Van repairs – keeping up with appearances

A lot has happened to the van since I left Florida. Either the road has gotten too bumpy or the bump stops that were installed made things worse. First, my table top came loose and was dislodged from one of the drawer sliders. Then my Whynter fridge stopped cooling, and after a half dozen emails from Support, they determined that the fridge had to come in for repair. Since the warranty expired, I was offered $100 off for a new one. I decided to change brands after some research and bought an ICECO fridge that was 20% off and chose the smallest one, 47.5 quarts because these fridges are EXPENSIVE. This brand is built tough for overlanding and should survive in the van. I will have to reduce the amount of food I buy, which is probably a good thing anyway.

ICECO 47.6QT VL45 Single Zone Portable Fridge Freezer| ICECO – VL45 Single Zone

The table top has been my biggest challenge because I had no idea how to install drawer sliders (actually, they’re called slides, but I like “sliders” better). Removing the old slides was a challenge because one of the screws was hiding behind the slide and I had to drill some of the slide out to get to the screw. The bigger challenge is that the bed is installed on top and I don’t have much room under it to do the installation. Thankfully, I’m short. I took some time to repaint the top and was very happy with the results. Thanks to Chuck from PA for his help with the front face that we added and additional help with the leg. I was honored to be able to work in the wood shop with him. It was fun using tools again and the wood shop was paradise!
After watching a few YouTube videos and reading the directions 10 times, I gave it a try. I was able to install 3 out of the 4 parts and came to a grinding halt when I discovered that the frame was offset and not even. Yowsa! So, everything came out and put plan B into effect, using L brackets and a support leg under the table to stabilize it.
Plan B worked, but was very disappointing. The table takes twice as long to set up and close and the leg was too long to open easily. I had to use shims to close the gap between the top of the table and the bed board because it is so rickety. The industrial strength Velcro(tm) was used to secure the leg to the bottom of the table, the table is functional, but I HATE IT!
Back to the drawing board and using the sliders again. I’ll figure this out eventually.

There’s a lot of mica on the ground and it’s so pretty that I started to gather some to add to the table top for some bling. The pieces were carefully washed and separated and looks like glitter or really pretty fish scales.
Later that day…OK, I bit the bullet and disassembled the table top mounting and reinstalled the drawer sliders. My buddy, Richard, a co-worker from Hungary, happened by and asked if he could help. He was able to figure out the gap and then I found the holes that were originally installed. We were able to get the table top in, and though the top is a couple of mm’s off center and a little wobbly, the sliders work and I have my table back.

Newly reinstalled again

It was a long time coming, and I finally found the right stair tread to install on the floor edge by the side door. Chris was kind enough to cut it to size and it was an easy install and looks great!

New stair tread, much nicer than the sticky tape.

It was time to visit the Ram dealer near Conway and they gave the beast a check up and oil change, and everything is great. The Service Manager said that I take great care of the van. YAY! However, I need new tires and will need to get those installed before I leave NH. The manager also lived in Elmhurst, IL and we talked about Portillo’s restaurant. We miss their Italian beef sandwiches.
Recently, there was a bad storm that passed through and tree limbs damaged the top of the van. Fortunately, there is just a dent that doesn’t have any paint missing, and none of the lights or glass was damaged.
One day I was swatting at some bugs on the driver mirror with my jacket and I smashed the it with the zipper. For $38, I repaired the mirror myself and it took about 2 hours to scrape the original glass off, but the money saved was worth it.

I hope that nothing else falls apart or that I do something stupid again.
Next projects: Creating a side door panel with PVC backed canvas, and making a real screen door.

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