I’ve always thought that one oversight of the Vanagon is a lack of lighting in the passenger cabin. Obviously in Westfalias there’s the galley lighting, but that’s not triggered by opening the door. A closer inspection of the B pillar and the sliding door revealed that clearly it isn’t a complete oversight of VW: there is a cutout for the door switch, indicating it must be an option somewhere.
Adding the light wasn’t overly difficult, but did require a bit of experimentation. First I ran wires, tapping into the existing cabin lighting so that all the lights would be on the same circuit. This was made easier by the fact that I have already installed a light over the front passenger seat. Ultimately I got the wires in place using string and some bailing wire. That done, I had to engineer the trigger for the switch, since the door doesn’t fit flush where the switch mount point is. This I accomplished with a hex bolt and few nuts which allowed a fair amount of precision adjustment.
After that, it was just a matter of cutting the hole for the new light fixture in the right side air duct. I used the standard VW dome light for uniformity of appearance. Now I can see what’s going on when I open the sliding door, and the dome light provides some additional lighting when camping. Easily one of the best mods I’ve made on Olly so far.