VW Bus Restoration – Fire and Rescue Mission

Kombi Fire and Rescue

Kombi Life Podcasts

Kombi Life Podcast – Episode 1 – Kombi Rescue with Brett, Leah and Ben

kombilife podcast

Check out the first episode of our NEW PODCAST SERIES.  In this episode we talk about what “Kombi Life” has been like the past few weeks duing our rescue and restoration mission, whilst we were bringing the Kombi back to life in the Yukon




Yes. The rumors are true. Kombi Life was struck with yet another disaster that has tested the patience and resilience of the Kombi Crew!

Our beloved Kombi, our home, caught on fire! Yep, crazy huh?! After all the visa troubles and mechanical issues we honestly didn’t know what to do and thought that this was the end of the Kombi Life story.

But we couldn’t just give up without a fight and with the help from some awesome friends and supporters of Kombi Life we started planning for the Kombi Rescue.

Here’s how it went down…


burnt out VW Bus Fire

OUR HOME – Opening the doors to find our home like this… The bed was completely destroyed and smoke damage had damaged most of the interior

vw bus fire

Kombi Fire Fighter Chad – Seriously this guy is a hero! After hearing from his neighbour that there was smoke coming from the Kombi, Chad jumped in his car and drove 10 miles to save Co’Pito from burning to the ground.

If you were wondering how the hell a bus caught fire on it’s own, in Alaska over winter…


THE CULPRIT– Our solar battery (left) which was under the bed had completely melted. We suspect a cell went bad or the charge controller over charged the battery…



Kombi Rescue Squad – Brett, Leah, Alaska and Ben

After hearing about the fire Brett here offered his support – In a huge way! Not only did he go and pick up our custom built transmission (in his plane!), he also offered to drive us and the transmission up to where Co’pito was in Haines, Alaska. He even wanted to help with the restoration. WHAT-A-LEGEND!


THE RESCUE VEHICLE: Brett’s beast has the power to tow Co’Pito through any terrain –


Long roads to Alaska – The scenic 2,200 mile drive to pick up Co’Pito from Haines, AK


Journey back to Whitehorse where we found a place to restore the Kombi at John’s Auto

Kombi Life Sticker 2.0We’re sending out stickers to those of you who wish to support us through this restoration.

Click here to grab the new Kombi Life sticker. 



After inspecting the damage we discovered the toxic smoke had destroyed EVERYTHING! Half of our possessions were not able to be restored but the ones that could needed to be cleaned, aired out and then cleaned some more. Trust us, this smoke left a smell so strong and toxic that we thought we’d never be able to clean…


The interior had to be stripped, sanded, painted and scrubbed!


The Kombi Crew working hard from sun up to sun down (during summer in the Yukon the sun set’s near midnight!)


WHAT A FIND! – We stumbled upon this beauty in a junkyard scored a new bed for the Kombi and cushions to replace our seats



new-seat   The new bed fit perfectly


Leah and Brett reupholstering the old damaged seats with the original Westfalia material found in the scrap yard


The Engine

Yep. We had to take the engine out again… For the ELEVENTH time!

As if the restoration wasn’t enough our engine needed some love too. At least this time we were in good hands at John’s Auto as they let us use there tools and garage space to get the engine fixed and ready for the long drive North


  People think I must have a lot of patience…I don’t!


Leah making sure our cylinders seal nicely in our tired 1600cc head




After weeks of long days living and working in a mechanics in the Yukon the Kombi restoration is complete and better than ever!

Check out the images below for the new improved Kombi interior – We’re stoked! (and pretty proud of ourselves)


DSC05122   DSC05124


westfalia seats


Thanks to everyone around the world for your words of encouragement and support.