Week Sixteen

We are getting excited now, just a couple of weeks work left before we take the van out for a shakedown trip.

We spent a couple of days trimming the living area. We have covered the original mid door card and made a new top card both in headlining material. To hold the panels in blind fir trees weren’t going to work but I found a bag of trim buttons were a good match and did the job. The coving panel over the sliding door was bothering me because of the curvy roof but it has worked quite well. Held up by Velcro it is covered in the headline material and incorporates the original courtesy light.

I purchased a length of keder rail with the intention of fitting this at the bottom of the coving to act as a curtain rail for a mozzie net. In the end we decided it was simply ugly. There is a convenient small gap between the coving panel and the bodywork into which we can slide a net suspended on magnets. Also we have decided not to trim the C post and found some suitable plugs for the holes so now we can attach the back of a net again with magnets. So now all we need is a fixing down the B post, i.e. magnets, Velcro or pop studs. Watch this space.

The gap between the uprights of seat bed when it is a seat has been finished off with a flap. Fixed to one side it has magnets on the other that cling to the frame. When you drop the bed the flap simply slides off. Simple and effective so you can’t see our luggage under the seat.

The storage cubby holes at the back of the kitchen have plenty of room for the washing up liquid and dish cloths beside the sink. They are lit with short LED strips on the same circuit as the roof lights. The back wall now has its cupboard door and 2 neat Southco pop out hooks convenient for the toilet & shower.

Back in September last, that would be about week -14, I spoke to Planar Heaters about using their Binar 5S as an occasional direct water heater. They told me it would work fine so when the time came I ordered one. So now I have fitted it only to find that they were wrong and it won’t. After several days of evening emails (they don’t answer their land line and the “tech” guy seems only to be part time) it turns out that I do need heat exchangers, circulating pumps and header tanks, all the things I wanted to avoid. Lesson learned and won’t be going back to them. Anyhow now I have a Webasto type 22 plate heat exchanger, expansion tank and pressure vessel and spent the weekend redoing the plumbing. All that is left is to add longer combustion and exhaust pipes and redo the electrical connections.

You will see from my post yesterday “Van Wolf Graphics” that the van has been off to have its graphics applied and is looking every bit the smart touring van.

This week we sent the V5c off to DVSA to get the body type changed to “Motor Caravan”, that should be back in a week or two. I have been worrying about the overall weight and with good cause as it turns out. I took the van down to the local public weigh bridge to get a ticket and it is 3280kg. There is about 50Kg left to add but when you add us, our food, clothes, general paraphernalia and a tank of water will be a couple of hundred kilos overweight. I think the problem is that the original weight can be anywhere between 2150kg and 2450kg depending on the van spec. I have been assuming 3250kg but it looks like it was likely to have been hearer 2450kg. Another lesson, weigh the original vehicle before you start work. Although the van is plated at 3500kg (the limit that younger folk can drive without passing another test and the limit before a taco is required on a commercial vehicle) the front axle is rated at 1800kg and the rear 2100kg so potentially 3900kg. So on Tuesday I will put in a call to SVTech to get the plate uprated to 3900kg.

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