JCF Fest 2012 at Westfalia

DJC5 - A German Westy travels the USA

Contents: Westfalia This very car Specifications Mercedes Specifications Westfalia Shipping Costs Container?

What is DJC5?

DJC5 license plateDJC5 is the license plate of one of the last "Westfalia James Cook"s, that was ever built. D stands for Düsseldorf, where the Mercedes Sprinter is built. The vanity-letters JC refer to James Cook. 5 is just a random number, required for German license plates.

About the "Westfalia James Cook"

"James Cook" is the name of a Class-B motorhome, built by Westfalia from 1978 to 2012. On the image above you can see three generations. All are based on a Mercedes chassis. From left to right you see the "Sprinter NCV3" (2006-2012), the "Sprinter T1N" (1995-2006) and finally the "pre-Sprinter T1" (1978-1995).

About 6000 units were produced in 35 years, 237 units were exported to the US in 2005. There were branded "Airstream Westfalia" while the Sprinter was rebranded "Dodge 2500".

About Westfalia

Westfalia is a very old German company, founded in 1848 in Rheda-Wiedenbrück in the Westphalia region of Germany. They are famous for the invention of the tow ball hitch, patented in 1934 and for the Volkswagen van conversion in the sixties and seventies, from split-window-VW-Bus to the Vanagon.

From 2001 to 2007, Westfalia was owned by DaimlerChrysler. During this period, they used their brand Dodge to export the James Cook to the USA as "Airstream Westfalia" (2005). About 200 units are still used today. Also in this period, DaimlerChrysler invested a lot of money to develop the 3rd generation of James Cook. This made the NCV3-Sprinter James Cook very unique.

About this very car

This James Cook with the license plate DJC5 was made by Daimler in Düsseldorf in Feb. 2012 and was converted to a James Cook by Westfalia in April 2012. In 2014, 2016 and 2019 it was shipped to Baltimore MD or Halifax NS and traveled thru all 50 states and 8 provinces (Hawaii with rental cars though). There are two videos of the first trip: 5 Minutes and 30 Minutes long

Take a look inside

In 2012, THAVIS made a short video of this car

Specifications (Mercedes)

The chassis is a Sprinter 319 CDI with a 3.0 liter 6 cylinder Diesel engine. It has 190 hp and a torque of 325 ft*lb (440 Nm). On the 2014 trip through the USA, the mileage was 20 mpg. In Germany, at higher speeds, the milage is less. The top speed is 100 mph. The transmission is the Mercedes 7G-Tronic. At 60 mph (in the 7th gear) the engine is running very quiet at 2,000 rpm. Even at top speed of 100 mhp, 3,330 rpm are not bad.

Specifications (Westfalia)

Four adults can sleep in the car. The upper bed (accessed via a ladder) is extremly long (7'9") and 59" wide. The lower bed is 6'6" long and 53" wide. This is more than two queen beds. Warm water for the floor heating and the shower is provided by a Hydronic unit from Eberspächer (Espar), which runs on Diesel. The compressor fridge runs on 12V only and has a deep freeze compartment. Butane is only used for the stove. The 6 lbs butane canister is good for one year. There is no propane on board. The 270 Ah lithium-batteries are charged while driving over a 90 A b2b-charger and through 300 Wp of solar panels. We don't carry any cable to hook up to electricity. 230 V devices like coffee machine, convection oven and hair dryer are powered over an 2,000 W inverter.

How did the shipping work?

The car was shipped on a ConRo vessel. This is a vessel category with mainly containers and a big roll-on-roll-off cardeck. See further information on the website of ACL. We brought our car to the harbor of Antwerp in Belgium and gave them the key. A few days later, somebody of ACL drove the car on board, just like on a ferry. After stops in Hamburg (Germany), Göteborg (Sweden), Liverpool (UK), Halifax (Canada), New York (USA) it came to Baltimore, MD. We took a flight to Baltimore and picked it up there. It was very easy, because the company SeaBridge for Motorhomes took care of everything.

How much did the shipping cost?

The rate is calculated by size of the vehicle (length x width x height). We paid about 6,000 USD round trip, including harbor fees in Antwerp and Baltimore. Not included is a car insurance, because the home-insurance doesn't cover oversea travels.

Why didn't you put it in a container?

Even tall containers are not tall enough. The door opening of a high cube container is 8.5′ (2585 mm) high. The James Cook's height is 10.5' (3200 mm).