Hoorah!! Major milestone completed!! All holes have been plug welded in my holey police van!!
I have been searching for about 5 months now to plug the holes in my roof. I’ve searched the local businesses, fabricators shops, car body shops, DIY stores and friends of friends sheds for someone (or thing) to fill them.
People have told me to silicone seal it, fibreglass it, body filler and paint it, nut bolt and washer it, weld it, not to weld it, gaffa tape it and combinations of all of the above. Strangest of which, was to just cut the roof off and be done with it, accept that the rain was clearly meant to join the party…
I wanted something permanent to seal the van because once I insulate the roof and clad it, I really don’t want to have to bother with leaks and damp ceilings. Do it properly once. So ideally I wanted to get it welded, that made the most sense to me. I approached a couple of car body shops and the CHEAPEST quote I had to do the work was £900…………. shit you not.
So that wasn’t going to happen so I did what any noob does and asked the internet for help. Specifically, the self build campervan group on facebook. A bunch of likeminded van-aholics who share stories and advice on all things self build. I thought this was the best place to raise my problem for advice and they did not disappoint. Within 36 hours I had over 80 responses (some more helpful than others) and a few offers to weld them up – perfect!!! I immediately got in contact and arranged for the work to be done.
Tom, a fabricator living close by, did and absolutely stirling job. It was a less than desireable day to be crawling all over a freezing cold van so I am grateful he offered to help. It only took about 2 hours to plug weld at least 12 holes and grind smooth ready for painting but by the end of it we were both freezing. I could not have asked for more, the work was fantastic. It was drizzly and bitterly cold so I didn’t bother painting it just yet. I will wire brush and rub them down to paint properly when I get a dry spell.
After a cuppa tea and celebratory hobnob, I was on my way home with a watertight van, finally. Ready to finish the insulation and board out the van properly.