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Thread: Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)

  1. #1
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    Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)

    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) 😊😁
    Last edited by Homestar; 15th August 2020 at 07:59 PM.


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

  2. #2
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    Geez you are a bit slow on the pics Gav!

    Sheesh Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)
    54 Series 1 86
    61 Series 2 109 - Club Rego
    76 2 Door Range Rover
    78 101 Forward Control - Club Rego
    88 Perentie FFR - Club Rego
    90 4 Door Range Rover - Club Rego
    93 Discovery 1 200 Tdi - Club Rego
    98 Freelander 1 - Full Rego

  3. #3
    Homestar's Avatar
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    So this is what he looked like the first time we saw him.

    Outside
    Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    Inside Front
    Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    Inside rear
    Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    Has an inbuilt 3KVA Honda Genset (more on this later - will probably be removed)
    Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_ghost View Post
    Geez you are a bit slow on the pics Gav!

    Sheesh Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)Stan the van (With Gav & Jan)
    Had to remember my Flickr password...


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

  5. #5
    Homestar's Avatar
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    What he looked like when new - these are the only photos Iíve been able to find - taken when getting the aero kit fitted.

    Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

  6. #6
    Homestar's Avatar
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    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.
    26C7665C-A563-4685-A1B1-48CD7F0D2FD0 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    Composite installed and windows in.
    DFDA34B2-1D60-41FF-8A84-88836E6FA4A4 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    And the other side.
    42A27064-EC89-402F-87F3-11694F9B0BD3 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    87EE4216-A50E-434B-B434-66AB325D81D0 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    C38D9D11-C849-4323-8A80-0821EC751A21 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

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    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.

    90CBFB1D-2475-4AFF-8EAC-AA25B9B95E24 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

  8. #8
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    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.
    7CED7643-580E-458C-A687-118CB2224F7E by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    67A2648C-3B58-424E-8804-B35D75E4AFAD by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    11F2E38F-194F-4369-8B22-1C0231C75D90 by Gavin Gregory, 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. 👍


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

  9. #9
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    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
    1A3AE973-9976-4FAF-A158-6DFEFBA31E82 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    12 volt
    9AED1E49-C0E4-4806-B2CC-EA3A79D6BDF0 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

  10. #10
    Homestar's Avatar
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    And so to todays work. Finished off the last bathroom wall so I can start installing the kitchen permanently tomorrow.

    Frame in.
    AE86AB2E-D0B1-4849-A2FA-876B27286525 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    After rebuilding 3 old caravans, and knowing nothing is square, templating is mandatory if you want a good fit.
    CA25EF04-E504-406E-9A21-E401314F15A7 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    The results are worth it.
    70D17685-E19A-4646-8A94-858959A9EAA2 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    D70697AE-C24A-477F-9FD0-5BE7E1784A54 by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

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


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1977 Jaguar XJ6

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