Bulldust!

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 08:59
ThreadID: 121931 Views:3912 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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G'day Boggers,

We have had our caravan since October 2004 and have travelled from Sunshine coast around to Carnarvon in WA. Most of the time we have been on sealed road although there have been a few excursions off onto the dirt, although probably only totalling about 300 km all up. Pretty much from the first time off the black stuff, we have been getting dust inside the van. Mostly it seems to be around the back window. Another Bushtracker owner told us they had put a piece of foam between the water tight door and the entry door to prevent the ingress of dust through the vent at the bottom.

In the past week we did a trip out to Mt Augustus (the biggest rock in the world) and about 700+ km of the trip was on dirt. The roads were well formed although there were numerous "Dips" where water would cross the road in the rare event of rain. The 'Tracker handled the road beautifully, dips and cattle grids and corrugations, BUT .. the dust inside the van was dreadful. All windows were secure against their seals, but the dust on the shelf we have below our rear window was very thick - enough to hide the laminex! The air just about had to be carried out of the van with a shovel when we stopped - quite hard to breath!

Now, what to do? Any ideas how I can deep this stuff out. Aside from being annoying to have to clean all the time, the fine abrasive effect between any sufaces it gets to cant be good. We would love to hear if anyone has a fix for dust getting inside the van.

in a couple of months we hope to cross back to the east coast via Karajini NP then Marble Bar, Telfer, Garry Junction, and on to Alice Springs then the Plenty Highway to Queensland. If we can sort out a fix before we tackle at least 3000 km of gravel roads, it will make the trip that much more of a pleasure and adventure.

Cheers

Pete

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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 10:55

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 10:55
We have very little dust in the BT - we shut the water door on bad roads, and have a thick piece of foam which fits into the roof vent (probably not necessary, but one of the many ideas we 'inherited' when we bought the van). The roof vent was the worst dust area in our previous little wind-up van, which was not dust proof anywhere.

The back window has given us problems, with the winder mechanisms seeming to block with dust - we haven't worked out how to get them off yet. After a while i couldn't get it to shut properly, but with my husband pushing from the outside while i clip the latches, very little dust gets in. We have been on some rough and dusty roads. I have wondered if there is anything we can put on the window seals to help them stick down tightly, as just sometimes when we go to open them, they seem to be stuck and it takes a few winds before they come free - seem to be vacuum sealed. If they did it all the time, we shouldn't get the dust at all. One side rear window also lets in a smidgeon of dust.

There are a few spots in a cupboard around the pipes to the HWS where the silicon needs re-doing, but dust stays confined to the cupboard and is minimal.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 566230

Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 19:53

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 19:53
Hello Peter and Leigh,

I will hazard a guess to try and help... I sent e-mail to you, but you are on the road and maybe did not receive it, so I will Post an answer here.... Dust is reported on about 1 in 100 vans, and you need to find the source so we can fix it. This is not the norm, and each van is different. The Fellow Boggers would only be hazarding a guess, as each van is layed out differently.... But here are the top four or so possibilities...

If you are getting dust, you need to find the source as it is not the norm... It is usually a fluke event, and you need to find out where it is coming from... First: It is very unfortunate, but about one in a hundred have an aerodynamic of the tow vehicle that sends dust up and over the front to on top. The Four Seasons Hatch is a air transfer gas hatch by law, and lets in air through a half inch double skin all the time by law. It does not seal, only the inner layer. 1 in a 100 tow vehicles sends the dust up there, and it can be changed by changing the aerodynamics of the tow vehicle, with a roof rack, air deflector, cargo, or something.... It is rare. Most vehicles send the dust line up at about 45 degrees from the lower front corner of the van, and that is why the Four Seasons Hatch is in front... Test it first by a piece of foam or something filling the four seasons hatch opening in the ceiling, see it that fixes it...

The second or so most common is the rear window seal folded over or creased... But you said you taped it up and still not the source? Did you tape all around the opening part and up to the hinge? Is the perspec still sealed in the frame? We have had a few defective windows over the years, so check that .....

You ask about something like a pressure hatch.... Now there is a toy idea out there but the "Pressure Hatch" is a sales gimmick to combat this problem of bull dust that is down to the size of particles of cigarette smoke, and they cannot keep it out as their vans are not water tight and dust proof... Now we can put one in for you, but they are just a bit of a gimmick as they actually scoop dust up as they travel along... Have you ever been on a bull dust track where the dust hangs in the air for few kilometres? Well the hatch just vacuums that up... And you aren't going to get out and close it every time a car passes you either way on a windless day when the bull dust hangs in the air... So, while we can put it in, it is not the answer, YOU HAVE TO FIND THE SOURCE....

You said rear of van... We had one individual that was travelling very hard and broke the seal around the wheelbox... Another had it coming in the door gas vent, but in the bulldust with the gas shut off, I close my door and put a strip of foam accross the top to stop any entry there... This is only guess work as you cannot indicate the Source...

Another possible source is if you have an outdoor shower, in the wrong place for the dust sometimes they have been the source. Also check under the back in storage on the rake to see if it is coming in somewhere around the tail lights or something... Some sealant up under the rear bumper could have been missed where the sheet ties into it??? YOU NEED TO IDENTIFY THE SOURCE AS A DUST LEAK IS NOT THE NORM.... Most likely is the first two above, the 4 seasons hatch or the outdoor shower if you have one...

Your other problem: "Another problem that has arisen after driving over the corrugated roads is the cold taps in kitchen and bathroom are down to a trickle. The one on the A frame, off the same pump, is working fine. Bit of a puzzle to me. " ANSWER: There is a pre-filter on each pump. Hold on to the body of the pump and the cover on the pre-filter screws off and there is a stainless screen inside... That was reported once last year and screen was partly blocked due to scale from some rusty pipe water source... Very likely...

Cheers
stg
AnswerID: 566231

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 20:01

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 20:01
The more I think about it, the more it seems you are the unlucky one in a hundred that has the aerodynamic of the dust coming up over the van and in the Four Seasons Hatch.... We do not get a report of Bulldust like that not even one a year, and that is the most likely cause since you indicate it is that RIDICULOUSLY HEAVY... It could only be the overhead hatch... Check around the lip of the ceiling there to see if there is any build up.... THESE VANS ARE BUILT WATERTIGHT.... AND OVERALL DUST IS NOT A PROBLEM.... Unless we made a Boo-Boo some where and did not seal something... But that should show up in a locker not all over the benchtop.... That must be the 4 Seasons...
Let me know...

stg at Bushtracker....
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FollowupID: 844511

Reply By: The paca people - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 22:12

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 22:12
Hi Pete,
Re your cold water flow problem, we had/have a similar problem.

Cause was/is a scale which has deposited in the water tanks (courtesy of previous owner's water supply - mind you, our domestic supply is from a W.A. Water Corp bore so is probably not much better.)
Anyway the small flakes of scale block the very tiny slotted screen which is fitted in the grew screwed union in the cold water hose under the sink. We have removed and cleaned the slotted screen a couple of times but with continued blockages we have removed the screen altogether. When the flakes keep coming thru they eventually block the mesh screen on the sink outlet but it is easily screwed off the outlet and flushed clean withoud diving into the cupboard in the dark.
Dont have a problem with the identical slotted screen in the adjacent hot water line - I conlude that the scale is soluble in hot water.
On our last day of last trip I opened all the water tank drain valves - thanks Steve at BT for a neat setup with proper drain valves - and dumped the water and hope to find a source of rainwater before heading off to the 2005 Copoeton rally in the Spring.

Good luck with your water blockage problems.
Cheers,
Martin Bunny
Bouvard W.A.
AnswerID: 566232

Reply By: eff trucker - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 22:45

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 22:45
Thanks Martin,

I finally tracked down the water flow problem the little slotted screen the same as you did. I would blame the water we used at Esperance for the non potable tanks. Maybe the tap was from a bore source. Anyway, I have it licked now and if there is a problem again the slotted screen goes! I agree it would be much easier to clean the mesh on the tap outlet.

Cheers

Pete
AnswerID: 566233

Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 23:16

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 23:16
Pursuant to your last email to me at Bushtracker....
You must have a defective rear window... Check to see that it was not pushed down to close it.. Sometimes people do not clean out the top hinge, and the window winder fails to crank the window down as the top hinge is full of bulldust...

So, the well meaning people call the spouse to go out side and push it down as they try and crank it closed. What invariably happens, is they spring the top hinge, so the window is not seated against the seal very well from the bottom up to the sprung bent hinge, and the flat flange of the window does not seat all along tightly against the gasket rubber seal... Make sense? If this has happened, the window needs to be replaced...

And for all of you other BOGGERS, once in a while clean the bulldust from that top tubular hinge so it does not pack up.... DO NOT FORCE IT CLOSED AS IT ACTUALLY WILL SPRING THE WINDOW OUT OF SHAPE... And then you will have a bulldust problem in that location.... As the window will no longer seal against the frame properly.... Understand? I try and explain things in a couple of different ways just for clarity so everyone understands..

Running blind, I can't see your problem, but this would be the next most likely source and my next guess.... Check to see if the side of the closed window has an evenly space crack where it seats against the rubber gasket and window frame, when it is closed and locked.... Wider on the top indicates a sprung hinge, and would be the source of the dust entry...

Bushtracker, always trying to do the right thing....
AnswerID: 566234

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 09:21

Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 09:21
Hi Steve - How do we get the window winder thingees apart to clean them? - our rear ones need cleaning out, and a couple of others need replacing.
Motherhen

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 23:28

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 23:28
FINAL FOLLOW UP FOR ALL THOSE FOLLOWING THIS THREAD....

Peter just sent me a digital photo (2) and my last guess, the previous entry before this is exactly correct.. (Just got lucky on my guess huh?) Been doin' this for a while....

The rear window is definitely sprung. It appears (usually) someone has "Helped it" pushing it down from the outside to close it, as the dust binding up the hinge on top keeps it from closing down on it's own.... NOTE TO ALL BOGGERS: If you do not clean the rear window top hinge with air or water nozzle on hose, it will bind up.... If you force it closed by helping push it down on the outside.... It ruins the window!!!! The pictures sent through clearly shows the gap on the top, so the window is not closing against the frame, and the top mitre edge of the perspex frame is actually broken so the top part of the frame is still sprung out about 5 Degrees, while the other side of the mitred edge of the perspex frame is headed down the inner frame by not seated tight, as it now sits out from the inner frame about a 5mm gap.... The window does not close against the seal... This is DEFINITELY the source of the bulldust, and the window needs to be replaced.

I hate trying to fix things when I can't see them from afar, but I will give it my best shot...

Cheers, stg
AnswerID: 566235

Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 00:16

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 00:16
FINAL FOLLOW UP FOR ALL THOSE FOLLOWING THIS THREAD....

Peter just sent me a digital photo (2 last of the 4) and my last guess, the previous entry before this is exactly correct.. (Just got lucky on my guess huh?) Been doin' this for a while....

The rear window is definitely sprung. It appears (usually) someone has "Helped it" pushing it down from the outside to close it, as the dust binding up the hinge on top keeps it from closing down on it's own.... NOTE TO ALL BOGGERS: If you do not clean the rear window top hinge with air or water nozzle on hose, it will bind up.... If you force it closed by helping push it down on the outside.... It ruins the window!!!! The pictures sent through clearly shows the gap on the top, so the window is not closing against the frame, and the top mitre edge of the perspex frame is actually broken, so the top part of the frame is still sprung out about 5 Degrees on both sides, while the other side of the mitred edge of the perspex frame is headed down the inner frame by not seated tight, as it now sits out from the inner frame about a 5mm gap.... The window does not close against the seal... This is DEFINITELY the source of the bulldust, and the window needs to be replaced.

I hate trying to fix things when I can't see them from afar, but I will give it my best shot...

Cheers, stg
AnswerID: 566236

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 00:19

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 00:19
Computer jammed up, lock it the submit format,
And now when I had time to resubmit it, it has done it twice!
Good aye?
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FollowupID: 844513

Reply By: Freewheelers - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 01:45

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 01:45
steve at least it didnt eat all your hard typing as it has with me from time to time i'm verrrrry slow so it an be very time consuming cheers
AnswerID: 566237

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 02:31

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 02:31
Stephen,
One of the smart things I did in school was learn formal typing.... I can almost type as fast as I can think or speak.... Otherwise, I would not be able to do what I can here in the BOG.... I would get tooooo mired in the BOG.... Sometimes you make a right decision in life by accident... Ha!

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FollowupID: 844514

Reply By: Jaunty Jordans - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 10:19

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 10:19
Hi Pete,
We have had our van for almost a year now and travel on dirt roads all the time, so far have not had any probs but....we were given a few hints early on. Don't know if they will help but here goes:

# stuff an old towel or foam down between inner door and water tight door

# put plugs in sink, basin and shower outlet when travelling (on this it was also suggested to cover outlets on the outside where sullage hoses join van with old pantyhose and a piece of elastic, this stops wasps etc from nesting in the pipes,patic if van standing for a while, but doesnt stop water escaping)

# after being on the dirt and before opening rear window always use small dustpanbrush or broom to sweep away accumulated dust around the window (do not hose off)

# haven't tried covering 4 season hatch with foam cutout but it is not a problem for us at this time and there is only so much mucking about we are prepared to do!

Hope this helps
Prue
AnswerID: 566238

Follow Up By: eff trucker - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 10:59

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 10:59
Wow!!!

I didn't expect to stir up quite so much interest. It's all a learning experience and part of the adventure - even though getting a fix can be a pain in rear end at times. Hopefully we have the problem sorted out (at least we are pretty sure where the dust was getting in now), but the proof will be seen in the next trip off the black stuff.

Thanks so much for everyone's suggestions and for Steve's time and suggestions.

Cheers

Pete
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FollowupID: 844515

Follow Up By: Turist - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:55

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:55
G'Day to the dusty ones.
We have travelled over thousands of k's of dusty roads without problems.
The back window top hinge is taped over with 50mm wide silver gaffa tape.
Hard to notice it is there.
Dust entry via the door countered by the methods previously described.

We have just completed the entire Oodnadatta track, the Mereenie Loop and the Buchanan Road.
All extremely dusty but no significant entry to the van.
I think more dust enters when camped with windows open.

So, we are now at Kununurra and will be going down the Gibb RR tomorrow.
Try to get internet again when we get to Broome.

Regards to all.
Bob & Judy
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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