View Full Version : 1978 "Phoenix: VW-Based Van That Expands Tent-Trailer Style"
06-08-2009, 06:39 PM
Blast from the past that originally appeared in the March '78 Popular Mechanics magazine. Reprinted plans available at the RQ Riley link here (https://rqriley.hostcentric.com/phx.html#order).
Not into such tent campers myself, so I may have missed it, but I don't think I've seen this style of tent truck/van here....
06-08-2009, 06:45 PM
Ha ha that is awesome! You would get plenty of attention wherever you deployed that thing.
06-08-2009, 06:53 PM
Vicious! That is way cool! And so 1970s!
06-08-2009, 07:46 PM
I remember seeing plans for one of those. I collect old Popular Mechanics. I would have loved to built one, but then again, my 15 year-old spirit beat out out my 15 year-old intelligence.
06-08-2009, 08:06 PM
As a kid I remember seeing those in the magazines.
Oh man, does that date me?
06-15-2009, 11:14 AM
I recall reading about someone restoring one of these last year. There were a few variations on the same design. One version didn't have the fold-outs. I'll post a link if I come across it again.
04-03-2010, 01:16 AM
I remember those popups based on the bus chassis.
They used hard styrene foam with fiberglass over it, much like their 'tri-magnum' enclosed trike (motorcycle powertrain mated to a bug front end).
Does that date me even more than remembering seeing them in the mag?
04-03-2010, 11:38 PM
Heck, I remember seeing them in the mag as an _adult_....that was 7 years after I got out of the Navy.... Yes, it's cool, very much so, but I don't think I'd want to overnight in a truckstop or rest area on the way to/from like I often do in one.... ;)
04-04-2010, 02:25 AM
I saw something like that on my Overland Expo Scouting Mission
07-03-2010, 02:51 PM
The guy who designed the Phoenix is still in business. Here is his website:
http://www.rqriley.com/phx.html (I guess "blazer" provided this info back in June '09) He still offers plans to build the Phoenix.
Better yet, I know of an uncompleted Phoenix that is for sale! It is located in NW Ohio and all parts have been stored inside for probably twenty years.
I have not personally seen the vehicle, but I understand the owner has all the parts needed, including the engine, all the fiberglass panels built, and the chassis modified. Vehicle just needs assembly, plus I would assume, the canvas pieces made and the glass cut. Contact me at my email address: email@example.com if you would be interested in speaking with the owner about purchasing his unfinished Phoenix. He is anxious to sell, but it is a tough item to put on some place like Ebay, because most people wouldn't know what he is talking about.
If you write to me, please put VW Phoenix camper van in the Subject, so I will know who you are.
Riley (the designer) is an industrial designer, and some of his website linked 'clients' are really interesting, like this one:
This company builds high speed amphibious craft, from sports cars to a take-off on the Hummer. (Updates of Amphicar & the WWII 'Duck.')
This client: http://www.myersmotors.com/index.html builds an all-electric one or two person vehicle similar to the Sparrow (if you happen to know what that is).
10-10-2010, 02:28 AM
Damn this blog is hard to deal with. The partially completed Phoenix camper van referred to by me in the previous note has been sold. For some reason, this message is TOO SHORT ! I really don't know what else to say. Would you like to read about my time in prison ? Talk about boring !! Almost makes you wish prisoners would still tend farms. I can assure all of you who don't happen to have had the experience, no matter who your cellmate is, after the first week, there ain't nothing more interesting to talk about. Try to get sent to a prison that has a library, if you can swing it. You really need to have some special friends to get into those joints, though. Not too many of them left. R B Simmers
02-17-2012, 12:13 AM
Here is one on Ebay now
02-17-2012, 11:22 AM
That thing is really making the rounds on the net. So awesome, I'm really hoping that a friend in NJ buys it. He just happens to have a couple Subie engines laying around and has been known to tackle some weird projects, such as racing Yugos and Wartburgs.
02-21-2012, 03:33 AM
I drive by it all the time. Never stopped to look at it. From 40mph it looks...like it needs an owner with experience.
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