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”
We’re feeling the pressure. We’re going away for 4 days this coming weekend, so we need some basic stuff sorted out in the van. And we’ve hit our 6 month conversion milestone, which means a demanding letter from the insurance company looking for evidence that we’ve converted the van sufficiently from a panel van to a motor home. Continue reading “2017-12-03: Deadlines”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
In this build diary, we’re trying to track our progress in converting the van. But sometimes progress is incomplete. And today, we have a pile of incomplete jobs in the van, so I’m just going to write about one of those: the 12V distribution box. Continue reading “2012-10-26: Make your mind up time”