Designing the Van Part 11 – Refitting the Kitchen Window

My obstinate optimism took a blow the next morning. I’d had high hopes that the newly fitted kitchen window would be a watertight porthole of viewing magic but upon entering the van I was dismayed to find that most of the previous night’s deluge had found its way onto the van floor.

Alright, that’s an exaggeration, but there was a significant amount of water on the floor making tiny rivulets towards the back end and the still untreated wood panels were stained with water marks.

This was not good. Really not good, as if I didn’t deal with it straight away I could be facing rust problems around the window frame and damp issues from the wood. Out came the tool kit amid a barrage of expletives, huffs and sighs.

Removing the window wasn’t difficult but I had to remove the whole thing apart from the hinge and the frame I’d fitted to pull it taught. The problem was the wetness of the MDF frame which had to be addressed as quickly as the edge of the hole my dad cut for the window.

I opted to treat the bare metal first, sanding it down with emery paper and painting with a weird tincture that turned the bare stuff black after a few minutes. I had to et that dry for an hour at least so in that time I brandished a hair dryer and blasted the damp wood.

The hair dryer packed up on me after about 15 minutes, but having never used one on myself I didn’t realise they got so hot. I let nature do the rest of the drying as it was a warm and clear day.

I came back to it an hour later and set about fitting the window. Before I got to slipping the seal back in place I ran a line of the now heroic boat window sealant around the edge and squashed the seal over it.

Something wasn’t right though; the clasps didn’t line up with the window latches so I had to drill new holes and refit them. The supporting arm was also misbehaving and I had a real game getting it into the right place. After a wrestle and more expletives the job was done. I made sure the clasps were slightly further from the window pane this time so that they pulled it even tighter and to test it I got the hose out and blasted it for several minutes.

Bone dry inside. Lovely.

Satisfied that I’d got it right this time I set myself up for the next job – fitting the Cascade II water heater.

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