A Magic Pill for the Van?

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  The van is still being driven close to home.  It’s continuing to have a small external (whew!) antifreeze leak.  Driving to and from work or the grocery store is not a problem… But when I get it up to highway speed the Trekker Van spits out small amounts of coolant.  I cannot see it coming from the water pump… not to say that it isn’t.  Sooner or later I’ll get it figured out.

But in the meantime I’ve been doing a lot of reading about problems they’ve had with the red extended life antifreeze used in Chevy motors.  If the DexCool antifreeze gets too old it can become acidic and eat gaskets.  I’ve kept it changed.  But a small leak can occur for various reasons even including porosity of cast parts (how porous it is and if water can escape or cracks form)

Is there are a magic fix?  Actually, there IS in many cases.  GM’s brand, ACDelco, sells cooling system tablets that are dropped in the radiator and are supposed to seal small leaks.  They are rated to be very effective and are actually endorsed by GM.  I even read that the things are put in NEW cars as a preventative.  For $5.25 this might correct the problem with the van and a package is on order.


In other news, we melted off nearly all the snowpack late in the week… In February things warm up a lot and the snowfall disappears quicker and quicker. But things can go the other way just as quickly!  In fact, we got 2 inches of snow on Saturday morning; thankfully it’s nearly all gone already.

A little frost and snow in the dead petunia plants. Nearly all this new snow is already gone!

Camping won’t happen for at least another week but I’ve been working on recipes nonetheless.  As mentioned in a previous post, there is a quantity of breaded chicken tenders in the deep freeze that need to be used up.  Tonight several were cooked up and made into sort of a “Chicken Parmesan”, simulating how they would be cooked when camping.

Chicken Parm

There has been a lot of cooking activity going on at home lately.  I’ve tweaked a new recipe for homemade pizza dough that is very crispy and low carb.  The plan is to make a sausage / egg / bacon breakfast pizza in the next day or two.

Between the food pantries and other items that are discarded and repurposed, it’s amazing what one can make for pennies!  (What you see on the plate above only cost about 40 cents!)

Kitty Jenny is doing well but getting antsy to go out and play.  She’s snuggled up against the plaid bath robe on the couch as we watched a rerun of Columbo.  I often catch her watching the TV!  She knows how to pose for the camera!

With the downtime and having sold one vehicle, there has been much time to reflect on various things:  fiscal belt tightening, where and when to camp, length of stays, etc.  I’ve lined up multiple farm ponds to fish closer to home.  When the weather cooperates, the plan is to go walleye fishing nearby. There will also be fewer long trips this year but more time will be spent away from home on each one…

It’s been kind of a downer not being able to travel far but I remember once dreaming of owning a van and traveling… going to places in Iowa I’d never seen before.  Now it’s a matter of reliving some of those memories as things are readied to be able to do that again this spring.  It will happen.

Let’s just hope that these “magic pills” help with the antifreeze issue.  Time will tell.

Thanks for visiting!  I’m at work right now waiting to work for the third time today and do some deep cleaning on the floors after the store closes.  Take care and happy camping!

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"

4 Responses to A Magic Pill for the Van?

  1. Jo says:

    Sure hope those tablets work for you.

    You chicken parm looks really good what a great idea. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with.

    We have had lots of rain and we are happy with that another storm coming in tonight or tomorrow morning sometime.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! I’m really hoping it works out. It’s kind of unusual to see a manufacturer recommend a product such as a stop leak kind of thing. Many reviews have supported their claims. The dissenters are usually the ones with a massive leak.

      Awesome deal about the rain! We had 2 inches of snow and are looking at an inch of rain tomorrow… Crazy Iowa weather. When we get to March it’s a roller coaster.

      Well have a great week! I’m making chicken tender wraps tomorrow.

  2. my_vantasy says:

    Low carb homemade pizza crust?! I hope you plan to share that recipe. We hit 63 degrees today in my part of Ohio, and yes, we had a little snow Saturday, too. Good luck with the van’s magic pills–my fingers are crossed for you!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and thanks for the note! 63 is nice! We were 37 in northern Iowa and 64 in the south part of the state. The thunderstorms were strong this morning… and we’re getting more tomorrow. Jenny was puzzled about the weather, first wanting go outside and then when the lightning struck about 1/2 mile to the north, she decided to go back inside right away.

      I’m hoping that these little stop leak pills help. There is a LOT of discussion pro and con on the Internet. The consensus is that used as directed, they won’t plug up the heater core. It’s worth a try at least. Time will tell in a couple days. 🙂