Wednesday, May 16, 2012

its been a while...

Hello again...
So its been a while (again) but there has been some good progress:

1) Electrics:
Mains hookup installed and working, solar panel connected.  When connected to mains can charge either the van or leisure batteries.  Also ran the cable from the Sargent control box through the underfloor channel for the water pump and fridge.  I used thick cable for the fridge to prevent too much voltage drop.
2) Water:
Finally managed to get the water tank fitted - this has been a mammoth task, incorrectly specified frame dimensions meant I had to get it re-welded - I had to drill and bolt into the chassis and this took a while (and several drill bits) - I have been layed on my back under the van for days....
3) Gas:
Gas tank fitted (including filler point and hose), pipe bender aquired and started to make the pipes for the appliances
4) Fridge:
Aquired and basic kitchen frame built.

Gas Tank (L) Water Tank (R)

Another view of the tanks...

Kitchen area, speaker mounted to MDF above

Fridge and Sink / Hob

Another view, temporary fitting only

The bane of the last week, monster water tank frame, before having the crossmembers moved and rewelded....

LPG Fill point

LPG Fill point (again)

Next week I have a gas check, so I need to get all gas fittings installed, which means finishing the kitchen area. 
I also have the rest of the ply for the walls....
I still have 24 working days before I sail to Santander, loads of time ;)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

celebration day

I suspect today is one for celebration, as one part of the wall is complete..


Putting it all together...
Completed bed box, I now have somewhere to sleep.  Essential item no.1 finished (item number 2 is water and number 3 is cooking)....

Bed box with additional strengthening bits.

Lower part of the wall, with cut-out and platform for water heater, and mains hookup (small hole on the left)

Water Heater in-situ, notice hot and cold water pipes at the ready.

2x110aH leisure battteries.  For our European viewers, this is what 2 foot looks like.

Again, with lids on.  2 feet again visible.
Silver tape over the expanding foam.  The black line is the gas pipe for the water heater before its bent into position....

I now have a plan for completing the roof, have some cables for the power unit on their way, and have some bolts ready to finish the LPG tank, so expect some progress over the next few days.  Oh and I am biking all weekend :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Back where there’s never any rain....

And the rain falls gently on the town,
And over the heads of all of us.

So, here we are again.  I have been busy, in contrast to the number of updates I have posted here.  Mostly inbetween showers and more persistent rain.  The rain has at least proven how water tight the windows and roof lights are.  The front roof light does leak a bit, when I get a day or 2 of dry weather I'll take it off and use non-drying mastic and some PVC sheet to seal it properly.  The windows and the other roof light are water tight.

In the realm of Chaos, the King sits upon a white throne...

Water Heater installation - I had to cut away some of the inner skin to get it to fit.  Quite neat though now.

 More holes in the van: Water Heater flue on the left, Mains Hookup on the right.

LPG Tank frame, with additonal UNISTRUT parts to fix to the van floor.

100W Solar panel, mounted on the roof.  Its pretty big.

I also have a frame made for the water tank, and have specified and ordered a shower tray from Neil who made the water tank.

The electric control system has arrived, once the LPG and Water tank are mounted, and gas drop holes made, then I can start wiring.....

Thanks to Mike at, who will be making the bed cushions, top man.

Until next time...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

making things....

Continued rain meant working from inside the van, and its a mess in there....

Working inside the van....

However, I did manage to get part of the bed box built...

Seat mode (one 3' section complete) - Different length slats mean you can get inside the storage without it all falling apart.

Hinged lid to access storage (water heater, leisure batteries etc. will be in here)

Pulls out to form 6' x 4' bed

I might need to redo some of it, as I am not happy just using ply as the outer leg when extended, which is the current plan. I prefer some 2" x 1" legs, and a sheet of ply.  Sadly this does mean taking quite a bit of it apart, as it has to pull out to exactly 4' otherwise the cushions won't fit, so adding width in the form of wider legs means decreasing something somewhere else....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

British Spring Time....

British Springtime has arrived with a vengeance….

Before it did, I managed to fit a window for the bathroom:

Bathroom Window – notice its right above the wheel arch, which will no doubt cause a bit of fun when fitting the bathroom.  This window is hinged at the top (the others are sliders) – it is the narrowest Seitz S4 you can get.
Bit of a window reveal thing.
I also tested the fit of the roof ply – I have some self drilling screws (thanks Shaun) that are just the job to get through the ply and into the metal ribs.
Testing the roof fitting.
Then the weather came…

Working in the British Springtime requires anti rain measures….

I still managed to get a lot of the insulation in place: 
Celotex invasion….

I also received the replacement gas tank, which does look a lot more manageable, and here is the custom water tank, thanks to Neil at EMPF (

So all I need now is some dry weather to get some of this done, however current forecast is not good, and time is marching on!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Recycled Glass bottle Insulation, £2 a roll

A quick update, in pictures:

 Huge roll of recycled glass bottle insuation (170mm thick) - £2 from Homebase (had a 50 mile round trip to find the nearest place with some in stock though)

Small strip of ply, to help stop the insulation falling down...

Pieces cut to shape, then pulled apart to around 90mm thickness and tucked into place...

Silver foil bubble insulation will be taped over providing a moisture barrier...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Attack of the Pink Blancmange.....

Wow, where does the time go, nearly a week since the last update…. A great Easter weekend biking in Scotland got in the way :)

Made some good progress on a few fronts today:
1. Sent the LPG tank back.  It was too big (315mm diameter, 60L capacity) – I am swapping it for a 300mm diameter 40L one, which will give me a few options for mounting it.
2. Started building the bed box.  See pics below.
3. Got lots of insulation completed, including fun with the expanding foam.  I am glad I didn’t get the 2 part kit, I think it would have been a nightmare to work.
4. Received another Seitz window for the bathroom.
5. Received a load of gas fittings and whatnot (gas drop out covers, 4 way manifold etc.).
6. Received Fiamma table leg.  The depth on the recessed part that fits to the floor is deeper than the floor (2 layers of ply, celotex and all), so I’ll need to either raise it up, or cut a hole in the van floor for it.  It’s a nice bit of kit though.

Start of the bed box.  The black dot (under the conduit dangling down) is where one of the load securing rings was bolted in.  Hoping it will make a good earthing point.

Sides on the bed box.  It will make a bed 6’ x 4’, the base is about 29” wide (24” foam laid flat + 5” foam on its end as a seat back).
Middle support of the bed box.  It will have 2 x 3’ sections with individually hinged lids.
Ikea bed slats, they are just laid on at the moment.  I ran out of screws, well didn’t have any long enough for the job (making the sides in fact which are just balanced in this picture) – These slats will be cut down, and another set interleaved with them.  The second set will pull out to make the  4’ wide bed.
As I had run out of the correct screws, as well as not having the required hinges, I moved onto insulation.  As previously mentioned, the plan is to have 25mm celotex everywhere, with voids to the rear filled with Fire Proof expanding foam (Dr.Schenk B1 FIRE-RETARDANT PU-FOAM) which also acts as an adhesive and moisture barrier.
So I cut some celotex for the roof, propped it into place with battens and got to spraying.  The spray went all over the place initially (I was using a small plastic pipe to direct the spray, but this started to melt and come off the gun, so I did the remainder just using the gun.  The results were pretty good, it now looks like there is pink blancmange seeping through the walls…..

Pink Blancmange….

Pink Blancmange attack….
2 sections of roof and about 50% of the walls done….
Silver tape will be used across all the joints to seal them, before putting the ply on.

Pretty happy with the results, the panels sound solid when you tap them from the outside now, so as expected the foam has worked as both an acoustic and thermal insulator.  Not sure what I am going to do with the lower walls with the complicated hole arrangement, I think it will take days to spray enough foam to fill the voids, so I will look at other options (like space blanket or recycled plastic bottle insulation)

Until next time...