell on June 5, 2017 - 8:10 am

      Hi Andy,

      Yes I would consider a vitrifrigo or the like, electric fridge. Most of the time, and that’s tooling around here on Vancouver island, the dometic works fine. Years ago I did some measurements on cooling and I think the best I got in 25-28 C ambient was a delta T of 22-23 degrees. I will dig out those measurements and see how they compare with the performance of my fridge now (after I install the mods I’ve been playing with on a bench mounted unit in the workshop).

      We have been on trips where the temps have been in upper 30s. One particular August trip to dinosaur provincial park in Alberta it hit 40C. The fridge had no chance at all.

      Around here we can get temps hitting 30C, sometime maybe even a little higher. But not very often. And when we camp on the west coast, there is very often fog/low cloud that builds on shore durign August and comes in land at dusk, cooling things down. You’ve seen the pics in the blog.

      So yes, I’d go for a danfoss compressor type fridge if we travelled in warmer spots.

      Oh, btw, see the homemade fridge in the Dutch couples video?




      • #3 by daswolfgang on June 5, 2017 - 8:51 am

        Yes, I watched the video on the Dutch van. All very good for a home grown van. Plenty of insulation on the fridge! That’s going to help massively.

      • #4 by albell on June 5, 2017 - 9:54 am

        Yes, and compressor located remotely, but where exactly I wonder.



    • #5 by albell on June 5, 2017 - 8:25 am

      Oh and another thing Andy,

      I agree about reserving the propane for the stove ( and propex heater ). And I do have a huge aux battery and two solar panels that would easily handle the electric fridge.

      Boy, the more I think about it the more I wonder why I don’t go for the electric…



      • #6 by daswolfgang on June 5, 2017 - 8:54 am

        Didn’t realise you had solar Alistair. I’ll have a look on your blog. Really impressed with my Weaco CRX fridge. Keep the posts coming. Always an interesting read ๐Ÿ™‚

      • #7 by albell on June 5, 2017 - 9:50 am


        Yup, two older Siemens 75w panels and a 210 Ahr agm battery l have the panels portable and set out as needed. The battery is larger than I need and I barely make a dent in the capacity .



  2. #8 by Marius Strom on June 5, 2017 - 9:01 am

    I replaced my fridge with a TF49 AC/DC fridge. It’s nice to be able to store ice cream sandwiches in the heat of eastern Washington summers and not worry about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Alistair, I look forward to you figuring out how to do your gas shock modification to the late Westy kitchen upper. I couldn’t figure out a solution for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #9 by albell on June 5, 2017 - 9:53 am


      It will be a while. The new cabinet has a hole for a switch cut in the front face. I don’t like that. So it will maybe be a take apart and rebuild using my current unit. The new style lid is tempting for the better seat reclining it allows, but I don’t like the dark brown top . That will have to be covered with something, veneer?

      But I’ll have a look at it regarding the gas strut. I could see right away how the install in the old style won’t work in the new style .




  3. #10 by ivan a Todorov on November 21, 2021 - 8:19 pm

    Can I buy only the stove from your westy kitchenette remains? Please email me if so. THanks

    • #11 by albell on November 24, 2021 - 8:23 am


      Sorry but the kitchen unit had the stove equipment removed before I bought it. Only the stainless steel top remains.

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