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  • Hi im building my next home currently, when I started I was working 50 hours a week on nights so I wasn't making much progress but I've cut my hours to 25 a week on days to give myself a chance of finishing it.
    I'm a bit of a bodger so you might see a few funny/dodgy messes but I've tried to hide most of these before the photos, I just hope it doesn't all fall apart too quick.
    I left starting this thread till now because my progress would have bored people I was so slow but things are speeding up. Pictures will soon follow.

  • Samjosh, if you are safe and happy that is ALL that counts. Life is short, and humans try their best to make life as tricky as possible, so fight the trend and be happy with your efforts. Most people cannot and will not make their own home and go travelling in it, so you are in the top few thousand people in the country.
    If you need to change your layout etc as you go along it will be easier if it isn't a fabulously constructed showpiece, and anyway it's a home, not an engineering masterclass.
    Can't wait to see your pictures mate. Good luck with everything. [panic]

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Yeah good point about being easier to change in the future and I've found I'm making less mistakes now.
    When I started I'd measure 3 or 4 times and take an average of these hugely different figures then cut the wood and find out somehow the wood is 8 inches too long still so I'd re measure and re cut ending up too short, I'm having more luck cutting by eye now. So inside is very wonky, but I kind of like that.
    Before I started

  • Yeah good point about being easier to change in the future and I've found I'm making less mistakes now.
    When I started I'd measure 3 or 4 times and take an average of these hugely different figures then cut the wood and find out somehow the wood is 8 inches too long still so I'd re measure and re cut ending up too short, I'm having more luck cutting by eye now. So inside is very wonky, but I kind of like that.
    Before I started


    Have you watched Tony Hancock's 'The Craftsman' ? That's me right now...


  • Painting the top side of chassis so when the new floor goes in the inaccessible parts have some paint on, I'll do the rest when I've finished inside,
    on the right of the photo you can see the inside was lined with stainless when I was ripping the inside apart I dislodged a tie on point (just to the right of the metal,) I could see out side through the hole and realised the walls were rotten ply.

  • The walls had stainless bolted over the rotten ply, i assume to make it usable for the previous owners just a bodge they did but it hid the rot in the ply so I only noticed once I was stripping it.
    It was funny doing the skylights, every time I looked around I felt dizzy so i had my eyes fixed on the roof where I was going to fit it, next thing I banged my head, I thought what could that be up here so I dared a quick look and discovered I'd forgotten about the power cable to the house.

  • Then I started fitting the rear door frame, having never built a door (or many other things with wood) I'm going to make a stable door (I hope). I read jonathanh1989 had trouble with the door so I'm a bit nervous, other than making awood store for the fire out of pallets and a shed door the last wood work i did was over 15 years ago at school.

    Getting the drill driver sped things up alot, till I got it I was making my hand bleed daily with a screw driver

  • This is developing nicely into another interesting thread !! I think you'll need to carefully consider the weight of the materials you use or you could become overloaded before you start; I know of one beautiful lt35 luton conversion which appears to be so. Does it have the regular 2.4 6pot lump? Keep up the good work ! Keep on truckin with Toby n Suzy Truxx.

  • Made a start insulating inside but being short of money I'm using expanded polystyrene
    Yes it's the lt35 so I can use it with my car licence, it's no longer than most Lutons but has lots of room over the cab


    I suspect to be even vaguely legal (unless you build the lightest conversion in the world) you'll have to get rid of that rear ramp.

  • I'm going to take it to a weighbridge when I sort the mot to find out how much weight I have to use, my aim is to replace the ply on the ramp (which is covered with heavy rubber mat) soon with thin ply with grip tape as I don't weigh as much as a horse which should save 30-40 kg (complete guess). Above the cab I took out the thick heavy ply and replaced it with 2 layers of thin ply with insulation between so it probably weighs the same but is now insulated and doesn't creak anymore.
    I haven't weighed anything but I don't think the conversion will add more than 300kg and as a horse probably weighs 500 I'll hopefully keep it legal even with possessions but I'll find out soon.

  • The weight plate in the cab will tell you what max load capacity it had as a luton which is what youve almost stripped it back to.That will give you a rough idea of weight limit youre looking at to keep your conversion well within.The ramp horse rubber is really heavy so removing will be a huge bonus.You may be lucky the ply is ok underneath and got anti slip strips across it.If you need better grip surface you can use ribbed kennel rubber its reasonably light.If the ramp ply is ok youd probably better leaving it until the MOT and weighbridge trip then youll know what ply you can get away with weight wise.If you use too thin a ply or not exterior/marine ply on the ramp it will curl and delaminate and look shit in no time.Ideally you should replace it with marine ply of the same thickness.Dont underestimate the weight of the interior cladding materials,heating,furniture or possessions...its pretty easy to exceed the legal weight capacity on 3.5 tonners.
    _

  • The walls had stainless bolted over the rotten ply, i assume to make it usable for the previous owners just a bodge they did but it hid the rot in the ply so I only noticed once I was stripping it.
    It was funny doing the skylights, every time I looked around I felt dizzy so i had my eyes fixed on the roof where I was going to fit it, next thing I banged my head, I thought what could that be up here so I dared a quick look and discovered I'd forgotten about the power cable to the house.


    The stainless steel sheet was most likely there to stop the horse/s kicking through the sides.Theyre pretty good at that if the walls arent thick enough or sound.Ive seen a luton wrecked by a panicking horse thst hadnt been properly lined....at least removing the steel youll have dumped some excess weight.

  • Try to work out roughly what materials you are going to use for the cladding, furniture, interior, batteries, gas bottles, full water tank, fridge etc etc and put them all in the back then weigh it. Its far better to find out early that you are either close to, or over the weight limit rather than when you've installed it all.

  • Does anyone know what 50m of 1 *1.5 sawn timber from the builders merchants is likely to weigh


    It will always be different according to whether its hard or softwood the species of wood whether its farmed or grown naturally, green or kiln dried etc etc...the merchants should be able to tell you the weight per metre or alternatively cut a metre and weigh it.You can use some decent bathroom scales -if youve got any or can borrow some -to give you a rough idea weight of the items used and keep a running total of everything that goes in the van.Its not a totally accurate method but it will tell you if youre likely to be within your weight limit.

  • You can use bathroom scales to weigh the vehicle as you go along, I did with my conversion. My scales go up to 120kg, so assuming each wheel on a 3500kg truck will have a maximum weight on it of 1000kg, then jacking up the truck and dropping the wheel onto a stout bit of wood or steel section of about a metre long (length not crucial so long as it won't bend or break), and at a point one tenth along from the wheel end, (so if it's a metre long drop the wheel centre at a point 100 from the end), then the maximum weight on your bathroom scales (at the other end e.g 900mm from the wheel centre) will be 100kg. Lower the wheel down slowly in case you break your nice scales and get into trouble for that. Multiply the scales reading by ten to get the weight, do all the wheels, add up each figure and you have your vehicle weight. Mind you I wouldn't have bothered with all that if the nearest weighbridge wasn't a 30 mile round trip away!