Caz & Shaun
Introduce yourself and what do you do at Just Kampers?
Caz & Shaun
Hi, I’m Caz (Copy Writer/Events Co-ordinator) - I’ve been with JK for well over 10 years -longer than many but not as long as others, including my husband Shaun (who is Sales Director). Our roles here tend to evolve over time so I have worn many hats and subsequently had the benefit of many different experiences. Many moons ago I started in Sales and enjoyed many a VW show, on the front line, enjoying the VW scene with youthful gusto (fast forward and although I would not consider myself wiser – I’m definitely older and our lives look distinctly different as the nights became less heavy and more family orientated!).
The best part of my job is the connection to the community and the amazing people within it (we have customers who became friends, and from friends, I now consider to be family), and the thing I’m most proud of, in relation to my current role, is the Open Day which is a real pleasure to work on despite all the hard work that goes into it. I often steal a moment of calm just to gaze around the field and take in all the families and friend groups enjoying time spent together - knowing that you are a big part of that happening is a special feeling.
Shaun started as a part-timer in conjunction with our own little business. Deciding quite early on that the call of the JK family was not easily ignored. He quickly rose through the ranks and obviously demonstrated that he had “the goods” subsequently becoming Sales Director. Our love affair with VW’s came prior to our working at JK but definitely informed our coming here to be a part of the team. Something that our eldest has also done, joining the warehouse team over holidays as soon as he was old enough – our daughter too is desperate to be a part of the JK family – but has a wait yet!
Following an extensive backpacking trip around Aus.’, and spending 24-7 together for months on end, we decided that we must be a pretty good duo – having made it back together with neither feeling the need to murder the other. That level of heady wanderlust and adventure made us keen (and slightly impulsive) in terms of how we then proceeded when we returned. Given that we had been surrounded by VDubs whilst on our trip it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise that ownership would quickly follow!
We both had fathers who were hands-on enthusiastic car devotees, who had imparted a love of vehicles you could work on yourself. We’d both spent a fair amount of our youth donned in overalls. And I will admit with no amount of shame that the draw of a VW camper and its cool status won us over. Shaun disappeared off to “go and look” at a VW camper. Promising faithfully that he wouldn’t do anything other. I’ve learned since how naive I was to believe him - as the slightly manic call on his return journey would attest to. He arrived. Reeking of petrol in a camper that was sporting at least three different shades of orange. And declared “It was a steal - the guy didn’t know what he had!” Shaun’s Grandma had kindly lent us the money - and that is how Doris got her name.
Obviously, no one buys a vehicle with any thought of how long it will be a part of your life – but had someone told me that, over 20 years later, we’d still be together I would not have believed them. It is fair to say that Doris is a bit like Trigger’s broom. There isn’t much left that is original – especially not of the metalwork. We drove her, as was, for a long time. Working at JK obviously meant that panels and parts became a lot more accessible as too did contacts with specialists. When we reached our capacity to do the work and with Doris obviously requiring some proper TLC – she found herself in the capable hands of Ashley Jay (then Berkshire Bugs). He performed some major surgery – which was at times pretty terrifying as the full (and very extensive nature) of the rust rot was revealed. At times Doris bore more than a little resemblance to a Flintstones car!With some major work and some new paint she started the next chapter and served faithfully for many years. We’d like to think that she has grown with us – at one point lowered to the floor with every conceivable bit of bling going and now back to stock. Since then she has found herself, when necessary, in the expert care of Stephen Fletcher at Auto Revival. Most recently spending time having new arches and some time dealing with the few rust issues – at a time when they are easily managed - followed by a new paint job. Steve is a real stickler for attention to detail and the quality of his work has certainly done her proud.
T2 Bay Window Westfalia
Name if any?
Age/year of Manufacture
Ground up restoration by Ashley Jay Two visits to Dr Steve(!) for some TLC (Most recently: Full respray by Auto Revival, New front arches, Deformation panel and associated works) Mechanical works over the years – standard maintenance and upkeep (Ours)
People always comment on how unreliable the camper must be -because they are “known for it”! Hand on heart I can confidently say that we have only ever broken down 3 times in 20 years. Admittedly one of those times was the scariest moment – standing with nothing but a metal barrier for protection, no grass verge to escape to, with a toddler whilst heavily pregnant on the motorway as cars whipped past us less than a meter away, was a moment I’d happily forget. Suffice to say that I have never been happier to see an AA man! Many times over there have been difficult times and there has been pressure to sell – and each time one or other of us has, with dogged determination, stubbornly resisted the sale. And we are so glad we have…
She faithfully took us on the journey to our wedding – the only time that Shaun let his dad chauffeur – and later took our baby boy on his first camping trip at 4 months. Followed by our daughter's first trip away. She has taken us all on many holidays, fantastic experiences, and been part of many happy family moments.
My sister and brother in law also have a beach buggy which we helped to build and see roaring into life. It means that Doris and Davina regularly head out for adventures together so it’s quite a family thing. The kids have never known a life without her. Whether its grand trip away or day trips to local beauty spots or beach days at the coast -Doris has been intrinsic to so many happy times for us all.
If you are new to VW ownership. Do your homework. Go to some shows and chat with owners. People typically are more than happy to show you their Vdubs and share their experiences. Join some clubs, whether they be forums, FB pages etc. The good ones are a fountain of information and knowledge. When looking (if possible) take someone who knows what they are looking for (and a magnet!) – arm yourself with some buyers guides.
Learn the basics – the classics particularly lend themselves to the DIY mechanic. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to work on, how much you can learn and how proficient you can become with the aid of John Muir and YouTube! But equally, know your limits and get a good relationship with a specialist you can trust.
Accept the slower pace. If you are driving a classic life will slow to its pace – and you’ll have to adapt accordingly. You’ll be glad you did.
Any other VWs Owned
She hasn’t been our only VW, (there have been a couple of Beetle’s too along the way – although my coveted Squareback still evades me, and Shaun still looks every day at more bugs in a desperate attempt to convince me we “need” one!) but, she has been the one that became a permanent fixture within our family.
Many times over there have been difficult times and pressure to sell – and each time one or other of us has with dogged determination stubbornly resisted the sale.
And we are so glad we have.