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

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

Post by Legendts » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:12 am

Allan, I don’t think I’ve made comment since you finished your build, but I will now.

Congratulations on a very ambitious project that you have now completed. Your craftsmanship’s exemplary and such a credit to you. I would expect you to feel very proud of your build which you can now enjoy to the full.

One more important comment for you and that is, to finish what you started and still be married says a lot for a strong, loving relationship, so congratulations also go to your wife for hanging in and keeping sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Enjoy your retirement, both of you. I’ll keep an eye out for you on the road.

Jeff.
You only have one shot at life so make it an enjoyable one.
Jeff & Me Darlin'
2009 Landcruiser TTD
2003 Evernew caravan

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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 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:40 pm

Hi Allan,
Glad to see you are out there enjoying your caravan.

Yes the caravan park reversing the van. Some people almost look disappointed if you reverse straight in.

We were once entering a caravan park at Rocky and my friend was already at his site reversing when I came along and put my head out the window and yeld out hurry up and move I need to get past. We both played out the confrontation to the point we had half the caravan park watching, it certainly created some interest.

Allan I will have to try your red and green dot system sounds good.

As you know I have limit switches on my tow bar to warn me of impending damage about to happen but that does not give the information that the dots can give.

JR
:razz:

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

Post by Bussy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:59 pm

Jeff - Thanks heaps, yes she would follow me off the edge of the earth if necessary, so very lucky in that department compared to a lot of our friends. :D
Now if I can only educate her not to have 20” showers when we are in the van. :o

Most trips so far have been to costal Gippsland and will be again this weekend. Hope to get to Port Fairy before summer is over but trips are queuing up fast, Mildura mid Feb, Corryong & Cairns mid April. Let me know if any good camping spots in your neck of the woods and we will come and investigate.

The Taj will probably never really be finished as always little things I will want to do with it. Nearly every weekend still playing and tweaking this and that, cannot help myself after all this time working on 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.

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

Post by Bussy » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:12 pm

Just trying to get the time to show the last of this build and bring the thread up to date before the final reveal. Hopefully over the next few weeks as this thread is about 10 months behind real-time.

As you all are aware I set out on this build with a “make everything I could” attitude.
A - Because I had the tools and B – I could. If I didn’t then I had to learn new skills. This came at a cost, the cost of time to finish.

Making the cupboard doors and drawer fronts. I used a timber called paulownia, looks like mountain ash but very much lighter. It is extremely easy to work with and finishes up nicely either stained or painted. I had to cut all the lengths to suit (CAD a big help) and router the edges so as to make them using the rail and style technique for strength and looks. The latches I had chosen were marine latches but they only suited 17mm door thickness and mine was 19mm so had to router out a small section at the back so the latch mounted further into the wood so as to make the button at the front nice and flush. The hinges were chosen to be semi-concealed so they would open well clear of surrounding panels. There are plenty of spares for future breakages or mods.

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

Post by Bussy » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:22 pm

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

Post by Bussy » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:24 pm

More pics....
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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.

Archer63
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Re: Building a 21ft Off-Road Van from Scratch - a diary & Photos

Post by Archer63 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:29 pm

Looks good !
2018 Pajero Exceed
2013 Jayco Swan Outback

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

Post by dieseltojo » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:01 pm

Well done Bussy, I used a template system when building kitchen cabinet doors.

I hope you have asked the family if they like camping mate....Bugger if they don' want to come..... :lol:

Being a bit facetious here, as I knew a bloke that had been in the Dutch Navy, and decided to build a ferry-cement Yacht. Any way it took 5 years from a plan. Put an Aux Volvo Penta in as back up etc. :)

Used the best rigging and SS hand rails etc. It was a beauty.

Came the day to launch and took the family out for a day. Really nice day, sunny, 20 knots from the north.

The missus and kids all got sea sick and said the would never go again......Damn...!

I know that cant happen on land...but just came to mind. Nah wont be a problem. :)

But when is the camp test mate?
I now have to note that I cannot accept ownership, truth, quality, or veracity, of articles I may quote off the internet.
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Paul & Trudy. Plumber & Plumberess

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

Post by nsgnomad » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:54 pm

Well done Bussy. Fantastic effort. Hope you enjoy the fruits of your labour for a long time to come.
I am curious about the shape of the timber for the doors. One of your photos shows the profile of the verticals. Is that routed in one pass or is the square slot done separately. What about the mating horizontals. Can you please post a photo of that profile and any comments re routing.

My interest is that I hope to be fitting out a motorhome in the future and was considering making all the cabinetry including doors myself.

Cheers.
Now get out there and enjoy.

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

Post by Bussy » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:06 am

Paul (DT) – I know what you are saying and thinking.
I also know a bloke who has spent many more years (30+) than I have building an ocean going yacht out of steel. He is a professional welder and thought it would be a good idea to chase his dream and build it in his rather large front yard in outer east of Melbourne. The thing is so big it looks like a prawn trawler parked in his yard. Being made out of ordinary steel plate and taking so long the first part of the build has nearly rusted away/though and the whole boat looks like an old shipwreck at his front door. He is not married, and any wonder why? The road up to his property would have to be widened just to get this thing onto a low loader and moved to somewhere it could be launched that’s if it ever will be.

Now my “Taj” has been well and truly camp tested. Several back yard dirty weekends to make sure everything worked as it should before it was registered and released out onto the road. A few days trip to Lakes entrance, Paynesville then to Paradise Beach, a long weekend at Inverloch a few weeks later, Phillip Island over New Years and just recently Nagambie.
My wife loves going away in the van. I pay for the fuel and the CP site fees; make sure everything is set-up perfectly. Mattress is better than our 3K$ one at home, she sleeps in and gets breakfast in bed every morning, I cook all meals as she hates cooking and I love it, especially the exotic stuff, Asian, my best friend is a wok. Italian, my second best friend is a wog. Or Aussie camp oven and who does not have friends when you can use one of those. She would rather do the dishes and ironing than prepare a meal. She gets to use all the hot water, even my share, have the TV tuned to her channels and never has to vacuum the van out after a trip cause “I also do that”. In fact she does not want to come home, says “let’s keep going”, and gets melancholy when we do actually head back home for work etc. so no problems re caravan camping there.

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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