Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Photos

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glanyard
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Ph

Post by glanyard » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:31 pm

Bussy wrote:Thanks everyone for the good wishes. Still got some finishing off and don’t want to rush the last little bits as this will detract from the overall job. Its so close I can taste the freedom.

Lance - Can’t post photos without stickers on it now can I? A while back I stopped posting photos as I wanted to show it off in a “big reveal” so you will just have to wait a tad more. I will be in touch via a PM for you to do some for me soon. Regards to Annie too.

JR – What happens on “band camp” stays on “band camp” OK.

Glanyard – the Ozlotto has jackpotted to 40 million next Tuesday 11th July (draw 1221) so will post you a maxi 50 game quick pick tonight and good luck with it bloke!

GerryP – Have a super 18 game quick pick in the same draw coming your way tonight and good luck to you too. Being Ozlotto, the both of you should be able to cash in your winnings locally.

Cheers,
ALLAN
ALLAN,
Thanks; I hope I can win enough to share it with you. You will need all new accessories for you and Mrs ALLAN in your new van when you hit the road for real.
glanyard
2014 Isuzu D-Max twin cab ute
2006 5.5 metre Golden Eagle Mini Mi rear entry van

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GerryP
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Ph

Post by GerryP » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:53 pm

Many thanks Allan... if it's a winner, I'm sure there'll be some commission in it for you mate. :)

Looking forward to the Big Reveal.
Cheers, Gerry
2017 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab
2018 New Age Manta Ray 18'

Milton477
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Ph

Post by Milton477 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:59 am

Congrats Allan, it must have felt very satisfying having your hard work trundling along behind you after all this time. I'm looking forward to the big reveal.

Rory

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Bussy
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Ph

Post by Bussy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Thanks Rory, I was too stressed to enjoy the moment as each little trip was in peak hour traffic with tradies cutting me off and school mums pulling out in front of me as if they had theirs brains zipped up in their handbags! Cannot wait until I can take a leisurely drive and see how it performs outside of the city.
On the trip to VicRoads along a stretch of the east-link freeway I slowed to about 90 km/hr. in middle lane to see what it would handle like with a few B doubles over taking me in the next lanes. I felt the pressure difference on the van as they approached and the fluctuations in side pressure as the trucks passed but no need to adjust/correct steering and reckon I could have let go the wheel so think this is a good sign.

I have a problem with the brakes though. It has 4 x 12” Alko electrics and I control it through a P3.
Initially I had the P3 set to B1 but found the van wheels were pulling the car up severely and sometimes locking up the vans wheels as I could hear the tyre squeal and see the smoke.

Next little trip had the boost off on the P3 and still at times the bakes would lock up. Generally when say you have already braked to slow for a corner and then you are just moving forward slowly and then braking easy again as you wait your turn to get around the corner. Nearly every time during these little “creep up to corner” moves the vans wheels would squeal. Unsure if it is all wheels or just one or two wheels as I would need to have an observer to tell me which wheel on which side is doing it.

I suspect it is a brake adjustment problem and I am sure that I checked and made adjustments to the brakes as per Alko way back when they were first welded onto the chassis. Hopefully I will get it back out on Sunday and sort out the brake issues so all can be ready for a proper trip.

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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J.REEVES
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Ph

Post by J.REEVES » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:18 pm

Hi Allan,
From memory the P3 has a power button where you can adjust the output volts.
You can adjust this setting anywhere between zero and ever what the vehicle running voltage is.

You probably already have done this but just in case its all in the manual.

JR
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GerryP
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Ph

Post by GerryP » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:22 pm

G'day Allan,

Lotto ticket received today mate... many thanks and fingers crossed :shock: :D
Cheers, Gerry
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Bussy
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Photos

Post by Bussy » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:35 am

After all this time, I hoped GerryP would have been flying around in his new Lear Jet looking for an island to buy? Not so? Bugga!

There are a couple of chapters left of the build which I will post up before the big reveal just to keep the continuity right, just need some spare time.

JR was on the money re the brakes (as usual) as I re-adjusted them, backed off 12 clicks and still the same so checked the power setting on the P3 and sure enough it was back to max voltage. Don’t know how this happened but suspect because I had several attempts at fitting this thing in the ash tray void but was not happy until I got it to sit right back in. I may have bumped or held the power button whilst mucking around with it. Anyway set it for 5.0 and seems to be perfect now.

After a few weekend camps in the back yard and a couple of WE trips down to the local industrial area to practice my backing skills, we headed off on the shakedown trip.
First the learning to back part. I can back trailers and very confident to just use my mirrors so was not too stressed about this and it’s just a matter of getting to know the vehicle being backed. The lack of visibility on the rear corner opposite the driver is the hard part but is helped by the rear view camera setup.

How I went about getting to know the vans characteristic’s was like this. First thing was to work out its maximum turning circle both left and right. Easily done in an industrial area with a big court where trucks can turn around. Going in circles and slowly increased my turn (frequently stopping to check if draw-bar getting too close to any part on the car) until I got near to the “do damage point” where the draw-bar would hit my Anderson plugs or 12 pin connectors. Stopped at this angle and put a piece of masking tape on my tugs back window that lined up with outer edge of the van. Then repeat this process for the opposite turn. I now had my max limits set.

Next was to find the point at which I can reverse angle the van to but still be able to recover from a jack-knife situation, in other words the angle which will give me maximum reverse angle turn but still give me enough play room before I got to a total jack-knife (have to stop and move forward to recover) or the do damage point. Once I had these “normal reverse operation points” I placed red and green dots on the rear window to be used as alignment guides for the respective left or right reversing maneuver.

Now I get the best possible reverse in. Just have to judge the correct distance from the kerb and how far to be “past” the target entry point. Once this point has been visualized at the site then just stop, full lock the steering wheel to cause van to turn in the chosen direction, reverse until the van comes around and lines up with my red or green dot, back off the steering wheel to hold the van edge on that red or green dot arc marker and hold steering wheel steady. Then all you have to do is concentrate on the reverse camera and mirrors to make sure no one has walked into the way and that it’s safe to continue backing. As the van enters the site just a tweak here and there to get it positioned exactly where you want it.

Next post the Shakedown Trip.

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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J.REEVES
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Photos

Post by J.REEVES » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:21 pm

My god Allan, I hope you will remember all those manoeuvre limits when you are trying to turn around on a narrow road and a road train is baring down on you.

JR
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Photos

Post by Milton477 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:43 am

Or when you are showing off your skills in a CP while others "appear" not to be watching.

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Bussy
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Photos

Post by Bussy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:50 pm

That’s precisely why I went through this whole exercise JR; I don’t have to think about it anymore.

Now after this, I just have a simple red and green dot on my rear window and a quick glance in my rear view mirror when backing or turning I know exactly where I am at, or rather where the caravan is at. Easy as a 2 second look.

Rory, yep I know what you mean. At Lakes Entrance the people in the vans opposite stopped what they were doing when we drove in but soon went about their business when we backed almost perfectly into our spot. Same a few weeks later when on another trip we went to Inverloch CP. They stood up when we pulled in with our big van but quickly sat down again when after a quick flick this way and that saw we were right on the money with getting onto our pad.

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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