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Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:08 PM
So, thought I might start a thread on something thatís been simmering in the background - earlier this year I bought a 2007 Mercedes Benz Printer 515. Now, we were looking for something a bit different to what we ended up with, but after we found this, it was too good to pass up.

Plan was to buy a high top van of some description and convert it into a small camper/motorhome. We have other options for off road, etc - Good tent setup that goes in the Hilux, the 101 for touring and we wanted something comfortable for 2WD type of work - I have a good caravan, but hate towing it even though it tows fine, thereís a thread here somewhere on that - a 1969 Vicount Duralvan, but itís on borrowed time as I just donít enjoy towing stuff - have done it for years but pretty much over it to be honest.

There is no perfect setup and always compromises which a motor home certainly is but itís also a damn site easier to take away for a weekend or a week and drive it around - yes, it can limit movement once at a site, but itís also easy to drive, sits on the speed limit and ready to go when you pull up - so fits the bill for a lot of things we do now.

Now, things didnít go as planed - The vehicle in question already had a professionally built body on the back by Rambler in Melbourne and was used for 10 years as Loctiteís Engineering Services Vehicle - basically it was set up as a small mobile classroom to teach people about their products - it was also used at trade shows, etc as well.

Given its use, or lack thereof, this ended up at an Auction house that usually on sells cars from a couple of lease companies - this was a lease vehicle and at 10 years they had a new (almost identical) one built which they currently use.

So this ended up sitting out the back looking for new home and was outside what this company usually do, and we decided to take a look. Odometer showed 60,000KM on the clock and the interior was immaculate - I mean, showroom new and no wear whatsoever. They allowed me to take it to a local Sprinter specialist as I wanted to know if the KM, etc were all legit - turns out it was and they told me they hadnít seen an 07 model this good since around 2008 and everything checked out. I made and offer and it came home with us, including RWC and rego - wonít say how much but around the same price as a budget new car from Hyundai or Kia which will give you an idea.

So, itís a very nice vehicle that drives really well and can sit on the speed limit without issue - Cabin is super comfy and freezing cold AC too, so a nice place to be (a bit different to the 101) 😁

Pics to follow shorty - Iím a fair way into the build, so can catch you up to where Iím at currently pretty quick. Covid is also making sure I can spend plenty of time working on him before we can go out again (Have been on a five night outing already between lockdowns and itís brilliant to camp out of) 😊😁

grey_ghost
15th August 2020, 06:14 PM
Geez you are a bit slow on the pics Gav!

Sheesh [emoji15][emoji6][emoji3]

Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:25 PM
So this is what he looked like the first time we saw him.

Outside
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228351136_6eb36bada5_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvqS5)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvqS5) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Inside Front
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50227708938_e2d78eaaae_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jws8XG)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2jws8XG) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Inside rear
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228570822_7e6676a124_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwyaL)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwyaL) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Has an inbuilt 3KVA Honda Genset (more on this later - will probably be removed)
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228570817_5c047e10b4_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwyaF)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwyaF) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:26 PM
Geez you are a bit slow on the pics Gav!

Sheesh [emoji15][emoji6][emoji3]

Had to remember my Flickr password... [bigwhistle]

Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:38 PM
What he looked like when new - these are the only photos Iíve been able to find - taken when getting the aero kit fitted.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228351111_3fdf2f4cd7_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvqRD)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvqRD) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50227708933_1f4d95c450_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jws8XB)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2jws8XB) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:47 PM
So, onto the build. Given that we had heaps of room to play with, it was worked out that a good sized kitchen, queen bed and shower/toilet area would easily fit.

First job was to install some windows and a vent - some high end caravan windows with inbuilt blinds and flyscreens were chosen.

The frame of the body is steel box section lined with 9mm ply - this was all removed from the top of the welded vinyl upwards (the vinyl is still in top condition so was decided to keep that). The ply was replaced with 3mm composite - lightens up the interior no end, is lighter than the ply and the gloss white surface is the look we are after and is easy to maintain. Walls are already insulted to keep condensation at bay.

Stripped out wall, window opening cut.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228386866_149684f41b_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBu7)26C7665C-A563-4685-A1B1-48CD7F0D2FD0 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBu7) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Composite installed and windows in.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228386806_7f5fed6093_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBt5)DFDA34B2-1D60-41FF-8A84-88836E6FA4A4 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBt5) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

And the other side.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228386221_40cbedce59_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBhZ)42A27064-EC89-402F-87F3-11694F9B0BD3 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBhZ) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228606092_48c9362d85_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJDS)87EE4216-A50E-434B-B434-66AB325D81D0 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJDS) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228605952_7507d751f9_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJBs)C38D9D11-C849-4323-8A80-0821EC751A21 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJBs) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:50 PM
With half the windows in, we fitted the kitchen quickly and took off for a 5 night trip to Alexandra. Hereís a quick Stan set up at the Showgrounds - the Awning was also already there - itís not brilliant but it works.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228606432_03764c92f5_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJKJ)90CBFB1D-2475-4AFF-8EAC-AA25B9B95E24 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJKJ) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Homestar
15th August 2020, 06:55 PM
The existing cupboards and drawers are exceptionally well made so we reused them, but relocated them - they now are the base of the kitchen bench with a sink and 2 burner stove on a hardwood bench top that has 8 Coats of varnish.

Shown here temporarily installed for our trip.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228386651_601ce8e128_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBqp)7CED7643-580E-458C-A687-118CB2224F7E (https://flic.kr/p/2jwvBqp) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228606662_f716680122_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJPG)67A2648C-3B58-424E-8804-B35D75E4AFAD (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJPG) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50228606727_2acfa0b62b_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJQP)11F2E38F-194F-4369-8B22-1C0231C75D90 (https://flic.kr/p/2jwwJQP) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

You can see the new composting toilet in the background - that is getting fully built in currently with the shower in a waterproof room.

Thatís all for now - will update in a few days when the shower area is fully complete. 👍

Homestar
19th August 2020, 05:31 PM
A bit more done today, but before I get to that, for those interested hereís a quick run down on the power.

Van came with a good 240 volt setup, with 3KVA Honda electric start gen and a manual transfer switch. Iíve reused all of this although if the genset doesnít get used in the first few outings, then it will be removed and the space utilised for something else. Itís only use may be the AC on a stinking hot day, but apart from that, it could be used in quick bursts for the microwave, boiling a kettle, etc.

There was no 12 volt system for the back at all, so I have wired in a 12 volt switchboard, with float charger and isolator. Power comes from 2 x 100Ah Full River AGMís at the moment that are located under the passenger seat. These will get replaced with a Lithium at some stage. Yet to be installed is the solar system - this will consist of around 600 watts I think - whatever will fit on the roof.

A couple of pics.
240 volt
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50243835522_bf946f0552_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jxSMQf)1A3AE973-9976-4FAF-A158-6DFEFBA31E82 (https://flic.kr/p/2jxSMQf) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

12 volt
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50242989963_9fb89616e6_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jxNstD)9AED1E49-C0E4-4806-B2CC-EA3A79D6BDF0 (https://flic.kr/p/2jxNstD) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Homestar
19th August 2020, 05:42 PM
And so to todays work. Finished off the last bathroom wall so I can start installing the kitchen permanently tomorrow.

Frame in.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50243835687_959b1d5c40_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jxSMT6)AE86AB2E-D0B1-4849-A2FA-876B27286525 (https://flic.kr/p/2jxSMT6) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

After rebuilding 3 old caravans, and knowing nothing is square, templating is mandatory if you want a good fit.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50242989798_b3dd3067ff_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jxNsqN)CA25EF04-E504-406E-9A21-E401314F15A7 (https://flic.kr/p/2jxNsqN) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

The results are worth it.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50243626606_4d97456ad9_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jxRHJf)70D17685-E19A-4646-8A94-858959A9EAA2 (https://flic.kr/p/2jxRHJf) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50243626531_75c10e92b6_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jxRHGX)D70697AE-C24A-477F-9FD0-5BE7E1784A54 (https://flic.kr/p/2jxRHGX) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Should have the cabinets in tomorrow with some luck, will see how I go. 😊👍

grey_ghost
19th August 2020, 06:11 PM
Looking snazzy [emoji1303][emoji3]

Homestar
20th August 2020, 05:07 PM
More done today, but what follows will be it for now, have a few other things that need my attention this week.

First cupboard back in permanently - plumbing required that I wonít have good access to also done. The water pump, accumulator and filter will all life under this cupboard with easy access by removal of the kick panel.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50246962721_394c2c44bf_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jy9Prt)446FCD37-BECF-4FB3-982F-8FA8A72C787B (https://flic.kr/p/2jy9Prt) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Also modified this cupboard to fit a pull out rubbish bin.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50247168547_992a3bf0bb_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jyaSCc)AAD92382-CF0D-4304-8686-021C064770FA (https://flic.kr/p/2jyaSCc) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Drawer base back in and bench top back on.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50246962511_a6b754ee50_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jy9PnR)11E405F3-27EB-416C-BB39-A03B4669094D (https://flic.kr/p/2jy9PnR) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50247168362_4e7978f889_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jyaSz1)BA1C04C9-D5C9-4F46-B639-B4697073ED69 (https://flic.kr/p/2jyaSz1) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50247168267_0e2630b096_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jyaSxn)8C7B7221-9D4D-4153-BCF4-7B432B2F9523 (https://flic.kr/p/2jyaSxn) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Thatís about the last of the major structural work so I can bring a lot of the stuff back in now. Still have some cupboards and shelves to put in, but they wonít make the mess all this has caused.

DiscoMick
20th August 2020, 05:50 PM
That looks very promising.
How are you going to do the shower - install some kind of standard shower module? I'm assuming tiles would be too heavy.
Will the suspension need upgrading because of the extra weight? Maybe airbags?

Homestar
20th August 2020, 07:32 PM
Hi mate, the shower will be a custom base made from form ply, sealed then topped with vinyl tiles. I did this in my caravan and itís worked great. Will post some details when I do this. All panelling is aluminium composite panel and is fully waterproof so walls are all done just by making them. 👍

Suspension is fine as it is, although weight is a consideration, itís not that critical and just being sensible will see it under its GVM. Iíve got around 400kg to play with at the moment, plus another 120 if I remove the generator, so all good there. The Sprinter 515 in this variant has a 5000kg GVM. 👍

The body is a heavy steel framed unit which isnít ideal but workable, and it sits on 100 just fine as it is so itís mechanically up to the task in all areas.

Homestar
30th September 2020, 04:30 PM
So a big step forward today - to get the vehicle registered and insured as a Motorhome (Much cheaper insurance and better cover) I needed the Gas and Electrics signed off. Given I did the wiring and am an Electrician Iíve already done a certificate of Electrical Safety for it, but needed the pros in to do the gas fitting to get a gas compliance certificate.

Stove top and HWS is all plumbed in and working like a treat. Went for an instantaneous gas unit as Iíve never liked having storage units in vans, etc - seems a waste when you may only use the hot water a couple of times a day.

Heats up to 50 degrees in a matter of seconds and the controller allows easy adjustment of the temp so having a shower is a set and forget exercise - just turn the tap on full and youíre done. [emoji106]

So next job is the water and grey water tanks but Stan is now fully usable for the time being at a Caravan Park, etc. Hopefully have the water tanks, grey water tank and solar done before the lockdown has finished so he will be ready for free camping. [emoji106]

loanrangie
30th September 2020, 05:38 PM
Looking good Gav, we've stayed at the Alexandra show grounds a few times at Easter with the whole family.

grey_ghost
30th September 2020, 06:00 PM
Gav - I am picking the 101 up this weekend... When lockdown ends... ROAD TRIP!

Homestar
30th September 2020, 06:03 PM
Gav - I am picking the 101 up this weekend... When lockdown ends... ROAD TRIP!

Hell yeah!!!

Homestar
11th October 2020, 05:08 PM
Spend more than a few hours on Stan this weekend - on the overhead shelf in the kitchen. Not cupboards but an open shelf for some baskets to sit on - given we have everything we need day to day in the cupboards below, we can keep lighter, less used items up there.

The style weíve done it in is in line with the rest of the build - light, contemporary and open - trying hard not to make it look like an old peopleís home that almost all new motorhomes seem to look like, and I think weíve done that.

Originally was going to make the frames out of timber but that soon turned pear shaped so I scrapped that idea and made them from aluminium which also gave me an opportunity to brush up my AC TIG skills. As they say - ďA grinder and paint make me the welder I ainítĒ. No stack of dimes look here, I can almost get a run going but not well enough to leave the grinder on the bench... 😁

There are cables holding up the brackets in between each basket, the whole lot including the baskets weighs bugger all, so wonít effect the centre of gravity much at all - weíre trying hard to keep all the weight low.

A few pics, there will be a bungy cord holding the baskets in place during transit as well as some caps Iím waiting on to cap the ends of the 3 open brackets. Also the RH peg board is hanging there as we havenít worked out the height of that yet - need the splash back up to do that.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50448716458_0e64ba8da7_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jRYRNb)8258ED57-9DEB-4F06-8F36-4CBDF5BC3711 (https://flic.kr/p/2jRYRNb) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50449410136_d1f7110423_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jS3q19)F23FF739-5574-4624-9066-AB2EF35E341D (https://flic.kr/p/2jS3q19) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50448716588_565809f722_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jRYRQq)C2FFF485-C581-4489-8733-A60A50FF4432 (https://flic.kr/p/2jRYRQq) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

So, the splash back is next and this will pretty much finish the kitchen area completely apart from a few small bits and some tweaks.

Pedro_The_Swift
12th October 2020, 05:29 AM
Looks great,, hopefully that splashback is flame resistant!

Homestar
12th October 2020, 07:03 AM
It is - will be tiled so will end up like any stove top in a house. It also meets minimum clearance to the burner - the Gas fitter measured this as it forms part of the Gas Compliance Certificate I have for it. [smilebigeye]

DiscoMick
12th October 2020, 08:57 AM
Looking good.

Homestar
15th October 2020, 07:09 PM
Splash back tiles in, will grout them tomorrow, then seal all the edges and I can call the kitchen done. 👍

There is a smaller Ďappliance nookí still to be finished, which Iíll get onto this weekend. That only needs some composite and a bench top mounting, all the power, etc is done in there. Wonít have the fridge to put under it until I can get back to my caravan which is at the In-laws farm, but hopefully heading down there as soon as lockdown is over for a weekend away.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50487917712_6376bdc17a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jVrLXS)F571D5A9-8041-4EE5-9413-CF4AFDE08381 (https://flic.kr/p/2jVrLXS) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50487766616_5319320f4f_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jVr13L)4630C3AB-3E34-477A-88F6-45ED39903724 (https://flic.kr/p/2jVr13L) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

The grout will help bring out the look of the individual tiles. Pretty bloody happy with it overall. 😊👍

4bee
15th October 2020, 07:18 PM
Gav, the original "White Van Man".

Doing a great job there Gav.:TakeABow::TakeABow::clap2:

cripesamighty
15th October 2020, 08:39 PM
I take my hat off to you. Looks outstanding.

Homestar
29th October 2020, 05:37 PM
Got a bit more done and will be spending a lot of the long weekend on it as we are going away on the 13th for a couple of nights away with some of the GFís friends.

Grouting done on tiles but now I look at this pic some tidying up still needs doing.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542540248_586aef1bd6_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJkJ)6D8D1645-2AC5-4760-8861-7F338C8CED53 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJkJ) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Shower plumbing and in fact all water is now complete - still have some waste piping to do, but more on that later. Ceiling still to be completed.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542540333_0fd3b0782f_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJnc)90DF8E05-D3F5-4E05-8C22-57B3AD69E413 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJnc) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Tap and shower head is where it is so itís not in the way when using the loo and they are still in a functional position. Also designed so hose can be secured easily for transport so the hose doesnít mark the composite.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542550373_2572ea292c_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gMmi)8004F0FC-E3E4-4691-ACEF-2C8B2EF013CD (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gMmi) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Also the appliance nook is nearing completion and should be finished this weekend. Just have a bit of composite to mount under the bench top and a shelf to make above the microwave - the spot next to that is where the coffee machine will go. Shelf will fold over the microwave and coffee machine to secure them for transport.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50543268241_5ee00bebe1_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1ksKk)EDA0EC25-45F2-48B4-B808-17473A28A6A6 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1ksKk) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542540273_45307f0d31_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJma)26F5D3EC-20CF-4922-8AEC-A506B9AB8827 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJma) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

4bee
29th October 2020, 06:45 PM
Got a bit more done and will be spending a lot of the long weekend on it as we are going away on the 13th for a couple of nights away with some of the GFís friends.

Grouting done on tiles but now I look at this pic some tidying up still needs doing.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542540248_586aef1bd6_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJkJ)6D8D1645-2AC5-4760-8861-7F338C8CED53 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJkJ) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Shower plumbing and in fact all water is now complete - still have some waste piping to do, but more on that later. Ceiling still to be completed.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542540333_0fd3b0782f_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJnc)90DF8E05-D3F5-4E05-8C22-57B3AD69E413 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJnc) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Tap and shower head is where it is so itís not in the way when using the loo and they are still in a functional position. Also designed so hose can be secured easily for transport so the hose doesnít mark the composite.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542550373_2572ea292c_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gMmi)8004F0FC-E3E4-4691-ACEF-2C8B2EF013CD (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gMmi) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Also the appliance nook is nearing completion and should be finished this weekend. Just have a bit of composite to mount under the bench top and a shelf to make above the microwave - the spot next to that is where the coffee machine will go. Shelf will fold over the microwave and coffee machine to secure them for transport.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50543268241_5ee00bebe1_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1ksKk)EDA0EC25-45F2-48B4-B808-17473A28A6A6 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1ksKk) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50542540273_45307f0d31_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJma)26F5D3EC-20CF-4922-8AEC-A506B9AB8827 (https://flic.kr/p/2k1gJma) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr



I trust one doesn't need reach above their head for the dunny paper & turn on the shower instead.[bigrolf]


You're going great guns there Gav.:TakeABow:

Homestar
29th October 2020, 07:17 PM
Well, I canít be held responsible if that happens.... 😇

But no, the loo is opposite this. Might do a short video this weekend as Iíll be Ďdressingí the van for its insurance photos I need to do, so will look fairly complete by Tuesday hopefully - 4 day weekend coming up. 👍

bemm52
30th October 2020, 09:27 PM
Hell yeah!!!

just catching up on this thread looks the goods. Poke your heads into Bemm if borders are closed and your doing a road trip nice bit of the world, plenty of room to park for you and GG

Cheers Paul

Homestar
30th October 2020, 09:56 PM
Would love to - Mumís just moved to Paynesville from Lake Tyers Beach so we do get down that way from time to time - havenít been down your way in quite a while although I used to camp around there quite a bit many moons ago. 👍

DiscoMick
31st October 2020, 08:25 AM
Looks great, but have you weighed this van yet?

Homestar
31st October 2020, 02:01 PM
Looks great, but have you weighed this van yet?

Thanks - Yes, still got hundreds of Kgís up my sleeve with us both in it and loaded for a trip. Also just removed the 120Kg gen so I think I have about 600Kg still to go - itís a 5,000kg truck chassis so Iím not going to run into issues like people do with their 4WD or caravans etc. [emoji4][emoji106]

Still have a 120 litre water tank to go into it so thatís probably the biggest chunk left to do, so should still have some wiggle room once itís all done.

Homestar
7th November 2020, 09:31 PM
So got quite a bit more done - the main bit being the shower base which took quite a while as I had to install the diesel heater first. To give you some idea of why the shower is like this, the toilet sits in top of the old generator enclosure which comes up around 240mm up from the floor in the corner of the van. This meant I really needed to extend this area so using the loo would work, so bringing the shower base up to this height made sense.

Also note that the shower is likely to be used a dozen times a year or so, so itís not like youíd build one at home although I have used this method before and it works well, although I used different materials.

So, to make the shower base work and be at a similar height to the loo, I first needed to had a solid surround, so used 18mm form ply and cut 4 pieces to line the edges. The front piece is cut out underneath to allow access to underneath where the heater lives.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50574895728_0fc199fb91_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yuQ)B865B00A-2B75-499B-9C8B-3BFCB62093C8 (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yuQ) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Next cut another piece of form ply to fit the space.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50574895798_2a0ee7ffd6_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yw3)A890EF4D-2536-4F94-8D51-26265997F63C (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yw3) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Once the drain location is known based on how the waste can be run, I marked up the board, cut where the waste was then marked and cut the board from each corner to the waste hole.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50575768772_b102c77900_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k4d32j)CE0662B5-A2EE-47B4-913F-E1E8AECD7098 (https://flic.kr/p/2k4d32j) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

The sides have plenty of support so now the centre does too, so a quick rat through my scrap steel pile had me find some bits to make the following.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50574895483_197f59d84c_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yqB)40FD9EB1-4768-4F1D-BADC-7ED5411F507A (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yqB) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Once the drain for the centre support was made, it was installing into Stan and all the waste plumbing done - the sink in the kitchen and the shower now run to one point which can be either piped to a waste in a caravan park etc or switched to an internal grey water tank (still to be installed)
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50575768702_e703013a2b_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k4d317)0DE7837B-B766-4F8D-9002-D14D7F0CF601 (https://flic.kr/p/2k4d317) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Then the support mounted.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50575631246_7105d159e1_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k4ck9b)14E64F07-765D-42F9-BB42-1E832A5C5D7A (https://flic.kr/p/2k4ck9b) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

The diesel heater was then fitted and fully installed (just in time for Summer.. 😏 ) and the top boards screwed into position giving a 20mm fall from all sides to the waste. The gaps were purposefully left fairly large so the could be glued together with PU. Once that has set up, the base will be waterproofed and the have vinyl tiles stuck on - should last ok in the application.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50574895393_dda356de2b_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yp4)74916675-34C0-4CD1-ADB5-90D2C84749E0 (https://flic.kr/p/2k48yp4) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

A shot from underneath.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50575768477_b0cf635475_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2k4d2We)F80C4422-2FC3-41F7-9244-9CBB9D664CEE (https://flic.kr/p/2k4d2We) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

So hopefully will get the tanking and tiles down in the next couple of days if I have time but itís coming along well.

Homestar
16th February 2021, 06:50 PM
Another lockdown, some more work done. This time getting the first water tank fitted. Weíve just camped with friends at caravan parks and Showgrounds so far but we have a long weekend coming and if we arenít locked down weíll be spending 3 nights free camping for the first time. Water is the biggest job so have tackled that first.

Now, thereís plenty of room up under Stans skirts - enough room to fit 3 x 80 odd litre tanks - but all need unique mounting methods given I have to fit these with everything else in place. Going to start with 1 x 85 litre water tank and can add another if needed.

Brackets need to be bolted up, then the tank offered up, so the only way to do this is with some detachable bases to the brackets so the tank can go in then be secured. Made up some hinge type things on the lathe and welded them up.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50948346038_f0c576f7c3_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2kC8Agh)7787B85E-4590-492A-86AE-B0C7159A06E5 (https://flic.kr/p/2kC8Agh) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

Found a good spot for the filler too that is out of the way and didnít require any new holes drilling.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50949050551_c8c618aa54_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2kCccG4)F19CECB7-A58F-4B9F-B866-B850B320ACD5 (https://flic.kr/p/2kCccG4) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

And can still fill it fine with the steps down.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50949150247_7d49095a9b_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2kCcHjX)01ED5B1A-48BF-4010-8107-C77B9945C656 (https://flic.kr/p/2kCcHjX) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

And very secure when packed away.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50948346103_34ef726dbd_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2kC8Ahp)F2D35BCF-692F-4C54-87BD-F242BEEE4ED7 (https://flic.kr/p/2kC8Ahp) by Gavin Gregory (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150806513@N06/), on Flickr

All plumbed up through a pressure pump and accumulator. Almost silent running too. Will run a test on the shower to see what sort of consumption a short tub will use.

Homestar
2nd March 2021, 06:43 PM
So all the good gear from the Caravan is now in Stan. Lithium battery, Victron Solar controller, Victron battery management and the 90 litre Engel. Just have to stick some solar panels on the roof but that will be a while yet. Have a 120 watt portable panel I can use if needed although I think the Lithium battery will get me 3 days and nights without recharge - will find out on the weekend. [emoji106]

Pedro_The_Swift
3rd March 2021, 05:54 AM
Untill you actually live an a van for more than an overnighter, you dont realise just how precious water is, your ability to eke out your supply will always be your limiting factor.
also, I always fill the tank through one of these, I have a small loop of hose( sort of a carry handle) that goes from the outlet into the tank, this also secures the filter openings [thumbsupbig]
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0273/3139/5632/products/Inline-Caravan-Water-Filter.jpg?v=1613198600

350RRC
22nd March 2021, 08:47 AM
...................

Stove top and HWS is all plumbed in and working like a treat. Went for an instantaneous gas unit as Iíve never liked having storage units in vans, etc - seems a waste when you may only use the hot water a couple of times a day.

Heats up to 50 degrees in a matter of seconds and the controller allows easy adjustment of the temp so having a shower is a set and forget exercise - just turn the tap on full and youíre done. [emoji106]

................[emoji106]

Can you provide details of the HWS, gas use and approx cost pls Gav?

cheers, DL

Tins
22nd March 2021, 08:53 AM
We've had the Wombat Hilton, now we have the Wombat Park Hilton..

Homestar
23rd March 2021, 05:37 AM
Can you provide details of the HWS, gas use and approx cost pls Gav?

cheers, DL

It is this one - Girard Endless Instant Hot Water System for Caravans | Award RV (https://www.awardrv.com.au/girard-endless-hot-water-unit-gswh12)

Not sure on gas use yet - only had it out for 2 weekends with it all working, but I like this unit better than the small storage unit in my caravan.

Award RV are good to deal with too, and are open to a bit if haggling which I like. [emoji106]

Homestar
23rd March 2021, 06:57 AM
We've had the Wombat Hilton, now we have the Wombat Park Hilton..

It should be making an appearance at Winter Wombat, but not sure if it would make it down the hill - or more importantly - back up it, so will probably be parked up the top (away from the rabble...) [biggrin]

Tins
23rd March 2021, 08:46 AM
It should be making an appearance at Winter Wombat, but not sure if it would make it down the hill - or more importantly - back up it, so will probably be parked up the top (away from the rabble...) [biggrin]


Plenty of LRs on hand to give you a tow, Gav. With a suitable time set aside for filming...

Tins
23rd March 2021, 09:33 AM
as I just donít enjoy towing stuff - have done it for years but pretty much over it to be honest.

I hear you..

Homestar
18th April 2021, 06:46 PM
So a bit of a milestone reached. Stan is officially a Motorhome now and insured as such so I have him insured at a much better rate than the commercial insurance on it before, also with road side assist, accommodation should it need repairs while weíre out, etc.

Took a while as the insurance company needed to see the conversion was complete as far as functionality goes with things like kitchen and bed complete and with gas and electrical certification.

Finishing touches not necessary and thatís about all that needs doing now. This to do list is basically some trims, shower door, large draw below fridge,solar panels and just some general bits and pieces weíll do as we use him more and work out what works best.

Diesel heater complete, bed frame complete - this was an Ikea sliding day bed style of thing which I heavily modified but it works like a charm now. Overhead clothing lockers also finished as well.

Have a 4 night trip in May and a 5 night trip in June booked in so weíll get plenty of time to use him. [emoji106]

Homestar
26th April 2021, 05:37 PM
So one thing thatís worth sharing I think is something Janet came up with to an issue about how we could best utilise the back doors. During the summer itís great, open them up and we had a flyscreen hanging over it and thereís not a better way of getting fresh air in. During Winter though, we need something different.

So, a bistro blind is now hanging in the back - zips up both sides which keeps all bugs out - and more importantly the heat in. With the heater on low the van stays toasty and warm while maintaining great light and views in the back. Look forward to trying it up at the river in a few weeks where weíll be backed up within a few meters of the bank and will have a view worth looking at.

Couple of pics showing inside and out.

https://www.aulro.com/afvb/attachments/european-manufactured/170564d1619426188-stan-van-gav-jan-e7a1cd71-6704-4211-bdca-7d8a8684d0e2.jpg

https://www.aulro.com/afvb/attachments/european-manufactured/170563d1619426176-stan-van-gav-jan-a51bea41-3cd9-4376-8de4-804d3065d22b.jpg

170563170564

Tins
26th April 2021, 05:40 PM
Gunna encourage voyeurism at Wombat?

Homestar
12th September 2021, 08:53 AM
Long time since an update and I might even have a few pics to post by this evening. In between lockdowns weíve been out a couple of times in Stan and itís great - as soon as this current lockdown ends, weíll be hitting the road for a couple of weeks to see some parts of Victoria we havenít been to in a while.

Lots of work has been done in the meantime and the one good thing about lockdown (you have to look on the bright side donít you) is that weíve had plenty of time to finish off what we wanted to. Itís pretty much complete now with the exception of the roof mounted solar panels, great water tank and a few trims here and there.

Some big ticket items have been done - the clutch for one - Iíve had 2 occasions where the clutch has slipped just a bit - both times manoeuvring it around to park, etc and as itís been close to itís GVM itís whole life I decided to get this done. I did think about doing it myself but ended up getting Eurostar Diesels in Sunshine West to do it. Took it there for a full service and check over as Iím no expert with Sprinters and they found a few bits and bobs that needed attention - nothing earth shattering but we discussed the clutch and some pricing and I bit the bullet. Wasnít as expensive as you might think either. The flywheel was in good condition - they are a 3 piece unit that is prone to coming loose with high KM and they cost a bomb, so dodged a bullet there. The clutch and pressure plates that came out of it were still serviceable but clearly worn and it certainly validated my thought in doing it.

Big shout out to Harrison and his team at Eurostar - they are really fantastic to deal with and know their stuff - not pushy either, just happy to discuss pros and cons of each job and do what we decided.

Drives way better now but Iím still getting used to the new clutch as Iíve only driven it down the street and back a couple of times since itís been done.

The other big ticket item was new tyres. It came with new ContiVanContact 200ís on it - which soon proved to be about the most horrible tyre to drive on Iíve come across. In the dry ok, but in the wet Iíd rate them borderline dangerous - no grip at all - and I was tiptoeing around corners and still under steering badly. Looking at reviews there are comments about bad handling in the wet with heavy loads, so I guess Stan falls into that category. They also only had a load rating that was right in its limit so between those 2 things they had to go. To get a higher load rating tyre I had to go to a different size but after checking on forums and with Harrison, it turned out thatís what most people do when they need tyres for these so itís gone from 195/75/16ís to 205/75/16ís - thereís still plenty of clearance between the duals and the load rating is around 25% higher. Gone with Michelin Argillis LTís so will see if Iíve made the right choice there, but based on reviews, my own experience with Michelin and some recommendations from forums, thatís what I went for - not the cheapest but happy that I have plenty up my sleeve now.

Also fitted tyre pressure monitoring to them while I was at it - went for a truck in tyre setup with 7 sensors so even the spare has one so I can do a tyre rotation as needed.

Will post a few pics later on today of the interior as thatís pretty much complete now. [emoji106][emoji4]

Homestar
12th September 2021, 03:22 PM
Oh, and I have also removed the Dometic roof mounted AC so height is lowered by 250mm and thereís around 60Kg gone up there - which will be replaced with solar panels.

Also removed the enormous awning for a rebuild as it had a few issues. Parts were readily available for it and it works like new again. I did need a scissor lift to remove and install it though due to its height and weight - itís good working for a Hire company at times. [emoji16]

A couple of interior pics - the bathroom now has a sliding door - will be changed later as my partner doesnít like it after all the fort I went to making it out of a privacy screen she bought but it didnít take long so nothing really lost.

173520173519

grey_ghost
12th September 2021, 03:42 PM
Looking great [emoji1303]

Homestar
12th September 2021, 03:46 PM
Thanks - just need lockdown to end so we can use it now. [emoji853]

mick88
13th September 2021, 06:41 AM
Wow Gav,
it's come up fantastic.
When you say it has a 5 ton chassis, is it a Heavy Vehicle requiring a LR Licence?
The fit out is fantastic, and no doubt you have everything secured for transport.


Cheers, Mick.

Homestar
13th September 2021, 07:01 AM
Thanks mate, yes 5000Kg GVM so an LR licence is required to drive it. Last time I weighed it it came in at 4,600 ish but I've added and subtracted lots since then so no idea where we've ended up - first trip will be past a weighbridge to check that. [smilebigeye]

My Partner makes sure everything is buttoned down tight before driving anywhere - even if I'm just turning it around in the driveway. [biggrin]

mick88
13th September 2021, 07:18 AM
Thanks mate, yes 5000Kg GVM so an LR licence is required to drive it. Last time I weighed it it came in at 4,600 ish but I've added and subtracted lots since then so no idea where we've ended up - first trip will be past a weighbridge to check that. [smilebigeye]

My Partner makes sure everything is buttoned down tight before driving anywhere - even if I'm just turning it around in the driveway. [biggrin]


Good thing Gav,
otherwise everything in the back goes past your head in the unfortunate situation where the old girl
comes to an unexpected sudden stop.
Let a few pound out of the tires before you run it over the weighbridge.
I always do it when i am registering a trailer, that way the registration fee is cheaper.
It's an old trick i learnt many years ago and not many have cottoned onto it, so keep it to yourself. ;)

Cheers, Mick.

Homestar
13th September 2021, 08:53 AM
Body is seperate to the cab, itís not a walk through, so it would be more listening to everything clattering around if that happened. [emoji16]

4bee
13th September 2021, 10:25 AM
Body is seperate to the cab, itís not a walk through, so it would be more listening to everything clattering around if that happened. [emoji16]



Wouldn't you be a tad apprehensive opening a rear door in case all the kit a Caboodle came tumbling out & you could find yourself up to your ears in teacups, Dunny Rolls, Micro-oven, dunny pan & all the extra gear you've added?



How does letting air out of trailer tyres reduce the weight?
I know I know, I'll regret asking that question.[bighmmm][biggrin]

Tombie
13th September 2021, 10:41 AM
How does letting air out of trailer tyres reduce the weight?
I know I know, I'll regret asking that question.[bighmmm][biggrin]

Thinking exactly the same thing. Unless itís seperate axle sets on the plate at a time

Homestar
13th September 2021, 10:41 AM
Everythingís buttoned down quite well and nothing catastrophic has happened so far even with the odd heavy brake application. [emoji56]

No idea about the reduced tyre pressures to be honest - I hadnít heard of that one before.

4bee
13th September 2021, 12:22 PM
Thinking exactly the same thing. Unless itís seperate axle sets on the plate at a time



The Logic & Physics escape me for a mo but then I am only a simple Rhodes Scholar.[biggrin]



Maybe Mick will elaborate, or I just know I won't sleep tonight.



I would have thought filling them with Helium would have helped. (TiC)[bigrolf]


Although re-thinking that, it could appear a tad dodgy if the trailer hit the weighbridge floating 6' off the ground behind the towing vehicle.:Rolling:

4bee
13th September 2021, 02:36 PM
Thinking exactly the same thing. Unless itís seperate axle sets on the plate at a time



I think you might have hit the nail on the head Mike, :TakeABow::TakeABow::TakeABow: but it would have to be a 4 wheeler in Tandem configuration.

First pair of tyres @ normal pressure on plate gets rated, 2nd pair 50% inflated not being weighed correctly/honestly & being supported by front set & barely in contact with Weighbridge.

But not everyone knows that, roight? They do now.


"By George he's got it, I really think he's got it". (Courtesy of My Fair Lady. Rex Harrison Enterprises)[bigrolf]

Homestar
22nd October 2021, 12:23 PM
Putting a few finishing touches on Stan - one of the things weíve been trying to solve is a window in the toilet/shower area. No off the shelf windows were narrow enough for what was require apart from a couple of really crappy looking units.

SWMBO came up with a brilliant idea - a port hole! Found that most were very expensive but got the below unit from Amazon for $70 delivered which I was happy with. Fitted it yesterday - it works great and looks good inside and out. For those wondering about privacy, it is around 9í off the ground so no dramas there.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211022/e0bd0d58e8a51c362e3c0342a1473e61.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211022/c6cf1a7495095a3c63577f08607432aa.jpg

4bee
22nd October 2021, 01:55 PM
Putting a few finishing touches on Stan - one of the things weíve been trying to solve is a window in the toilet/shower area. No off the shelf windows were narrow enough for what was require apart from a couple of really crappy looking units.

SWMBO came up with a brilliant idea - a port hole! Found that most were very expensive but got the below unit from Amazon for $70 delivered which I was happy with. Fitted it yesterday - it works great and looks good inside and out. For those wondering about privacy, it is around 9í off the ground so no dramas there.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211022/e0bd0d58e8a51c362e3c0342a1473e61.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211022/c6cf1a7495095a3c63577f08607432aa.jpg

(from a couple of really crappy looking units.)
But to keep to authenticity shouldn't a toilet Window actually look Crappy? Maybe a bit more so with Ciggy burns around an edge?

grey_ghost
22nd October 2021, 03:16 PM
Looking great [emoji1303]

Homestar
6th November 2021, 05:17 PM
Have had Stan out for 8 nights now lockdown is over. I have been back and forward due to work but Janet has stayed at the beach for a week and apart from a few minor tweaks, like more hooks to put hats and jackets on, he passed with flying colours.

The new tyres have paid off - was wet and windy on the trip down and very windy driving home - itís a completely different vehicle to drive now compared to the old tyres and Iím very happy I went the way I did.

The TPMS works great and gives me peace of mind too.

All in all very happy. [emoji106][emoji4]

4bee
6th November 2021, 06:29 PM
Have had Stan out for 8 nights now lockdown is over. I have been back and forward due to work but Janet has stayed at the beach for a week and apart from a few minor tweaks, like more hooks to put hats and jackets on, he passed with flying colours.

The new tyres have paid off - was wet and windy on the trip down and very windy driving home - itís a completely different vehicle to drive now compared to the old tyres and Iím very happy I went the way I did.

The TPMS works great and gives me peace of mind too.

All in all very happy. [emoji106][emoji4]


Maybe you should send your design features to LR UK.[bigrolf]

Hoges
6th November 2021, 09:55 PM
Great job![thumbsupbig] it's a credit to you!