camper van

Progress

We have dubbed the van, Rust-Oleum Rosie! And we’ve been putting in a lot of project time this past week.

Some of the work was too menial to photograph like removing water and propane tanks we don’t need, adding weather-stripping to the doors to reduce rattling and make sure they are tightly sealed, and re-caulking the side windows to ensure no leaks (we plan to remove/replace them eventually but since it will be some time before we can do that we wanted to make sure they are water tight.)

We also painted the dash black and army green and installed a new stereo. (Pictures show before and after.)

dash before and after

We added the drink holder to the front of the “doghouse” (the large green section between the seats) which covers the motor. (Makes for easy motor work!)

We then removed the old door paneling and used it as a model to make new panels covered in black vinyl.

panels

We also purchased new wheels and tires and had side exhaust pipes installed.

wheels and exhaust before and after

It was all a LOT more work than the photos can illustrate. We spent half a day going round and round with the tire company over wheel and tire options. We almost went to another company after some serious frustration, but in the end it was going to be more headache to start over with another shop. The first company truly did cut us the best deal, even if we had to take our second choice for wheels because they initially quoted us a product that turned out to not be available until some unknown time in 2014. We couldn’t wait because we found that the rear tires on Rosie weren’t even rated for the vehicle, which made for a rough ride and could potentially be a hazard at high speeds. We think it all turned out in the end. We do like the wheels we got. Here’s a closer look at the pattern.

wheels
Lots more little touches on our list but most of the big, immediate work is done. (I think, lol.) Everything else will come with time.

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
~ Winnie-the-Pooh

Introducing Our Latest Adventure

She has been dubbed many things by folks in the last couple of weeks…the mystery machine, shaggin’ wagon, creeper van, A-Team van…you name it, we’ve probably heard it. I suppose it would be fun to actually choose a name. So far we’ve just referred to it as “she” or “the van” when discussing plans.

She was an opportunistic purchase two weeks ago.

van before

She is a 1978 Dodge 1-ton Tradesman van, complete with camper conversion inside with bed, stove, and cabinets. She has a new (second) engine installed in 2010 so she runs like a champ although she does have quite a few creaks and squeaks and needs a bit of TLC in other areas. As for interior, well, it’s original, and very 70’s. (You’ll have to wait to see that another day.) We do plan to renovate everything. Eventually.

Today, I want to show off a few of the initial cosmetic changes Don has made so far.

side_after

They may be hard to spot at first glance. You might scroll back up to the first pic to see the difference. He removed the steps, the funky PVC pipe antennae holder that had been attached to the rear of the passenger side, and replaced the side mirrors.

Here’s a close-up before and after look at both mirrors. The hardware was quite old and the placement of the supports was odd.

mirrors

He also replaced the steering wheel.

wheel

steering-after

We have many, many more plans but all in good time. There are a few minor mechanical items that need to be tackled first like repairing the fuel gauge (Don already ran out of gas last week, luckily just as he pulled into a gas station so he coasted right to the pump), replacing the exhaust system which is about to fall off, among other things.

A bit of elbow grease and good times ahead!

As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.
~ Winnie the Pooh