This Don Cadet was in our family for 50 years. As age was setting into my folks, setting the awning up and maintaining the old girl was getting beyond them. So, it was sold to who we believed was a developer that wanted to use it as a drawcard parked outside his Colonial Style village.
This is what it ended up like!
The good news is, now it has been sold on to a true vintage caravaner and he was in the process of putting it back to original, the way it should be.
Many people are trying to keep their vintage vans as original as possible. But we do like the modern comforts.
We should always consider the health aspects when restoring. One point that has been raised is, in some of the older vans, removing the vinyl flooring may expose you to mesothelioma (asbestos cancer). If in doubt, get an expert to test it.
Another renovation consideration is your drinking water.
Inspect the tube that goes from the filler cap to the tank. Often this needs replacing, which can mean the removal of the water tank to do so. That’s not a bad thing, because it will allow you to inspect the condition of the tank more thoroughly.
At this point, it is a good opportunity to consider the pipework from the tank to the outlet.
A lot of vans have the hand pump tap, and a lot of vintage ‘vanners want to keep it that way. They are good because it’s harder to wastewater compared to a pressure pump system.
But what about the quality of your drinking water?
We all know that the water we are supplied with now is not as good as it was when the van was made. Cryptosporidium and Giardia was an overseas problem and probably wasn’t even in the Australian vocabulary then. Now it lives here.
You can install a water filter between the tank and the tap, but it needs to be fine enough to stop these parasites. Quite often, the hand pumps at the sink don’t have enough suction to draw through the filter. They weren’t designed for that and a water filter can create a lot of drag and strain on the tap.
Now, just like in the old days, you still need to fill your tank through a hose. The difference here is the garden hoses nowadays can be made from recycled plastics that break down and create a plastic taste in the water.
The solution to this is a good quality drinking water hose and a B.E.S.T. Inline Filter, on the outside of the van. You have no plastic taste and the B.E.S.T. 322H or 322HB will prevent parasites, bacteria, dirt, etc from entering your tanks and will remove the chlorine. B.E.S.T. will also keep your tanks fresh and clean, producing water that tastes just like the good old days, and you keep your van original.