A new interior!
The walls and the ceiling and floor just like many other things in the van were ruined, this was due to the multitude of leaks that were all over the van. These leaks left untouched for years where a perfect opportunity for mould and rot to set in. This was rather shocking as the ceiling was really not that old either.
The van had a minor accident where the roof rack was knocked off by driving under a low branch. The repairers that put in the new roof rack had not sealed the screws at all. We were to later find that the repairers s had not really used decent screws either. It would not have taken much at all to have prevented so much ruin, something as elementary as a tarpaulin would most certainly have prevented a heck of a lot.
Really all these leaks should have been fixed, it’s is pretty basic caring of your motor home, keeping on top of repairs is imperative, it will save you thousands!
If you have leaks, fix them ASAP. Don’t leave your van to wreck and ruin and expect it to love you back, it just won’t happen. A little bit of love goes a long way!
In the times when you are not using your motor home or van give it a good going over, make sure you wash it regularly make sure that it gets serviced regularly. By servicing we don’t mean just the engine! All motor homes and caravan’s pop ups and so on need to be regularly serviced. There is just so much in a van that a regular good going over will keep your van in tip top condition and it will ensure that you have problem free travels.
Make sure your vehicle is well washed inside and out, an unwashed van will lead to rusting, mould and many more problems and you will quickly end up with a nasty repair bill.
When not in use put a moisture absorber like Hippo inside the van and change regularly. You will be surprised at how much condensation accumulates in a van!
You may have gone shopping for a new motor home or caravan and found them to be rather musty. It’s rather off putting and its something that is exceptionally simple to combat and keep on top of.
I know we keep repeating it, good hygiene, good routines and proper servicing will keep your van happy and your back pocket happy for years to come. After all none of us can afford to flush thousands of dollars down the drain can we!
Walls and ceiling
The whole lot had to come out, this was the only way if we were to do this job properly. There was just too much rot and mould to even consider repairing it. Remember this van was being used while in this squalid condition too!!
We pulled out all the walls and the ceiling, we kept the floor in at this point so that we had something to stand on whilst we worked. When we pulled all the walls and ceiling we found more surprises underneath. Two steps forward one massive step back! The old wiring all needed replacing! We won’t go into the wiring on this page, it will have a spot all of its own!
We decided to put in neutral, fresh and modern colors, Bill and I decided that if we did the same scheme the original we would just end up back to a drab dreary van that was dated and cluttered.
The van had to be de-cluttered, streamlined and opened up, this will make this van seem bigger look fresher and by using readily available parts it is all replaceable.
No more haphazard knock up jobs, let’s get this done right and let’s get this done properly! The goal is for the Rhombus to last not only the needs of Henk and Pien but for the future owners too!!
We ground back all the old glue and then set to repairing the multitude of holes in the van.
First we made sure that it was rust proofed and sprayed a good quality auto undercoating. We then taped up the framework, this because when the walls were to go on they would not have stuck well to what we were next going to apply.
We decided on a very thick coating of body deadener and sound proofer. This is for a few reasons, one of them is to ensure that the van is less likely to rust again and also to help insulate and sound proof the van. Gone are the sleepless noisy nights when parked at truck stops!
The next layer is the insulation, and as much as we can put in was to go in. This as we all know helps with keeping warm when it’s cold and cooler in the summer. The old insulation was rotted through and unusable, once again not so old things had to be tossed into the bin. So off to our favourite place, Bunning’s, or should we say we are Bunning’s most favourite people!
We grabbed several sheets of foam board, measured and marked the entire van so we knew how much of what went where. It took a few days and it was amazing to find that as we went along the van actually got cooler and cooler.
Our whole house looked like a bean bag had exploded, we still find the occasional bean in to this day!
Bill notched out or cut foam sections so that the electrical work could fit inside the insulation and so that we could add more layers. Bill also took a lot of photos so that he could record where the cables were for future reference! We do not want to cut cables once the walls are up, it would be mighty inconvenient to say the very least!!
The next job was to put in the ceiling, Bill had some makeshift pieces of timber so that he could hold the walls in place. Bill used rivets and builders glue to put the ceiling in place. I was under the impression that this job wouldn’t take long. How wrong I was!! Bill is a perfectionist and has a lot of pride in his work so it took a few days and it looks just wonderful!
Finally after well over a year of doing nothing at all for his own van and after some stern words on the phone plus a decent butt kicking from Pien, Henk reluctantly offered to help.
He is a year to late at this point and with his sedentary lifestyle he has a lack of physical ability. So dragging his bum Henk came over for a few hours over a couple of days to see what we had been doing. All he could really do was sit and watch Bill and hand over rivets, needless to say a tiny bit of help is at least something!
Henk was just far too late and had no idea really what was going on, what needed to be done and why. Unfortunately he was much more of a hindrance than help as, he just did not understand what was going on so he ended up watching TV while Bill continued to work.
So Bill and I kept toiling away, Bill was doing an amazing job. He can stand back and be proud! The walls and ceiling were now in, the van was now taking some shape and a beautiful shape it was.
Yes the old floor too had to come out, it too was rotted through, it was rotten by neglect and by when driving water would kick up from the tyres. To fix this was to create a whole new floor and ensure that both sides would be safe from water damage and be easy to look after.
We want this to last, so to beat the drum again, we need to do this right and do it properly!
Bill fashioned wheel guards to ensure that water spray was less of an issue. Bill then cut to shape the flooring out or strong 12 mm ply. We were later to find that we could have gotten 18mm ply, if we had known at this point we would have used it. Nonetheless 12mm is more than sufficient, we just wanted it to be even tougher as it needs to suit Henk and Pien!
Bill then sealed the underside of the floor and wheel arches with more body deadener, as mentioned it is also a waterproofing compound and not just a sound proofer. This will make sure that the wood keeps dry and resists water and it will also drop the outside noises a lot too.
Bill then put the flooring into place adding that he used silicone and glue with heavy duty screws to put the floor into place.
Why so much work on this floor?
This is to make sure that water does get trapped in hidden areas thus eventually ruining the van. Remember we are building this to last, no short cuts and knock ups jobs get done in this household!
It was amazing walking on the floor for the first time, before it was like being on a boat, seasickness was almost a normality. Now it felt strong and it was strong and solid.
We have not finished folks!
Next was to tap down all the screws and sand any high points on the floor, this is in preparation for lino to go on, so the smoother the surface the better the lino will look and last!
Big George with his beer in tow got down on his hands and knees and spent some time toiling away, hours and hours later the job was done! Just like Bill, Big George has pride in his work and it sure shows when you see the floor. We can’t thank George enough, he did an amazing job! Thanks George!!
Next was to seal the floor with marine varnish, we know that this may seem a bit of overkill. However in all seriousness this is to make this last a long time, it’s only a small cost in the scheme of it all and only a bit more effort to do it right.
This tiny little bit of extra work here and there and that bit extra of love and attention is going to shine through over the years of this vans rebirth. The new owners will be safe in the knowledge that the van has been built to last and last well!
Then finally we are up to the putting in the lino, Deanne was able to help with that, the first and fun job was picking a colour. After all it had to be streamlined and ensuring colours go well will make the van look a lot better. The first thing that a person see’s when looking at anything is the colour scheme and if that is out of whack no-one will like it!
So to match the walls we stuck with silvery blue, it looks so pretty and it’s a cheery modern shade too. Bill and Deanne cut the lino up and as we began the gluing process another neighbour came over, Ian. Ian was a carpet layer in his heyday and he in his gruff manner pushed Bill and Deanne out of the way and took over. It was like watching a magician working. The perfect sweeping motions, his method was amazing, in no time flat Ian had the lino down, a few bubbles to smooth out when it was dry and we were set! This is yet another thing that we could not have done anywhere near as well if not for the generous help of the neighbours and our good friends. Thank you Ian!!!
We are now set and ready to begin fitting out the van! It’s been very exciting because for so long we were pulling things out and now we are putting things in! It is really beginning to take form and just become a beautiful van.