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My VW T25, White Wall Tyres and Me | VW Camper Van Blog

My VW T25, White Wall Tyres and Me

Posted on December 26th, 2008

My VW T25, White Wall Tyres and Me

As you know, we have recently completed a restoration on my Volkswagen Type 25 Transporter which I am really pleased with. Part of the process was thinking how we wanted the end product to look. We decided that we liked the van ‘riding high’ and so decided not to have it lowered at all. We also decided we liked some of the original features of the van, like the non-colour coded bumpers and the stock rims so decided to keep this all original.

However, one thing I knew I wanted way before we even conceived of having enough money to have the camper van re-sprayed was white wall tyres. I really like them and whilst I am sure it is not everyones cup of tea seeing these on a T25 (clash of era’s and all that) but I really wanted them. 

So whilst the van was in the body shop I made a quick phone call to Just Kampers who I had seen were stocking some of the thin white wall tyres (thin white stripe - not think tyres!). They were very helpful and took my order and I had the four new tyres delivered to the body shop. 

A few weeks later I had the call to say the van was almost ready so I went around to see the final stages being completed. When I got there the new tyres were on and looked great against the newly re-sprayed Harvest Moon Beige stock steel rims and domed VW hub caps. 

The VW T25 Van after the re-spray sporting the new White Wall Tyres

The VW T25 Van after the re-spray sporting the new White Wall Tyres

However, there was a problem. The body shop was also a MOT / Mechanical Garage and the guy from that secton that had put the tyres on pulled me to one side and informed me that my new white wall tyres were not the correct specification for the van. Now, bear in mind I am a graphic designer who is quite at home on a computer designing brochures or websites, but I have NO practical / mechanical knowledge or skills whatsoever so all I asked Just Kampers was ‘will they fit a T25?’ - which of course, they did!

 

The VW T25 Van after the re-spray sporting the new White Wall Tyres

The VW T25 Van after the re-spray sporting the new White Wall Tyres

Apparently, the white wall tyres were rated P for passenger vehicles (small cars mainly) and with the unladen weight of my T25 Autosleeper coming in at 1.8 tones (meaning it is probably around 2.2 tones with all the camping gear and water tank fully loaded) meant that these tyres were not man enough for the vehicle.

So the van looked cool, but I was worried about the safety of it. I once again called Just Kampers who were again, very helpful. They explained to me that the specifications in the Transporter manual were based on the vans original purpose, a work van, and as such were no longer valid as it would not be carrying the weight originally intended. Now this kind of made sense to me but I was still not sure. So another call was made to VW Heritage where I spoke to a very nice guy who also said the same thing.

However, I took a trip down to a friend who works in a Tyres / Exhaust garage who took one look at the tyres and said ‘No way! Get them off!’. The maximum pressure stated on the tyres was 30PSI but the VW Transporter Manual was saying much higher so off came the cool white wall tyres and on went the commercial rated tyres. It really did not look as good (in my opinion).

After the White Walls Came Off

After the White Walls Came Off

So after another phone call to Just Kampers who were extremely helpful and understanding (and offered me a full refund on the tyres which was good of them) I then went on a hunt to try and find another way of getting my white wall tyres back on the van.

The first option was the White Wall Flaps which insert in between the tyre and the rim creating a white wall look. Having read up on these on forums and other websites it seemed that these have a tendency to damage and shred the side wall of the tyre they sit next too so these were a definite ’NO NO’.

The next option was to hunt out for some commercial white wall tyres that were man enough to carry the weight of the Camper Van. I took a look on various websites and the best seemed to be North Hants Tyres who stock a huge range of white wall and vintage tyres. However, over the phone the chap said he would not be happy selling me any of them to support a vehicle of that size. Back to the drawing board!

So the next option would be to buy some white wall tyre paint and pain the tyres myself. This seemed like a good idea until I remembered my lack of practical skill - the end result would probably look aweful!

So finally, after alot more time spent online on forums and other websites I found that there was some professionals who actually can convert normal tyres to white wall tyres. I located a chap called Neil who runs a Manchester based company that specialises in white walling tyres - www.whitewallingtyres.co.uk. I immediately emailed Neil who responded very quickly and said that it can be done buy smoothing down the lettering on the sidewall of a conventional black tyre. Then a layer of white rubber is applied to the tyre to give you proper white walls. The white band can be done in various widths to suit the look you are after.

Excellent - the only problem was they were in Manchester and I was in Devon. It seemed like a long way to go to get this done? So my hunt continued and I came across a company called Bay Area Rods based in Poole, Dorset which was a much more realistic journey to make. However, after trying to contact them a number of times to no avail I can only assume they are not longer trading?

So that brings me to today! It is now over 6 months since I had the cool white wall tyres taken off the VW Van and I am still no closer to finding a way to get them back on. The hunt continues…

So I ask for your help - Do you know of anyone that can white wall tyres in the South West? How about anyone that produces commercial white wall tyres? What are your views on the White Wall Flaps? Or do you think I should give up the dream and leave the tures as they are? I would love to hear anyones experience of white wall tyres and their VW Camper Van - Please Help!

Posted by Steve

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Posted on Friday, December 26th, 2008 at 2:36 pm
Posted In T25, VW Camper Accessories | Tags: ,

14 Responses to “My VW T25, White Wall Tyres and Me”

  • caroleH on March 6th, 2009 said:

    I’m looking at buying a T25, X reg with many added extras, inc generator and awning. What should I be expected to pay for it? hope you don’t mind me asking. Not sure about these things but hankered after one for year and years. Please advise.

  • Steve on March 7th, 2009 said:

    Hi Carole,

    Thanks for the comment. To give you an idea, when I purchased my VW Type 25 three years ago I paid £4995. It had 114,000 miles on the clock, a little bit of rust (nothing major) and had 1990 plates. I have seen some vans go as cheap as £1500 (but they tend to to be in bad shape and probably only bought as a project) and I have seen some as high as £10,000 (but these have probably had a lot more than that spent on them). Since I have had my van, I have probably spent over £4000 on a re-spray and other extras and I still have to re-upholster the interior cab and rear seats so you have to expect to be constantly spending.

    The question is what sort of van do you want? If you want one to completely restore then you can pick them up quite cheap and then spend the money doing them up. Or if you want one that has had all or most of the work done then you will pay much more for it. Or, like me, you can buy one in the middle and do the bits that you want to do with it?

    Hope this help - let me know how it goes!

    Steve

  • RaiulBaztepo on March 29th, 2009 said:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  • Edgar on June 7th, 2009 said:

    Hi,

    I’m having the exact same problem with white walls for my bay window van, only i’m in Northern Ireland. Would the fella in manchester not put the tyres in transit to you.

  • Steve on June 14th, 2009 said:

    Raiul,

    No problem about your english - It’s actually very good! Thanks for your comment!

    Edgar,

    Yes, I believe they will accept the tyres being sent to them, the only problem for me is that the tyres are already on the van so I would have to brick it up for a few days. I am planing a trip up to Manchester to have them done in a few weeks.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Steve

  • Dan on August 11th, 2009 said:

    Steve,

    I am looking to do the same on my T4 van and found your blog, hopefully you’ve saved me time surfing around for answers. Being in Brighton doesn’t help tho!

    Anyway I have used white wall flaps back in the day when I had a VW Beetle, a few of my friends had them too, they never really gave us problems but occasionally when on the motorway they may rip off. So you get to a show etc one short.

    I’d like to see how it looks when you get them done so post up some exra pics.

    Dan S

  • Steve on August 12th, 2009 said:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for your comment. I will definitely post some pics when I have mine done!

    Thanks

    Steve

  • Skobber Steve on August 24th, 2009 said:

    My advice would be……. You have a stunning campervan why not take a holiday in Manchester and get it done while your there.
    Companies like these are becoming very rare in the uk, you have been very lucky to find one.
    I bought the vw hup caps for my Trident and then put Chrome Trim Rings from just kampers on it and they look awesome.

  • Steve on August 24th, 2009 said:

    Hi Skobber Steve,

    Thanks for your comment. I am definitely taking a trip up there soon to get mine done!

    Would be great to see some photos of your T25 van (and the wheels) - feel free to email them over on info@vwcampervanblog.com or add them to the flickr group on http://www.flickr.com/groups/vwcampervanblog

    Thanks

    Steve

  • Richard on September 2nd, 2009 said:

    Hi

    Coule of Q’s on the wheel :)

    Did you get the steels powder coated (if so how much did they cost?) or did you paint these yourself?

    Also where did you get the Chrome hub caps from and how are they lasting?

    Thanks

    Rich (AWB)

  • Terry on March 17th, 2010 said:

    Hello,

    to all those interested in whitewalls, redwalls and multi coloured tyre enhancement options. I will be operating a mobile service starting in May 2010…hopefully.

    Website is under construction and should go live April,May 2010.

    Anyone interested in this concept can contact me for details at eeas.terry@googlemail.com or FB me Terry Bolden.

    We don’t sell tyres just enhance them!

  • tim nightingale on March 20th, 2010 said:

    can you help me i am haveing a problem changing gearbox oil on my vw t25,where is the drain plug,i just can’t see it, know meantion in my hand book,would appreciate your help thanks.

  • Steve on March 20th, 2010 said:

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your comment. I am afraid I am not much help in this area but have a look on Club 80 90 Forum as I am sure someone on there will be able to help.

    Good luck!

    Steve

  • Stuart on May 29th, 2010 said:

    Hi,

    What tyre size did you end up with in the end? was it stock tyres with a whitewall line added afterwards? there is a guy called Mr whitewall. He does them, if you still havent got yours done yet.

    great blog :-)

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