Blimey. Reminds me how tough it is! But this time, my not-so-young apprentice is helping, so thats really good. Doesn’t save much time as there are a lot of lessons on new tools and the like, but its great to have room to work as a team.
We were supposed to start with some easy jobs:-
- Tow bar: Was pretty easy until the bumper cuts and electrical connection (see HERE)
- Electric step; Was pretty easy, until the final plastic bits didn’t fit and needed modifying (see HERE)
- Floor battening: Straight forward – floor was level ish, and lots of stixall, panel wipes, and wood battens made a nice frame work. Lots of time wasted making lots of 7&8 mm fillers to support the battens in the gaps. Then 25mm cellotex, then 9mm poplar ply, then altro flooring and trim
- Main rooflight frame: Easy to make, but you need to plan 1001 steps ahead as to how the ceiling will fit to it. You’ll see why in a month or 3!
- Fitting rear air suspension (see HERE)
But that was it! However, as we couldn’t do the skylight for a few weeks at least we decided to fit the side windows earlier than planned, which meant…
- Fitting side windows and vinyl
- ….(which meant doing the rear vinyl as practice!)
What has been clear, is preparation is king. Had we not had external sealant “just in case”, we could not have finished the step. Had we not had a spare bandsaw blade, we could not have finished the floor. And had we not had the converters socket parts ready, we’d not have been able to finish the tow bar. So in effect, the year+ of detailed buying of parts has paid off!
How did it go?
We need a rest already!
The floor is “simple” and complex Best seen by the pictures. Lots of cross battens (25×38) and then made into various boxed sections taking into account the walkways and where we will have most wieght.
In the ribs, we cut 7mm fillers to leave the cross sections fully supported, and all this is bonded with stixall. The door lip and step area is especially strong with the front batten being shaped to the floor.
Each section is then insulated with 7mm thermoliner in the recesses and 25mm cellotex on top, then vapour sealed with aluminium tape.
Once completed, its covered in 9mm poplar ply (hence the extra battens as it isn’t as strong as 12mm), and glued and screwed down. Screwholes then filled and sanded, and covered in altro flooring and finished off neatly.
The ply was scribed in 3 sections, and this was used as a template for the altro flooring.
Best seen with the pics. But in summary a frame made that matches the window, used as a template to mark the hole on the side
Van then taped up and covered in brown paper to avoid any chaffe getting on it, inside and out.
Jigsaw the hole. (with saftey goggles).. Sweat a lot, and check window fits after. Bond internal frame with stixall and clamp.
Then clean and vinyl wrap side. then fit window with dekaseal 8936 and clamp in. Lots of unique thought needs to go into frame and how you are going to finish off the window internally, and take this into account.
Not a fun job, bit rushed, but as long as you start small you can always buy a bigger window…..
Vinyl Wrap & Graphics
Not saying anything about this, the blog would be x-rated; Awful job esp if you are doing it outside, with dust, pollen and wind – and esp if you are doing it for the first time. All I can say is I did my best!
Now we are getting to know the van, its a mixed bag. The engine and cab are really good, seats brilliant, comfortable and lovely to drive, but there are some gripes
- One of the boxes on the seat was broken badly prior to us getting. Why? Bodged and covered up. Annoying
- One of the badges is half hanging off. Why? Caught by sponge by crap vallet?
- The paintwork already has micro scratches from using a dirty sponge. Really?! No excuse by the main dealer/crap vallet?
- Couple of scratches – covered up by what appears to be marker pen? Really? No excuse by dealer
- Couple of scratches not covered up…. Grrr
- Reported to dealer contact, and 2 weeks later, not had any response. Oh well.
- And a stone chip already….
- And inside the floor has scratched very easily. Makes us slightly concerned over the longevity and quality of the paintwork. Sure, it looks great, but underneath shows just a flash over a “white” base. Is this a white van resprayed? Or is that the primer? No idea. But it does suggests it will show marks off quite easily… We’ll be using low-tack tape when cutting holes, and hope that doesn’t pull the paint off!