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Discussion Starter #1
This was my 2013 Trafic as of the beginning of this year.



I've had the van two and a half years now and it has gone like clockwork, doing 40,000 miles around Scotland, France, Germany, Austria to name a few.







The original build thread is Here

Why am I rebuilding it? Firstly I want to add a fridge, solar, forced ventilation and a diesel heater and I also want to make the battery and water tanks underslung to save space and avoid hydrogen fumes from charging.

Apart from that I also want to fix all the niggles that have built up over 2 years.

It bothers me that the gas pipe under the stove is visible and can be knocked by taking stuff in and out of this cupboard. It has never leaked but I see it as a safety thing.



Talking about gas the gas locker while perfectly ok is shall we say a bit rustic and ideally should be metal, not wood.




The magnetic catches on the cupboards aren't good enough and want to fly open on roundabouts unless tied shut.



There is lots of under bed space but it's all in crates held with straps that are a bit annoying and prone to sliding around.

The inset doors are pretty, to my eyes anyway, but they waste a lot of space, plus the framework is too heavy. I want to make lighter and more spacious cabinets.

There are areas where the wiring is visible which I'd like to hide away.



I would also like the fusebox to be in the living space so I can isolate things in an emergency and also monitor battery voltage.

So there you go, a post mortem of sorts on a heavily used conversion. Not many people say how they're getting on with their vans so hopefully that interests some.

I don't want to lose sight of what is good about this van. I love the homemade panel doors, the dark wood, the homeliness. We have lived in this tiny space for 6 weeks at a time and the only bit we disliked was coming home. The insulation is great and the layout is totally practical. The bed and seat is more comfortable than being at home, thanks to the 140mm thick memory foam.

So, teardown and rebuild is to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Before ripping everything out I wanted to use the existing layout as a guideline to build a new bed.

The original bed uses thick timber and 200kg drawer slides. It's perfectly ok but I wanted something less chunky, heavy and creaky.

Time to get the sparkly stick out.







These are the base frames, onto which will go bearings that will support some slotted channel. This will act as a big slide.

I have to give credit to @Colin Appleby for this idea on his Build thread here.

I'm doing this differently as I'm mounting the channel on its side.











 

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Discussion Starter #3
One of the things that bugs me is the camper scene tax on really simple items that should cost pennies. Rock and roll bed offset hinges are one of them, as they're just a couple of quids worth of bent metal but they are often sold for up to £80 for a full set.

So I did a bit of cardboard aided design.





I also built a small metal bending tool which I found the plans for on Retro Rides. I could have just smacked the metal over the edge of a bench but this gives a nice crisp edge.







Tacked on an extra plate to help grip the wood and act as a corner bracket.







Attached to a test seat frame.

 

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I remember your first build and it takes a strong mind to start over again so will be keeping up to date reading this. Good work so far, lucky you can do welding, the bed frame looks great.
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks @robbra

At this stage I wasn't sure whether I was going for a diesel heater or propex so I wanted to build a gas box that was a couple of cm wider to take a larger gas bottle just in case. Again one of these things that cost over a hundred quid that can be made in an afternoon and a tenner of steel.





Couple of coats of paint.



Rubber top seal, regulator and bulkhead fitting added.



Since I still had the other furniture in place I could add brackets to secure it when it goes back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A new 100ah battery arrived so while the welding setup was out I started on the battery mount.












There is just enough room behind the main battery tray for this. It will bolt underneath the passenger seat.

There is a big loom connector and grommet under there that needs temporarily unplugged and fed over the mount.





There is already a grommet the perfect size for the positive cable that just needs pierced with a drill bit. Some of the other grommets got in the way so I pulled them out and covered the hole in flashing tape. The negative cable attaches to a bolt through the floor.





Changed the positive terminal for a quick release as it is fully insulated.. don't want any big sparks up there!



Lifted into place with a couple of jacks and some brick. A bit of a faff but it's easier to get back off than expected.







I've kicked it, shook it, been on a few drives down bumpy tracks and it's all good, doesn't move a millimetre.

I've relocated the split charge relay into the main battery box, and added a 40A isolator / trip switch. So that shaves another bit of wasted space off the living area.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Weldathon continues.













This is the waste water tank which will hang under the kitchen area next to the driver's side sill.

At this point I was going to crack ahead and make a fresh water tank but after doing a lot of reading about camper tanks and pipes turning nasty unless emptied and cleaned regularly I decided to stay with an onboard tank to keep the pipe runs short and simplify filling, emptying and cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ripping everything out



Under the water bottles is a total mess.





A good soak in bleach and then bake in the sun saved the floor.



A bit strange to be back to this point



Floor needs some TLC with a grinder and zinc paint. Also made a hole for the waste pipe here.



Waste outlet



Tank drilled, painted and then outlet fitted.






Drain valve. Made up some brackets to secure this to the chassis.



Tank fitted and drain pipe and valve attached.





Leak testing :)

 

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Really getting a move on. Leak testing with screenwash, that's novel ;)
Have you carpeted or was it hidden behind the units?
Getting back to the bare floor I've put 3mm foam has quietened the road noise a lot for about £15, I didn't like the flooring on bare metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm almost done now , just updating with pics I have taken over lockdown. The carpet was done in version 1 as at that time I was still contemplating going for removable pods rather than fitted units.

I almost bought 3mm foam, I'm not sure why I didn't just go ahead and do it now. I think I was put off by the state of the floor as my previous foam absorbed water. I was convinced at the time it was closed cell, but now I'm sure it was not as I actually had to wring it out after removal.

Thankfully all the recycled plastic bottle insulation I've found seems bone dry, so that was a good call at least!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Solar

I'm using an 80w flexible panel. Was going to bolt it on but in the end sikaflex was going to be 100x quicker and easier.

Roof cleaned and marked out.


Sikaflex 221 going on, leaving gaps for airflow under the panel.



Panel on



Junction box hole



Grommeted and pulled through behind driver's seat.







Quick hookup test.



Theoretically, this 80w panel should put out around 4A at noon but as the battery is brand new and sitting at 12.8v it's not pulling max amps. I tested the short circuit current (Isc) across the + and - cables of the panel using a multimeter and it gave around 3.5A later in the day so it sounds about right.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
New floor. Dunno why my old phone started taking dark photos all of a sudden.



Left the bolt heads for the tank free, and refitted the dropout



Meanwhile..

 

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Discussion Starter #14
The next bit is always a bit of trial and error as no matter how accurately I plan and measure it nothing ever fits the way it was intended. Thankfully I have the old furniture, worktop and hob to ease laying things out and arranging things for the best use of space.

The remote compressor is a great thing and allows me to keep my relatively narrow side units whilst having a fitted fridge. The stiff compressor pipe is a bit of a pain but my plan is always to combine multiple wasted spaces into one. The fusebox will go above the compressor and the sink, water inlet and drain will go next to the compressor pipe.







Old worktop in place for test fitting.




The fridge has absolutely no fitting brackets or feet which is bizarre for something meant for a vehicle. Never mind, a bit of head scratching gives this:



With the rough layout in place its wiring time.



Fusebox in progress



Fusebox fitted



The new water tank will be under the bed, so hose and wiring for the pump goes here

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content


Gas box panelled



Under the sink will have 2 drawers



Drawer and panel fronts in progress. As usual I am making everything the hard way from scratch





12v sockets above fridge



Test fitting



Rather than buy a worktop and chop most of it out for the hob, I made it by edge gluing timber with the hole in place.



Easier to do the cutout this time round with a proper router



Round profile run over the edge



Some adjustment required but not too bad. I have made everything adjustable for final alignment.



Drawers were built with push button catches.



Also knocked up a door for the electrical compartment, and yet another test fitting.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
First bit of gas pipe plumbed in. This is 1000x easier and neater with a pipe bending spring and a dremel to cut the pipe.



Bed going in. Here is the new location for the water tank. It has always been a bit of wasted space so it's a good place for it.





New panel for beside the bed. The cupboards will not stand on the floor thus time but rest partly on this, which will give an extra storage shelf.





Cabinet beginnings. Using much lighter wood this time.







Grooves routed in the uprights to hold the door catches



Making up panel doors.



 

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Stained the doors and added push button catches. These things are great, one of the few camper - specific things I have bought that actually work really well.



As you can see I'm going dark again. I prefer dark real wood over laminated ply. This is a dark walnut finish.

They are held on with soft close overlay hinges.





End panels.



Doors need adjusted, but getting there

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Finished front put on the bed



Added a push button catch to the bed but it isn't strong enough to hold it. I'll come back to this problem.



Built a big drawer for under the bed.







Also built a couple of doors for the water cupboard and the nook beside the door.



They are held on with magnets as there's not enough clearance for hinges.

The lid for the gas box is another bit of edge glued timber with a profile on the front.



These are solenoid catches. The plan was to use these to lock the bed up, and press a button to release it.



They work pretty well. The only downside is they are not powerful enough to release if there is a weight on the catch, so you have to push the bed in a bit for them to release. I have stronger ones on their way from China.

 

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Hinged the door on the electrical compartment.



Here are the bed hinges in action. They lift the centre sections up and out so that the mattress foam doesn't collide and squash.



Cushions refitted



Feeling like home again.

Finishing touches being put back on. I need to restain this wood as it's slightly different (rosewood) but it's not too bad.







Glued the rubber stops into the hob unit. This smev unit is utter, total crap and everything breaks constantly. Don't buy one! These stops used to fall out daily. I've had to repair the igniter, the thermocouples, the burners, the spark pins, who knows what else. It still never lights 50% of the time and you have to keep lighters handy. If you get water on the pot stands it just leaks underneath. Given how expensive it is it should be so much better.



However it does look nice.

 
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