Monday, March 07, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen Grand Caravan

A while back, Lee had a fender bender with our van.  Car #1 was parked illegally, and then car #2 stopped right in front of him while he was avoiding car #1.  Oh well, that's how it goes.

So for the last few months, we've had the van sitting in the yard, waiting for us to figure out what to do with it.  The estimate Lee got was $3K to get it fixed.  Even though the impact was about 15 mph, it still was enough to ruin the bumper, hood, light and driver's side fender.  Enough got pushed into the wheel that it later deflated.  It was still drivable, just not okay to drive :)

So eventually, Lee found someone to sell the car to - I expect they'll take it apart for the parts (which I checked as a possible option to repair - the good parts should more than make up what the tow cost & payment to us was).  Lee had taken photos of the outside & inside to send to the buyer, and so when I went out the other day to make sure there was nothing in the van before the tow truck came to get it - I was dismayed to find most of the interior covered in MOLD.  Ugh!  Oregon is very damp in winter.  Even though the van was all sealed up, it's not enough to keep the damp out.

Everything had black, white, brown, grey mold on it except the ceiling, and surprisingly, the driver's seat.  The worst places?  The seatbelts.  They were all fuzzy & disgusting.

I got a bucket of soapy water & Clorox wipes, put on some rubber gloves & set to it.  I didn't want the tow people to turn around & say, "Um, no - we didn't sign up for the mold-mobile."  I got most of the mold off the upholstery and seatbelts and carpet areas where it was the worst.  I hope if they decide to repair & resell the van, it'll be cleaned really thoroughly!

At least that made it a bit easier letting go of what was my favorite car to date.  It did a great job hauling us all back & forth to Canada and down to California.  It was comfortable, reliable and totally Girl Scout worthy.

True, I no longer need such a big vehicle - and with the gas situation we're in now, it's better I don't have one - but I will still miss it.  It was a good van.

Now I have my eye on something more along the lines of a Ford F-150 or Toyota Tacoma.  Four doors & the power to haul a tent trailer across the USA.  Ford is making an Eco-boost something that's supposed to work better for mileage...

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