Here's a good place to start. This photo shows the situation in the back half of the camper (click for maximum resolution):
Some devastation in that rear-right corner - looks like the roof was repaired, but not the damage that had been done - draw a line from the centre of the floor to the top-right corner and everything under that triangle is rotted through. Rear-left is quite solid, but the front left is also beyond hope; haven't looked into the front-right (hidden behind a pile of stuff). This was made worse by the tail lights not being properly sealed: so rain would run down the back, wick along the cable and into the floor.
Time to start smashing things up and finding out how this thing is put together. Phil described this succinctly, but it made a whole lot more sense having seen (and dismantled!) it.
I've cut away the top layer of the floor, revealing the insulation inside. The floor is basically 7/16" plywood over this blue foam, with thin ply underneath (probably 1/8" since it all seems to be imperial). The edges are boxed in with 2" by 1" PSE - the rear of which I've trimmed back and prepared for a lap joint. The floor is attached to the chassis frame by (approx.) M6 x 80 bolts - these are about 30mm too long, IMHO, and I'll be replacing them with 50mm.
Looking at the wall, the standard structure of the period is clear: 1" x 1.5" timber, polystyrene fills the gaps and eighth-inch plywood over inside. I'll go over how the skin is assembled in a later post. You can see here that the back wall is attached to the side walls (note the rusty screws that remain from tearing the back off). I imagine the build order was: 1) floor, 2) cab wall and luton base, 3) side walls; followed by the roof and back wall (either order would work, I guess).
So work has progressed this far: most of the interior is out and the back wall is off - as I write this, the new floor piece (12mm planed down to 7/16") is clamped in and the glue drying. Weather forecast says the next thing I'll be doing on Monday evening is putting up a waterproof sheet to prepare for the rain scheduled for Tuesday.
In terms of hours, though, I've been doing about three hours planning to one hour of work. At first, I was intending to stick with roughly the same interior layout: double seats at rear, single seats at front and stuff (TBD) in the middle. But one morning I woke up with an epiphany and decided to think about how we want to use it, and came up with this:
- If we'd wanted to stop in one place for more than a couple of days, we'd have got a caravan.
- We don't want to be making up beds.
- We're fair weather, summer campers, so expect to able to use the outdoors.
- Don't want to spend a fortune on new windows!
Triple bunks at the rear-right (bottom can be pulled to convert to miscellaneous storage - eldest son probably will want to stay home "alone" by the time this is done! - a wardrobe with drawers in the centre rear, and toilet compartment on the rear-left. Kitchenette with Smev combined sink/hob with fridge and gas bottle underneath. The seat units will have electrical stuff under them and obviously general storage. I may shorten the long bench to make another storage unit between that and the bunks - which might be a better place for the electrics, in fact. Haven't done the right wall yet, but that'll have windows for the top two bunks and over the long bench.
Unless I get distracted, this blog will be how I go about building this. Please inject your thoughts along the way.