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Interior Projects

Seat upholstery cleaned

Rear pad cover cleaned

Plastic & vinyl cleaned

Front swivels & carpet cleaned

Stove, sink & dish drain polished

Instrument cluster cleaned

Instrument cluster gauges cleaned

Faucet, pump & hose replaced

Roof vent

The PopSticle

Seat covers & seat belts

Rear seat beverage holder

Kitchen door stay

Rear table mods

New curtains

A/C plenum removed

Tent insulation

Upper bed extension

Tent replacement

Cutting board  

Headrest pillows  

Stove face plate polished

Hatch strut support

Center hump insulated

Seat upholstery cleaned

Rear pad cover cleaned

Product: Bissell upright carpet/upholstery cleaner

Date: February 2010

Comments: The upholstery was in great shape, but extremely dirty.  It took several passes with the upholstery  attachment, and many dumpings of dark brown water from the holding tank, but the seats are now back to their light gray luster!


Product: Washing machine & Tide

Date: February 2010

Comments: Cover was removed from the pad and washed in the washing machine with two rinse cycles... washed twice.  Came out looking like new!

Plastic & vinyl cleaned

Swivel bases & carpet cleaned

Product: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

Date: February 2010

Comments: I usually use a degreaser like Simple Green, but it didn't make a dent in cleaning up the dirty vinyl, including the wallpaper.  Mr. Clean Magic Erasers did the trick... a couple of packages' worth!

Product:  Bissell upright carpet/upholstery cleaner for carpet; degreaser, rags, paper towels, and grease for swivels.

Date: February 2010

Comments: Carpet was in good shape, but filthy.  The swivel seat bases were dirty and gunked-up with sand and dog hair.  Driver’s side seat wouldn’t swivel upon purchasing the van; discovered during re-installation that the mounting nuts can’t be over-tightened or else the seat won’t move!

Kitchen polished

Instrument cluster cleaned

Product:  Blue Magic metal polish, Mother's Mini PowerBall and drill, rags, gloves

Date: February 2010

Comments: Dull aluminum just isn't pretty... had to shine it all up!

Product:  Foam glass cleaner, microfiber towel & water

Date: May 2010

Comments: Water spots, dog hair, lint, sand... had to clean!

Instrument cluster gauges cleaned

Faucet, pump, & hose replacement

Product: Damp cloth, damp Q-tip

Date: May 2010

Comments: Water spots and dirty numbers... as long as it was apart, had to clean them too!

Products:  Bus Depot (faucet, pump); Home Depot (hose)

Date: April 2010

Comments: Original faucet died on Adventure 1; wanting to keep city water, an OEM (Delta 6) replacement was bought.  That was a mistake! (Read “update” for details.)  Pump was still good, but in cleaning it, one fin broke off the impeller.  And the hose was black inside!  Bleh!

Update (April 2011): The OEM replacement sucked out of the box (leaked, had to modify the switch for the knob to turn, and city water backflowed into the tank; turns out, I got one of last ones before new owners took over production).  Adventure #4 led to the faucet's demise: Mom had difficulty turning the switch and water sprayed all over the stove.  Gave in to everyone's advice and got the ShurFlo.   Lost city water, but variable flow and easy on/off switch makes me not care!!  

Product:  ShurFlo (faucet); West Marine (antenna base)*

(*GoWesty now sells a complete kit for your ShurFlo installation, including city water connection.  To use Old Blue's setup, click here for the details).

Roof vent screen  & sun shade replacement; mechanism cover refurb

Product:  Home-made

Date: June 2016

Comments: I initially replaced the Velcro and made a new fabric cover and screen.  Well, the new Velcro oozed off the ceiling in the hot desert summer.  Solution: make a metal frame for the front (covered in fabric) and add magnets to the screen.  Black-out material was sewn to fabric.  The fabric and screen were then attached to the rear bolts/nuts.  The fabric rolls back for light when needed, while the screen remains magnetized in place.

Product:  Vent lid, cover, and knob (gray) from GoWesty

Date: 2012; 2013

Comments: Original cover and knob were cracked and yellow; foolishly bought beige-ish cover instead of gray.  Painted the new cover using Krylon's River Rock; knob remained unpainted.  Original vent lid was cracked at the mounting bolts; didn’t leak, but replaced it anyway.

The PopSticle

Seat covers & seat belts

Product:  2-foot long PVC pipe with rubber end caps

Comments: Using this, the roof is propped up to tuck the rear tent canvas in before locking it in place.  Also helps raise the roof if the upper bed remains folded out.  Also can be used to prop the hatch open.  It's stored in the tray above the stove.

Product:  Covers: Home-made; seat belt: GoWesty

Date: February 2010

Comments: I prefer using terry cloth towels for seat covers (easy on/off, easy to wash, use as a towel in a pinch).  Due to the armrests, I had to custom-fit these.

Update (10/2013):  Terry cloth covers are falling apart; now making new ones out of cotton/polyester fabric.  Also installed a rear seat shoulder belt for safety, and because I was tired of the lap belt always getting in the way/stuck.

Rear seat beverage holder

Kitchen cabinet door stay

Product:  Plastic over-the-door cupholder

Comments: Cheap cupholders found at Walmart, amazingly, in complementary dark gray!  They're made for doors, so the large "hooks" have to be altered.  Heat gun + piece of 3/4" plywood = perfect-fitting cupholder for rear seat!

Product:  Velcro cable ties

Comments: When the van is parked on an incline, the kitchen cabinet door refuses to stay open (original plastic door strap broke long ago).  Solution: Velcro ties mounted to door and wrapped around front table leg.

Rear table modifications

Product:  Conduit pipe; pipe clamps

Comments: Repositioning the rear table takes skill, thanks to Westfalia's design.  Therefore, a support was added inside the cabinet (in complimentary gray!); no more "reposition wobble"!


Product:  Computer desk grommet in gray (Ace Hardware; product #008236640250)

Date: January 2012

Comments: Someone on TheSamba did this upgrade; it looked fantastic so I had to do it myself.  Adding the grommet gives the table hole a nice finished look.  

New curtains

Product:  Home-made

Date: 2011

Comments: The original curtains were washed, but the rear curtains had lots of tears and in spots were too fragile to mend.  Finally found blue/gray plaid (I love plaid!) so new curtains were made!  I sewed magnets into the hems so they stay against the walls without using wire cable and can easily be closed/opened.  For total black-out and thermal insulation, window blankets were bought from BusDepot (I modified them to mount using magnets).

A/C plenum/ductwork removed

Product:  n/a

Date: Summer 2011

Comments: Rear air conditioning vent plenum was removed for more airflow up front and more headroom.  For all the details, click here.

Tent insulation

Upper bed extension

Product:  Reflectix

Comments: Jumped on the insulation bandwagon.  Everyone who's done it says it works great... check back for my results.  Update: Works great!  Now, just need some sound insulation.  If you'd like to make your own, click here for all the details.

Product:  Home-made

Date: April 2012

Comments: No more lost pillows and an end to feet pressed up against the tent!  

Details:

  • Size: 11 x 48 x 3/4"
  • Foam: 2" thick (used what was left over from replacing the upper bed foam)
  • Vinyl: Marine-grade; glued to bottom of wood, stapled to top
  • Cloth: Duck cloth/canvas with zipper along back
  • Foam section is Velcro'd to wood section

Headrest pillows

Products:  Günzl Classic Parts (Bus Depot also sells them)

Date: May 2013

Comments: I often rest my head against the headrest while driving (or when not), and find the Vanagon headrests rather uncomfortable, not to mention the thought of my head slamming into the hard-as-a-rock-nothing in an accident.  The new pillows are awesome!

Stove face plate and door hinges polished

   

                                          ^Before                                                                                      ^After                                                                        ^Bottom: Before | Top: After

Products:  Ethyl-alcohol (hand sanitizer) + Meguiar’s paint cleaner

Date: November 2013

Comments: I was set to remove and ship off my stove’s face plate to California to be powder-coated and silk-screened, due to discoloration and a stain.  Before going to that trouble (and expense), I decided to test my hypothesis: The stain, which had lightened up the paint, was caused by a drop of hand sanitizer, which had been hanging conveniently from the pop-top push bar.  I put a dab of the hand sanitizer on a cloth and then dabbed it onto the face plate.  Sure enough, the paint lightened up.  So, I continued doing the entire stove front, following up with paint cleaner.  Took awhile to accomplish and the color isn’t exactly like original, but the overall results made me glad to have not spent the money having it repainted.  The panel is no longer a dull, dingy gray/beige, it is back to its shiny light gray.

Center "hump" insulated

          

Product:  Reflectix

Date: April 2014

Comments: Removed the shifter cover to replace the park-neutral switch in an effort to fix a starting issue (lower left corner of cover was severely cracked; repaired what I could with JBWeld).  While it was off, took the opportunity to remove the dash cover plate to redo the insulation I had previously just slapped in there, which was only down the sides.  During all this, I was also working on the cooling system and, thus, ran the engine… discovered that hump gets quite hot!  Insulation definitely required for this van!  Both covers were scrubbed clean and given a healthy dose of 303 Protectant before being reinstalled.  BTW, park-neutral switch replacement was utterly pointless… cheap-ass part.  Have to move the shifter to neutral when it acts up in park in order to start it thanks to the craptacular "park" tabs on the switch.

Hatch strut support


Product/tool:  PVC pipe; saw

Date: November 2013

Comments: The two-year-old struts have started auto-closing.  Instead of buying new struts, y et again, made a strut support as everyone else does out of PVC. Size: 3/4” pipe, 8” long, with 5/16” slot.  Can be left on the strut when hatch is closed.  Pipe will be painted black to blend in better.