[David is oiling the parking break pedal. I wish I had a better picture.]
[Restored latches hold a minimalist roof rack.]
(Today's post is split into two parts so I can include lots of pictures.)
David from Boston came back to visit and this time stayed around a bit more. The other day he mentioned that he knows a lot about vehicle mechanics. He offered to show me around the engine of my van and help make sure it's ready for the big trip hauling a trailer to California. I learned a lot and took notes on what needs maintenance before a trip like this. Thanks, David!
Then we set about making the modifications that I wanted to make to the van. I removed that ladder from the back door. All it ever did was get in the way of seeing traffic in the rear-view mirror. One rung was placed perfectly to hide vehicles coming up behind me. I never climb onto the roof and don't trust the door to hold me anyhow. Buh-bye!
Then, we did our best to repair the clamps that hold the roof rack onto the van. They were all rusted solid, but we were able to get them working well enough for now. A 2x4 attached to each side does two things - gives me something to tie onto if I need to pack the roof and acts as a failsafe if one of the clamps goes slack. I don't think I'll be using the roof on this trip, but it's better to be overprepared.
On Monday morning I'll take it in for an oil change and lube job. I'll top up the brake fluid, coolant and tire pressure. Then the van should be ready to roll, running even better than it did on the Los Angeles trip.