A winter trip to the Lake District

Early December is one of the best times of year to go to the Lake District (one of the best mountainous regions in the UK).

So we finished up a few jobs we needed to complete, and installed a couple more prototype bits of furniture and headed north to make the most of it.

The weather was perfect: very cold, with fresh snow on the hills, and a few flurries in the air. Clear blue skies, and air still enough to light a candle.

The only snag was that our gas installation was not quite complete, so we were without a gas hob, or our gas heater, even though 99% of the components had been installed. Continue reading “A winter trip to the Lake District”

2017-11-02: Gas tank – part 1

I suspect there will be many parts to this series…

After much debate, we decided to go with an externally mounted, refillable gas  tank. This one came from Gasit in the UK, and it’s about 20 litres.

The gas fittings look reasonably straightforward, given that we’ve not done this sort of thing before, but we’ve already hit our first snag, which is that the space under the chassis where this tank is designed to be mounted is slightly different to most, so the standard mounting brackets won’t fit. So we’re having some steel angles fabricated to provide secure mounting points. More on this to come.

The space where we’re mounting the tank, and measurements for the custom angles we need to get made up.

In the meantime, we’re preparing the tank to be fitted, by spraying it with a coating of Underbody Seal paint, which is pretty gross stuff, but apparently should protect it from chips and dirt that’s thrown up off the road. Many more challenges on this front to come, I’m sure.

Spraying the gas tank with Underbody Seal paint
The strange tacky, textured tarry finish

2017-10-29: Recognisable furniture

Some things in the van that look a bit like furniture!

This weekend, we’ve made some satisfying progress in the van, with a few new things going in that make it look a lot more like a home.

The two base units that form the support for the bed are largely complete, bar a few doors. That means we have a functioning bed, a bench seat, and some fixed storage too.

We ordered some foam for the mattress, which we’ve chopped up and covered in stockinette (a stretchy, loosely-woven lining that protects the foam and helps a mattress cover slide over it).

Amy sewing stockinette linings over the foam mattress sections

We also ordered some table legs, and we’ve been trying out different methods for supporting the table top, and making the conversion from bed to bench + table manageable.

And we also have one more piece of finished furniture installed – the overhead cabinets on the passenger side (above the bench), made out of birch ply, with doors supported on gas struts, and a felt lining on the inside of the cabinet.

The gas struts hold the cabinet doors both open and closed, which means no need for latches.

In a way, the van looks quite similar to the state it was in back in August, but this is one iteration on, with mistakes corrected for, some lessons learned and everything that much more well-considered.