No one likes growing older and in our minds we all tend to think we haven't changed much since our teens, but alas the reality is far from that. So as we get older we have to start paying more attention to ourselves to keep our aging chassis going..lol. Our campervans are much the same and since Chester is certainly past his youthful years, he was staring to get a bit crusty around the edges (much like me ).
Upon inspection several area would be needing rusty panels cut out and new steel welding in. This was beyond my capabilities but in our VW club there was a guy we call "Metal Mickey" who was an old school craftsman who was able to do the job. In an ideal world I would have all the work done at once , but I can neither afford the cost in both money and time I would be without the van. So Mike had one week to sort the nearside rear quarter and rust holes near the windows. Mikes lives about 100miles from me so after stripping a lot of the interior out I pootled over the mountains to his gaff and left Chester with him whilst I got the train home.
Mike worked his magic posting step by step photos on our club forum so I could watch the progress from the comfort of my own computer. True to his word one week later Chester was ready and looking a lot less rusty. To keep the costs down I would be repainting the panels he's replaced, but hat meant after getting the van back I only had a few days before heading off to a VW festival CamperJam. Just enough time to refit the interior but not paint the van. Though as we had entered a "Cooking in a Camper" completion at the festival my daughter had a brilliant idea to use the black unpainted panel as a Menu board for the cooking competition...:-)