Detailing A Vanagon
The tools of the trade:
You will need a good car wax, I have preferred Zymol wax for years. It is easy to apply, dries fast in all climates, and it smells great! Keep on hand a variety of wax applicator sponges as they can get pretty gunked up. A bucket of water will help squeeze out the gunk. Lastly, dedicate a brand new natural fiber paint brush for dry wax clean up around trim and emblems.
When applying and buffing off car wax, try to go with the grain or haze of your paint. The Zymol wax dries in less than 10 minutes, but I like to leave it on for 20 minutes or more, or until I have applied wax to the rest of the car.
Car paint is like human skin, the longer a moisturizing product can remain in contact, the better conditioned the surface will be. Because of this principle, I never use any spray on, or quick finish wipes.
This close up shows the before and after waxed area. For an 18 year old car, the paint condition and luster is greatly improved, and the water will bead off the car now. You will truly feel the difference in the paint on the next car wash as the wash mitt will fly off the soaped body.
If your Vanagon's side moldings are showing their age and appear dried out, take a clean rag or sponge and apply your favorite heavy (clear) tire grease to the entire panel.
The only downside to a detailed Vanagon is that it seems to become a pollen magnet!