G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road van

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Milton477
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:49 am

Added some spare wheels on detachable brackets. No need to have 2 wheels wagging the rear if you are not going bush. I also have a space under the front if weight & balance becomes a problem. Need some rock slider protection for the grey water tanks edges sticking down at the back.
20141020_214942 (Custom).jpg
The solar panel is offset because the van has to pass under the eaves of the house & the tolerances are fine to say the least.
20141021_155652 (Custom).jpg
Also added an awning: Changed my mind away from Dometic & bought a Fiama as it does not interfere down the sides of the van & just seemed easier to use. I hope I will not be sorry.
20140925_144427 (Custom).jpg
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:20 pm

At this stage, I have the gas certificate so decided to go the whole hog & get it registered. After trimming 50mm off the barge board on the house which juts out over the driveway, deflating both the suspension & the left hand tyre, we trundled down the driveway.

Connected up & ready to go:
20141027_095829 (Custom).jpg
The other side:
20141027_095841 (Custom).jpg
Drove up & down the road a couple of times to confirm that I had brakes. I have never had the pleasure of electric brakes before so a new experience for me getting the Prodigy brake controller working. The brakes were underwhelming at this stage even with 12v being sent to the magnets. I presume that the shoes need to bed down a little.

First had to get the van weighed for roadworthy purposes. As I still had to add seating & a mattress, I left 120l of water on board to get a better indication of tare weight. It weighs in at 2100kg which is a bit heavier by 200kg than I was expecting. After the weigh in, back home for the roadworthy & then back to Caboolture for the inspection.
20141027_142108 (Custom).jpg
I forgot the all important fire extinguisher so made a plan with the one out of my car & a couple of self tapping screws. Van was measured & the VIN plate inspected.

Then they gave me one of these in exchange for some money:
20141027_153259 (Custom).jpg
Now I just have to finish it!

Come on Allan!
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Bussy
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Bussy » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:00 pm

Congratulations Rory, is it a boy or a girl? What I mean is, what’s the van’s pet name or what is or do the family call it?
You have been a very busy boy and it looks fantastic. I wish mine was all registered and ready to go, I would take it somewhere just to christen it even if it was not all finished and up to spec on the inside. You have motivated me and that’s what I needed. Some days I would get all the tools out and set up then hardly strike a blow, generally this last year I have used every excuse under the sun to not have to work on the van at all and tend to waste the day doing something else.
How did the plastic welding go? Also my worry with that material was all the after work, cutting out the light, insulation, getting things to fix to it, stick to it etc. and that’s the reason I went back to the old fashioned and time consuming way but you have done an amazing job and thanks for sharing it with all of us here. The end product looks very modern and is a credit to you.
How did you go getting your electrics certified and what about insurance, did that pose a problem since you built it yourself?

Ultimately - what does it tow like and how does it feel to have your own ideas/workmanship/end product behind you for all to see? Very proud is my guess.

Congratulations again.
Cheers,
ALLAN
Computer Engineer. 200Series TTD Altitude SE with TAJ in tow.
Home built 21.6ft off-roader "The Taj Mah AL".
Steel Chassis, Simplicity Suspension, Aluminium Frame.
Paulownia Cabinetry, 800 W solar.
Its finished, now WE retire.

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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:40 pm

Bussy wrote:Congratulations Rory, is it a boy or a girl? What I mean is, what’s the van’s pet name or what is or do the family call it?
You have been a very busy boy and it looks fantastic. I wish mine was all registered and ready to go, I would take it somewhere just to christen it even if it was not all finished and up to spec on the inside. You have motivated me and that’s what I needed. Some days I would get all the tools out and set up then hardly strike a blow, generally this last year I have used every excuse under the sun to not have to work on the van at all and tend to waste the day doing something else.
How did the plastic welding go? Also my worry with that material was all the after work, cutting out the light, insulation, getting things to fix to it, stick to it etc. and that’s the reason I went back to the old fashioned and time consuming way but you have done an amazing job and thanks for sharing it with all of us here. The end product looks very modern and is a credit to you.
How did you go getting your electrics certified and what about insurance, did that pose a problem since you built it yourself?

Ultimately - what does it tow like and how does it feel to have your own ideas/workmanship/end product behind you for all to see? Very proud is my guess.

Congratulations again.
Cheers,
ALLAN
Thanks Allan. I have taken to leaving the tools in the van so it is easy to pick up where I left off. I'm still in the final stages of the build even though it is registered so struggling to maintain standards, stay focused & not take short cuts. I find that I pick one of the many jobs still to do & fit it to the time available. Once completed, I feel "inspired" & sometimes can fit in a second. Sounds corny maybe but it works.

The plastic welding was the easy bit. When the shell was welded & at the time was not attached to the chassis I needed to lift it to fix a stuff up on the chassis. I placed a trolley jack under the shell in the back left corner & lifted. After a couple of inches of lift, the shell was pivoting on the jack & the opposite front corner. Knowing what I know now about the strength of the welded monopan shell I would lighten the chassis considerably if I did it again.

FixSeal 190 marine adhesive sticks like hmmm to a blanket or in this case monopan. I must have gone through 50 tubes sticking aluminium to the monopan. Along with 1500 odd Bulb tite (helicopter/peel) rivets & 200 Plus Nuts, there is not much that cannot be attached to monopan. There is no doubt in my mind that I have had a much easier time with monopan than you have had with your traditional method.

Qld do not require an electrical certificate for registration, just a gas certificate. I'm struggling for insurance though & at present the van is uninsured. One company who will insure it require an electrical certificate & a valuation from a caravan dealer. I suppose it needs to be finished before valuation. Electrical certificate is no problem.

The van is called "IDidIt" & does not identify with any particular gender so as to be politically correct. ;-) Some days, & depending on the particular challenge, it can display the worst characteristics beginning with "B" of both genders. Yes, I am chuffed with what I have done. I'll post more pictures as I complete bits. The recliners arrived yesterday & the mattress is due any day now.

Cheers,
Rory

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dieseltojo
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by dieseltojo » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:56 am

Hi Rory,
A big effort and I am sure it will tow well with the wheel positioning.

The only thing I can say is that's a lot of weight on two wheels; now that may be a personal concern of mine as regards worrying about such things, and I am in no way being critical. I have built every sort of trailer, and a couple of vans and I always went for a two wheel set up.
But I have had quite a few trials with a single wheel set up and now have my Avan with the same amount of weight as yours on dual axles.
I am happier as there is more load bearing in a dual set up at the given weight.
consider how many commercial vehicles there are out there with only two wheels that can take 2.2 ton and you have not really loaded the van which may come to 2.4 ton.
Comparing to a truck is not relevant really but I would be watching my bearings closely and service schedules would be more frequent.
I am speaking from the point of view of a 1.5 ton van i built that had a heavy duty axle and 15 inch wheels.Every thing is OK with correct servicing.I just know that a bloke that can tackle a project like this knows what I mean..... just saying.... :)
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Milton477
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:10 pm

Hi dieseltojo,

Thanks for your comments. I'm also concerned about the amount of weight on 2 wheels. I honestly thought I would come in a bit lighter than I am. On the flip side (this is me making myself feel better) the suspension is rated at 2600kg & the tyres are rated a bit above that. But you are right, it is too close to the limit. I will follow your advice & service the wheel bearings more regularly than recommended. There is scope to upgrade the tyres to a bigger size which will carry more weight thereby moving me a bit further from the limit & the wheels are rated at 2100kg so no issues there.

Thanks
Rory

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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Bussy » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:00 am

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Rory,
So your van came in at about 10% heavier than expected. I have a big spread sheet on mine and have allowed 5% for errors and omission and now thinking of changing that to 10% just to give myself a bit of a scare as well!
Can you tell me the name of that product you have lined your internal wall with? You mentioned a Lavender product so presume it is one of Doug’s lines. He is supplying my outer roof skin and I think I am a bit of a guinea pig with it.
Cheers,
ALLAN
Computer Engineer. 200Series TTD Altitude SE with TAJ in tow.
Home built 21.6ft off-roader "The Taj Mah AL".
Steel Chassis, Simplicity Suspension, Aluminium Frame.
Paulownia Cabinetry, 800 W solar.
Its finished, now WE retire.

Milton477
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:34 am

Compliments of the season to you too Allan.
I probably didn't allow for the 50kgs of Fixseal, rivets & Plus Nuts in my calcs amongst other things like shower enclosures. I'm not unhappy though as my payload is 600kg+. Been away twice now. Sits rock steady behind the Disco even on uneven roads, downhill with crosswinds. Brakes are bedding in nicely now & I am finding myself backing off on the brake controller to prevent grabbing.

My bathroom is lined with 1.6mm Lamilux from Lavender. It is flexible enough to follow the 120mm radius of the roof at the rear of the bathroom. I believe that you can get it thicker & it is used to skin commercial vehicles. Fixseal 190 or Mamba seems to keep it attached to aluminium. Comes on a roll 2.5m wide so should enable you to have a leak free roof. I would imagine that hail would not have any effect. It is translucent.

Cheers
Rory

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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by J.REEVES » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:11 pm

Hi Rory Congratulations,
Good idea being able to remove a spare wheel. I have found that after 35years of caravanning I have never needed the second spare but you can have the security of two spares if required. I also notice you have a centre ring to sit the spare on while attaching it to the mount which makes life easy as those wheels can get heavy trying to hold them to line up the stud holes.

The Fiamma awning is a good thing in my view as I had one for many years on my old Jayco. Not as strong in the wind as the others but I once went out for the day and a very strong wind came up while I was away and I expected the worst when I returned. On returning found the awning flapping in the wind and had almost closed up and reopened by the look of it but due to its spring loaded arms there was no damaged. Fortunately on the day I had not inserted the centre strengthening arm.

My van came in at a similar weight 2100Kgs TARE and I rated it with an ATM of 2700Kgs which was the limit of the 12” brakes with 800mm diameter tyres. The tow ball weight is 270Kgs so the van axles carry a max of 2450Kgs but the axils are rated at 3.3tonne so I expect you probably have the same size axles and bearings.

Good move getting air bags as that will also soften the shock on the axles and also help you miss the eaves. Now the challenge is to remember to lower the van when you get home or bang! I have a similar issue with my garage it is 60 to 80mm to low under the door and I need to lower the van to get in and out, touch wood so far so good.

Two years and you are almost done it’s a credit to you. I remember reading your first couple of posts and quietly I thought I wonder if this guy will finish this van but how wrong I was.

JR
:razz:

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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:02 pm

Thanks for your comments JR & thanks to other members who are gutsy enough to post their thoughts & ideas for us to use. As mentioned elsewhere by Bussy, this is a forum of knowledge. I hope that I have also contributed some to offset what I have gained.

Rory

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