Van Build

how we do it, what we use and more details

1988 VW T3 Caravelle

Our LittleWagen was born in 1988. I started looking for camper van few months before Covid-19 made the stupid worldtour. 9 months later I finally found LittleWagen. She is a bit rusty and need a lots of work but old Volkswagen busses that are in good condition are really hard to find these days.

Volkswagen T3 Caravelle

Engine: 1.6 L (1588 cc) (51 kW / 70 PS / 69 bhp) (Serial #JX) Turbocharged I4. (We are swaping our engine to 1.9 AAZ at the moment! More about that soon!)

Transmission: 4 speed manual

Dimensions: Lenght 4,569 mm (179.9 in) and Width 1,844 mm (72.6 in)

We chose our VW T3 because it’s truly the most iconic van in the vanlife community. I have had old classic cars before and there’s a certain romance to work with a pre-computer engine, learning it inside-out and having the ability to add new innovations to your car. If you’re on a budget, don’t want to deal with a lot of mechanical issues, or really want to customize your van’s interior and functionality as a living space, there are much better options.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Triin, Vunts & Cat (@littlewagen)

We will be documenting all our build details in Instagram Story Highlights @littlewagen and will be posting more about the build here.

Step-by-Step Guide: Changing the Head Gasket on a Volkswagen T3 with JX or AAZ Diesel Engine
As you know after our trip from Poland to Estonia (600km) with only 3rd gear so approx 50km/h we managed to blow our head gasket. So if you own a…
Continue reading
Swaping engine to 1.9TD (AAZ) – Part 2
An engine swap is never an easy process, it takes a lot of time and money. If you plan to get on the road quickly and cheaply, then buy a…
Continue reading
Our sliding ragtop sunroof installation
A proper car has four wheels, a motor and… a sunroof! At first, we wanted to have a pop-top but eventually, we decided on another path. We document our vanlife…
Continue reading
rekey locks, match car keys
Quick tip how to rekey VW T3 locks
Hey everyone! Rauno here with a quick little tip. NB! I am not a professional mechanic, I just write the solutions for common problems and how I manage to resolve…
Continue reading
How to fix stripped threads?
Soooooo… oh wait there is a meme for that! 😅 Ever been in this situation or you just stripped your bolt and now reading this? Yeah… I feel bad for…
Continue reading
Upholstery vw t3 seats van life van conversion vw t25
The journey of our new seat covers
Old car equals old seats! As the online market for suitable seat covers did not pan out, we had to make them ourselves. We will be documenting all our build…
Continue reading
Swaping engine to 1.9TD (AAZ) – Part 1
Engine swap is never an easy process, it takes a lot of time and money. If you plan to get on the road quickly and cheaply, then buy a van…
Continue reading
1.6TD (JX) to 1.9TD (AAZ) To-do-list
Our T3 had 1.6TD JX 51kw engine but it was leaking oil and coolant etc. The plan was to take the engine out and rebuild it but then I realised…
Continue reading
Which van to buy for campervan conversion?
Picking the perfect home takes time and seems quite scary at first. Every van has its own features some of them may be a lifesaver on the road some may…
Continue reading

"Life is a beautiful ride"
.. if you build it beautiful!

Supporting our van build:

%d bloggers like this: