Mini Van For Biggee Van

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Remember that camper van? Well, one downer about that rig, aside from the rust and the water tank leaking and whatnot, was that it had but two seatbelts. When we were expecting, I was contemplating the utility of such a vehicle, and I couldn’t make a case for keeping it. So, I placed an ad in Craigslist and UsedVictoria.com, similar to the one that got me the van in the first place. You might recall, about a year ago, I traded my old motorcycle for the old van. Well. now I have traded the old campervan for a newer minivan.

I am now the very proud owner of a lovely 1995 Dodge Caravan.

Now, you might ask, why would someone trade such a nice looking newer van for my old camper van. Well, for one thing, the old camper van had everything, including the kitchen sink, and the previous owner of the minivan wanted to do prolonged camping. He also was a contractor and a smoker, so his van was full of tools, ladders, fishing tackle and boat motors. Okay, a smoker nor contractor might have use for the latter two items, but they were in there, dumping oil and gas all over the smoky carpet.

The nicotine varnish all over the interior was thick and palpable. After hours of scrubbing, it was still everywhere. I scrubbed every surface, including the carpet on the floor and the headliner. After two days of leaving it with the windows open, it was much better, but frankly, still kind of hard to be inside.

I called the nice folks at Diamond Detailing here in Victoria, at the corner of Douglas and Burnside. I have never had a car detailed, and didn’t know what to expect. They said they’d give me the full interior treatment, and that would include leaving it overnight with an ozone making device in it to help get the odour out. Returning the next day, I honestly could hardly recognize this van. In fact, the first thought that ran through my mind was “Wow! someone has a van of the same colour and a similar vintage to mine!”

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It turns out though, that these guys just do an amazing, amazing job. Every surface was shiny, and there wasn’t a spot on the carpet. I asked him how they got it so clean. The answer to that was that he removed the seats, and the plastic cowlings over the carpet, pulled the entire carpet out of the car and powerwashed it. The result was fantastic. the car didn’t smell, wasn’t brown anymore, and was suddenly a pleasant place to be.

So, here’s hoping this van lasts long enough that I can do another trade in a year or two. I like the trading thing – it’s fun!