Might Re-Selfbuild our van. Thoughts on this design?

Discussion in 'Self-Build Motorhomes' started by Wissel, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Just had an idea ... what about a flame effect screen saver on a tablet mounted on the side of the bed base! :D If you train him to touch it with his paw he could even turn it on himself!!! :ROFLMAO:
     
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  2. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Bits are starting to arrive :)

    IMG_20171128_150441.jpg
    The worksurface looks and feels like slate. At only 12.5mm thick it's light as well. Then the sink:
    IMG_20171128_150516.jpg
    Again, nice and light, but big which is what she wanted :)

    Some of the 12v electrics arrived as well:
    IMG_20171128_152907.jpg
    The plan is to divide the van into 3 sections, and have a separate fuse board and negative busbar in each section. Each of these sections will have 10mm cable running to them (positive and negative) to minimise voltage drop.

    The isolater is to shut all van electrics off from 12v.
     
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  3. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Decided to finish work this morning and close everything down for Christmas. I'm not sure having free time is a good thing for me :)

    Anyway, I fired up the van design. Something that's been bugging me for a while, is what to do with the space between the oven and the dividing wall. marked in red below.
    MH_5_Cutlery-Drawer_Marked.jpg
    We need this 100mm gap, otherwise there's a risk the hob could burn the wall. Of course it would have a door, but I couldn't decide what to do with the space.

    Then it hit me. At the moment, our cutlery drawer would be quite low, below the sink. Why not design an upright cutlery drawer.

    This is what I've come up with:
    Knives-and-Cutlery-Drawer.jpg
    From above, there will be square plastic inserts for normal cutlery. Then behind this (built into the same block of wood) will be a custom made knives rack to suit our knives.

    This unit will be 900mm high, so below the knives will be two 100mm deep box drawers for other cooking implements.

    The whole unit will be on side mounted, fully extending runners. This will make it easy to get at everything, plus it will be able to be extended across the van whilst cooking to stop the dog going backwards and forwards.

    I can't start the van refit until the end on Jan as we need to use the van. So I've started building some of the bits to go into it instead. I think this one will keep me busy for a few days :)

    What do you think?

    Also, I'd like to build the knives rack and cutlery inserts out of a single piece of wood. Any suggestions on what wood to use for this? Usually I'd use an oak, but thinking of weight. Thanks.
     
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  4. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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  5. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Yep, loads :)

    Almost every detail is now planned (thankfully)
    Lot's of the parts are here
    Started stripping out the current van
    Built a workshop to do the build
    Van is in garage at moment to make sure any mechanics are perfect before start
    Once it's back I'll be systematically un-wiring each part of the vans electrics, de-oxidising, cleaning and re-wiring (want electrics perfect)
    Then I need to do a little bodywork and paintwork touching up
    Then add the new solar panels
    Waste water tank is going back to Barrett to have 32mm waste connectors fitted
    New plywood should be here next week, along with the vinyl I'll be covering it in and the sealers, glues etc
    BMS for LiFePO4 is on it's way from Netherlands
    Internet is sorted
    Adding a few security features which are all organised
    Plus tons more lol
     
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  6. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    I've been thinking for a while about a way of winter-proofing my underslung water tanks. These are my tanks:


    Thinking along the lines of making a plywood box around the tanks, that also covers where the pipework goes through the floor. Basically one big box, that houses everything water wise underneath.

    I'm thinking ply as I'm good with it, I could then fibreglass it and stone-chip it.

    It could be fixed via the existing tank hangers that hold the tanks up, which would leave a 25mm gap between the tanks and the box to insulate. It would also be fixed and sealed to the underside of the van.

    To stop the tanks from freezing, I'd divert the heating from the van into the box (the same way as it's done on twin-floor motorhomes).

    Not been under to take a look, but would need to do something with handbrake cable at least.

    What you all think?

    By the way, it's all go now. Ordered loads of the stuff I need today, including the vinyl I'll cover the ply with to make the furniture. Off in the morning to pick up the ply and a few other bits, then building a makeshift workshop in the afternoon :)
     
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  7. Sue

    Sue Funster

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    Sorry, don't mean to sabotage the thread, hopefully this will help anyway...
    We have a IH rear lounge, love it ...but found it cold in the mountains in Spain in November...how do you keep warm over winter in yours?
     
  8. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    Hi Sue, my glib response is, it’s toasty enough out on the drive with a frost heater on inside!:D and we’re not in it.
    Weve only done some late autumn early spring in uk but just about to try out Spain in March. Not exactly overwintering in mountains.
    We don’t do cold weather as husband can’t keep extremities warm. Obviously we would have to keep the heater on gas if stuck somewhere that cold. We carry 2 Bromptons under the bed so we do not even carry silver screens.
     
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  9. CazPaul

    CazPaul Funster

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    Good idea to insulate, you need to have a lever to turn the heat off and on when you require it, will the fresh and waste drain valves also be inside the heated box?
     
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  10. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Cheers CazPaul. I can't think of a good way of having the taps inside the housing? I should b able to get it so only about 20cm exposed to the elements I think. Not perfect, but better than now. Think I need to jack the van up and spend a bit of time under there. When the weather improves :D2

    A gate on the pipe will sort directing the warm air I think, and tanks will both have temp monitoring.
     
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  11. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Next update video for anyone interested. Make-shift workshop time, lot's of bit s arrived etc...
     
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  12. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Hoping to get on with my build next week, so thought I'd better finalise my bed frame deign.

    I want the bed base to lift on ottoman hinges and give access to our lay flat wardrobes below.
    I also want the headboard to incline for day use.

    This is what I've come up with and would like opinions on:
    Lift-up-headrest-mechanism.jpg
    The wardrobe bit will only be where the ottoman hinges are. The bit under the headboard will be accessed from the rear of the vehicle (a second boot for clean items).

    The lift-up incline mechanism will be the same sort of design as an old style deck chair.

    On top of the frame will be 12mm plywood and in two parts:

    Lift-up-headrest-mechanism-with-bed-base.jpg

    The ply above the headrest will be joined to the incline frame. There will be a finger hole at the top of each bed to incline the headrest.

    When the wardrobe is accessed, the bit of mattress covering the headrest will lift without the base below it (so will just hang in the air).

    The mattress will be cut half way through at the join point. This should make lifting the headrest easy, without leaving a join that could be uncomfortable to sleep on.

    On top of the ply base will be Froli springs.

    Think that's everything. Have I missed anything or does this design have an obvious flaw?

    Thanks.
     
  13. two

    two Funster

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    I think the mattress might split at the join because it will be weak there. Maybe wait and see how stiff/flexible it is, first, before cutting part way through.

    Agree that two separate bases might not be so comfy to sleep on, especially if it’s where your elbow would be when rolling over.

    I’d raise the hinge side of the ottoman top, to contain the mattress when raised.

    Draw the bed lift again. It won’t work as you’ve shown it.
     
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  14. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    My idea on the mattress is to use the type I have now. It's (from memory) 75mm of quite a dense foam with 25mm of memory foam on top. The idea is to cut through the dense foam only.

    I have some here so can give this a go before ordering more.

    I did originally have the whole bed base lifting, but think I will run into trouble when inclining due to fulcrum. I want the head to incline in one action (so want the base and incline frame attached), but guess I could think about a small sliding mount.

    Your last point took me a minute :)

    I've altered the design so the lift frame finished 50mm back now.

    Thanks :)
     
  15. two

    two Funster

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    In addition:

    The plan does not match the elevation: The drop down spar is in different places (or, maybe the elevation is from the centre rather than the side).

    The hinge bolt for the drop down spar goes through the base as well.
     
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  16. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I've now worked out what you mean ... :D

    On the first lot of drawings the side view shows the support spar sandwiched between the fixed horizontal side piece and the rising bed base itself, but in the top view it shows it on the inside - IMV it needs to be sandwiched as in the side view otherwise the locating dowel won't be able to sit in the cut-outs.

    Also the spar 'pivot' dowel on the top view is shown as going right through the fixed horizontal side piece AND the rising bed base so it wouldn't move at all if you did that. :whistle:
     
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  17. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    You might find it easier to have the base mattress as a separate entity and use a memory foam topper as well - that way the mattress part could be cut into 2 and fixed to the base (Velcro?) so you don't end up having to manoeuvre it back into place if you lift the backrest support part or even delve into the ottoman/wardrobe. The memory foam one-piece section would then bend when you lifted the backrest support as they are much more pliable

    This would also mean you can leave the mattress section without a separate cover (ie just as you have it made originally) and just use one for the topper itself which means laundry would only entail removing and washing the topper cover. If you also had a 'full' topper cover, ie like a pillow case, you wouldn't end up having to keep tucking in the sheets etc after you've lifted the base up or have to try to strip the mattress itself which wouldn't be easy with a 'join' in it.
     
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  18. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I've been mulling over your 'lifting' mechanism and have come up with a stumbling block! When you lift the head end the mattress base itself will naturally want to 'slide' up as you do so (otherwise they would squish into each other) which means that if you do go with my idea of fixing the pieces of the mattress with Velcro etc won't work as is ... it would only be workable on the piece above the ottoman ... this also brings up the question that even if you don't fix the mattresses to the bases they may still not 'slide' easily ... when the head end is raised.

    The only solution I can come up with at the moment is for the base dowel of the lifting section to be able to slide backwards as the other end is raised ... with the front dowel going into notches as well, in a similar way that the rising end support does ... I've had a play with Powerpoint which I think explains it much better in images!

    bed 1.png bed 2.png

    I have some other ideas but its time for bed now so I'll have to leave it to another day!
     
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  19. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Thanks @Minxy Girl

    The mattress sliding shouldn't be an issue (I hope).

    There will be a gap of 10-15mm between the two base boards to allow the head piece to lift without catching the main base (same effect as your mattress drawing as head ply joined to lifting frame). This won't matter as the Froli system raises the mattress away from the gap.

    Then to lift the head, the mattress needs to be lifted slightly to get to the finger slot. As it will be lifted, it shouldn't snag on anything. Does that all make sense? (pre-coffee) o_O

    The mattress itself won't be able to move around, due to the solution I have designed to lift the wardrobe bit. I'll leave that for now though.
     
  20. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Been a good day today. New phone arrived, Van PC is finally finished and had an email from RoadPro - my charger has arrived and being dispatched today :)

    Oh. And this arrived :)
    Dometic PR4500 Small.jpg

    This is our new Dometic PR4500 electric awning and the mounting bracket. I sorted this out at the show in Feb :)

    This is the legless version with wind sensor. A little heavier than some awnings, but I've saved so much weight in other areas it's not an issue. Besides, this is what we wanted.

    It can be set up at the touch of a button (or remote), puts itself away if the wind gets up and will auto retract (along with the step) when we want to drive. Not having legs is a real bonus as we have to have our dog on a tether. In an earlier van he nearly broke the legs a few times.

    Now it's here I can fit it and order the remaining solar panels - wanted it fitted first to double check clearances as my roof is getting tight on space.

    Solar panels should only take a few days to get here, then full steam ahead with the build (can't wait to really throw myself into this) :)
     
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