Buslifers Tournament ’23 is Over, What’s Next?

The Buslifers Tournament 2023 has finally drawn to a close! It has been an exhilarating event over the last 6 months garnering the attention of many VW Bus enthusiasts. 

With 128 participants all over the world and over 80,000 votes from the viewers it has been the main event this year for Buslifers.

In this wrap up of the tournament we are going to cover:

  • Who the winners are (and an honorable mention)
  • Changes for next year’s tournament 
  • How to apply for the next tournament! 

🔥 Applications for participating in 2024 are already open – Apply here! 🔥

The winners (and an honorable mention)

We believe every VW Bus is beautiful and we wish everyone could win, but the people have chosen the winners for 2023.

The style of the tournament was rudimentary (we have plans to improve next year, see further down the article), but it still created a sense of excitement and a huge opportunity to showcase some incredible VW Buses. 

After almost 300 matches, the voters finally brought it down to 4 favorites.

In 4th place: @mistercamper

S.Fatih Bayraktar, AKA Mister Camper, from Turkey with his wonderful orange T2. He made a huge spark, particularly in Turkey where many people gathered behind him and voted. In 4th place he drove away with a kitchenware bundle including an Omnia stove top oven and a bunch of Stojos collapsible cookware

In 3rd place: @venjatravel

We were delighted to see this outstanding T3 Syncro make it to the semi-finals. Jan and Verena hail from Germany, but have spent much of their time traveling the Pan-American route. This is the only T3 that made it to the semi-finals, defying the many comments we received that a T3 stood no chance. Jan and Verena have won an incredible portable toilet from Laveo, that is odorless and requires no liquids or chemicals! 

In 2nd place: @verakombi

Nati and Will from Brazil came in a close second with their black T2 Kombi. Despite the dark color this VW Bus clearly stood out from the rest! Who said “Orange is the new black?” Nati and Will won a 12V 100Ah Battery from Dakota Lithium and a Stojo collapsible kitchen bundle

In 1st place: @pangeiatrips

Di and Fe really stole the show this year with their beautiful blue T2 Bus. Despite having many travel plans during the tournament and going offline for multiple days, they still managed to rile the voters into a frenzy and even got featured in a local newspaper of their hometown in Brazil!

They won the grand prize of the 10-day road trip in Switzerland from Busfabrik (or the $1500 cash prize), Dakota Lithium’s Off Grid Power System, and an Omnia Kit and Cookbook! We’ll also be sending over a Buslifers calendar for 2024 (plus an invitation to be in our 2025 calendar).

And our honorable mention

We also wanted to give a shoutout to one more VW Bus that took a surprising journey during the tournament. Despite having 40x less followers than some of the other VW Buses, Juan from @elveintemillas made it all the way to the quarter finals which is a huge achievement. It is great to see how it doesn’t always matter how many followers you have, but about how you show up in the community. Many other Buslifers have met Juan on the road as he travels from Ecuador to Alaska.

We’re sending Juan a Buslifers 2024 calendar for being a Buslife legend! 

One final mention

Finally, we wanted to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you that participated in the tournament this year! It has been so much fun, a little bit competitive, but mostly just like a big family game. This is the first ever Buslifers tournament and we’ve already started preparing for the next, so we hope you’ll join us again next year!

Of course, we’ve got some plans for improvement too…

Changes for 2024

While we are still in the planning stages of next year’s tournament, we already have some confirmed changes based on feedback and our own analysis of the event this year. We will endeavor to improve the tournament each year!  

Greater participation

We hope to increase participation making the event more accessible and more fun! While we have 128 spots this year, there were many others who wanted to join but were unable to participate. This year, we hope to let more people join the tournament! 

Longer event

This year the tournament spanned 6 months, but next year we hope to extend the timeframe. This will offer greater space between rounds so we can effectively communicate the details of the next round to the participants and also reduce the frequency of matches (it sure got a bit confusing at times!) It will also provide greater contingency for draws and any unexpected circumstances. 

Profiles and images

Feedback this year, pointed to the fact that a better photo likely got more votes. While we strive for consistency between images, as the participants enter their own images we cannot always achieve the consistency we would like. 

However, next year we will aim to encourage voters to look beyond the image in the story. Each participant will have photos and a small bio on our website where we will ask voters to view before matches.

Improved pairing of participants

Participants and voters alike both felt that pairing T1 VW Buses against T3 buses was unfair as the level of their popularity is different. In 2024, we will initially separate participants by bus type to enable matches between the same type in the first rounds. However, in the later rounds we will still mix the types. Our hope is that this will enable a greater representation of T3s and T4s in the later rounds. Additionally we will provide prizes for the last of each type in the competition as an extra incentive and to celebrate all types of VW Bus. 

Clearer rules

While our rules were clearly defined prior to the event this year, there were moments where nuances were not covered by our rules. Additionally, not every participant was aware of the rules fully. We intend to expand our rulebook next year and ensure that this is readily available to participants and voters to refer to during the event. 

We hope that these changes will make the Buslifers Tournament 2024, even better than this year! 

A big thanks to the sponsors 

Before we share how to apply for next year’s tournament, we want to take a moment to thank our sponsors for 2023. We would not have been able to make this tournament happen if it wasn’t for Dakota Lithium and Busfabrik who provided the grand prize! Additionally big thanks also to our other prize givers, Omnia, Dry Flush and Stojo.

We are now actively seeking sponsors and prize givers for next year, so if this is something you are interested in please contact us at info@buslifers.com.

Apply for the Buslifers Tournament 2024

The application for next year’s tournament is now open! It’s easy to apply and takes just a few minutes.

You will however need to include a side-facing and diagonal-facing photo of your VW Bus so make sure to prepare these before applying.

Please follow the guidance as strictly as you can, this ensures consistency from all participants. Those not following the guidance will have to resubmit their application.


We look forward to having you there for the Buslifers Tournament 2023!

Author: Nathen

Hey Buslifers! I'm the creative director of the Buslifers Network and I am super happy to be here. I have been living in Vehicles for the last 5 years and find the adventure and lifestyle to be truly authentic and inspiring. I have self-converted three different vehicles and have a great in-depth knowledge of living on the road, sustainable living, and vehicle conversions. You can follow me @nathenfitchen or @wearewildfeet on Instagram. You might also appreciate my other page @responsiblevanlife, where I love to share knowledge about sustainable living on the road. I look forward to connecting with you!


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