Vanatron: Camper in Disguise! Day(s): (25) 26-28 – DO EVERYTHING FIRST

Day 25 being a write off thanks to foam offgassing poison migraine doom, days 26-28 contained frantic ply lining, electrics pre-wiring and the installation of vents.

These little marvels work fantastically well for reducing squeaks etc.. If you get them lined up perfectly. And they don’t jump out of their hole before they are tightened down.. And the bolt is long enough to catch the thread.. In other words, potentially great, but extremely time consuming. Persisted much longer than I should have before swapping to self tapping screws.

Rubnuts - or, making life much more complicated that there is available time for..
Rubnuts – or, making life much more complicated that there is available time for..

Vague attempts to work out cable runs were mostly fairly successful, but the rat’s nest stage was a complete pain in the arse.

Rats nest.
Rats nest.

I may not make it onto the conver of Practical Woodworking with my box making techniques, but they totally boxed good.

Practical woodworking here I come!
Practical woodworking here I come!
first 'cupboard'
first ‘cupboard’

Drilling the giant holes in the van was scary. I made Pep do the second one. I was too scared.

Super fancy marine vents!
Super fancy marine vents!

ply lining

Replaced the AC transformers for the LED panels with some wee 4x1W 280mA DC constant current transformers. It totally worked! Am mad wizard.

IT'S ALIIIIVE
IT’S ALIIIIVE

Next step.. tidily wire up fuse box and label neatly. Remember fuse box must be dismantled for fitting onto the ply lining. Swear gently.

nice and tidy.. wait.. shit.
nice and tidy.. wait.. shit.

I made lights happen! aww yeahhhhh.

Lights! Camera? Action??
Lights! Camera? Action??

Luckily, I was carrying the bundle of wires, switches and power outlets I had soldered together ready to fit for the power outlets in the back of the van up the garden as I was pondering how switches even WORK I mean they don’t even make sense. The reason being – how I had done them made no sense. Don’t drive your life hypoglycaemic if you can at all help it is the moral of this story.

switches, how do they work?
switches, how do they work?

Vanatron: Camper in Disguise! Day: 24 – HOW MUCH??

Originally, I was planning to make my own ‘rock and roll’ bed, because 1. welding is fun and 2. much cheapness.

After a trip to Swanage, we discovered that attempting to sleep in the frankly victorian level comforts of the passenger bench seat is pretty impossible. The new plan is to get a single seat to replace the 2 bench seats, and get a proper M1 tested rock and roll bed with seatbelts for two. Then I can carry 4 people (and also holy shit I don’t have time to make it myself now agghhhh etc etc).

Yesterday involved a bit of drama, where I discovered that using the cargo area lights continually for two long evenings, along with the radio and charging an iphone.. flattens the battery.  A million thanks to Tom for stopping by on the way home from work to help me jump start it..

This caused a logistical problem. I was scheduled to go and get the nice cheaty CNCed ply lining between 2 and 4, and then have time to fit at least the floor in the evening. Engage PLAN B.

Drive to Bletchley, pick up ply from MK Ply Lining

Bits!
Bits!

Drive to Northampton, um and ahh over water tank at Jay Wolfe Metalworking, then loose fit ply and carpet in their car park.

Floor!!
Floor!!
Top carpet fitting.
Top carpet fitting.

Drive to Sheffield to get bed fitted by JDS Metaltech

Decisions..
Decisions..
Seats! Bed! Seats!
Seats! Bed! Seats!

Drive home.

Not in plan: discover am very sensitive to the new foam supplied by JDS. Get massive headache. Have to look for special snowflake all natural alternative. Burn more money.

borked.
borked.

Vanatron: Camper in Disguise! Day(s): 20-23 – Sputnik

It turns out, the cold is actually a good thing for applying Thermoliner. In the event that it is warmer than about 14 degrees, the backing glue sticks like poo to a blanket and any hope of repositioning your unwieldy piece of insulation is doomed.

Have achieved “1960s space shuttle” decor level.

Sputnik eat your heart out
Sputnik eat your heart out

I have also developed a new party trick which consists of fumbling a stanley knife, Charlie Chaplin style, and then continuing onwards to impale my thumb(s) upside down. It’s pretty impressive and I challenge anyone to try and recreate it. (Do not try this at home)

thumb A
thumb A
thumb B
thumb B

I now have ten days to complete the van before I leave. This is my reaction to clients asking me to do any work in the time before I get going..

from: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/dogs-dont-understand-basic-concepts.html
from: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/dogs-dont-understand-basic-concepts.html

Vanatron: Camper in Disguise! Day(s): 16-19 – ELASTICTRICKERY

The fitting of the leisure batteries and Sterling 50A battery to battery charger.

This charger was a bit more expensive than the standard split, voltage sensitive charger. It manages the charging curve and will charge the batteries to 100%, rather than the 80% managed by standard chargers. It also handles the Euro5 alternator output better.

A friend with more understanding of high current fun than me actually did the work here, I mostly just held things and fretted about deadlines.

TO WALES! Fey can hardly contain her excitement.

This bed is acceptable.
This bed is acceptable.

Investigations..

investigating for the possibilty of dropping the batteries through the floor pan.
investigating for the possibilty of dropping the batteries through the floor pan.

The subject of ongoing fights with the dealership, the chairs in the back, have the bolts drilled out and removed. Still need to drop the fuel tank and remove the spreader plates and nuts – but maybe not when there is 60kg of fuel in it..

 

Ta daaaaah!
Ta daaaaah!

Dogs!

Molly is bored. Fey is disapproving.
Molly is bored.

Dog slaves!

Hordes of admirers
Hordes of admirers

It rained. Obv.

Welsh wales. Rain.
Welsh wales. Rain.

Fey got annoyed with Molly standing on her so came to supervise..

Acting in a supervisory capacity.
Acting in a supervisory capacity.
Wiring: complete
Wiring: complete
Storage containment is an issue in a big tin box
Storage containment is an issue in a big tin box

Vanatron: Camper in Disguise! Day(s): 3-15 – Hiatus

Days 3-15 contained very little progress. The van turned out to have not been terribly thoroughly checked over by the dealership I bought it from, and as a result I had to take it in to my local garage for what was supposed to be a day, and turned into nearly a week….

I did experiment with some quilting for upholstery:

because octopus
because octopus

Fey was less than impressed with the fiesta the garage gave me as a loaner.

look how uncomfortable I am . LOOK.
look how uncomfortable I am . LOOK.

I then went a bit mad and made pickles, tonic syrup, hand cream and furniture polish..

tonic == mud??
tonic == mud??
PICKEHRS
PICKEHRS
Not Climb On
Not Climb On