The Rhombus Explora
It’s a work in progress but getting closer, it was previously rebuilt not so long ago. This once a beautiful van was left neglected for a number of years, this resulted in the massive project that has taken well over a year to repair getting to almost two year. Yes REPAIR!!! We thought it might be ok with a clean up but once we saw how many things had been done in a very rough fashion or not at all we realised that this van was in a exceptionally unsafe condition. Something had we known on day one we would never have taken this task on. So it’s very safe to say we were taken for a bit of a ride in that department!!!
It was so sad as the van although 1978 had really not done a whole lot, it did do one 8 1/2 month trip and some short trips here and there. The interior was all freshly built and the engine was also rebuilt after the 8.5 month trip. So all in all not much use and a hell of a lot of damage! We don’t know what others may feel but if we had a vehicle do so very little with much that had been done and it was in such a ruined state so quickly we would want our many back!!!! In fact it’s exceptionally shocking the terrible state that such a new van had been put in. There was exceptionally little that needed to be done to keep care of this beautiful van but alas things as simple as repairing a tiny hole was easiest blamed on someone else over taking simple responsibility of ones own property.
The engine blew a head gasket to name one of the multitude of things that were left to wreck and ruin. The head gasket should have had work done on it after about 1000 kms of driving. Well it was 5000 when it blew and several years down the track! There really is no excuse for this level of neglect really. The funniests of excuses for neglecting the van was blaming the van itself for existing!! LOL!!
In amongst many other things requiring attention was the not only very lazy but shocking bog work. Sponges and scourers’ were used as fillers and no rust proofing had been done either. This resulted in massive bodywork and structural damage due to serious rusting.
All that was ever done to “fix” the rust was a slopping more of house type paint smeared on with a paintbrush. This had built up and up and up over the years and was very thick and messy looking. The rust was bulging all over, it was a shocking sight. We did have to giggle cos there was a backflip in attitude from Henk after reading pages of this blog so he has an new excuse for not rustproofing and it is not just “I didn’t know” its now ‘i” didn’t want the police to pull us over” realistically he knows that he had made a simple thing a lot worse so the police were more likely to pull them over not less likely!! henk, get your stories straight!! Hahaha!!
A roof rack was knocked off its hinges by driving under a low branch. The new roof rack was put in place, however they repairs were not sealed and it began to leak, this too was left neglected for a number of years. This and several other untouched holes in the roof damaged most of the interior there was in mould and rot all over. This was not a safe and healthy place to be travelling in. Most people would get exceptionally ill, especially adding that the bed was also thick with mould, the only “repair” to the bed was to put another blanket on top!!
The floor was rotted through and one day in the van was like a week at sea!!!!!
All the above and so so much more resulted in nothing short of a massive repair job! So very sadly and shockingly if a couple of basic measures had been put in place like a tarp over the top, airing it out, maintaining things, basic vehicle responsibility none of this would have been needed. To throw out things that were barely used, expensive things, things that should have lasted was just heartbreaking. Knowing that the cupboards were hardly used yet so broken, the bed so new yet rotten to the core…………..
So as Whelan and The Destroyer, (Henk and Pien Holmer) are dreaming of another big road trip, the extensive repairs had to be done. The van due to so much neglect was exceptionally dangerous, unsafe, it would only take a minor accident to have created serious if not a fatal injury. That and alongside several other issues, like a deep step that they both have fallen down many a time….. And now with age poor health and a sedentary lifestyle a serious physical injury would be inevitable!!! Henk and Pien are so very lucky and they have been so very fortunate throughout their lives, they have been truly blessed, it would be a shame if not exceptionally ungrateful to not look after this after all that has been done for them and in this van. Not many people can boast the good fortune they have always had and having all the opportunities that have had is just amazing. Another shot at having a trip of a lifetime is certainly not something the average person can talk about.
So it’s getting a second major overhaul and we hope that this time it gets looked after!!
Most importantly let’s hope that in a few months time this blog adds “The travels of the Rhombus Explorer!”
It has been a hard emotional road rebuilding this van, we have spent a long time trying to come to terms with things and trying to understand the how’s, why’s and what’s. There have been a lot of two steps forward, one step back. In all honesty if we knew now way back then we would never have taken on the task. The work that we have done has been SO rewarding, standing back and being proud of our work and the work of dear friends has been nothing short of amazing.
We do not understand what there was to understand about being asked to repair a van and us repairing it. We do not understand why there was confusion to what things were being done when we were asked us to do them. Not one thing has been done needlessly, every single thing has been done with Henk and Pien in mind, the way they treat things, they way they use things and the physical abilities…
Wouldn’t a person be happy they can now get up a step, and get up that step SAFELY?
Would a person not be grateful they now can go away again with ease?
Would parents not be PROUD of a son that has spent every moment of time he could for well over a year to make a dream come true?
We have put aside our lives and our home as it is our dream to see their dream become a reality. We understand the in’s and outs of their needs and have spent thousands of hours creating that dream and making their dream a reality.
We do not live far and it would not have been a difficult task to come and see one’s own van, or even help out or even give some input to what is wanted other than “fix it”.
Henk and Pien are amazed as we showed them all the photos thus far of the van. They were utterly SHOCKED at the terrible condition that the van was in and they both ate a bit of humble pie. They did not realise one bit the devastating condition that their van was in. We showed and illustrated that it was somewhat terrible that a van used for so little was ruined so quickly and that by their actions and lack of action what was once a wonderful van was not so anymore. They now understand and for that we are so very happy!
It’s been a difficult road for us as it has felt very much like ungratefulness for many, many months, their seemingly ungratefulness for so long made the job so much more difficult.
We can only be happy to hear wonderful plans of an upcoming trip. We are very much looking forward to getting postcards from all over and we are looking forward to sharing those postcards with the World Wide Web and all the followers of Project Motorhome!!
The “Don’t Bothers”
Why oh why oh why can’t this be a positive experience for just ONCE with you people!! GAHHH!!
As we have been working on this van we have copped a lot of “why bother’s” from both Henk and Pien more and more so as we finish things off. This is something that after almost 2 years of hard work on our behalf shocks us as much as it is annoying. It’s shocking as they both very much know how much work has gone into helping fix the van. They know the all about the thousands of hours put into repairing the van they destroyed through their lack of care and neglect. Shocking that we have spent so much time so much heart, so much effort to make THEIR DREAM come true for a SECOND TIME!
It comes across just as many other events that transpired during this repair job as very ungrateful, something that people whom are as blessed as they have been should be very grateful about!
It was the “why bother’s and “out of mind out of site” attitude that ruined the van in the first place. Bill and myself have high standards in what we do, this is a fact that both Henk and Pien know very well. We believe that if you do the job properly and right the first time you will avoid troubles down the track. Do they honestly think that we would leave a drivers seat in a unroadwothy unsafe state??!! The very first time they get pulled over we are sure to recieve a phone call telling us all the wrong we did! What would happen if there was an accident and they were killed as a result of the “why bothers” who would be to blame then!!?? Get the job done properly, save an accident or something going wrong later down the track.
It is mind boggling that Henk and Pien would ask the very two people that they knew would do the best, safetest, proper job if they did not want to “bother”. It is ungrateful to the work that has been done for them. They are exceptionally lucky that they have to be able to have a Motor home rebuilt for them TWICE. Most people don’t get the luxury of being able to have one Motor home!
They know that there was a lot of hours had spent on doing the paint job, there was a lot to repair. There was a lot of set backs due to the mess Henk had made of the van and the state he had put it in. So when we get to finishing of this job Henk says “why bother” we just have to shake our heads at the utter ungratefullness.
What do you mean by “why bother”? we asked. Henk responds with “it’s just going to get dirty on the road”! Well of course it is going to get dirty, but that is no reason to not finish of a job off properly.
You see if we didn’t bother about the seats, the fridge, the safety, the bed, the cleanliness………….(we all know the list is a mile long) then you would not be as fortunate as you are to have what is going to be a beautiful van!
This attitude of “why bother” is utterly bizarre because why did we even bother to help you in the first place, if you didn’t want us “to bother” doing the job right.
Why did we even think about helping and why did you ask if you did not want us to “bother” with anything.We helped because we wanted to help make their dream come true, I know if I was a parent of a child that had done so much for me I would not be saying “why bother” I would be saying, “Thank you”
Its very absurd thing to say and ungrateful thing to say after all that has been done!!
Why not do the job properly as asked, why not complete the repair so it is safe, why not make sure that it will last?? I guess that Henks plans are really why bother cos he is just going to ruin that van again, a fact that is reflected by a multitude of the same sort of ungrateful comments already!
You see Henk and Pien we are loyal and honest and when we say we will help, we help and when we say we will finish a job, we finish it. So yes we are going to “bother” and we are going to get the job done. So tut all you like, it’s what you asked for and furthermore stop whining about the good work someone is doing for you, be grateful for once!! Just because you are 70 does not mean that it give you the right to be nasty and ungrateful!