TIP # 33 BULLDUST ! Care of Rear Windows, and other MAINTENANCE to prevent it!

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 19:03
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LIKE BULLDUST? This is in the interests of you not ruining the seal on your rear window…And other tips to keep out the Bulldust... PROPER MAINTENANCE is the key....

In the Bulldust the back hinge on the rear window binds up with dust…It gets in there, then gets wet, and packs up into a hard clay like material…. You have to wash it out with a hose and nozzle.. If you are standing looking up at it, on the hinge section of the window, you have to hose out the dust out of the round extruded hinge section… You can try to blow it out with air, or brush it out each time you run in the Bulldust before you open the window with a soft brush is better than nothing, but water and a nozzle under pressure is best..… But if you open the window with the dust in there, it packs the dust even more. If this is ignored, packed hard, gotten wet and set hard, and you cannot blow it out; then a major service has to be done. This involves actually taking the Hopper part of the window apart to clean the hardened clay of the bulldust out of the curved extrusion of the fixed frame itself…

It is always a problem in the Bulldust, and it needs to be cleaned before the window is opened… If not, when you go to close it, it will only close so far then jamb up.. DO NOT force the window closed, or it will spring the window out of shape. If you give a push assist from the outside, all that will happen is the top mitred frame part of the window will break loose at the mitre and spring out... Then the rest of the Perspex frame will not close tight against the fixed frame part of the window on the caravan… And you will have a leak of bulldust into the caravan… This is the primary Culprit of all vans that complain about Bulldust, and you need to be aware of what causes it so you don’t join the Bulldust Club….

It can happen to any window, but the rear window is the worst. Several per year ruin their rear window by doing this. Then of course it is our fault, the window must be defective, and some people get very upset when we have to tell them that they ruined the window. But if we be polite, and let them win in the interest of Customer Relations, it will backfire on both Parties as it only happens again. So, we have to warn people, and it is in the Owners Manual: Clean the hinge on the rear window before opening it when in the Bulldust… Per the Owners Manual, and per the Delivery Day Instructions… OK? Or maybe an alternative is to leave it closed when travelling in the bulldust, if you cannot hose it out.... There is no easy answer.

Pressure Hatch??? Now some think the answer is an open hatch to the wind to pressurize the van... Pressure Hatch is a sales gimmick to combat this problem of bull dust that is down to the size of particles of cigarette smoke... 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...?? Not sure this is the answer.

OTHER THINGS OF IMPORTANCE IN THE DUST BATTLE: Bushtracker is the most Dust Free of any van built. Anyone that says different has not tried the alternatives...We get to hear all the Horror stories from those who have tried others, and come to us for a Bushtracker. But in saying that, you have to take care of things like the rear window seal, and if you do not you will be joining the dust brigade... And yes, we also put a foam strip in our van over the top of the watertight door when closed in the Bulldust tracks... And yes, we have constantly improved the engineering over the years to combat the dust... BUT ON OLDER VANS, you need to look at the sealants around pipes and such underneath that get worn by the gravel shower and such in the Outback... This is MAINTENANCE... And part of the responsibility of ownership. With proper maintenance, my own van has only ever suffered a trace of dust with a damp paper towel, on the rear window sill. DUST DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PROBLEM WITH PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE... CLEANING THE DUST IS MORE WORK THAN DOING THE PROPER MAINTENANCE... Things wear, sealants and such exposed to the constant gravel shower and flexing in an older van need a little attention... So does every vehicle traveling in the Outback, and if you do not, then you will have problems...

Some people have reported that if they tape over the window hinge when in the bulldust, it is not a problem… But we have not verified that with our own tests… Maybe give it a try… Tracy and I have never had a problem, but him with four kids and me with three, we always have rear bunks and the short long windows that are only 280mm high.. They have not been a problem, it seems to be more of an issue with the taller windows of the 565mm high, where you have quite a bit of leverage on the window as you try and push it closed… So, take care...

Cheers from the Ranger, trying to do the right thing…. And be of a help....
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