Posts by astartosteerby

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    Most of the work up till now has been getting the vehicle in some sort of order, tempting though it was to go straight into the motorhome conversion work. I've replaced the timing belt, front crank seal, a lot of brake parts and various smaller jobs ..... and lots of welding. A quick measurement of how much welding showed that I put down about 10 metres. Thinking about it, I should have replaced the floor entirely as welding round the perimeter would have taken less than that. OK, the new floor would have needed stitching to the chassis members the same way as the old one was spot welded in order to keep the integrity of the structure, but I would have ended up with a brand new floor instead of a patched one. Something to think about if anyone else has had the tinworm run amok.

    The sides have been insulated with 50mm foam slabs which were cut to fit between the ribs. Awkward bits such as round the fuel filler pipe were stuffed with mineral wool insulation taken from the caravan, and the edges of the ribs had strips of wood floor underlay 3mm foam stuck to them so that the insulation isn't bridged. I'm now waiting for the varnish to dry on the 5mm ply sides so I can fit them.

    Definitely sounds like a poor earth, have had that problem many times before myself. You don't need to go tracing the fault back through the existing wiring, just attach another wire to the earth lead, put a connector on the other end and bolt it to the body somewhere convenient.

    I've been growing my own veg for years and have always left ants to get on with their lives. They don't seem to eat anything I want to eat, and probably keep down the real pests.

    I specifically wanted a banana when I was looking for an LDV, having heard from this site that it was a basic sort of engine without any engine management systems which in my view are a curse to mankind. Especially that sub species of mankind which likes to do its own fettling. Having given it a full service and changed the timing belt and front crank seal I can confirm that it is indeed a basic sort of engine, requiring no special tools for the above jobs. The fact that it only puts out 71bhp from 2.5 litres bears this out.

    The 2.4 litre engine which replaced it doesn't have a good reputation according to my local repair workshop, not sure it that's a Duratorq or a Puma though.

    I got 28mpg on the last long run, in a swb 2.8t Convoy.

    (Moving over from your park up thread)

    Fair enough, I don't like going up there myself, wish I hadn't built it so high now but I wanted space for possible future dormer loft conversion.

    Building a genny box isn't too difficult, I made something smaller but similar for a compressor for my home made waste water treatment unit. However I can't see how it will mount on the outside of a coachbuilt van, as the outer skin is usually too thin to support much, and it will be fairly heavy. A chassis extension maybe, but it will look fairly ugly on what seems to be a tidy van, and you will need to watch out for overloading your rear axle with the weight that far behind it.

    Do you really need a genny? Most van dwellers on the site seem to get by with solar panels and split charging from the vehicle engine to keep their batteries charged.

    I was given a back leg off a deer a couple of years ago, was told it had been shot but couldn't help but notice road grit mashed into a wound on the leg. Tasted fine though, just a bit too tough for steaks so it was all stewed. Lasted ages!

    Trying to do the whole thing in one go looks a bit complicated to me. I've laid tiles and laminate and would be tempted to put thresholds across each door and treat each room as separate. The hall really wants the planks laid down the length of it to look right, and I like the planks to run away from the door rather than across it as I enter a room, i.e. at right angles to those laid in the hall.

    I don't think laminate expands so there shouldn't be a worry on that score.

    Looks good, I hope yours is sounder when you lift the floor covering than mine was! I like my low-tech LDV but it does seem rather rusty for a 2001. I looked at two others of that age and they were even worse though. Just as well I can weld!

    I got my scythe from the local farmer's co-op, the label came off years ago but it was made either here in Ireland or the UK. Cost me 25 Punts (pre-euro currency) and it's hardly worn. I also have a smaller, one handed sickle - like a small scythe - which is handier where you haven't the room to swing the big 'un. Between the two and a pair of shears I can cut where I want, but the strimmer is best for awkward areas. Not enough reason to buy another one though.

    Some of you will probably be aware of this, but having ditched my nasty, unreliable Chinese petrol strimmer I find that over about 20-30 minutes a scythe can cut more grass than a strimmer.

    This is because you don't have to mess around dressing up in wellies and combined face mask/ear defenders, fuel it, and start it. By this time your other self with the scythe is way down the field, and you'll find that a strimmer isn't any quicker. Where you catch up is when the scythemaster tires and slows down, in my case because I'm not used to regular scything.

    It's also a whole lot more pleasant swishing away listening to the birds then the roar of the 2 stroke engine. The only disadvantage is the inability to cut close to walls or kerbs.

    I wouldn't have a Luton for the following reasons

    1. I've never come across one with access from body to cab. Reason I think is that the body can move in relation to the cab, so a good weatherproof seal might be hard to obtain.
    2. Floor is inconveniently high, some sort of ladder would be needed.
    3. Bodies are a bit flimsy compared to vans. Have heard of chassis/cabs needing two bodies within their lifetime.

    I can accept their advantages though, and the false rear wall/door and "outside" area looks good.

    I've just missed a 300w inverter from Lidl for about 30 euro, I thought I'd get one with the caravan. I only need it for phone charging and the like, had caravans for years with only gas for heating and lighting and never thought about mains voltage. I quite like the hiss and warm glow from gas lamps, but the mantles were getting hard to find even in the '90's, may be unobtainable now.
    I also had a small gas heater which worked well, may get another.

    As this will only be a basic conversion to start with, I may not bother with an inverter unless I actually need it. Start off simple and add stuff as required will be my aim.


    This fellah was sitting behind the empty house next to my mum-in-laws. A quick phone call to the owner revealed that yes, he wanted rid of it, so I now have a source of windows and assorted furnishings for the van!

    It looks worse than it is, the inside is only slightly damp and everything seems to be there and in working order. Does anyone know if caravans have an inverter to convert the 12v from the leisure battery to mains voltage, or is the mains voltage only available when hooked up at a camp site?

    I'm keeping an eye on progress with that LDV, hope no intellectual property rights are involved! I see they have the bed widthways, but I've just measured mine between the inner struts and made it 1.8m. Insulation is going between the struts and either ply or T&G board over them, which will slightly reduce the width further still. There only has to be one bed for camper status, so by making it a double I could always tell the powers that be a single bed would go diagonally.

    Convoy's aren't quite wide enough for beds across the width, I'm 5' 9" (1.75m)and won't quite fit. I think I've read somewhere that beds have to be 2m long to satisfy tax or insurance requirements anyway.

    I'm thinking of having a locker the full width, accessible only via the back doors in which will go leisure battery, gas bottle, spare wheel, tools and assorted grubby bits. Height will be just below the inside door handle so I can get out in an emergency, so a bed could go there, diagonally to get the 2m.

    My original interior plans were for a Pilot, so am having a re-think now I have more room.

    The next stage once I've got the base vehicle sorted is to find an old caravan as a donor for windows, seat cushions, sink, hob etc. It needs one additional window each side plus a skylight as the back door windows are factory tinted and don't let that much light through.


    This is the result of my first week's work on the van. The pale patches are new metal I've welded into the floor after cutting out rusty bits. The brown stuff at the back is the carpet underlay which was underneath the ply floor lining. All of the rust holes were directly over the chassis rails, so they weren't visible when I went underneath with my torch and probing forefinger. They only came to light when I took up the ply floor lining. I can't see any way of checking for rust completely while looking round a prospective buy, the owner is hardly likely to let you pull up fitted ply or carpets before he sells it.

    The work was fairly time consuming, however I'm reasonable at welding and metal bashing and have a good supply of scavenged industrial shelving of the right thickness steel for patches, so it isn't costing me much. I tried fully welding the new plates with my arc welder and 1.6mm rods and made a bit of a mess, so I'm only tacking them now and will hire a MIG welder to see if that makes a tidier job. Still one bit to do to the left of the image.

    Got a few of the smaller jobs done as well, and have sent off for a workshop manual - actually a CD - in order to check out the oily bits.

    You'd be safe enough in Ireland, there's a few blow-ins here who had a bit of a gale behind them, so to speak.

    Better still would be to fight rather than run though for your own peace of mind. As suggested in previous posts, go to Citizens Advice or whoever they refer you to. If you've been worrying about debt then it's likely that your head's in a muddle, and dispassionate advice from someone who knows what they're talking about will most likely be of benefit. You may well find that your problems are nowhere near as serious as you imagine them to be.

    As Aman says, do this first thing tomorrow!

    van1 002.jpg

    Hi all,

    After a couple of years of thinking about getting a camper van I've finally took the plunge and got this swb Convoy for conversion. I chose this vehicle because it's bog basic, hasn't even got independent front suspension, yet has Transit running gear which ought to be easily got hold of.

    After looking at the usual rotboxes, including a "converted motorhome" which consisted of household kitchen units loosely screwed to the sides (complete with glass doors - instant haircut in an accident!) I found this one in Stourbridge. A bit rusty but weldable, so that's what I'm doing at the moment as it's a lot easier welding the floor from the top down than from underneath. There's other work I want to do before getting creative with the interior but most jobs are fairly trivial e.g. fixing the horn bracket.

    I'll keep the thread updated as I progress, I see a couple of others are doing something similar so I'll poach ideas as I go!

    What I would do is get hardcore and spread it the length of drive , and let it bed into the ground by driving over it . There is a good chance you will be able to get it for nothing too (put sign up saying hardcore wanted).

    I'd agree with the above. I built my own house and the first job was the driveway so that delivery lorries could get next to the building, I didn't fancy carrying everything from the road! It wants a bit of organisation, get onto to Roadstone or similar quarry type people and order 6" crushed rock and arrange for a digger to be on site on the day of delivery to spread it about.

    Before they arrive mark out the edges of your drive with string and pegs, then sprinkle a line of lime along the string which can then be removed. Remove the topsoil and leave in a heap somewhere, you will probably need it again.

    The condition of the ground isn't too important as the wagons will reverse in and create the drive as they go. I assume some sort of access road is there or the house couldn't have been built in the first place! 8 wheelers take 25 tons I think, so each delivery will roll in the last one.

    You will then have a rough but firm drive capable of taking the heaviest vehicles, I wouldn't assume a 3.5 ton limit, furniture vans are usually 17.5 ton for a start. I never got round to putting any further layers on mine and while you wouldn't skateboard on it, over the years the gaps between the stones fill themselves in and it grasses over.

    van1 002.jpg

    Have just bought this swb LDV Convoy to convert to a camper. I really wanted a Pilot, but couldn't find one near enough and I prefer the agricultural construction of the Convoy anyway.

    Am just working through the various small faults I've come across before I start the creative part of building the interior. That's a tidy job you've made of the minibus!

    It doesn't look as if the Morris sold, zero bids listed. It didn't seem over expensive, so maybe there were problems with it. I think those Morris's had an upside down gear shift pattern, that is fourth where first usually is and vice versa. A good built in anti-theft device!

    I'm thinking of going nomadic because although I have a perfectly good house, it's in a part of the world with no jobs nor any likelihood of there being any this side of the next ice age. It's also something I've always wanted to try, possibly because I spent the first three years of my life in a caravan, while my parents were saving for a house deposit, so I know it can be done.

    Looking at a LDV Convoy in a couple of days, will see what that has to offer.