Follow by Email

StatCounter

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Camper van repair blues



This has been the year of van repair. At some point in time funky vehicles (in my case a Ford E350 ambulance to camper conversion) will need a rebuild. In my case I think there are enough miles on to van that a lot of things have just worn out.

I get it. Things like brakes wear out. What really bothers me are the new replacement parts that fail way too early. This summer it was the saga of the 3 Chinese built fuel pumps that would only last about 500 miles. Now the vacuum pump is failing and that's less than a year old.

Besides the vacuum pump, on the short list is a wheel alignment and new front tires.

The repairs kept me from spending time and money on further camper improvements. Before we take the van out traveling it will get a 105 watt solar panel on roof along with another deep discharge battery. It also needs better bug proof ventilation.

My hope is that the camping improvements will allow us more time in out of the way undeveloped campsites. If I can camp in comfort in cheap or free areas I should recoup some of the money spent on repairs.

With any luck all the issues should be fixed before we close up the house and head out on the road. Fortunately I've still a couple months to square things away. Last year we hit the road on October 10. No way would we have been ready for travel that early this year. We are spending Christmas in snow country this year. Sometime after that is our departure date.

As long as some major unforeseen repair doesn't crop up, we should be fine. If, on the other hand, something expensive blows up I don't know what I'll do. Maybe I'll dig out the cross country skis and learn to love winter again.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. I still say a horse or mule and cart is the answer...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see you using one . . .



      Delete
    2. Haha, yes you're right but if I could I would...
      A friend of mine is setting up a rig at the moment, she's planning on touring the country with a Belltop and a couple of horses.
      I'll let you know how she progresses...

      Delete
  2. My folks once bought a used car that needed constant repair for about a year. After everything was repaired or replaced, the thing ran fine for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have hopes that once it's sorted out I'll be set for a while. The finances need a chance to recover.

      Delete
  3. I certainly feel your pain Bear.
    With no income from me and having to survive from the wife's income since my accident. There isn't any room for adventure this year....not that I'm able anyway lol !!
    Shoot, I'm not looking forward to the cold weather here let alone the thought of spending a winter at the north pole where you live !
    The price we pay for driving old used vehicles...still much less expensive than buying new.
    Could always go the route Bison does, and just pedal everywhere....I have a huge amount of respect for that man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's annoyance and funds are a bit tight, but we aren't in any danger of missing meals.

      At least you won't freeze to death in FL. Melt maybe, but not freeze.

      At least I don't have payments and my insurance is cheap.

      Bison walks the walk.

      Delete
  4. Some years back, I read a book where the author described velcroing black bug screens to his car windows. Applying velcro 'fuzzy side' around the window interior, he would cut vinyl fabric screen and glue the 'sticky' side to these screens, making them bug proof. He kept them stored in Pringle cans, if I recall.

    Not sure if that applies to your need - just throwing that out there - hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did that on the boat and it worked great.

      Delete
  5. For screens on my van I used magnets along the edges. Worked well enough. Hope you get everything necessary fixed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've used magnets on a previous vehicle and it works well enough.

      At least the van can still be driven. Wouldn't want to go on a long trip with it, but for around town it's fine.

      Delete
  6. tough finding dependable parts these days; either "no longer available" or "made to fail out of the box"

    try for trucker parts wwhich are made for the long haul

    Wildflower

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had to go to original Ford parts. Twice the price, but less prone to early failure.

      Delete
  7. Trust me...put the new tires in the rear. You can lose a front tire and continue to steer, rear wheels don't steer and top heavy vehicle may roll over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good advice and normally I'd do that. The rear tires are new this year and don't have many miles on them so I won't bother.

      Delete