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Semi-Self-Build Sanity Check and Other Questions

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:23 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
Hi,
I'm hoping someone can advise me here...
The plan I have is to basically replace everything in my Advantura except the existing floor - all the corners are rotten, the roof was repaired but in a kind of what-have-I-got-in-my-off-cuts-box kind of way (thought it is water-tight); and I want to change the layout enough that filling in things like the gas bottle door, various grills and repairing miscellaneous damage means I think it's easier to start almost from scratch.
It's going to be a long job because I'll only be able to put a few hours here and there on it, so I'm planning to split the work into five sections: rear wall (because it's simplest and will be good practice), near-side, offside, Luton, then roof. Because the van is outdoors, I'll have to do each section from the inside: rip out all the wood, replace the frame, board the inside then replace skin on the outside. I may make an exception for the Luton based on what I've read here already and take the skin off first; and maybe do that and then the roof right after.
In my experience, aluminium panels of this era are usually joined with something like a grooved flat lock seam. This looks a bit complicated to me - and given we're in the 21st century I'm assuming the are better adhesives now than in 1979, and so I'm thinking to use a countersunk lap seam (if I sound like I know what I'm talking about, it's only because I read this!) which will fit into a routed channel in a horizontal beam. The lap will "face up" and the sheet above it will just be bonded flat onto the lap, and a trim strip of some sort over the top to hide the seam.
So, the questions!
1) Does this all sound plausible, or is there a better way?
2) What thickness of aluminium sheet is about right for something like this? I'm guessing 1mm is about right, but I've struggled to find anything definitive.
3) Any suggestions on how wide the lap joint should be? I'm thinking about 10-15mm, but again: no experience here.
4) The Advantura has a kind of stepped aluminium profile (SF10?) - I'd like to replace that with smooth sheet. Is there any reason I shouldn't?
5) What adhesive(s) would anyone recommend for the interior panels and the aluminium? Something with good 'grab', I imagine - I'll be using pre-covered wallboard so I won't want to use any pins, staples, etc.
6) I'll need to remove the aluminium strips on the corners and won't really want to put them back until everything is done. What is a good, waterproof tape can I put around the corners to keep the rain out in the mean time?

All advice very gratefully received, and I'll do a blog here about as I go so hopefully someone else will get some value out of my self-inflicted trials and tribulations... :)

Re: Semi-Self-Build Sanity Check and Other Questions

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Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:29 am
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3733
Working from inside will seem to take forever and if the outer skin isn't too well attached (or simply buckles under its own weight because it's mighty thin stuff) then keeping things square once the furniture is ripped out and while working on the frame will require some thought and lots of straps and braces to keep the thing from collapsing.

The problem you're up against is the way stick and panel bodies are thrown together, basically two side frames attached to transverse floor bearers and held up by roof sticks and braces front and rear. Interior cladding then furniture is added (lots of fixings from outside) followed by wiring, plumbing, insulation then the outer skin. Joints (if any) usually are rough cut half housings reliant on screws, ring shank nails or staples fired in from outside to hold things together.
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

Re: Semi-Self-Build Sanity Check and Other Questions

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Post by VDUB384 » Club admin » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:43 am
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:01 am
Posts: 1367
Hi like Phil says doing it from inside you've got your work cut out, if you rip all the interior out first replace any rotten wood the use veneered plywood on the inside to cover the joints you cut strips and panel it.then you can take off the outside panels and replace them with whatever you want, the reason Advantura use ribbed aluminium is for a bit of extra strength. I had to repair the corner on my classic caravan it had completely come adrift and you could put your fist through the gap, l took off the corner strip renewed the wood then screwed th aluminium back to the new wood I then put none setting sealing on that they use on caravans and screwed the corner piece back on in the end the corner was solid and water tight.
Dave
Whilst good maintainece is the best prevention"If its not broken don't fix it."
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Re: Semi-Self-Build Sanity Check and Other Questions

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:47 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
Thanks for the advice, gents. The kitchen unit is still there, so I'll leave that in to brace the offside wall, and I'll plan to build in the seat units as soon as the walls are ready for them to give them some strength. I'm not going to do a whole wall at a time - I'm thinking I'll split them into two or three sections starting from the rear. I took the interior panel off the rear wall today - the offside corner is (well, was) basically a column of black powder and splinters! A big puddle on the floor turned out to be because the rear lights had been screwed on without any sealant - so it basically collected rain running down the bodywork, funnelled down along the light cable and into the wall.

The floor looks to be a laminate - 3.6mm ply on the bottom, 12mm ply on the top and some kind of insulator in the middle. Do you happen to know if it's like this all the way to the edges, or are the edges wood strips or something?

Re: Semi-Self-Build Sanity Check and Other Questions

Post by rich4you » Subscribing Member » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:36 am
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:05 am
Posts: 591
if is like the caravan I scraped it will have wood strips to fix the side to.

Richard
Life's a Bitch then you Die

Re: Semi-Self-Build Sanity Check and Other Questions

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Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:56 am
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3733
Have a look from underneath where the body side longitudinal is attached to transverse floor bearers; if the longitudinal sits on top of the floor bearers then the floor panels probably butt up to the longitudinal rather than lap over it.
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

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