Vanlife: Still on the Floor, Hunting Down Rust

Violet the Van Rust Spot
The last thing needed in Violet the Van is rust, but that's what I found...and immediately removed. Instead of rust, it's a beauty mark.
Written by: Charles Pakana
Posted: 3 August 2020

Rust in vanlife is baaaaad; and it isn’t something you’d expect in a brand new vehicle. But it’s something I found!

After spending a fair chunk of the day checking that all the floor frame pieces were correctly tagged, I removed them in preparation for the next-to-final cleaning of Violet’s bare metal floor. Next stage, a good sweep followed by a thorough cleaning with a degreasing agent.

A Vanlife Problem

I was absolutely positive that there would be no rust or bare metal areas that needed treating, after all, this is a brand new vehicle that’s had nothing in the back except me and a few supplies picked up from Bunnings.

But there it was. My beautiful Violet the Van had a blemish right in a corner near the left wheel arch.

It had obviously been there for quite a while as the rust was well and truly building up. If it hadn’t been found and I’d gone ahead with the floor, there’s no doubt that within another 12 to 18 months, my vanlife would have been marred by a hole in the floor of the van. A hole that would have let water – and insects, no doubt – into the small gap between the metal floor and that which I’m building.

Violet with a Beauty Spot

Fortunately, a future big problem was easily averted by removing the rust buildup – fortunately it was only surface – and taking it back to bare metal. Then, some red oxide paint for good measure and once again Violet the Van was as pure as the driven snow. Well, with a red mark where the rust spot used to be, but we’ll now refer to that as Violet’s Beauty Mark. Sounds so much nicer than a rust spot, don’t you think?

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