Dusty Door?

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:00
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Hi There,
We will be doing a bit of travelling on dirt roads as it cools. Being new to Caravans I was wondering if I should make up some dust seals for the various vents to be used only when travelling. The door vent stands out as a dust sucker to me. Never tried as yet.

Any clues from the much travelled?

Cheers

Seakarvan
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:39

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:39
Hi Seakarvan

We put a piece of thick foam into the 4 seasons hatch before travelling on dusty roads. Yes, the door vent is a weak point when on dusty roads. I tried to put a piece of foam between the screen and full door, but couldn't get foam fine enough to fit without splaying the screen door, so put a couple of bathroom flannels against the vent - there were a couple of Velcro patches a previous owner had used which helped them stick. This certainly helped. Others put a thicker piece of foam between the door and water door - but you most likely will not have a water door.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Seakarvan - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:59

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:59
Hi 'Motherhen'
Thanks for your advice to a pair of newcomer's.
Water door? sorry I'm new to the term. Would it make sense to try and seal the door from the outside. In the dust, aesthetics have a low priority I guess. What about the other vents? Have you had problems with dust ingress other than the door?
Thanks again
Seakarvan
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 18:33

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 18:33
Seakarvan

Water door is i think exclusive to Bushtrackers. It alone does help stop the dust, but better when foam or cloth is used as well. We have certainly noticed the difference if we have started on the bitumen without shutting the water door, then gone on a dirt road without stopping to shut it. It sure helped with some of the Kimberley water crossings too, where the rolling effect of large boulders on the river bed dunked the van well up the door. You wouldn't take a van across running water up to the height of the water door (or a vehicle for that matter).

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With an older Bushtracker that has done the rough stuff through a succession of owners, there have been dust ingressions - particularly around the wheel arches. We just put a bit of silicon on the offending spots. When we first got the van, the principal of Bushtracker suggested to us that with an older van we should remove and re-seal the seams with sikaflex, but that sounded like hard work as it isn't easy to get under cupboards and the floor coverings.

It is so nice to get into a relatively dust free van after a dusty day. At worst, a quick sweep, and wipe the ledges with a damp cloth; usually no housekeeping needed at all. With the previous windup, it was practically a shovel job each night.

Of course, the vents in the door are a legal necessity to allow a gas from a leak to escape.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Seakarvan - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 15:16

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 15:16
Motherhen, Thanks from someone who is in the front line of "what works and the rest is ********"
Cheers
Seakarvan
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Reply By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:55

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:55
Hi Seakarvan,
In our old van we had covers for all the vents and windows. I then made canvas covers for all of then and when we hit gravel roads I would put them on. Wasn't perfect but certainly kept out a lot of dust. The vents were easy as they are flat, I had to put frames around the windows to hold the velcrose on there.
We also used the foam between the door and.

Our new caravan is just about finished and we have put a dust prevention system in this one. Have a fan pulling in air through a car filter system and thus creating higher PSI on the inside of the van. As long as the pressure inside is greater than outside we should have a dust free van on all roads. We can't wait to put it to the test as we do lots of corrugated roads.
Cheers Julie
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Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:58

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 17:58
Oops lost the flyscreen after door.
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Follow Up By: Seakarvan - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 18:17

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 18:17
G'day Red Tail Black,

The increase in Van pressure is brilliant mate. Love to know it works. As in the bull dust country with air on recirculate and flat out in the 4X4 when a road train's a-coming.
It would be great to here how your system goes in the forthcoming test.

Thanks

Seakarvan
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Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 19:09

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 19:09
Hi again,
We were going to put a Donaldson filter system in like the coaches did for the luggage compartments. Then we found out that Roadmasters in SA had been putting in this system. They built us a small aluminium box with the filter in for the top of the van (opens up so we can change filter) and in the cupboard is a fan system that flows into the van.We decided to give this a go first. They say one will be enough for our 6mt internal van but only time will tell, as we are hoping to have enough PSI input with the one fan.
Our van is a heavy duty off roader being built by Elross in WA and dust prevention was one of the big problems that we wanted to overcome. put in those small air intake hatches but unless you are going down gravels roads at 100kms an hour the pressure coming in is no enough to push air out.Will keep you posted once we get some test running in of the van done.
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Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 19:15

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 19:15
messed it up again
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 19:43

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 19:43
Hi Red Tail

Elross make a good van - i thought they would have dust proofing done well too.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 20:41

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 20:41
Hi Motherhen,
Elross said we wouldn't need the dust prevention, but as we are having it made from the ground up to our design we not taking any chances. We were going between Bushtracker and Elross as they build similar vans that can really do the off road stuff. Love your van. I think yours is better in the water than ours as they don't do a water door cover.
They started the wiring on our van last week so not long to go before we get it. It has been great to watch it being built from the ground up. David Hill has been so helpful in catering for all our requirements. He has us down there each week for updates and to check if everything is how we like it. You could not wish for better service and to be able to have so much input into everything he does. He has put the Fridge (230lt vitro)on the back wall so we don't have any vents and we are using a fan system there also to cool the fridge down. Have a 90ml pipe running down to the bottom of the fridge and then on top, 2 fans working off the fridge cycle pull out the hot air through the roof. This is the first time he done this also. Will put photos up when get it.
cheers
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 22:16

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 22:16
Sounds like a good experiment Red Tail. Some caravanners have blocked off outside fridge vent to stop the dust, and just vented them to the inside which seems to work. As the dust goes no further than the compressor section, i am happy to leave the exterior vents open. The dust shakes off and is easy to sweep or vacuum out.
Mh
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Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:00

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:00
Yeah we thought of venting them from inside, but with the dust prevention system we didn't want to lose the PSI we were creating with the dust fan. Like the Bushtracker our fridge is completely sealed off and we will run the pipe across the back of top cupboards then down to bottom of fridge with a vent on the outside at the very top of van. Fans will pull air about 3 mts across and down.
As long as my beds stay dust free I'm happy.
Cheers Julie
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:04

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:04
Me too Julie. In the little wind up, about four shovel loads of red dirt used to land on the beds from the 4 seasons hatch, and as much in from around the wheel arches and door. Gotta love our Bushtracker.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:19

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:19
Yes that's the problem we had with our old Millard it wasn't the hatch so much but the louvres widows.Only four weeks to I see the back of it. In this new van we only have four windows none front or back. If you pass us on the road give us a hoy. Are you down Bridgetown way, I thought I saw that when the bush fires were about the other week. You will always notice our van as I'm having Red Tail Cockatoo's put on for decals.
Cheers Julie
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:35

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 23:35
Hi Julie, and apologies to Seakarvan for the diversion. Yes, we are Bridgetown - lots of Red Tails here. Elross are distinctive as it is - a rare breed. Only saw two on our travels; one was a 5th wheeler on an F250. The other vanners had wanted a BT but they told him they didn't do front kitchen's (ours has) so he got the Elross - pulled with an F250 - seemed pleased with it. We met someone else who wanted one, but was told he'd have to wait five years - so he was getting a BT made.

We don't open our back window now - it has 'rear window syndrome' where dust builds up in the winder boxes and makes it hard to shut down tight. We really must change the winders. If building a new van, i would opt for a 'sealed' rear window, but still have it there for light an views. I haven't opened the front one, because it has the 'awning' over it on the outside, and we usually only stop for one night. My front kitchen is cool enough if i open the door which is right beside the stove.

Maybe see you on the road with your new van some time.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 12:08

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 12:08
My experience over the years with various trailers and vehicles is that you can't predict where the dust will enter until you get out there.

Sometimes mucking around sealing areas actually increases the dust sucking effect of others.

Often vents 'pressurise' the van and not much dust gets in....

so, try dust road or two and make some decisions from there.
AnswerID: 347031

Follow Up By: Seakarvan - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 16:06

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 16:06
Hi Royce,
There is a rear right vent that I can see daylight through the gauze and the door which are stating points. Then I will take your advice and give it a go in the dust. Plenty of that around with this summer!
Love the old Troopies and the Safari snorkels mate. They work.

Cheers
Seakarvan
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 18:55

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 18:55
I reckon you should try even before you cover that vent. It may well be the point that pressure is created. In fact, you could make a small cowl or scoop for that very vent, with say a felt pad to stop dust but allow air to push in....

The pressure need not be applied from the front.
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Follow Up By: Seakarvan - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 04:52

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 04:52
I have made up some seals for the vents in questions and will trial both on and off. Increasing internal pressure seems to be the key though.

I noticed our Van has a small (125X125) closeable air scoop fitted in the roof which can only be for internal pressure increase.

Road test in the dirt the next step.

Cheers
Seakarvan
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