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