Sunday, 21 December 2008

Picture showing the front of the locker minus the door, it also shows the curved underneath of the lockers which will be covered with wall covering.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Rear Bulk Head

This is the rear wall of the inside, finally making this a motorhome not a van with bits of wood in it. The bulkhead is 12mm plywood to support the lockers inside and make it strong enough to withstand various impacts from inside and out. There will be 50mm kingspan insulation on the rear of the ply once the pipes, vents and wires have been routed, then it will be finished with 3mm ply with dark grey rubber coating. Second picture shows the framework for the lockers at the rear

Pull out table

The table for the motorhome is large enough for two people to sit at when fully extended and big enough for one person when half extended. The whole thing slides in to a 170mm cupboard at the end of the kitchen units. The pictures show the table tops unfinished and just in place for pictures. The table has no legs and is only supported by a leg for photo purposes at this moment.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Kitchen Units

These pictures show the gloss white units and black gloss top. The units are 15mm MDF and custom painted in my own choice of colour with a gloss finish. The unit on the left at the top will house the combination microwave. The units below the sink will be a mixture of drawers and cupboards finished in the same white. The bathroom wall has now got the two wiring conduits in and the fridge has been fixed in place. The hob and sink unit is a SMEV unit with black glass lids, this will match the black glass splashback when it is fitted.

Generator update - the remote panel was attached and the generator started. It didn't output 240V but just went to full throttle before switching it's self off, more investigation needed here.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Kitchen unit creation

These two pictures show the kitchen unit construction, the material is MDF 15mm for the carcasses, the doors will be 18mm. The units have been dissasembled and sent for sprayfinishing for a gloss Ivory finish. You may be able to see that the holes for the pipes and aircon ducting have been cut.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Generator nearly there........

Ok I have replaced the malfunctioning component. I have also got the remote control panel so I am almost ready to go, just one thing I need to build a cable to link the generator and the panel, which means buying a plug to fit this socket. More research needed..........

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


I have purchased a TEC29 Dometic generator from a salvage dealer, it appears to be working except for the component that has blown up in the picture. I intend to replace that and see what happens. The generator is a remote start unit to be located under the van, allowing the usage of high power appliances in the van

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Interior of shower room walls

These pictures show the 3mm plywood internal skin applied in readiness for waterproof covering. The really hard bit was scribing the ply to the curve of the roof and also the ceiling/floor. It turned out really well. Again no straight joins here just curves, the framework at the bottom left as you view from outside the van will hold the thetford toilet waste door, it fits just between the uprights and the horizontal support. I can easily stand outside the sliding door and remove the waste tank without bending down or straining. Again in keeping with the idea there should be nothing on the outside to show it's a motorhome inside, so far i'm doing well.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Shower room frame

This week I have been working on the shower room, this is constructed from 2" x 2" planed timber fixed to the floor walls and ceiling by various methods, the frame is amazingly strong. It will be cladded on the inside and outside with 3mm ply, using curves no straight lines, looks good but very very hard to fit. The area inside the shower room is 1200mm x 1200mm or 4ft x 4ft. This gives loads of room for showering etc. Next post will be the ply cladding inside the shower room.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Rear bed frame

This shows the framework my brother built for me round the air-con unit and also shows the Calorifier I mounted on the wall, the floor under the calorifier will house the water pump, valves for the heating and other water related items. This area is surrounded by a tray like feature that means if there is a leak it drains through the floor and not into the living area, as the hot water will be about 80deg it is probably a good idea. It also shows the two main supports for the rear bed, this again will be slatted and ventilated so we don't need to prop the matress up to breathe. The size of this frame fits a standard 3/4 double mattress. This will probably be more comfy than my bed at home :)

Bed Base

This shows the pull out sofa bed in the bed position. The overhang is completely self supporting, no need for legs or slide outs that scratch the floor, I have tested this and it will support 1 large person easily on the edge. The unit gives a big enough occasional bed and also space to walk between the sofa and what will be the kitchen area allowing access to the main fixed double bed. As the bed is slatted like a domestic version it is very comfortable and we have tested it with domestic sofa cushions with a favourable result.

Sofa base

The picture shows the slatted sofa base, this is designed to give the same comfort as a standard domestic sofa. The slats are spaced to allow ventilation of the cushions. The wood used is sufficently flexible for a comfortable seat and also to support 3 people sat next to each other. In this position the sofa takes up minimal floor space (Approx 50CM from the side wall) and in the next post it will expand to create a spare bed.

Seating Area

This shows the sofa base that we have constructed. It contains the battery box which is air tight so the gasses made when the batteries charge are directed in to the exhaust conduit which runs to the rear wall of the van and outside. The pipe can be seen in previous posts continuously rising to allow the gasses to escape. There is also a storage box in the curved end of the sofa for storage. The other part of the sofa around the wheel arch is at the moment a spare area not decided what to use it for. The front of the sofa base will be carpeted the same as the walls.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Air Con

This pictures the Truma airconditioner next to the hot water cylinder, the Air - Con is fitted and working but the cylinder is just placed where it will go, everything has to be boxed in. The two items are located underneath where the permanent double bed will be, on the foam you can see the bottom of where the matress will be.

Water Tank

This shows the main watertank fitted between the two chassis rails along with my dad we fabricated a set of solid steel mounting brakets, 4 in total to support the weight of the water (240kg) when full, I then test drove it full with no problems. This tank will supply the drinking and shower water to the camper. There is a seperate water tank for the waste water on the offside shown earlier.


I have decided on Cold Cathode lighting for the van based on reccomendations from the SBMCC (Link at the bottom of the page) However I couldn't live with anything surface mounted, due to my height, (Need to stand up anywhere in the van) so I fabricated a recessed fitting to hold 4 x CCFL tubes, wired in series to wokr from the 24V battery setup. Heres a picture of it being made and one fitted.


Ok these pictures show the panneling that covers the inside of the van which will be finished with some form of carpet or fabric, to be decided later :)
The foam you can still see is where the head / foot of the bed will be, I'm quite tall and will need to be able to lie out flat, the Spray foam guy just put a smooth flash coat on to stop condensation but i'm going to cover in the wall fabric later. The recess gives me enough room for a standard 1900mm long matress.


Well I have been away on holiday, and luckily took the van to work on in the sunshine for 2 weeks, I got a load of stuff done, but came across some tough problems :(
Anyway this post is showing the Battening for the ply lining, also shows the grey vent tube for the hydrogen released from the batteries during charging, this is vented through the OEM vent on the side of the van tha I adpated.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Plan subject to change

Here is the current working plan for the interior of the van, it is subject to change, I still can't decide if I should chop the kitchen part in half move the cupboard to the other side and have a traditional two seats with table in the middle, well I guess we will see when I get that far

Bathroom walls

Ok, here are a few pictures showing the first internal walls for the bathroom, the piping and the conduit to carry elecrical cables. The piping for the bathroom is all 15mm Hep2O flexible and the conduit is 28mm flexible with a draw wire inside to pull through cables and pipes.

Heat exchangers arrive!

The heating for the van will be supplied from a diesel hot water heater feeding 2 heat exchangers with two computer fans for blown hot air heating. My plan is to fit one module to heat the living area and one for the bathroom, the plan being I can operate the two independantly and use the bathroom one to create a drying room in the bathroom for wet clothes. This is going to take some engineering but it can be done. Here are 2 pictures of the heat exchangers with the fans laid on top to give you some ideas.

Solar Power

As the camper will have to operate away from a power hook -up for possibly one week I need to ensure that the batteries are kept charged. I won't be running the engine all the time, so I need to find another way of charging the batteries.

I located 2 x solar panels on E-Bay at a vastly reduced price. I thought I had found a bargain, however one of the panels was faulty. I spent about 1hour with my dad and in that time we managed to locate and repair the fault. So now both panels work great.

Next question is how do we mount it? The van is very high off the ground and a large roof rack would spoil the stealth conversion ethic. So we constructed a custom low profile mount on the roof, it looks as though the panels are flat touching the roof, but there is an air gap underneath.

Water Tanks

As this will be self contained and hopefully capable of supporting 1 man for 1 week, I need water......... and a place for waste water to be stored before I can get rid of it safely.
I contacted this company and spoke to the owner Neil Woodhead. I was impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm. I sent him a drawing of the fresh water tank and the waste water tank. On the 28th June I set myself up to fit them both. Now the fresh tank will weigh probably 250kg when full so a very heft support frame is needed.

Unfortunately the fresh water tank didn't fit !!!!!!!!!!!! I rang Neil and he kindly offered to alter the tank to make it fit on the 2nd July, so I'm going to run it over to him and see what we can do.

The waste water tank did fit and here are a few pictures of it in place


Every campervan needs to be insulated to keep heat in, cold out and stop condensation forming. If you try and sleep in a van with no insulation in december you will freeze and worse than that, when you wake up there will be condensation running off the walls and ceiling.......

There are several methods for insulating a van, I settled on spray foam and used this company to spray it. The service was excellent and the final result was brilliant just what I wanted.

Here is a before and after picture of the insulation

The base vehicle

I had to choose a base vehicle for my conversion. This took about 2 years to decide on!!!! The reason it took so long is every vehicle seems to be a compromise....... I want a big living space in a small van, I want standing room in a van capable of getting into car parks with height restrictions. I want carry capacity but only a 3.5t weight limit...........

All of the above are impossible so I had to compromise. I finally settled on a IVECO 50C13
The van is a 2.8TD 2002 reg
It has a load on rear axle of 3900kg and on the front 1900kg
It is a twin rear wheel van
A huge 4.5m long and 1900mm high load area