SOMTHING LEARNED IN VAN

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • keep a newspaper for cleaning windscreen/ door windows. Just lightly wet one sheet. Clean glass with wet sheet of newspaper then dry with a clean dry sheet of newspaper immediately. Replete with afresh sheet on each window and each side of windows.


    clean wiper blade rubbers by wiping rubber edge with vinegar. this revitalises them.

  • in extreme cold weather parkups, where it’s important to remain stealth

    I've given up with the stealth trip, I believe that hiding away is bad for your head and a van that looks empty is more likely to be smashed,broken into etc, I'm living in this van,its my home and if you want to break in etc, be prepared for resistance!

  • Could not agree more. The stealth side of things sucks when you have to hide away from the world and keep still and not do what you want because someone is outside.


    If you may get pestered which then may cause you probs where you are parked have a good reason or excuse for you being there and always try to be polite :-)

  • keep a newspaper for cleaning windscreen/ door windows. Just lightly wet one sheet. Clean glass with wet sheet of newspaper then dry with a clean dry sheet of newspaper immediately. Replete with afresh sheet on each window and each side of windows.


    clean wiper blade rubbers by wiping rubber edge with vinegar. this revitalises them.

    The wiper tip is a good tip and works well,as for windows I prefer to use cloths that are washable as Paper does not grow on trees !!!!!!!!!

  • Indeed, I think that vinegar is used along with the newspaper to get it sparkly clean only problem is that I haven't bought a paper since Thatcher won her 1st election.

    news papers are left laying around and I don’t blame anyone for not wasting money on tabloid “fake news”. But asking for just one news paper put out for recycling, will last a van dweller best part of 6 months or three full vehicle window cleans.


    You can always recycle the sheets of paper afterwards or dry them out and light your stove.

  • I've given up with the stealth trip, I believe that hiding away is bad for your head and a van that looks empty is more likely to be smashed,broken into etc, I'm living in this van,its my home and if you want to break in etc, be prepared for resistance!

    There are occasions when you just need to park up, sleep etc and it’s not always wise to tell the world your “in there”. We have all found ourselves in less than ideal parkup situations. When it’s not so cold you can just bed down and get quality sleep. Not lighting a woodburner is good practice when in NIMBY LAND.
    In extreme cold there are other things to try to make your life more comfortable. “That’s all I’m saying” :)

  • Polishing clouded headlights can save you a fortune.


    I had a advisory on the mot..... clouded headlights. After watching a few suggestions on YouTube. I gave the Sanding down and wax polishing method.
    I stated with 400grit wet and dry and then 1500grit. It took some elbow grease, but Im really impressed with the results. I could have bought secondhand headlights but would still need to aline them.

    By the way. If you think your headlight might fail mot because of excessive clouding. And you can’t be arsed sanding. Simply spray WD40 on the headlights and wipe off excess before the test.. It looks just as good, but this method is very temporary. Once it rains, they will cloud over again.

  • transits are a pig, my headlights on pickup fill full of damp as seals are gone i ve nursed them for about 5 years now, a lad told me if you get a hairdryer and take bulb out it gets rid of the condensation just before mot, i couldnt be bothered to do this this year it failed on drivers side so new one was needed.

  • Gee I’ve seen hairdryers used to warm up the seal they use when constructing these headlights. Then using a screwdriver, prize open the front clear screen, take out the reflectors and wash lense, reflector and rear carcus in soapy water. Re-heat seal on both sides of headlight unit and squeeze back together.

  • Polishing clouded headlights can save you a fortune.


    I had a advisory on the mot..... clouded headlights. After watching a few suggestions on YouTube. I gave the Sanding down and wax polishing method.
    I stated with 400grit wet and dry and then 1500grit. It took some elbow grease, but Im really impressed with the results. I could have bought secondhand headlights but would still need to aline them.

    By the way. If you think your headlight might fail mot because of excessive clouding. And you can’t be arsed sanding. Simply spray WD40 on the headlights and wipe off excess before the test.. It looks just as good, but this method is very temporary. Once it rains, they will cloud over again.

    So after doing this did you get a brighter light to drive at night by or did it just make them look uncloudy. The mot guy who does my LT50 has never mentioned about cloudy headlights and I know what cloudy ones look like, but, driving at night is fine if there is no other cars on the road. due to modern headlights when I am driving at night which isnt often, the modern dazzlers cancel out anything the lights on my motor can throw out. I hate driving at night really so it doesnt really bother me but if it happens it's nightmare especially in busy traffic.

  • Update on headlight polishing. I was chatting to a colleague online who lives in Norway and he does a lot with cars and we was talking about metal polishing and Autosol got mentioned as I use that to final polish my leather knives on a strop with it, it is the best, I use fine jewellers rouge on a seperate strop board to get a razor edge going on then onto Autosol on another strop board for the final polish, it works brilliantly, then he just happened to mention in passing that he uses Autosol for polishing cloudy headlight lenses.

  • any “Fine” abrasive will make a difference. The “go to” market purchase, has a abrasive paste included and a chemical cleaning wipe. YouTube has loads of different methods.
    I nearly tried toothpaste wulfie, but just went with the wet and dry to “test” that for effectiveness. I did intend going on to abrasive paste to get the best possible result. But time was against me. Some YouTube’ers use a dremel and a sanding disc, a polishing wheel with/without paste. Being plastic they suggest avoiding over heating in places and melting/undulating surfaces.
    car body paint specialist recommended grinding pastes and like wizard1luv says there’s many “fine” pastes to choose from.


    Until I get to drive at night I won’t know if the brightness is improved. They just look like I’ve turned the clock back 15 years. I’ve not been one for making sure headlights are clean ever, apart from the obligatory MOT wash. Mk5 transits apart from age are known to cloud over. Mine have been bad for 5 + years. First time advisor last year. I just want to show willing for the mechanic. Mot’s are worse experience than dentist or maternity ward for me.


    Wizard1luv. Even with crap headlights and now diminishing reading eyesight I still see fine to drive at night, including with on coming traffic. Ever thought it’s your eyes and not quality of lights? My ex was the same as you and hated night driving.

  • Saw a thing on car sos or wheeler dealers they sometimes change the light bulbs for led lights, there more powerful last longer and use less of the battery, my little peugeot van for reason seems to use lightbulbs maybe every two years i think theres something a bit iffy with electrics prob a factory fault as sometimes lights or dash flicker weirdly and randomly Its far to tech for local garage they were scratching there heads with a relay on the transit.

  • when parking up somewhere do hold in mind what situation may occur if heavy rain or snow was to come down in the night and if you hear either of the two in the middle of the night ,it sometimes makes sense to get up and move to a better spot. This also can be said if the winds are getting strong too and you are in a precarious spot. If you want to park under tree's,then younger ones are safer :-)

  • any “Fine” abrasive will make a difference. The “go to” market purchase, has a abrasive paste included and a chemical cleaning wipe. YouTube has loads of different methods.
    I nearly tried toothpaste wulfie, but just went with the wet and dry to “test” that for effectiveness. I did intend going on to abrasive paste to get the best possible result. But time was against me. Some YouTube’ers use a dremel and a sanding disc, a polishing wheel with/without paste. Being plastic they suggest avoiding over heating in places and melting/undulating surfaces.
    car body paint specialist recommended grinding pastes and like wizard1luv says there’s many “fine” pastes to choose from.


    Until I get to drive at night I won’t know if the brightness is improved. They just look like I’ve turned the clock back 15 years. I’ve not been one for making sure headlights are clean ever, apart from the obligatory MOT wash. Mk5 transits apart from age are known to cloud over. Mine have been bad for 5 + years. First time advisor last year. I just want to show willing for the mechanic. Mot’s are worse experience than dentist or maternity ward for me.


    Wizard1luv. Even with crap headlights and now diminishing reading eyesight I still see fine to drive at night, including with on coming traffic. Ever thought it’s your eyes and not quality of lights? My ex was the same as you and hated night driving.

    No it's not my eyes, I can still read traffic signs and number plates at a far greater distance than the required minimum. In traffic at night I lose my pool of light because modern vehicles are much brighter and cancel out my light pool.

  • No it's not my eyes, I can still read traffic signs and number plates at a far greater distance than the required minimum. In traffic at night I lose my pool of light because modern vehicles are much brighter and cancel out my light pool.

    That’s cool, if you can see to thread a needle in day light without glasses, and read road signs well in advance that’s a bonus.
    There’s many possible reason why some folk struggle with night blindness when driving at night. The glare of on coming headlights and rapid readjustments our eyes need to make is one. I like to drive with high beam on just to see as much as possible.

  • when parking up somewhere do hold in mind what situation may occur if heavy rain or snow was to come down in the night and if you hear either of the two in the middle of the night ,it sometimes makes sense to get up and move to a better spot. This also can be said if the winds are getting strong too and you are in a precarious spot. If you want to park under tree's,then younger ones are safer :-)

    Don't park under any ash trees, widowmaker is their old name.

  • Going back to the evaluating the risks of your parkup in case there is a change in the weather,this is yesterdays relevant story -


    Quarre les tombes in the parc natural of the morvan is almost the perfect village,and the only problem being is that I can pick up all of the tv channels apart from the one that has the six nations on. Albeit if I set up my satellite dish I can get uk stations or watch it in the friendly bar,however yesterday I wanted to enjoy it from the comfort of home.


    I decided to check out a layby up in the forest and actually found the station and was delighted,but with the wind picking up and due to come in strong I had a good look at the trees next to the van and decided that they looked a bit fragile,so I moved down the layby onto a bit of land that was less flat but looked and felt much safer.


    I am sure that you know what I am going to say next !!


    When I woke up this morning I saw that two 40-50 year old pines had fallen straight over where I had parked. If I had not thought about this and had parked there,the minimum problem would of been that The flying dragon would of become the squished dragon,worst case scenario would be a squashed fly too !!!


    So please people do know that a bit of thought in bad weather or in case of bad weather is well worth indulging in. xxxx