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Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW?
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oceanair
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:48 pm    Post subject: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

So, my rust free van is now put away -- original paint in excellent shape. but the seams that show no rust have a few cracks. So much rain that she's garaged until April.

With no salted roads am I too worried about rust? The underside looks perfect as well but the original undercoating is bubbling and coming off in places.

She's such a beauty and I want to have her in similar shape in 20 years!

Thanks
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

How close to the ocean are you?

Any car of any significant age on the west side of San Francisco has more rust than cars just a mile further inland.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

A few miles -- it's the rain getting into the seams that worries me. With days of rain on end and not much sun... well, I'm afraid that will bring on the rust. I just hate putting her away.
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wesitarz
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

I don't,but then I don't have a garage and it's my daily driver. It rains pretty much most of the year round in Victoria IMO. Have to tackle the seam rust and oxidized paint next summer.What I put away from the winter rains is myself in SE Asia. Laughing Miss driving it with the Subaru and now big brakes though.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

oceanair wrote:
A few miles -- it's the rain getting into the seams that worries me. With days of rain on end and not much sun... well, I'm afraid that will bring on the rust. I just hate putting her away.


You could make it a project to get out the old seam sealer and put in fresh. It can be done with very little impact to the stock paint. You'll need to use touch up paint on the new seams.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:52 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

oceanair wrote:
With no salted roads am I too worried about rust? The underside looks perfect as well but the original undercoating is bubbling and coming off in places.


Pure water in and of itself does not cause rust without a catalyst or circumstance except on bare metal. If there is no salt or other chemicals put down on the streets there then no worries. Dirt and body seals can hold water against the vehicle body in hidden areas for long periods creating rust conditions.

As already mentioned, being close to an ocean (salty) environment can take an old vehicle apart -- I've personally witnessed this. The solution is to wash frequently even during the winter or, if you prefer, garaging until spring or summer.

With my rig, intense exposure to summer sun and heat cause more issues than winter rains unless my burg decides to put down corrosive chemicals on the roads. While we consider paint to be a cosmetic thing it's actual purpose is to repel water and protect the metal.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

if no caustic environment I'd wager a good coat of quality wax applied and laid into the seams would suffice..

here in our salted wintry North east they spray beet juice & calcium brine onto the roads/bridges that's worse than the salt.. so we must hide our precious vans till spring rains..
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:19 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

I'd imagine your area that MOLD and mildew would be the biggest threat.
a carport would work wonders in the preservation.
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oceanair
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

Oh, I have it garaged for the winter, so I' not worried about mold. But it's not near where I live. I do worry about those seams -- maybe that should be a winter project -- water in the seams makes me nervous.

But, I'm reading here that water in itself is really not an issue with good wax, but I need solid seams.

Thanks -
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

Water getting into your seams due to broken/missing sealer can indeed rust the seams, though certainly not as bad as with salty water.

As mentioned, a good hand-waxing will help to protect the paint and the seams while you plan for the eventual project of removing & replacing the old sealant.

If you are able to garage the van and allow the bodywork to thoroughly dry out between trips, I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on periodic trips on <unsalted> roads.

Have fun.

Here in the Rust Belt, our Vanagon camping season will be winding down about Christmas …
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

WestyBob said it well. I grew up in Seattle and truth told severe rust was rare and usually seen in cars from Michigan (wonder why???) Rain water itself is not terribly corrosive, and plenty of it splashing up into the wheel wells serves to keep dirt and salts rinsed off.

My theory is that the perfect storm of ground road pumice/sand and salt flung up into the metal parts, then followed up with a summer of warm humid air is what causes the most aggressive corrosion. Salt is extremely hydrophilic, it sucks moisture out of the air, and when packed in adjacent to steel the warm salty sand is what attacks the metal.

Thus, I have no problem driving in winter and collecting ground salty pumice (what they put on the roads here in Santa Fe). But I am assiduous about rinsing it off before the warm weather comes, because that’s when the salt does its thing. That means getting under the wheel wells with running water with a good nozzle spraying out all its nooks and crannies. So its really people who never washed that got the severe rust.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

Rain is of little concern to a properly sealed vehicle.

I would make the task of digging out the old seam sealer, both exterior and interior sides of the seam, a job #1 priority.
Once done you can motor away happily during the rainy season.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

if the seams can be completley dried (heat lamp) you can rechualk over them. there are variuos colors of chaulking and clear to compliment your body color or touch up paint can be brushed over the new chaulking. split seams are bad news, water gets in them and is trapped for a while, result is rust.

id rechaulk them. you need not remove old seam sealer for this, id only strip the old out if doing a repaint.

good luck.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

Here in the PNW rust isn't your biggest concern with leaving a vehicle outside unused, rather its mold and pest intrusion. You need to find a way to mitigate humidity inside the vehicle more than worry about the exterior. Research how to seal up the fresh air vents behind the grill to keep rodents from getting in the heater box--my cats resolved that for my van. The one area where rust does become a factor here is around the lower perimeter of the windshield and side windows where moisture gets captured and sits for long periods to fester.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Here in the PNW rust isn't your biggest concern with leaving a vehicle outside unused, rather its mold and pest intrusion. You need to find a way to mitigate humidity inside the vehicle more than worry about the exterior. Research how to seal up the fresh air vents behind the grill to keep rodents from getting in the heater box--my cats resolved that for my van. The one area where rust does become a factor here is around the lower perimeter of the windshield and side windows where moisture gets captured and sits for long periods to fester.


of course cats tend to make a mess too. they piss on everything, it is very corrosive. cat piss can take out a chrome hud cap, or bumper as bad as sea water, they rip up car covers, and piss on them too. they piss of the roof of the car also. nasty! I end up playing nice, here little kitty, than wack them upside the head with a broom when they sit on the roof. they also scratch the paint work with their damn claws.

had the misfortune of a nieghboor being a cat rescue nut. kept bring nasty feral cat around, 20 of them! ugh!!!

cats have done thousands of da,age to my cars, sued the cat freak owner and won, he was a real piece of work, told me cats just do that, and I should live with it. he drove a piece of crap car he didnt care about anyone elses property, just his damn treaspassing cats..
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

***I'm waving a white flag**** I haven't done a search yet, but is there a good reference for seam sealing here on the samba? I have no idea what that really means (all I can think of is a rain jacket in which you treat the seams to prevent water intrusion...but how to do that to a van is beyond me).

Thanks
-DSD
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

I'll second Zeitgeist 13... I currently own two 87 Vanagons, one tin top (120K miles) and one Westy Weekender (260K miles). Both are original Seattle area vehicles since new and have zero rust in the seams or undercarriage. Much of the original undercoating has worn away in the wheels wells and the paint on the lowest part of the rocker panels behind the front wheels is long gone, still no rust.
The Westy had a small spot of surface rust creeping out from under the passenger side windshield gasket but I had that professionally repaired and repainted. I had them cut out 2x2 area around the rust spot and weld in a used section of German steel I cut out of a parts van. I've never stored them inside and faded condition of the pop top on the Westy and the roof of the tin top make me doubt they were ever stored indoors by the POs.

The Westy is my daily driver so it's gets plenty of air movement plus we camp throughout the winter so the top gets popped and aired out regularly so NO mold Very Happy
The tin top was purchased a couple years ago after sitting in neighbors driveway for 7 years. The 75 year + year old seller and his wife loved the van dearly but they weren't able to use it due to some medical issues but he regularly aired it out and kept the battery and tires up until he couldn't and that's when he put the FS sign on it Crying or Very sad I've kept it aired out in summer and in the winter I put a dehumidifier inside and run it a couple times a month. There's a slight off odor inside but no mold! I recently sold our Syncro Westy so now the tin top will finally get the attention it deserves! Cool

I grew up in Maine which is salt and rust country. I've been in the PNW since 1990 and I'm still amazed by the rust free condition of most PNW vehicles.

The worst this you can do to a Vanagon or any 30 year old vehicle is park it for extended periods. Drive that thang!

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Here in the PNW rust isn't your biggest concern with leaving a vehicle outside unused, rather its mold and pest intrusion. You need to find a way to mitigate humidity inside the vehicle more than worry about the exterior. Research how to seal up the fresh air vents behind the grill to keep rodents from getting in the heater box--my cats resolved that for my van. The one area where rust does become a factor here is around the lower perimeter of the windshield and side windows where moisture gets captured and sits for long periods to fester.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

dsdunbar wrote:
***I'm waving a white flag**** I haven't done a search yet, but is there a good reference for seam sealing here on the samba? I have no idea what that really means (all I can think of is a rain jacket in which you treat the seams to prevent water intrusion...but how to do that to a van is beyond me).

Thanks
-DSD


search me, no better yet search the samba. try a search term like "seam sealer" for a start.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

you will need to carefully clean the seams with a toothbrush every year or two (which is where the moss and mold starts); and it should be washed & waxed at least yearly

otherwise...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Put her away from Winter Rains in PNW? Reply with quote

The van is garaged for the winter, but not near my home. I don't have a garage. I'm not worried about mold or critters -- but I do miss the utility of my van.
Some seams are cracked. I'll look into replacing the seam sealer. My paint is in great shape and I don't want to mess it up!

Sounds like the definite answer is get the seams sealed, wax and drive. Too worried to risk wax keeping water out of the seams.

Thanks everyone!
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