Here is the old green van at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine Florida…. back in late 1980. See the “inspiration” page here on the website to learn more about the green van.
Time to protect those rubber seals! Vehicle doors have specialized rubber seals that are meant to keep the rain and elements out. With a custom van, keeping the rain out is key to protecting the interior from mold, damage, and bad moisture smells.
But in order to achieve this goal, they need to remain flexible and clean over time. Flexibility is key to providing pressure on the adjacent surfaces to keep rain out. Keeping the rubber seals clean is also important, as debris buildup can lead to leaks as water seeps around the debris and past the door seals.
This is why I am using the 303 rubber seal protectant on all my doors and all the rubber gaskets. This product helps keep seals lubricated and flexible. With older vans, the rubber in the seals can begin to harden and loose their flexibility. They can even become brittle and flake apart. But this type of rubber seal protectant helps keep the seals looking and feeling brand new, adding so many years of rain and moisture free operation to your custom interior. That’s what we are all about here at Provanner, the finer details. Those little things that we can do to extend the longevity of out custom vans.
This weekend was great for engine maintenance. I changed the oil, changed the power steering fluid, added wiper fluid, adjusted the tire pressure, and gave the whole van a good soap and water wash. Now waiting for parts to arrive which will fix a small vacuum leak. It’s taking care of these little things now that avoids any issues in the future.
Below I am logging my maintenance in the maintenance log. I am also using my new folding chair for the first time.
So I got tired of having the sun bake my interior and turning my van into scorching greenhouse inferno. So I bought a roll of refrectix insulator and got to work making 3 sun shades. Why 3? one for windshield, one for passenger, and one for driver. That way the sun simply cannot get in.
I started by making a paper template of the areas I wanted to cover. I inserted the paper into the window, and got the critical outline.
I then cut out the outline, and fit it into the window to make sure the template came out well. It fits perfectly. It’s such a snug fit, that it will not require any special holder. just the pressure of the material itself against the edges will hold it in place.
Now in the image below, I transferred the template onto the roll of reflectix. Then I used scissors to accomplish the cutout.
Below is the final result. PERFECT SUN BLOCKING! The car is so much cooler at the end of the day. It’s a must have for #VANLIFE
SO i was parking at a multi-layer parking structure, and I thought I was not going to make it due to height clearance. My fan-tastic fan when closed only allows about 1.5 inches of clearance to the upper floor! I poked my head out the door and took this image while I was crossing under the first crossbeam. Close call!
So one day I am spending a minute in my bed, when it starts raining. While the rain drops started ot pound on the roof, generating that familiar sound, I noticed something was amiss. There was moisture in the rear of the bed. BUT HOW? I immediately began an investigation.
What I found is that water was dripping from the light in the upper rear of the vehicle. I knew that light was gonna be an issue. I had added silicone to it on the outside. It is commonly called the “third tail light” or upper brake light.
In the econoline, this light has a another light on the inside.
So back to the story, when I found the leak, I sprung into action by quickly employing a temporary solution, I placed my cooking pot, and a plastic bag on the bed. This starting to gather the water, and saved my bed from gathering unwanted moisture.
Below circled in red is the culprit drip:
So I took quick action and purchased a new rear lamp for the van. I got it new straight from the ford factory, it cost about $160.
Upon removing the old light, this is what I found. Note how it compares to the new one (new one is on the right). The old foam material has seen it’s days, note how it lost all its expanding capabilities. this means that apart from being corroded over the years, it no longer provides that spongy pressure which helps keep out the water. Even the silicone I added on the outside was not enough to stop the leak on the original light. The red lens (not visible below) was starting to crack, probably due to the heat of the incandescent bulbs and of the sun over the years. Even a small hole had formed on the surface of the lens.
As a next step, I replaced all the incandescent bulbs in the new light assembly with LED BULBS. This was done to promote longevity of the plastic lens by removing some of the excess heat which caused the original red lens to start cracking in the first place.
Below is the hole as seen from the roof. The back color is a special rust stopping paint called POR. There were minor amounts of rust in this area which i stopped using rust reformer followed by POR.
UPDATE: I am happy to report that after applying the new light, no leaks have been detected!
Note: I did not use any sealant or special liquids on the foam of the light.
First full lunch in the van, and it’s It’s Pollo Tropical!
Very comfortable accommodation, great ambiance. This was in the parking lot of my local vehicle registration and tag center.
Being able to enjoy a comfortable meal in literally any location means wonders towards getting the most out of your daily schedule.
Nothing like observing the incredible total solar eclipse of 2017 form the comfort of the van!
Here we use a welders mask to protect our eyes, and then look through the fantastic fan roof vent! The view was amazing!
Below is the Eclipse! the sun looks round in the image as the camera is not capable of resolving the partial eclipse as visible from Florida, but well over half the sun was covered by the moon!
Never forget to take time to admire our place in the universe. As we live out lives, these massive celestial objects are doing their well choreographed dances which have taken billions of years to perfect. And what a more perfect place to see said dance than the comfort of a wonderful foam bed in an awesome van?
Time to update the sealant on the roof vent. Adding some fresh Dicor self leveling lap sealant to make sure the water says out. Applying generous amounts of sealant ensures that the seal will last over time. This sealant is not meant to dry hard as a rock. It remains semi-flexible over time, which is good, because it will not crack or chip, and will always plug up any possible leakage points. The fact that the sealant is also self leveling is a plus, because it remains flat, evens out a bit after application, and molds itself tight to the surfaces to ensure water stays out. Combine all this with the butyl tape which we added under the roof vent, and you have yourself the best possible seal.