My build/rebuild

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Justme
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My build/rebuild

Post by Justme » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:28 pm

I was advised of this forum by another member Robert after receiving some really great advise which has in turn changed my entire build.

So here we have it. I started out with a $2500 1980 Avondale pop double tandem axle caravan. It towed well, had all the basics and everything was working. Came with a generator and a full gas bottle, new tyres and I saw potential.

The initial idea was the strip a few things, tidy it, rebuild the interior and go camping. After a short amount of time I realised this was not possible. there was way too many things wrong, wood rot and damage to every panel. It would have required a complete overhaul. So the decision was, I still had a good chassis to work with, so i stripped the entire van, cost me $33.00 to get rid of the entire thing at the tip in pieces and I was going to begin a whole new build.

Still owning a Patriot X1 camper which was for sale, I was able to get cracking with the tidy up but no definite plans for the build were in place until I could sell the patriot and get the cash for the new van. However being a man of many indulgences, I also had a less than 12mth old subaru WRX (so nice) that I decided to sell to get some more cash in the door. Having no debts I was hoping to get both sold...well 2 weeks later both were gone, I was $$$ up and ready to start.

After posting my initial build on my swag, Robert messaged me with some good advice as to my plans of using ACP and alloy connect-it frame technique. After not much discussion and less than 24 hours, I had been into Vanglass only 15 minutes from home and the decision was to use this company to make my shell.

Vanglass makes fibreglass finished composite panels to 23mm thick, structural wall internal and external as well as roof to any specification and the whole lot glues together. Sure the price is high but it saves building a lot of frame and cladding etc plus all my windows are CNC cut out and they are providing the doors and windows to suit my design.

So heres the ultimate plan:

Full size van - 4 berth - 2 fixed bunks and a fixed double/queen bed - Seating area, small kitchenette inside (Sink and 2 burner gas stove) - ensuite with toilet and shower and basin.

Rollout awning - carefree

Electrics will be: Redarc BMS 1230S2, 3x 120ah AGM batteries. Solar x3 150 watt roof mounted - 240v input plug and anderson from tow tug.

Internal lighting and 4 reading lamps for the beds.

2x 90L fresh water tanks - feeding into each other - 1x grey water 95L tank - custom checker plate bash guards are being made as we speak to protect these and hold them in place.

large skylight in the middle of the roof over the main area inside - 5 other windows placed over beds, seating and kitchen. Fan and roof vent in ensuite 12v.

Hot water - gas, auto ignite - I know theres a few discussions around these units and how to meet certification. Ill make sure I have all of this sorted before cert time. If there are any suggestions please let me know. I was wondering what the tempering valve is and where I have to plug this in? looks like it is inline from the hot water system to the sink/shower?

3x Side hatches for storage and access to batteries etc

Bed will be lift up with storage capacity

Fridge is a 12v compressor bar size fridge - will also be place a 35 Litre compressor camping fridge under the bed for freezer/extra fridge.

Im using a DO35 Hitch, already mounted onto the frame - Had one of these on my Patriot and they are bloody awesome.

Suspension onto the frame is Simplicity 2500 rated with 245/75/16 birdgestone M/T tyres on steel ROH blak track wheels in 0 offset. Ill be carrying x2 spares on the back tail - need to make up a mounting bracket for these.

Ill be using 2x 9kg gas bottles on the front draw bar and 2x jerry can holders at the rear for fuel on longer trips.


The Idea behind this is not to have a perfectly finished to glistening spec type caravan. I want a rugged and ready setup that can be easily cleaned and maintained. There are 4 internal walls being made by vanglass to suit the bunks and the ensuite. Everything else will be made out of SHS alloy with connect-it framing and minimal timber wherever possible. Draws and storage will be basket/bucket style with open cabinets, wall mounted canvas pocket type storage etc.

Im working on a budget of 30-35k - having already spent 28k including vanglass, Ill be seeing that 35k easily. The 28k Ive spent already includes all the major fit out components however. Just need extrusions, wiring, internal framing, bedding and lighting etc.

Below I will post up a bit of a photo montage which should give you an idea of where I'm at.

I am most open to suggestions and comments. Frame is complete, I've had 3 days of welding done to strengthen and rebuild the frame to suit the new van. Its seen is final coat of paint now too. I do still need to put some holes into some of the frame to allow water to exit. This frame was built in 1980 and is still as strong as anything. no cracked welds or bent long bars. The work Ive had done has really made an improvement however for the future of the full size van.

Cheers,

Justin

Justme
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Justme » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:37 pm

I'm still working out how to add photos faster! But here's a general idea.

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Old Techo
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Old Techo » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:46 pm

Justin, re pics, suggest use forum direct method, in here... http://www.candm.com.au/forum/viewtopic ... 40#p103540
Regards, Old Techo
2007 Prado Grande Diesel Auto
2004 Roadstar Limited Edition

Justme
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Justme » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:07 pm

The Pink shaggin wagon...

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Now the wait for Vanglass to proceed to production and assembly.

I chose to have Vanglass do the main shell assembly at a fairly significant cost. But once you weigh up the man hours, and numbers needed and the fact I haven't done it before, made sense to have them do it. So hopefully within the next 4-5 weeks ill have my van back ready for final fit out and setup!

Maiden voyage is the 13th January 2017 to Sawtell. I have a lot of work to do.

Justme
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Justme » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:09 pm

Image

Image

Design scale layout drawings for vanglass to put into CAD.

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Door is going to be 1750 now...

Image

Justme
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Justme » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:10 pm

The new frame all welded and ready for building...

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Working out the water tanks...

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First time hitched and towing. Still need wheel alignment...

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rredbeak
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by rredbeak » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:03 pm

this is really good.im enjoying this build..power to you justme...

rod
Living the Dream,See You Out Here Folks..OFF TOPIC IS OK IN ANY OF MY POSTS.MY FaceBook, Robby N Jones
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Old Techo
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Old Techo » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:12 pm

G'day Justin,

I've just read your well done comprehensive intro and looked at your pics :)

Sorry if my wet-blanket is showing :roll:

I think I see some new welds on the A-frame to the front cross-member. Welding across the top or bottom of a structural member is not advised.

I also worry a bit from your listed items about the amount of weight you may be adding to the original design and whether a truss should be fitted under the A-frame that I assume is 4" or 100 mm deep?

Finally I worry about the extra weight you are proposing to add to the rear of the van in terms of towing stability.

Have you done a tally of these known additional weights, with full tanks?

With a HWS I recommend a gas/electric. You mentioned gas only.

A tempering valve is a legal safety requirement to ensure the shower water is not scalding hot. It is simply a brass tee device fed with both hot and cold water and an adjustable mix of the 2 exits to the shower. If you fit one at the HWS your sink water will also be cooler. In my view the tempered feed should only go to the shower and maybe a basin. The sink hot water should come directly from the HWS to have max temp for washing up :)
Regards, Old Techo
2007 Prado Grande Diesel Auto
2004 Roadstar Limited Edition

Justme
On a roll
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Justme » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:48 pm

Old Techo wrote:G'day Justin,

I've just read your well done comprehensive intro and looked at your pics :)

Sorry if my wet-blanket is showing :roll:

I think I see some new welds on the A-frame to the front cross-member. Welding across the top or bottom of a structural member is not advised.

I also worry a bit from your listed items about the amount of weight you may be adding to the original design and whether a truss should be fitted under the A-frame that I assume is 4" or 100 mm deep?

Finally I worry about the extra weight you are proposing to add to the rear of the van in terms of towing stability.

Have you done a tally of these known additional weights, with full tanks?

With a HWS I recommend a gas/electric. You mentioned gas only.

A tempering valve is a legal safety requirement to ensure the shower water is not scalding hot. It is simply a brass tee device fed with both hot and cold water and an adjustable mix of the 2 exits to the shower. If you fit one at the HWS your sink water will also be cooler. In my view the tempered feed should only go to the shower and maybe a basin. The sink hot water should come directly from the HWS to have max temp for washing up :)
Hey mate thanks for the reply.

A-frame welds have been discussed at length both on other forums, with mates and with my welder. I have absolute confidence after the very specific confirmation discussion with welder on these welds. i know all about the 'norm' so i brought it up with him and we went through everything. he has been building trailers and welding for 2 decades... I'm happy with his response. Its only welded on 3 sides and not over the edges of the drawbar etc etc theres a lot more about the heat and passes and type of weld etc.... Id prefer that we don't all get into a debate on this one as its been had haha :)

Can you help me out with where you mean by adding the truss to? Sorry just want to make sure i know what we are talking about :???: :

weights have been worked out basically where I can. I am keeping all the batteries and other gear forward of the axles as are the two fresh water tanks. Grey water behind but close to centre. Ill also have all other accessory gear in the forward point including mounting the solar panels on the roof further forward. I haven't worked out all the specifics and I can still change some things as I go. Using the 60/40 rule I am actually at about 65/35. The main things in the rear are the bunks and ensuite. I know theres some weight in this, hence keeping everything else forward wherever I can. I may also opt for a single spare wheel given I'm using heavy duet M/T tyres and steel wheels. Any suggestions on working this out correctly? I don't want to end up having to add ballast lol

Sorry, the hot water is a Suburban SW6DA... gas/electric 24 litre. Ill fit the tempering valve to the feed to the ensuite then.

I have a loooooooot to learn as I go. I know ill make mistakes along the way. Any suggestions or comments welcome to help me make this right.

Justin

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Old Techo
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Re: My build/rebuild

Post by Old Techo » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:05 pm

Plenty of recent truss talk in this thread here... http://www.candm.com.au/forum/viewtopic ... 84#p194884 and http://www.candm.com.au/forum/viewtopic ... 00#p194900

Tucker's on the table so back later :D
Regards, Old Techo
2007 Prado Grande Diesel Auto
2004 Roadstar Limited Edition

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