If you read my blog (probably not). You may remember that I got locked out of my van due to a seized up deadlock. If you didn’t read that one you can view it here.
Anyway this is a reminder that at this time of year with more moisture in the atmosphere it is a good time to do some preventative maintenance on your locks.
Since that minor panic I have discovered that WD40 is not the best stuff for this. WD40 stands for Water Displacement Formulation 40. And it does displace water and can prevent rust for a while. However it has very little in the way of lubricant properties and it will disappear quickly. It is still excellent for freeing up seized parts however but for the maintenance of locks it is not the best solution.
Enter silicon spray. This stuff has proven itself over the last 2 years. I give all my locks a spray, the hinges on my doors and the rollers on my sliding side door. The only thing worth noting about this stuff is, if you are going to re-spray any part of your van do not get this stuff anywhere near that area. Silicon Spray will prevent paint from adhering.
The other maintenance task I get done at this time of year is major overhaul of my Thetford cassette. It gets a thorough rinse out with boiling water and detergent. I then take the mechanism out and soak it in a bucket with Citric acid which dissolves all the Lime Scale hiding under the mechanism. This stuff is amazing, and brings the cassette mechanism almost back to new. I do however have to give the rubber seal some extra attention with an old toothbrush in the crevasses. Once it is clean and rinsed off I then give all the whole mechanism a good spray with the silicon spray and give the circular plate a good coating. I leave this to soak in for 15 minutes before re-assembling it.
The final task I perform before the winter gets too cold is a very thorough clean of the inside of the windscreen, side windows and the cab area. I use an anti microbial detergent. I do this because condensation and heat makes the cab area very susceptible to mould/algae/moss growth. You don’t notice it the first year or two, however in the second or third year you will start to see it. This needs to be kept on top of and a good clean after the leaves have fallen but before the serious cold kicks in does keep it under control.
If you have any maintenance tips for fulltimers, please leave a comment below.
I’ve just spent a very pleasant few days reading you blog – which I can heartily recommend to anyone thinking of fulltiming (especially those wearing rose-tinted glasses!) A real warts-and-all account of the trials and tribulations of van living whilst trying, usually successfully, to keep several balls in the air at once.
Of its kind, this is probably the best I have read – simply because its more than just a travel diary – the high and lows, breakdowns and all else that makes up the nomads life are faithfully recorded.
Heres wishing you continued success in your work and travel endeavours
Great job – please continue –
Thank you very much for your kind words. I just wish I could motivate myself to do more posts….