My name is Tim. I just became a member and am slowly reading through the forum. (Just let me know of you've answered these questions before.) Great info!
I am a german fellow and have been in Melbourne for about 7 years, and I'm looking to buy a van - hopefully a T3 Syncro.
I owned a '74 T2 pop-top in '94 and '95.
Now we are a family with two little boys looking to get a second car to have fun times, a towing train, quick weekend escapes and some city hopping.
I read in a German T3 manual that the T3 has a maximum 2000 kg braked towing capacity with a 80kg tow ball down weight but the original Volkswagen manual mentioned an exemption for a 100kg allowance for the (german) TÜV (safety inspection authority) so I guess the van is up to it. Can anybody tell me what it's like to tow a trailer with a Syncro? I guess this might be different from engine to engine - how about a 2.1 waterboxer as a staring point? The trailer we would like to eventually tow is a Jayco Swift pop top, about 800 kg empty but more likely about 1000 - 1100 kg loaded with a 65 -105 kg tow ball. Plus four people and a bit of gear in the van. Slow would be totally fine with me but safe it should be.
Any estimates about comfortable travel speed and fuel intake? How about hills and overheating? I's love the 4WD to get up and down the gravel / dirt tracks around Lake Tyers in Victoria with the trailer … reasonable?
2. Reliability (with the above in mind)
I am not a mechanic, but am happy to work on any issues and do the regular maintenance on the van, but would also pay someone more clever than me to fix things. My family lives in Germany and I go there occasionally too so if need be I could get spare parts from the motherland. What should I expect to pay per annum to keep a a 25 year old T3 happy? Can I have family holidays without having to fix anything during holidays?
I think I would be happy to drive a low spec model (window van though) so that the van is light and has enough room for the kids bikes, pram and the usual gear to lug around town. But I would like to have only a 3 seater bench in the back (maybe the second row from a Caravelle, Multivan, Caravelle Carat) for our two pygmies. Will I need to be aware of what model to get regarding putting 3 point harnesses and anchor straps into to van? (with the bench if it's not present)
4. I am going to look at this van - does anybody know it?
Many thanks for your advice and opinions!