Van secrets

Insert the immobiliser key so that the bump is facing forwards/up. There will be a faint click, the red light will go out, and you can start the car. If it does not, and this is very rare, check that the ignition key is turned fully anti clockwise, and insert the immobiliser key again. It has never failed on the 2nd try.

The van is not happy until it has reached normal running temperature, a shade under half way up the dial. To start you will need choke. Then you will need to run about 1 gear less than normal until it has reached it's happy running temperature. This is the penalty for the van being set up for such a low petrol consumption.

If you can, always buy premium grade unleaded petrol, and never forget the additive. Use the small bottle for the measure, the large one to top up the small. The number of litres are shown on the small bottle. The instructions say add before or after. I prefer to estimate and add before, then add more later if needed. (The additive costs less than 2c per litre, and you have a nearly full bottle, good for 1000 litres, around 12,000 km)

The fridge works great on battery and gas, it will freeze things no problem. (If you forgot to take tonight's dinner out of the freezer compartment, the fastest way to thaw it is between your hands. Your hands get cold though) The girls I bought the van from said it worked great also on mains electric, I've never had the luxury of mains power to test it. First, for the battery supply to work, switch the right hand switch to battery. For mains, switch it to mains, you can set the temperature with the knob 0 - 8. For gas, turn the left hand knob to 1, 2, or 3, (NOT zero), press and hold in the knob, and press the button sparker 8 or 10 times. If it lights, you can see a blue flame through the porthole in the fridge at the back bottom left. If it doesn't, try again. All gas igniters are like this. Do not leave the switch on battery when you are parked for any length of time or you will flatten the battery and need to utilise those hitherto unused jump leads! It doesn't matter too much if you leave it on gas when you drive the flame will blow out very quickly and the safety will cut the gas flow but obviously it's better if you turn it off to start with. By the way, I leave the gas bottle turned on all the time, there's no leaks. I filled the bottle once, the girls filled it once. Cost me $17 to fill but I think it should have been cheaper.

To remove the table leg from the base in the floor, twist it back and forth. Do NOT violently rock it forwards and back, you risk breaking the support in the floor.

When 'unpopping' the top, check the poptop 'curtains' are hanging freely inside the van. Fasten hooks using the shorter side of the hook. When popping I held on to the handles to stop it springing up too strongly! If you are cold and want to heat up using a gas ring, bring the poptop down or all the heat sits in the top. Also think of carbon monoxide poisoning…….

To get to the spare wheel remove the rubber bung visible in the centre bottom when you open the back door.

The van is a grand old lady. She has obviously been well looked after during her life. I wish she could tell her story. Respect her age, do not force her in too high a gear, always change down, she will not be rushed. Look after her, and she will look after you.