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Midstate Rally spotlights VW Vanagons, buses, campers and friend - abc27 WHTM

Midstate Rally spotlights VW Vanagons, buses, campers and friendship

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As president of the group, Matt Sim says he had little trouble finding members of the Susquehanna Valley Vanagon Club who wanted to participate.

"We all like camping. We all like having fun," he said. " We all like getting ideas for making making modifications to their vehicles."

By vehicles, Sim is talking about more than sixty Volkswagen Vanagons, buses and campers gathered recently for a weekend of camping and fellowship at Riverfront Campground in Duncannon. For the attendees, it was a chance to celebrate their favorite mode of transportation while making lots of new friends.

"The big appeal is we all get along great," said Sim. " I mean, everybody here is self sufficient in camping. They don't need much assistance or help."

Dave and Kim Lorence have been enjoying this style of camping for a decade. The Asbury, New Jersey couple, say the people make it fun more so than the vehicles.

"Every time we go to a campground, we meet a whole bunch of new people," said Kim, as she and Dave reworked a window cover on their van. " We've made a lot of new friends."

Every campsite featured its own look. Canopies offered shade, celebrated sports teams and connected neighbors. Each vehicle had a different look, inside and out.

Chris Blakely travelled from Chambersburg for the rally. he enjoys seeing how others have modified their vehicles to make them more livable for camping. His unit featured many comforts of home.

"It's what they call a weekender," he said, pointing to his camper. " It doesn't have the pop up like some of them, but it has a nice bed. I've actually got a TV and it's a pretty nice setup."

Sim said most of the campers keep their vehicles primed for camping on short notice.

"With these vans, the great thing is, half the stuff you can already have in the van all the time," said Sim. "That includes the cabinets and all the little storage nooks and crannies. It's ready to go whenever you want."

But, this gathering was about far more than VW vans, buses and campers. It was meals prepared over open fires, kayaks maneuvering on a quiet river, home made music to set the mood, games where the score is not important and art and crafts for the little campers.

"My wife makes fun of me quite a bit about what she calls "Vanagon Fever." I get it every spring. I get Vanagon Fever and I won't stop talking about it pretty much until the campout is over."

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