Nick worked in stages to repair the back of the van. The first step was to remove everything stored beneath our Princess bed and shift it to the back room of the tent.
There was a definite draught coming in from the back of the van. I was very aware of it when doing my nightly back stretches. To combat the cold I hung a blanket across the bed frame, tucked in along the mattress.
(You can see how cold it is some nights, there is a photo at right showing my tent kitchen looking like a steam room from the cooking)!
We made several trips to Bunnings to acquire a pop rivet gun, rivets, a length of aluminium and a strong drill bit.
There was very heavy frost earlier this week. Nick had checked the tent thermometer at around 5:00am and the reading was -6 degrees! It was 2 degrees a couple of hours later when we roused ourselves for the day. There was ice on the tent and frost everywhere. Bandit's water bowl had iced over - the world was definitely C-O-L-D!
When the ground thawed, Nick worked on the caravan. He riveted the metal cladding and also replaced the edging band. The next day he installed three aluminium brackets to further anchor the cladding in place.
Nick had taken out the back interior wall lining while working on the repair. It seemed a good opportunity to fit some insulation, so we went back to Bunnings to see what might work. Sheets of black corflute (thinner and far more flexible than the white variety we'd used for the window insulation) were on sale for $7.00 a sheet. We bought two. They were cut to size and sandwiched around layers of leftover bubble wrap (which had been used to successfully cut the cold coming off the van door). The interior wall lining was replaced over our DIY insulation sheet. The van is much cosier now the repair is done and insulation added - hooray!
During our Ballarat trip a hook for the door blind came loose. It has now been replaced but for a week or so, the door was without it's blind - and we really noticed the difference. However I was heartened by the fact that we'd all coped with the -6 overnight temp with the draught from the back end and the missing door window blind. It gives me hope for our comfort as winter advances!