Vandog Traveller

Servicing the van and Preparing for the next chapter

After over 10k miles of road, its time to give the van some attention – things need to be checked over and things need to be fixed. This is important for staying on the road so I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been up to in preparation for the next chapter…

I’m lucky to be in this place with everything I need to give the van bit of a service – jacks, oil, paint, grease. See post living off-grid in Greece

1. Change oil and filter

The oil was quite bad. It did not appear contaminated or emulsified which is good news, but it was very dirty. I won’t leave it so long next time! See post how I changed the oil and filter

2. Grease kingpins

The kingpins can wear out quickly with heavy loads and bumpy roads (that’s me). I try to grease these every month as suggested by a reader of this blog who also owns an LDV Convoy. See post on how to properly grease kingpins

3. Check condition of belts and rubber hoses – crack, frayed, distorted?

All good. Drive belt will need to be replaced soon though – occasional squeak when pulling away

4. Check for loss of fluids

All good. Slight loss in coolant (top up). Small oil leak from around the vacuum pump gasket but it’s not much

5. Check smoke

No black smoke at all since I cleaned the EGR valve in November. Really good! See post

6. Check and clean electrical contacts with WD40

Some of the contacts are not very well insulated on this van. Bad contacts and corrosion from water can cause terminals to overheat and the battery to run down quickly.

7. Check brakes

The pads have loads of depth left. All good. I adjusted the handbrake though and oiled the linkage and steel cable because it started to stick.

8. Fully charge and recondition leisure batteries

one problem with solar charging is that the batteries never get fully charged. For this you need a multiple stage smart charger and mains power, which is difficult to come by when travelling. I used my Ctek MXS25 and set it to recondition mode – powered by two wind turbines and a big inverter (see post living off grid in Greece). Charging batteries with this once in a while really makes a difference to the battery capacity over time I think.

9. fix and clean up interior

Tightening, cleaning, painting, re-siliconing and evicting all the animals that don’t live here

10. And finally, fix my bike

A bike is essential for me whilst on the road, for both exercise and getting around the city.
Conclusion
Yeah all good
Ready for the next chapter?