dust in caravans

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 13:54
ThreadID: 129883 Views:4340 Replies:11 FollowUps:11
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Hi good travelling people,
I am going to open another can of worms but seriously I would like some feed back on how to minimise dust getting into vans.
We are having our new van built and we would like to see if we can incorporate some devices into the design and build to minimise dust coming in as the van is being built to go down dirt roads your ideas are eagerly waited upon.
Broodie H3
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:27

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:27
The first thing to do when you get a new v an is to crawl under it with a caulking gun and check everywhere something penetrates the floor. You will be surprised how many pipes and hoses are not sealed properly.

Another place of dust penetration is via the fridge, the power cord goes through a hole to pick up a power point within the van, close up this hole. If the fridge cabinet is well sealed it will not get much dust behind the fridge but if there are any gaps into the van interior via the fridge you will get heaps of dust through those.
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 15:41

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 15:41
Hi Peter,
please excuse me for being tardy on replying to your suggestions, but I realy did miss it with everything else we have happening around this mad house at the moment, the second question is would you use something that sets hard or something with flexibility when it dries, I prefer to do things right the first time instead of waiting for an awkward experience to teach me I did it wrong. lol. thank you.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 18:48

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 18:48
I use the same sort of thing as is used for caulking vans, ie it does not dry hard.
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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:36

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:36
First thing is to make sure all possible entry points are properly sealed, eg seams, pipe and wiring entries, and the fridge is sealed to the interior etc. Also door, windows and hatches, including toilet cassette hatch, must have good seals.
Secondly some form of pressurizing system such as a scupper vent or a fan type will aid in keeping dust out..
A low vent, usually in the door, and a high vent are required for LPG safety. It is your choice if you seal these when travelling on dusty roads but they must be uncovered when stopped.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:44

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:44
I should also have said that battery boxes and gas bottle compartments must have external vents so make sure these are sealed from the interior. If there is no chance of air flow then dust will not get in.
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:47

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:47
Hi Rod,
We normally turn our gas off in the van that we have at the moment while travelling, so can you block these dust entry points totally. I never blocked the door vents as we have a pressurizing scupper on the roof, thanks for that that explains why we always had dust on the door step up to the kitchen sink, never any where else. Thank you
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:49

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 14:49
I should have said the gas is turned off at the bottles while travelling.
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Reply By: Slow one - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 17:27

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 17:27
Broodie,
my van has 6 vents on it. 2 for the fridge, entry door, microwave, range hood and one above the bed.

I only cover the van door and the one above the bed as they are direct entry. I have adhesive velcro hook on the entry door and vent near the bed, I just have 2 pieces as of light weight carpet that fit over the vents. The carpet sticks to the hook no problem and is easy to remove. First thing I do is TURN OFF THE GAS before placing these covers over the vents. The sink drain will be open but I have never worried about it and never have any dust in the sink or basin.

Everything else is totally sealed

You can get a pressure vent fitted to the van roof, although I just open the forward facing vent on the 4 season hatch to pressurise the van slightly. Seems to work ok for us.

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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 17:42

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 17:42
Good seals as much as possible and a decent pressurising fan that blows through a air filter and you shouldn't have serious problems.

Google is probably your friend in sourcing the fan, but they're readily available.
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Reply By: Tim F3 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:07

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:07
Its way overdue that caravan manufacturers are made to build to an appropriate australian standard.....

It is an totally appalling that this question needs to be asked at all....

Can anyone consider asking this prior to taking delivery of a new vehicle???

The whole caravan industry builds to a discraceful standard....
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 20:15

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 20:15
Tim,
can I ask how the manufacturers are going to stop dust when the Australian standard asks them to have vents that remove gas, let people breath and allow heat from appliances to be removed.

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Follow Up By: Tim F3 - Friday, Aug 07, 2015 at 08:31

Friday, Aug 07, 2015 at 08:31
Slow one, my point is that caravans are often built to a woeful standard generally that would not be acceptable in other products eg motor vehicles...

And yes motor vehicles built to various standards dont allow copious quantities of dust inside ,yet people seem to be able to breath ok in them.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Friday, Aug 07, 2015 at 14:44

Friday, Aug 07, 2015 at 14:44
No argument about build quality but this is about dust prevention.

Tim a van is being towed in the wake of a vehicle that is putting up a plume of dust on a dirt road and a car doesn't have this problem, well that is if the driver is smart enough not to travel in someones dust.

Adr's put in place the amount of ventilation for a van and for the occupants that live in it. Vehicles don't have gas appliances which require open ventilation at all times and enough vent to stop the build up of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Cars do and can get quite an amount of dust in them if driven in someone else's dust. Jump into a country car that travels on dirt roads and you will soon see the amount of dust in them.
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Reply By: geo22 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:10

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:10
Broodie
The only way to ensure NO dust gets in is to make sure every vent & orifice is sealed up.
All doors & need good compression seals with more than one latch pulling the door closed to ensure a good seal. Any windows, skylights, roof vents etc also need to either be fixed or have good compression seals with strong positive closure latches.
Anything less than this will eventually move & flex & start to let in dust even if it seems OK at first.
Hope it turns out well.

Geo
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 22:43

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 22:43
Hi Geo22,
the only way I know how to stop dust from getting in is to never leave home with the van, lol. your ideas are readily received, thank you for your input
Broodie H3
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 19:36

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 19:36
My Goldstream RL Vacationer off Road camper van has an air inlet on the roof that causes the internal pressure to be higher thus limiting entry of dust.
I am yet to prove how effective it works, but will be going on a big trip off road, in a couple of weeks.
The one on the ARB canopy on my Colorado Dual cab does work. Even though there are largish gaps around the tailgate area of the tub, no dust is evident, except for a minor amount along the bottom of the tail gate which does not carry though to the interior.
Positive air pressure works better than trying to seal everything up.

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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 20:24

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 20:24
Closing up door vents is no problem with gas whilst travelling. I always turn of the gas at the bottle and not at the stove on the last use.
AnswerID: 588944

Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 10:21

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 10:21
Gooday,
Have been through this exercise, there was a Pressure Hatch, (Scupper) Vent, installed in our Caravan, 21ft, at build approximately 6"x4" and on the first trip across the Great Central Road despite having this open it worked like a Vacuum Cleaner. On return I had 2 more pressure hatches installed, one either side of the existing at the front, larger approximately 8"X5", have not got the caravan here to measure.
Have since done many gravel roads including the Great Central and the Tanami since then, did tape over vents and had virtually no dust come in due to the inside being pressurised.

I would be very wary of using the front of the 4 Seasons hatch as a pressure vent when open, have heard of them flying off.

The other option, which I know some have done, is install a Marine Blower, (Fan), somewhere on the caravan with a filter element and a switch in the tow vehicle, and turn it on when they get onto gravel road.
Can assure you if you have sufficient pressure it overcomes the problem.

We have had a number of small stones come inside from oncoming vehicles who insist on maintaining the highest speed possible when they meet another vehicle, but no dust problem.
Cheers,
Boroma604
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 12:16

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 12:16
Good morning Baroma 604,
first off nice looking rig you have there, what is the yellow frame on the draw bar, if you don't mind me asking, I couldn't work it out.
now back to topic how big would you have the front dust scupper made, our van will be 23' when completed, and from the replies that I have had most are saying go with the equalising scupper and secure all vents as best as possible. your van the one in the photo seems to be about the same size.
thank you for your reply.
Broodie H3
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 18:32

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 18:32
In my view, the essential first step is to stop the van from sucking the dirt in (low pressure points on the van outer, created by passing air)....as mentioned above, getting a bit of clean pressurized air inside via a scoop hatch (scupper) is the go. Once that is done, blocking up every hold you can find completes the job (including the door vent, but only while mobile). Done right, you can travel long dusty outback roads and dust won't be an issue....just a minor event, sometimes, maybe :-).
AnswerID: 589015

Reply By: garny - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 14:12

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 14:12
yea hi Broodie H3 my reply might be a bit late however we have a Windsor Rapid 4m
and like all other responses you need to seal up all dust entry points prior to travel
We have the normal forward facing small hatch on the roof which will catch air into the van to pressurise inside.
we then found whilst travelling slow on dirt roads the dust tended to billow up into & through open vent . You can fix this by fitting a 12 volt radiator fan inside to suck through a filter wiring this to a switch in vehicle.
Ours was a simple exercise as the Rapid has a small vent above the kitchen so we placed a small fan & filter into this cavity and oolala no more dust .
It is imparitive that the fan must be forward and high enough to achieve pressurisation .
Regards Garny
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 11:19

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 11:19
Hi Garny,
never too late my friend, the van is being built and what I am after is for people to share what they do to block up there air vents on their vans whilst travelling down dirt roads, as you can see there have been several responses that have been most helpful, yours included,
thank YOU
Broodie H3
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