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With the weather heating up, it’s time to clean out the conversion van and get it ready for travel. Over the winter, your van has probably suffered from the effects of cold weather, and the inside could use a good scrubbing. Below is a list of things you need to take care of before heading out on your summer vacation.
Eliminating Mold And Mildew
Even if you gave the inside of your van the once-over last fall, you should make sure the appliances and upholstery are completely sanitized. If your vehicle has a liquid propane stove, the burner elements need to be removed and thoroughly cleaned. Pay special attention to the burner plates, as soot particles can easily become lodged in tight areas around the base of the unit. A diluted cleanser – preferably an organically formulated one – should be used to clean the exterior cabinetry. The van floor is susceptible to moisture condensation during the winter months, so it is a good idea to use a carpet cleaner. A mold-killing spray should be applied to the floor and walls of the van.
Many of the late model conversion vans have sliding doors and windows. These should be inspected for dirt particles that have gotten trapped in the space between door and frame. If the sealing strips are becoming cracked or brittle-looking, remove them and install new weather stripping. The base of the doors should never be sealed. The vehicle manufacturer designed the sliding doors to allow moisture to drain out.
Inspect the windows of the van carefully for signs of mildew. If discoloration is seen, use a seal compound to make the area waterproof. The roof vents should also be inspected for leakage. During the winter, cold temperatures cause contraction and fatigue to the seals.
If your conversion van came with a set of kitchen appliances, the electrical circuitry needs to be checked before heading out on a road trip. The vehicle experiences constant vibration during travel, and this causes eventual problems with electrical connections.
Auxiliary power sources such as extra vehicle batteries should be checked at a tune-up shop for voltage and amperage output. Running the engine several times during the winter months is insufficient to keep the batteries at optimal output level.
Propane And Water Tanks
If you leave propane in the tank over the winter, chances are some of it has escaped. Fill the tank completely and do an odor test by opening the burner valves. If you smell gas, locate the source by applying soapy water to the tank and line valves.
The holding tank should be flushed prior to your road trip. Make sure you inspect the holding tank valves carefully. The connection gaskets also tend to become weak during the winter. Replacing them now is far less expensive than dealing with the problem while on the road.
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