Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It finally quit raining. All the plants really needed the rain, and they are rejoicing in spring today.

The rain did cramp my style with the van. It was a good leak test though. I found out I need to seal the seams where the very rear of the van body connects with the main body. I also need to remove the running light fixtures and silicone around them. I'm spending a lot of time de-leaking this van, but it will be worth it. I had a van in Key West that leaked like a sieve, but was my shelter when the weather was too rough to go back to the boat. A leaky van getting all your crap wet really sucks in Key West, but it can be deadly in Northern climates. This van has to keep out Washington rain.
There are several leaks in the seams of the firewall in the cab, so I still have more work to do there, but I got the massive holes fixed. My cab has a floor again! Now I just need the van to dry out so I can grind and prep.

It is rather disorienting to watch the road go by beneath your feet when you are driving.

Just don't look down.

It was a big fiberglass project. I used about 3 sq yards of fiberglass mat, one yard roving (heavy cloth) and 1 yard cloth. It's about 8 layers of fiberglass. Each side took about 3 hours to lay up. The resin roller was critical for this project, and gave me a much more solid repair. It was close to 1/4" thick when I drilled through it for the seat holes.
Mayberry mentioned on a comment how expensive West Systems is, and yeah, it 'aint cheap. I spent about $200 on a gallon of resin and quart of hardener. But it doesn't stink like polyester resin, I get a perfect cure every time because it is pre measured, and it bonds to metal much better than polyester. Polyester is the way to go if you're building a boat, or repairing a polyester resin boat. My pick for vehicle repair and metal bonding is West Systems Epoxy, so long as I can afford it.
Now I'm waiting for paint to dry. I should be able to re-install the seats by this afternoon, then I can get my last piece of plywood cut for the floor/battery box.
And once I have seats I'll be able to drive somewhere to get the wall paneling and continue on the interior.


  1. You've been very busy, but looks like it'sd been a constructive and necessary use of your time. Good luck on the continuing project! Looking forward to our first road trip!

  2. Yup, West will stick to anything. But be careful, 'cuz even though the smell ain't so bad, epoxy is worse for you than polyester... Lookin' good there! Yer doin' a fine job.

    Key West? Boat? Damn I'm jealous......

  3. Wow!! I'm impressed!!!

  4. Yeah, that's a great story. I lived off grid (and off land) for 2 years on a sailboat.
    I'll try to do a blog entry on it....
    Thanks for the words of encouragement guys!