Sunday 30th August 2015 Finishing Phase one

When I say finishing Phase One - it just feels that, now that the insulation, panelling and all the hidden stuff like wiring and so on is finished, with a few exceptions then we have reached a landmark in the conversion.

Feels like we didn’t get much done this weekend but not really true as a lot of finishing details and tidying up were done.  SWMBO got the back doors lined and although I don’t have a photograph, also finished lining the cupboard above the cab.  SWMBO + Spray Adhesive + confined space = High as a kite! Babbling like a washing machine - highly entertaining.  

Once all this was out of the way we gave the floor a good sanding to remove ground in dirt and lots of glue overspray.  We had great intentions of putting cardboard down to protect the floor while we did the insulation and lining but it never happened.  The sanding etc. was done so we could get a coat, or two, of varnish on the floor to act as a sealant.  We intend to go for rubber backed carpet tiles for the floor but do not want any inevitable spill to be trapped under the tiles to rot the floor so a couple of coats of varnish it is.

The flexible conduit on the near side rear door is for the cables going to the two cameras now mounted above the number plate.  We can still open the doors to 180° and the cables are secure.

Sunday 6th September 2015 - Not sailing so starting the furniture build

At the start of this project we had thought long and hard about how to build the furniture and kitchen units to go into this van.  I had looked at the possibility of building with the ‘so-called’ lightweight boards using the knock in trim strips but rejected it on three grounds.  1 This board is very expensive!  2  Every T4/5 transporter campervan conversion looks the same as they all use this board - boring and 3  They are not that lightweight.

So I came down to the idea of building panels based on battens of 2 x 1 clean or whatever and sheeting in faced 3.6mm ply.  Then I found the website about Deep Red (brilliant and fantastic detailed resource) and convinced myself I was right.  Deep Red used lap joints but I am not that competent so bought a Kreg Jig to make my joints - great device.  It was about here that I got very lucky - I had been looking at Oak faced ply but couldn’t find what I wanted then found in one of my local builders merchants, 3.6mm ply sheet that was almost a mahogany colour.  

I used this to make my first piece of furniture - doors for the above cab cupboard and the fuse box.

We were really pleased with the results and at around £11.00 for an 8 x 4 sheet - a win!  

Building the unit for the hob and fridge first in a very similar manner to Deep Red - Mahogany strips as trim on the edges and the lightweight panels screwed to them.  Gluing the panels on takes more clamps than I have so is slowing stuff down a little.

Sunday 13th September 2015 - more furniture

Finished off the unit to hold the hob and fridge and passed to SWMBO for varnishing while I got on with the unit to hold the sink and water containers etc.

I like the way the mahogany trim strip looks but could have picked an easier method of construction. Glueing on the 3.6mm ply panels makes the job longer as we have to wait for one panel to set before tackling the next.  I’m not brave enough (good enough) yet to use impact adhesive on these panels as suggested by Deep Red so we’ll just slow down a little.

Just as an aside - I’m using a Smev (Dometic) sink unit and as mentioned on one of the forums the raw edge of the metal on these units is razor sharp - I cut myself getting it out of the box - beware!

Have now bolted the hob/fridge unit into the van and tried the second unit for fit - yee haa! The fat boy can still get between the seats and into the back.

Next Installment

Van Build Pages Links:
Getting Started Insulation & Flooring
Windows & more Insulation
Solar, Final Panelling & Carpeting

Finishing the Fittings and Cupboards
Infills and stuff
DVLA Photos
Sticky Hints

Wiring Diagram
Starting Furniture and Fittings
More Furniture, Start Bulkhead

Converting a Transit Van into a Stealth Camper capable of carrying all my Race Management Kit


Apart from that I finally got the workshop tidied a bit and started to cut and plane to thickness the trim strips for the furniture.  All repurposed from a mahogany door frame acquired from the out-laws.  Spent a lot of time just finalising the detail of how the furniture is to be built - so that will hopefully start this week.  I’m away on an overnight race next weekend so nothing will get done - need to press on this week.

I used these inserts to bolt the unit into the van.  The floor is 12mm ply over 25mm Kingspan. These inserts are great - just drill a hole in the floor, insert the insert (carefully to keep it vertical) using an allen key and then bolt in the unit.  I am using 8mm bolts.  Works well - very firm and also means I can take it out again for maintenance or whatever.  May use this method for the rest of the furniture.