The van's design is heavily inspired by the styling of the VW Type 2 Bay Window and Splitscreen vans. The front section (front end and front doors) resembles the VW T2 Splitscreen van, the second section (sliding doors) resembles the VW T2 Bay Window van, the third section (square window and flat metal behind) resembles the VW T2 Splitscreen (excluding the runners for the sliding doors) and the fourth section (rear end) resembles the VW T2 Bay Window van.
Much like its real life counterpart, the surfer is very slow due to its small 1200cc 4-cylinder engine, however, acceleration is not that bad, and handling is average, but overall, it is relatively sluggish as it hinders its use as a means of escaping the cops. Its beater variant is considerably worse than its cleaner version, making it the least worthwhile vehicle to drive along the road.
- Spawns on the side of a road, along with a Radius in Blaine County.
- Parked behind Ursula's house near the El Gordo Lighthouse.
- A rusty version can be found in the parking place of the abandoned motel in Sandy Shores.
- Can be found abandoned near the Sandy Shores Airfield in Grand Senora Desert, near Harmony and Sandy Shores during the abandoned vehicle Random Event.
- For some odd reason only the rustic version spawns driving around in free-roam GTA Online. The normal well-kept Surfer can be found on various beaches, usually with a parked Rebel next to it.
- The Surfer's mint-condition version can also be found randomly near the first bridge north of Fort Zancudo. Coming up from the south side of the map, drive through the tunnel under the fort, and the player will come to a right-left series of turns in the highway; after these turns will be the bridge. A dirt trail branches off the eastern side of the road, marked by a roadside parking lot and a shack. Turn down it, and follow the trail as it wraps around back under the bridge. The dirt path lets out onto a beach with a party going on. If no cars appear at first, keep driving and they should spawn. If the Surfer does not spawn, get back on the road and drive a good distance before returning. Repeat as many times as needed and one will show up. This is also a good way to get the Journey, the Sandking SWB, and the Regina, which all spawn here more commonly than the Surfer.
- It is impossible to do a burnout with the Surfer, most likely due to the highly-underpowered engine.
- In GTA V, this vehicle can be customized in Los Santos Customs, albeit having limited options for the Surfer.
- When damaged enough, the sliding doors open outwards like normal doors.
- Unlike its real life counterpart, the Surfer has 4 doors instead of 3 (some VW T2 vans came out of the factory with two sliding doors), but, strangely, it can fit only two. If the player tries to get 2 other players in the vehicle, one of them will not enter the van.
- A red Surfer appears in the game play video for Righteous Slaughter 7.
- Throughout the game's progress, the player may find an abandoned Surfer near Trevor's Airfield during an abandoned vehicle Random Event.
- The clean Surfer has muscle rims and more default suspension compared to the beater Surfer. Due to this suspension, if it's driven in rough terrain, its license plate may stick through unaffected, mostly likely because the plate is not a solid part of the vehicle.
- This vehicle is named the Surfer because the real-life counterpart, the VW Type 2 would be used as transportation for surfers, and due to the fact that this vehicle often spawns with a surfboard on the roof. However, surfing cannot be done in the game, so the surfboard attached to the roof is purely a matter of decoration.
- Camper, a similar looking vehicle.