After replacing the engine in our van, we decided it was time to show Luna some TLC. Also, we have our MOT coming up and believe that turning up in a tidy, cared for van creates a good impression (an old fashioned belief perhaps). The main areas that needed some Van Life Maintenance were the cab, the windscreen (huge crack), our leaking boiler vent and cracked bumper/grille.
We started with our leaking boiler flue as it was causing us all sorts of problems in the back of the van. We took the flue and protective plates off the roof of the van and started from scratch. We attached a dog bowl to the flue to act as a mushroom vent and filled a large gap with fire cement. We then fixed the whole contraption back onto the roof as before but this time, instead of using silicone sealant around the edge of the metal heatproof plate, we used bitumen flashing tape. This stuff has proved really good at stopping leaks through our roof in other places and is doing the job so far for our boiler vent!
Next job was sorting out the rusty bits. Anyone with a Transit (or Sprinter, LDV etc etc) will know that rust is a constant problem but if it is not structural it only takes a bit of graft and patience to sort out. Our rust was not structural, nothing that a bit of van life maintenance couldn’t sort, a few spots around the windscreen and a couple of holes in our doors. We cut away any rusty metal with an angle grinder cutting disc then sanded the holes with a sanding disc. We used plastic to bridge the gaps and then filled the holes with glass fibre compound first and then car body filler. We then sanded and painted with metal paint. After this was done, our windscreen could be fitted no problem.
The last problem was our front grille that had split into two pieces, we applied some glass fibre compound to hold the two pieces together then neatened the front up with car body filler. We applied a couple of layers of paint to the whole grille and we were good to go.
Watch our video below to get a better idea of our van life maintenance.