The Van is Down for Now

Hello and welcome to the blog today. It’s been a crazy week.

On Wednesday the van broke down. The timing wasn’t so good. I’m downsizing and had sold the little white Cobalt when just days later the Express Van had the lower radiator hose pop off near home. Thank goodness it was around -2 degrees; hopefully there was no engine damage. The van is at home right now.

On Thursday and today I had to ride a bike to work. I grabbed “Old Blue” (the Raleigh from the mid 1990s).  When trying to inflate the tires, the tube on the rear wheel exploded!  Thankfully the Trek bike (store in the house) took air and has restored some degree of mechanical advantage (over walking!)  The high temp was 10 degrees yesterday with a 20-25 MPH headwind. Thankfully the job is only a half mile from home!

Co-workers have been really good about stepping up and offering rides today. In the maintenance role lots of co-workers depend on me cleaning, cooking, running errands to the cooler, and fixing things. I’m blessed to have made many friends who understand the woes and have been very supportive!

Tonight James, a regular customer and certified Chevrolet truck mechanic, offered some suggestions about the van’s cooling system. The Express van has a tendency to spit the old lower radiator hose off. James offered a tip for keeping it in place with a better placement for the worm-gear clamp.  I’m going to try that tomorrow to at least get up and running. I pray the motor is still good (which it should be).

There is still a question about the water pump – it might need replaced. Once I get things working tomorrow we’ll see where things go from there. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I’ve resolved that the van will NEVER be junked or sold as long as I live. It’s got too many memories and will forever be a man cave and cat cave under the carport!

Sorry that I might not be able to comment in a timely fashion.  While commuting by bike, it’s difficult to carry the computer to work to check the wifi. For that reason, I’ll turn off the comment moderation for now.

Well, let’s cross our fingers.  I’d sure like to go camping again soon if possible.

Take care and thanks for visiting!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

6 Responses to The Van is Down for Now

  1. Pleinguy says:

    Wow! Bummer about the van problems. Hope you get it all fixed soon.

  2. VanTrekker says:

    Thanks for the note, Pleinguy! I’m researching the fix right now. GM did some goofy quick connect stuff with the lower radiator hose and it kind of sucks. 🙂 And, of course, it’s quite cold here, too! 🙂 Take care! VT

  3. my_vantasy says:

    Oh no! I am so sad to hear that. It sounds like you’ve got a good plan, though. You are a blessing to so many at work, it’s great that some of them can repay you with rides. I don’t know about you, but we’ve got cold weather, snow and ice in our forecast this week. Take care!

  4. Bradford Harris says:

    Hi and thanks for the note. I’ve done some thorough research on the thing. The van has a quick-disconnect radiator hose that can be problematic at times. I figure it’s easier to get the thing running and get it to the shop down street and let them mess with it. Hopefully it will hold together. 🙂

    Yes, it’s going to stay cold here for quite a while to come! (another reason not to mess with the van right now) Take care and thanks for the kind words! — VT

  5. Shadowmoss says:

    Fingers crossed for you.