These are two 2002 Eurovan Winnebago full campers (EVC). They are the same year and model, and have the same exact suspensions. One of them is an unmodified original, and the other has our GoWesty suspension lift kit, 16" alloy wheel package, and Bilstein shocks. The 1995 to 2000 type Eurovan campers actually sit LOWER than the 01-03 types, and the difference with the suspension lift is even more dramatic. So, you are probably thinking:
Q: If this is the way the vehicle is supposed to be, why do we want to change it?
A: Because this is NOT the way it's supposed to be, that's why! Read on...
When these vehicles left the VW factory they sat close to the way they do AFTER our lift/level suspension kit is installed. The reason is that when these vehicles left the VW factory, they were shipped out to Winnebago in the form of an empty cargo van with no windows along the sides—they were completely gutted. Winnebago then installed the pop-top, all the interior camping stuff, and the three side windows. Not only did this load the vehicle down, but since all the heavy camper stuff is on the driver's side, the vehicle leans to the left.
Complicating matters further, the front suspension design of the Eurovan (all hard-top and pop-top Weekender models, too—not just the EVC) employs torsion bars, as opposed to coil springs (which are what is used in the rear suspension). A torsion bar is a long steel rod that is loaded in a twisted fashion by the suspension. Its resistance to twisting makes it a "spring." Torsion bars are notorious for taking a "set" in the first year or so. All VW and Porsche vehicles from 1948 to 1979 (and many beyond) were fitted with torsion bars, and all "settle" over time. VW is well aware of this characteristic. On those older designs, the torsion bars were difficult if not impossible to adjust, whereas on Eurovans it is really pretty easy. It is difficult to understand why VW did not post a factory bulletin for ALL Eurovans instructing owners to get the front suspension adjusted once the torsion bars settled. However, no such bulletin exists.
All of these factors add up to a vehicle that ends up sitting way too low in the front, and in the case of the full camper, leaning badly to the left. Just about every Eurovan camper that comes in has had the LP tank dragged over something. The tank brackets are usually bent badly, and the whole assembly is sitting about 2" too far back.
It is not uncommon to see 2001-2003 models fitted with 16" wheels come in with signs of the front left tire actually coming into contact with the fender. That is how much too low they sit.
On top of that, the ride quality is seriously compromised. The front suspension travel is non-existent, and hitting even a modest bump in the road can feel like your spine is being compressed.
Technically, the only part you need to raise your 01-03 EVC is one spring pad that costs $25 (three of these if your EVC is a 1995-2000, none if your Eurovan is not a full camper), and a good alignment shop that can adjust and install the spring pad(s) to level and raise the rear suspension, which only takes 30-60 minutes. These rear spring pads are only applicable to the EVC, since it is only the full Winnebago campers that have all the equipment on one side that makes them lean to the left. Eurovan hard-top or pop-top Weekender models do not have this problem so, technically, no parts are required for non-EVC models.
The procedure for the front suspension is the same for all Eurovan models. The alignment shop needs to adjust the front torsion bars to raise the front suspension (1 hour) and align the front end (1 hour). A four-wheel alignment is recommended, and a shop that has Eurovan experience is highly recommended. There is a simple (but special) tool required to adjust the front suspension height—an experienced shop will have it. This will give you the desired ground clearance. However, more ground clearance comes with a higher center of gravity, which decreases stability.
The 16" alloy wheel GoWesty offers for the Eurovan is 1-1/2" wider than the wheel originally fitted to all 1995-2000 15" Eurovan models, and 1/2" to 1-1/2" wider than the wheel fitted to all 01-03 Eurovans. The wheel we use also has a different off-set or "ET," so it sticks out a little more on either side of the vehicle than do either of the original wheels. That increases the "track" (distance between the center of each tire, side to side) of the vehicle. Combined with the superior Bilstein gas shocks, it all works as a system to keep the vehicle stable after it is raised. This all must be done together for safety, which is why we will not sell just the parts and information that will allow an individual to simply do the raising part by itself.
The Eurovan Camper Suspension Kit is sold as a complete kit only. This includes all parts: wheels, tires, pads, shocks, and instructions. We do not break up the kit to sell the spring pads or instructions separately. However, there is one exception to this policy. If you have documentation showing that you have already purchased shocks and/or 16" wheels and tires from GoWesty, we will work with you to complete it. Just give us a call.
One question concerning this kit comes up time and time again: "After I have lifted and leveled my van, will it fit in my garage?" So we got out the tape measure and checked a couple lifted and leveled Eurovans. Keep in mind that, due to spring sag, the height of every van will be slightly different. On average, this kit raises the overall height of a 1995-2000 EVC by less than 1" from its starting height, even less than that for 2001-2003 models. "How is this possible?" you might ask. Well, if you look at your EVC without the GoWesty lift/level treatment, you will notice that it lists to the left and rakes down very low at the front left corner. If you measure the vehicle's maximum height, you will find that the tallest point is the right rear corner of the top, at the very rear-most corner. What happens when the vehicle is leveled is that that point stays at about the same height, but the rest of the top comes up to meet it—in other words, it does not go any higher. The result is much more ground clearance (what you want) with almost no more total height increase (what you don't want). Try it yourself. Bust out your jack, do some jacking up, and check it for yourself. We have, many times, and we can tell you: It works! So, if your EVC fit in your garage before, it will very likely fit after it is lifted and leveled. There is just no downside to this procedure—it is the way these vehicles should have come from the get-go!
GoWesty! Camper Products is a privately owned company specializing in parts, accessories, sales and service of Volkswagen (R) campers. It is not affiliated in any way with Volkswagen of America or Volkswagen AG. "Vanagon", "Bus", "VW", "Volkswagen", and "Eurovan" are registered trademarks and should be considered as such throughout our entire website.