18' Off Road family van build.

1Trex
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by 1Trex » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:19 pm

With the rafters I have made them out of the same 50x25 as per the walls using 3mm wall thickness where needed and to put some slope on the roof I have slightly pressed them about 850mm in from each end to give them some camber so starting off at none front and back to a 10mm camber in the middle where the aircon will sit. I was originally concerned about the weight of the unit on them so I placed the same weight on the two that support it and they only deflected by 3mm and now they are all tied together they can take my weight with minimal flex so should be all good.

1Trex
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by 1Trex » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:42 pm

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Bussy
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by Bussy » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:50 am

You’re doing a fantastic job bloke; you are giving me nightmares looking at that frame as it brought back memories of a lot of hard work.
With the ceiling is it going to be flat on the inside or will it have a slight camber as well? Just wondering as it would be easy to allow for when building overhead cupboards etc. Also the ceiling is a major place to run all your wiring so you will need to drill lots and lots of holes so will give you a tip. I pre drilled all (or all the ones I thought I would need) prior to fixing the internal walls so that you can get the drill chuck in there and straight. Also use a small hammer drill (not a rotary hammer type but a normal drill) on the hammer mode when using a hole saw, just cuts better and does not clog up as the hammer action will spit the swarf out. Drill slow as aluminium tends to grab (as you know) and no need for any coolant/lube on the cutting bits of the hole saw. You may have to get a right angle chuck to get into the tight places.
As with the Sika 11FC I used heaps of the 600ml sausages and only found out near the end I could buy it from specialist Sika suppler for $18 whereas I had been buying it from Bunnings at circa $29 so shop around. I did find Bunnings the cheapest for the Gunnersens internal polyester wall ply (special orders).

The Camec water fillers are a problem in some cases as they are a two part unit. I bought 4 of them and I could not pull 3 of them apart no matter how hard I tried but the fourth one came apart with a bit of a tap and a twist. They used a very small amount of glue on this one and I suspect it is the incorrect glue anyway as it did not appear to take too well to the plastic. I made sure all mine where also locked together with two SS self-tapers and some silicone (idea courtesy of JR).
The Hume fillers you should be able to buy direct from Hume Caravans 03 9357 6463 ask for Frank or Abhi. I have access to their website for purchasing but it’s unfinished and crappy so best done over the phone. Let me know if you have trouble getting them and I can maybe organize some for you.

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: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by Milton477 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:33 pm

Very impressive. You have made it look so easy. Those curvy bits in the chassis are classic.
My 2c worth. I didn't fit traditional fillers to my water tanks but chose rather to pressure fill. Read all the posts with people with filling problems. I have kept my tank breathers only slightly higher than the tanks so that I can't get a column of water preventing the air from escaping & building pressure. If I built another, I wouldn't change anything & I have not yet burst a tank.

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Bussy
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by Bussy » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:59 pm

1TREX, have you finished yet? Love to see the latest pics.

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.

1Trex
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by 1Trex » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:47 pm

Hi all sorry for not keeping up to date. Been very busy at work and the snow season has taken alot of my time so not alot has been done on the van. It is also hard to get motivated when all that is waiting out in the shed is a heap of welding.

Thanks for the tips Bussy, and yes, lots of work and all this welding is very painful. The ceiling will have a slight camber about 3mm over the depth of the cupboards so should not be much of an issue.

As with the wiring, i was thinking of running those square conduits, the ones the tops come off and run them along the wall on the inside of the cupboards. As in my van the cupboards and beds run the whole length of the van and run the wires up where nèeded so no need to drill holes through the uprights of the van walls, well thats the plan.

Thanks Milton, as with the tank fillers i think i will stick with the gravity fill as i like the fact that i can still dump a jerry can of water in there when needed and yes with the breathers keep them short and try to keep them sloping down toward the tank to stop water getting trapped in them.

Now to the build, not alot of progress besides all the welding, which is almost done. And managed to sort the big problem, i had with the curve in the chassis. So when i bolted the wall frames down over the curve it threw my door out of square so i decided to tryvto pull the curve out andbstraighten everything up , something i shouldve done when i first found it but thought i would get away with it...I'll know next time.

So with the curve it was from front to back, mainly in the front when i welded the draw bar on and about 13mm in the worst spot. With the fix i placed a beam across the centre of the van and had it stick out each side and used lifting slings and brackets to hold it down to the floor of my shed and then placed car stands at the very back of the chassis and 2 bottle jacks at the very front so when i jacked the front up the middle lifted up until the slings went tight and started to bend the main rails. With 2 string lines set up i continued to bend the rails a little bit at a time letting the pressure of them checking how much had come out.
I eventually went to 25mm over straight, the furthest I would take it. Lots of creaking and banging as i atill had the wall frames on so when i let the pressure the framevis now only about 4mm out. The main thing is that the door is now square :D .

1Trex
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by 1Trex » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:30 pm

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1Trex
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by 1Trex » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:53 pm

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I have now purchased most of the internal apliances, and have just received my 13' awning so will work on mounting that and making the cargo area doors. Now to get back into it. :D
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Bussy
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Re: 18' Off Road family van build.

Post by Bussy » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:07 am

Troy, Looks like my past nightmares have now become yours as you have had almost exactly the same issues to overcome.

I remember the feeling of the relentless TIG welding of my frame, took over a year of Sundays and gee it was tough to get into it with what seemed endless work and not much progress. Glad that bit was over.
Keep at it an don't look at it as one big job, just lots of little tasks and celebrate the completion of each one with a beer. My van should have been sponsored by James Boag.

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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