Roll-Over Point: How Far Can You Tip Your Westy?

Below are photos of my 1987 Vanagon Westfalia Wolfsburg Weekender Syncro. It is tipped over 45 degrees, to the very brink of tipping over. You can see Taylor is able to lift it off the forklift forks with very little force.

If you were to draw an imaginary line from the top corner of the top down to the contact patch of the tire on the ground, the line would be basically vertical. What this means is that the center of gravity is right about half the distance between the ground and the very top of the vehicle, basically right at the VW insignia. Adding passengers and any load to the top of the vehicle would RAISE the center of gravity, and would cause the vehicle to tip over EASIER. When we added a driver and passenger to this vehicle, the tip-over angle was reduced by around 5 degrees. That is, it wanted to tip over at around 40 degrees.

Anyone who has much off-road experience knows that the scariest thing is the fear of tipping sideways and rolling over. That is way more scary than going up or down steep hills. That is why it is very useful to know just how far you can tip over your Westy and still be safe. Anything over about 20 degrees feels REALLY scary. Angles over 30 degrees should be avoided. Tipping it over 40 is suicide…

That is why you should have a GoWesty Sync-Roll-O-Meter. With this device and some knowledge, you'll have a good bead on just exactly how scared you should be…





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