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Road trip to the past: Go to Seattle and rent a vintage VW Vanagon

It’s been nearly three decades since I did a road trip in a VW camper that took me and my then-girlfriend from Northern California to Yellowstone National Park and back.

Though the relationship didn’t last, my love affair with the VW bus and the adventure endures. I’ll probably never own one of those iconic vehicles again, but now I (and all travelers) can rent one.

Seattle entrepreneur Harley Sitner has refurbished a small fleet of Westfalia Vanagons built between 1987 and 1991. All the vans have new or completely rebuilt engines.

Sitner has christened his company, appropriately, Peace Vans Rentals and is offering what he calls “expertly restored Volkswagen campers” for families, weekend warriors and even millennials who want to hit the road for a week or more. 

Each camper sleeps up to four adults comfortably and comes with a built-in stove, sink and a good amount of storage.

The vans also are outfitted with cookware, utensils and headlamps, as well as nice touches like a French press coffeemaker with fresh local beans. Washington wine, spirits and other gourmet treats can be added upon request.

“Peace Vans, our sister company and one of the nation’s foremost Volkswagen Van restoration experts, has been getting requests for rentals since ... 2012, so it’s a joy to be able to extend this possibility,” Sitner said.

“We are getting early reservations for road trip reunions, family adventures and girlfriend getaways, but the versatility and reliability of our Peace Vans vehicles paired with the nostalgia of this road trip icon really makes this a super accessible adventure for a wide variety of travelers.”

Guests may design their own trips, meander the open road or consult with the Peace Vans experts who can offer tips and tricks of van life, such as gourmet camping fare or secret campsites.

Peace Vans in Seattle is accepting reservations now for travel beginning May 1.

Rentals are available for six-night minimums with Sunday pick-up after 1 p.m.  Rates begin at $1,425 for one week (six nights) with each additional night at $205. The price includes 100 miles per day and 15 cents per mile thereafter.

Info: Peace Vans Rentals, (206) 467-7368

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