dodge tradesman

More Updates to Ol’ Rosie

Last month we spent a fair amount of time working on Rosie during our long holiday break, fixing rust spots and sealing her up from the elements, and adding a few little extra touches here and there. It’s nice to be able to really customize the inside of your vehicle!

We removed the awful window A/C unit that was attached to the back. We filled it in with a sheet of metal.


We cleaned and filled in a number of rust spots, including some gaping holes that really needed attention.


A portion of the passenger (rear) side door jamb was brittle and weak so we cleaned it up and filled it in as well, which provided additional stability to the door frame.


The seal on the outside had worn away which had led to the deterioration on the inside so we cleaned up the outside and filled that in too.


She’s not pretty but she is functional. We don’t have the resources to do an immediate overhaul. But we’ll get there. Don is itching to have the exterior all one color – army green. Eventually.

We had been having problems with the gas gauge so we pulled the gas tank off and adjusted the fuel float and checked the tank for leaks or other problems.



We added some conveniences inside: a safe for valuables, trash can, and drink holders. All bolted or attached in one fashion or another so they don’t move around.


We added an old-school Jerry Can to the back for keeping a little extra gas on hand. (Always a good thing, especially with older, somewhat unreliable vehicles. LOL)  Don really wanted one. It suits his personality and the final look he’s got in mind for Rosie.


We also finalized our registration and title (after a few hiccups and delays) and received our new plates in the mail so we finally felt official. An added bonus to that was that I could finally peel all the Texas State inspections stickers off the windows!

These are just a few of the many things we’ve accomplished, not all of them interesting enough to photograph. We have lots more to do but she’s coming along nicely. 🙂

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
~ Abraham Lincoln 

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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.


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.


He also replaced the steering wheel.



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