This #vanlife is not all it is cracked up to be

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/09/this-vanlife-is-not-all-it-is.html

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May be time to invest in a classic car accessory…

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I read that the guy who invented the Chemex had some kind of gold Chemex flask built into the door of his car.

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Also, thoroughly clean off the battery terminals and the posts. When they get loose, poorly-conductive corrosion can get started in there.

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Old cars have old car problems. I can’t say I have seen it all, but I’ve seen some exotic crap come out of the corners of old automobiles when trying to fix a problem. Mouse droppings, piles of leaves, paper wasp nests, heat-dried rodent corpses, rodent nests built from all manner of car material (seat stuffing, wiring insulation, napkins, armrest foam). I’ve seen battery corrosion so thick it looked like a cave stalactite, clay deposits that looked like rust, and rust that had eaten away so cunningly at a body panel that only the paint layers were left to give the illusion of actual metal being present.

Good luck with that belt replacement and disappearing coolant.

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Nobody wants to point out the elephant in the room that missing coolant without an obvious leak is usually a sign of a bad head gasket.

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Oh, I am well aware – however this Van does burp a couple cups of coolant every few months, mostly related to a series of leaky heater control valves. The engine only has about 30k on it and I’ve been diligent about coolant changes etc. Not worried about that for another 50-70k.

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Mark, after reading one of your Westy posts a couple years ago, I realized I am not cut out for #vanlife. I sold my dead diesel Westy for $5k… the guy who bought it though he was getting the deal of the century, but he is in for a $20k nightmare of constant repair, endless $1k upgrades, and uncertainty. Your subsequent posts have convinced me I made the right decision. Thanks!

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Re: Head gasket - there would be evidence of that coming out the tailpipe, unless the leak is so tiny as to be handled by topping off every month two.

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Except I tend to find the coolant in the spare tire/cover right below the heater control valve. It may be time to replace it again.

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Fine German engineering. Googled “Jerry Built” and found that there is no connection to the Germans. Damn!

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It’s a little pricey, but a Jetboil will boil enough water for a decent cup of coffee in 90 seconds, then just use a pour over filter or an Aeropress to make your coffee. You will never have bad coffee ever again and it costs a fraction of Starbucks.

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I have 3 different camping french presses and have been considering a Mokapot. You don’t open up the kitchen and start boiling water when the car won’t start, unless you are waiting for a tow truck.

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Why are they running to catch the van in the video?

Once the engine turns over, couldn’t they just stop? Even if the idle were bad, just shift to neutral and give her some gas.

Previously:


(He recanted, of course.)

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Okay, you’ve got me - never found bricks of drugs in a car. In fact, aside from some corroded spare change, I’ve never found anything good/valuable in a car.

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One must bring a Red Green-ian approach #vanlife, and a healthy dose of constant vigilance and patience. Other than that, it’s fun (said as an 85 Westy 1.9 WBX caretaker).

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I had the same experience when I bought my first scooter. I had enough money to get one on the cheap, NOT enough money to take it to a mechanic. I learned the frustration of shade-tree repair very quickly.

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Who is Mark and what posts encouraged you to sell your Vanagon? All I do is share stories of wonderful times.

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There are no atheists in foxholes nor in VW drivers seats: please God, let it start!

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