Week Six

We are almost half way through the 90 days the insurers allow us to complete the work. Seven days a week and decent weather and we are making good progress. There is a lot to do but it is nice when job after job gets done.

We started this week finishing off the seat bed mounting. It is solid and we can see how the boards need shaping, the squab to go around the be pillar and the back to cope with the curve of the wall. Our idea is to leave 10mm – 15mm at the sides to be able to pull a fitted sheet over it. I am contemplating remaking the diary’s in ply for added strengths and a better fit. At the same time we have bought seat belt receptacles on straps that we can easily hide when not in use.

Fitting the side step was always going to be awkward. The diesel tank is on the left side so on a right hand drive, left hand kerbside van the step has to go beneath the tank. The underside of the tank is 30mm below the cill and 20mm above anything else but the main problem is that it negates many fixing possibilities. Having solved the later with some 6mm aliminium angle and lengths of Unistrut I have lost 50-70mm of ground clearance, something that will need watching carefully.

It doesn’t end there because powering it is just as entertaining. There are no fuse diagrams or lists available. Getting the cables to into the van and the passenger seat base was fairly easy and as luckwould have it, and some trial and error, powering it was easy. I needed both permanent and switched 12V both of which are available on busbars in the fuse boards beneath the passenger seat. Those with big red cables come from the battery and those with black from the ignition switch.

The idea is that you can operate the step, in and out, by the switch on the B pillar but if you start the van without retracting the step a buzzer sounds and / until the step retracts automatically.

While we were in this area I added the 100A cable that will go from the starter battery to the charge controller and 2 signal cables from the battery and ignition switch.

In the meantime some very expensive German ebay T nuts arrived so I was able to bolt the solar panels down and fit an seal the cable pass through.

Back to the inside we finished the floor insulation between the ribs with 6mm Dodo Super Liner and between the battens with 8mm Dodo Van Floor and refitted the floor and insulated the wheel arches.

With the floor fitted the batteries were installed in an aluminium floor frame with a ratchet strap holding them tightly in position behind the seat bed.

Something that bothered me on Saturday. I started the van for the first time in 10 days and got errors from the ESP, the parking sensors and the Auto Stop Start. I hoped this was simply because the battery had been disconnected. Once off the axle stands and a drive out on Sunday the Errors cleared themselves.

And finally on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon we were able to try out the Fiamma rollout awning for the first time.

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