Location: Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA
We recently rented a '78 VW manual shift Riviera pop-top nicknamed 'Rell Sunn' from this really cool and unique business that has a fleet of vintage VW buses for rent in Southern California called Vintage Surfari Wagons. Yes, this exists, and yes, you can rent one from their fleet in Costa Mesa, CA on your next road trip - it's an experience for sure!
This is basically our digital-media guestbook entry:
Day one started out with picking the VW Bus up in Costa Mesa, CA. We went over some of the quirks about driving a 38 year old automobile and how to best utilize all the features like the propane stove, pop-top camper, and mini-refrigerator. One of the more important points was telling fuel level by the mileage, not the gas gauge - which averages around 200 miles per tank with a little cushion just in case. After a few pointers, I was all set and took 'Rell Sunn' up to Los Angeles to pick up my girlfriend Astrobandit and head out to our first destination, Red Rock Canyon State Park off the Hwy 14.
A neat feature of the passenger chair is that it can swing and lock 180 degrees to face backwards toward the sliding-door and kitchenette area. Good for views and good for playing board games also.
We got to the park around sunset and selected a nice camping spot close to the cliffside and watched the tail end of the sun fade into the hills.
Here we are popping the top once night fell. The bus can sleep 4, two down low and two up top. An important pointer here is to try and park on a fairly level surface, otherwise you will find yourself crawling to the other side of the van when you slip toward the center of gravity in your sleep. Next time I'd bring a few 2x4's for good measure.
While we slept, I had one of my light-skeleton friends do a little check up on the vehicle. All was in order thankfully.