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Re: Back to work...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:41 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
Fence panel up, holiday complete (a nice week in Crete, by the way) so back to the camper I went...

Next logical step was to remove the Luton, so off it came. Here's what the front looks like inside:
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This left me with this:
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This took some time... lots of cleaning the surface from old carpet, staples, lino, etc. Next up was drilling holes for screws in the right wall (wasn't such a bad job after all), and the other major thing I did yesterday was to break down the frame that has protected it for so long (no rain in sight for days, maybe weeks!) Some of it will be re-used on a temporary basis to support the walls while the furniture, etc. goes in and gives it some strength. After a load of other odd jobs, the last thing I did was glue the interior panels to the front wall:
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Nothing much to doing that: just a load of glue, then offer up the pre-cut wall covers; I used a paint roller to push the panel flat against the wall and spread the glue evenly.

The next day started with fitting the right wall:
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This fitted quite well, though it showed up that the front wall wasn't quite straight - hence the long sash clamp above the cap to pull it in. You can also see a mistake in the right wall assembly: we didn't quite get the panel in the right place and had to move it. Clearly the glue preferred the plywood to the planed timber as that's where most of it stayed... I injected some more down the gaps that weren't adequately glued. There's seven or eight screws along the bottom edge, and four up the front (no glue there - didn't want it oozing out in a corner that will be visible).

After drilling and trimming it, next up was the left wall:
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This was a little more challenging - it took a lot of clamps to get it into the right place (note the sash clamp across the doorway to pull that into shape, and two clamps sharing the load for pulling the corner in). On each side you can see a vertical of CLS to give the walls some strength - there's also a couple of roof beams fitted temporarily to brace them against each other.

The rest of the day was spent fettling the Luton walls ready for fitting. Unfortunately, the pollen count went beyond anything my hayfever meds could cope with, so a lot of the evening was lost. But they're now ready to have their wallboards cut to shape tomorrow and then they'll be glued and screwed in and a few more roof beams fitted. Then I'll be offering up the rear wall parts I built last year, making any (hopefully minor!) adjustments and wallboarding them. Then it's time to think about the roof.

Re: Luton walls and starting the ceiling...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:04 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
Saturday was all about the Luton walls: first, checking the fit and adjusting accordingly, then applying wallboard to the inside after aligning the H-section with the overlapping wallboard from the main body. This ended up looking like this:
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It's actually starting to look like a camper again, isn't it? :)

Once both sides were up, I trimmed the wallboard and the wood at the top of the angled part. Then I got going on the roof - this is all going to be made from 33x33mm beams. Here's the plan:
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The three squares will be where the vents go: all three will come from the caravan. The big one in the middle is a HEKI-2 rooflight, and the other two just standard lifting vents. A few challenges surfaced here:
  1. Whether to make the frame first, then offer the ceiling panels up or to fit the panels first. I opted for the second method.
  2. Cutting the ceiling panels to size. I calculated this based on the dimensions of at floor level (thinking to keep things square these should be the same). This was a bad choice, as a calculation error left a visible gap on one size, tapering from around 5mm to 10mm. It would have been better to make the frame, offer it up, mark where the ceiling panels need to go, trim them to fit, glue and then fit the roof properly. Not a big deal: half the gap will be in the toilet (where I can fit some suitably large ornamental strip) and the other half in a locker. :)
  3. How to manage the two changes in roof angle. The plywood won't fold, so I'll go with terminating each sheet on the fold point. I'm not confident about making a roof beam that is half flat and half angled (so the two sheets can meet on a single beam) so I'll double up on beams at the fold (not shown in the plan yet) and fill the gap with something.
Today was about making progress on the frames, and here's the first ceiling section fitted, giving some much welcome shade:
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Tomorrow I'll order the wood I need to finish the ceiling, then the temporary roof will go on (plywood plus polythene) in case it rains (nothing on the weather radar for weeks though). Then it's flooring (also to be ordered tomorrow) and then crack on with the furniture frames to get the walls and ceiling square and strong.

Ready for the (possible) storm...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:30 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
No photos this time, just a written update.
  • Luton ceiling is finished and dry fitted.
  • Two thirds of the main area ceiling has a panel fitted and most of the rest of the frame is done. That's also dry fitted.
  • I've put a couple of beams across the angled on a temporary basis.
  • The back wall frame is dry fitted (and it actually fits, which is nice since it's the first thing I did a long time ago now!)
  • The right-side window is cut out, so there's some pressure relief if it gets really windy (left side has the doorway).
All that dry fitting is in case I need to do some modification when I plan the electrics later. I've used 50mm screws, and I'll use 60mm for the final fit so they've got some fresh wood to bite into (though a lot of the strength will probably be in the glue).

According to the weather forecast - which I trust very little - there's a weather warning tomorrow for thunderstorms "in Dorset". Since that's technically where I am (despite the hourly forecast making no mention of it) I'm not taking any chances. So I've put a temporary plywood roof covered by polythene and then the cover - ready for anything. :)

In the mean time, I've been planning the interior in more detail:
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It turns out there's a small van conversion company on the same estate I work on that has a CNC router, so I'm going there tomorrow to see if they can do the cutting for me. This lightweight furniture board is expensive stuff, and it would be nice to able to create more complex shapes without the risk of making a mistake doing it by hand. I've also chosen the flooring, which I'll be ordering next week.

Small Update

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:50 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
I was sausage-side last week, so little progress but here's a couple of photos.

The back wall, giving the whole thing much more rigidity. A temporary fit, as I still need to fit the wallboard to it.
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Really pleased this fitted!

Yesterday I finished and fitted the front skirt which I made the frame for last weekend. The new FAP fuel filler is also fitted which involved a little cutting of the floor and wall. I think I need to replace the filler pipe though - it's pretty old and stiff (I know the feeling!)
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The local van company was happy to supply and cut the wallboard, so I sent him drawings. He hadn't replied after a week so I gave him a call this morning only to find they'd got a virus from somewhere that had got rid of four years of work... yikes. Should hear from him in a couple of days though.

Flooring down...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:35 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
Just in time for the weekend of lousy weather (which I spent putting similar floor down in the lounge, funnily enough).

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Next task this week is to finish the ceiling, though I'll not glue it in until I've got the major walls of furniture in. Likewise with the back wall, since that's the best way to get big stuff in and out. The chap who'll (hopefully) do my furniture pieces is finally over his virus outbreak and will quote me tomorrow.

Re: Advantura Rebuild

Post by MattA24 » Subscribing Member » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:41 pm
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:06 pm
Posts: 213
Very interesting reading Rob, you've not gone into it by halves, have you?

As I think I said on my thread, as well as getting mine into good mechanical order, I'm also pondering what I want to stick on the back to replace the horrible old rotten camping box (which is much worse than yours, I think).

Reading your thread is making me think I need to find a way to do slightly less work than you've ended up with! :lol:

Re: Advantura Rebuild

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:31 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
Sometimes I think I'm doing it by three halves (if not more). :) If your skin is OK and your happy with the interior, replacing whole walls or ceiling sections is not such a trauma - it's mostly about finding the right kind of joints to build something from the inside and getting the order right. In my donor caravan, there's some clever little plastic units that act as reinforced pocket joints: use a forstner bit to cut a blind hole and insert the unit. It has guides so a screw comes out at an angle, and a plastic cover to hide it all. I'd use these if I was keeping the original interior and wanted to attach it to the wall from the inside. What was really the decider for me was the rotten floor: the idea of building a new body on a rotten floor just didn't click. That and taking on the challenge of a really big project. :)

A quick update. Over the last few weeks, I've made the old girl decent by finishing her skirt:
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Lower part of the back wall is also fitted. I've since added the upper part too so the box is almost complete. Note also the windows, and a hole for where the toilet cassette will enter and leave. Here's the inside:

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You can make out the panels that have been CNC cut - there is no way I could ever have got anywhere near that level of quality and consistency with hours of work. It took the cutter less than half an hour per 8' x 4' sheet. The front-left seat is screwed in. The wall behind the fridge is unfortunately the wrong size (measure twice, cut once... yeah, I know) so I'll need to replace it. It served as my test piece for cutting the slot for the knock-in T and also for mounting it to the wall. Handy tip: while you're router's set up for putting a slot in the middle of the board, use it to cut little pockets where the screws will go from the outside. This will guide them into the centre of the wall, something that's very hard to do by eye. No need to do it for all the screws: top, middle and bottom is enough. Use slightly longer screws where you've cut the pockets to compensate for thread depth.

Usually screwing into ply like this isn't too clever, but this is Vohringer high pressure laminate and I've made some test joints and it's pretty sound.

I'm currently gallivanting around Europe but when I get back on Thursday I'll pick up on finishing the installation of the Thetford C4 and then fitting the toilet compartment walls. Next major step is to commit to either: a) doing the whole skin in ACM and somehow deal with the joins (I'm thinking white aluminium tape over a 1mm gap filled with Bond & Seal); or b) convincing a nearby sheet metal works to cut and deliver some really long bits of aluminium sheet. Need to get this done before the dry season ends...

The Bog

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:38 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 133
Arguably one of the most important aspects of a camper:
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Deceptively simple looking, that box section to create a vertical mount for the toilet was a challenge - that and working out how to still have access behind it. Eventually I hit on the obvious, and cut a slot in the hardboard (you can just make out the wood behind it). That's why the toilet isn't mounted: not much point until I've finished the electrics in there. The gap between the wall and ceiling is because there's a block of wood holding it off the wall to give some clearance without wrecking the ceiling vinyl. The ceiling has also bowed a bit in the middle over time, so it'll need to be clamped down on to the wall for the gluing and screwing.
From the outside:
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Positioning that back wall needed to be millimetre accurate for the cassette to slide in and out easily. Surely much easier with the proper Thetford templates, I'm sure!

Now I'm finishing the design inside, and tomorrow I'll be calling around to see if I can find a sheet metal company who'll sell me some big sheets of aluminium. Otherwise it's figuring out how to butt-join ACM sheets together.

Re: Advantura Rebuild

Post by johnnyonions » Subscribing Member » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:34 pm
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:33 am
Posts: 308
It's coming along well , that cubicle looks the business ,

John

Re: Advantura Rebuild

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Post by VDUB384 » Club admin » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:09 pm
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:01 am
Posts: 1400
Hi like John says it's coming along nicely looking at the photo were your toilet is there doesn't look like there's space for a shower tray, I know you have redesigned the whole thing to suit yourself but my toilet/shower was just right off the door it's looking very good tho.
Dave
Whilst good maintainece is the best prevention"If its not broken don't fix it."
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