Posts by keltagernow

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    Someone gave me a Readers Digest Household DIY manual.


    As a tradesman I thought "Bloody gash..." but I had a look through it and was pleasantly surprised. It is excellent for information on any trades you aren't familiar with... and fitting out your great beast isn't much different from fitting out a house!


    So it'd be worth having, I think. It is a great fat volume - 500 odd pages and lots of diagrams, facts, figures and tables. There seem to be plenty of copies on ebay and Amazon. The one on the link is newer than my copy.


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/DIY-Ma…ders-Digest/dp/0276444116

    Fantastic! Wow! Drool! What a great project!


    I was a boatbuilder.... you may be an experienced woodworker, but - if not - here are my first thoughts...


    Nothing wrong with t&g lining over your insulation. It is much easier to work with than plywood and looks good as soon as you have fixed it - you fix ply and then have to figure out how to make it look OK... and have weird shaped offcuts... plywood 'seems' quicker to use, but between the jigs and the reels it usually ain't...


    Matchboarding (interior timber cladding as Wickes call it) is the lightest in weight. Ignore the reference to 'cladding panels' in the text - obviously written by the tea-boy who never used a saw in his life...


    http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes…x96x900mm-Pack-5/p/133632


    If you want a thicker lining (maybe the lower section, to fasten and secure things to) then this is the next stock thickness up:


    http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes…94x2400mm-Pack-4/p/128462


    The heaviest t&g is floorboarding... as in houses and boats, you can leave traps for access below very easily and neatly (see any joinery 'how to' text...) Makes a great floor, but make sure chicks take their heels off or it will dent. Even oak or maple flooring will suffer dents from stiletto heels...


    Think about fastenings. The old boatbuilders' adage "Nail when you can, screw when you must and bolt when you really have to" is a good one. Most DIY enthusiasts use screws for everything... even ledged and braced doors (screws here? Eughhhh!) where clenched nails is the traditional (and best) fastening. Vehicles vibrate more than boats or houses though, so screws may be required more often than in other applications. 'Gripfast' barbed ring nails are quick to use and hold as well as anything except a bolt but can't be removed like screws. They are bronze, so no corrosion stains.


    Once insulated and lined you could just bung a settee, table and chairs, wardrobe etc in it and you'd be ready to go... you'd need to take the plates off the Welsh dresser, though, before driving :).

    I'd either get a tent - a two or three man, not too big - and go car-camping... or else I'd sell the car and get a van.


    Either way, I wouldn't want to have just the space of a small hatchback as my only indoor space... unless I was traveling towards a destination.


    If you don't want to go for a van (yet?) by having a tent you can pretend to be a respectable camper :).... if you can afford to pay campsite fees it will get you away and enable you to think and get things in perspective.


    Also with all the shit you have been through then hanging on to the security of a vehicle you know is good is understandable... but I'd add a tent. There are some very inexpensive ones which are amazingly good... sleeping bag, carrymat or two (or better still the skinny inflatable ones...) and it gives you more space, more flexibility. Use the back of the hatchback as your kitchen, just use the tent for sleeping.


    If dough is short you could still do it by camping wild if you get away from over 'civilised' places... (Camping 'wild'.... jeeez. My first experience of paying for a pitch at a campsite had a certain novelty value... rather like the first time I swam in a swimming pool rather than the sea...)

    This is a better bet. We had one - or very similar - in a bedroom in a house we built (without planning permission, of course). Cost us £70 new, but it was ten years ago... and from Trago Mills.


    https://www.fruugo.co.uk/cast-…PLas46ImsUCFUHItAod_VkAnQ


    So-called 'multi fuel', but with a 'rocking grate', so won't burn wood well unless you put a piece of tin on top of the grate. Or start it on coal, don't riddle it and use wood when the grate starts to choke up.


    On black 'eggs' ours stayed in for ten or twelve hours.


    Woodburners actually designed for wood can be made from gas bottles... just make sure the gas is completely purged by willing with water before cutting if you want to stay alive... lots of 'how to' on the net.

    I'm going to be using a 'Portaloo' which we bought secondhand six years ago for car/tent camping. It has a detachable casette which you can carry to empty. It flushes with a natty little squeezy bulb thing - simple.


    Elsan fluid is said by the manufacturers to bio-degrade. It doesn't take a very big hole to hold a bogfull. I reckon on emptying it twice a week with just me using it - but I pee outside as much as possible. Its the piddle which fills it up...


    Incidentally, if parked up for an extended stay a trench 300mm (1ft) deep and 1m (3'3in) long and the width of a spade will take a month or more to fill with one person's bog emptyings, given a reasonably well draining soil.


    The solids from each emptying are are negligible and the piddle and flushing water soon drains away. Cover with a layer of leaves (dock leaves or rhubarb leaves... nice and wide) or a few handfuls of grass to keep the flies off and keep the smell under control. If you cover with soil the trench will fill up much quicker... leaves compost down to almost nothing...


    Once full, cover with soil and dig a new trench. The contents of the old trench will be absorbed and turned into rich soil in a month or so in summer, longer in winter. The warmth speeds composting.

    yep thems the daddies, tight buggers at ford must have stopped doing them, the old metal rigid things were the best


    It is a 1997 smiley LWB luton... :) it may just be that tyre fitters have extra skinny fingers and enjoy grovelling on the ground... thanks for confirming I'm on the right track!


    Your experience of the compressor echoes the reviews shown on the link I posted. I'm inclined to get one.


    Interesting what you say about the extension ripping the valve out when driving. But I seem to remember seeing large trucks with extensions permanently in place... (I'd have paid more attention if I'd realised....)


    Maybe some types you can leave in place and some you can't?

    There's no reason why you should be finding it too difficult. I have a transit twin wheeler flat bed and although awkward, not impossible. Run it into a tyre fitters. See if there's a problem with the set up. Join the ford transit forum. Loads of good advice from their members and replacement parts. If your tyres are good. You will only need to top up pressure once or twice a year. Is it worth carrying a compressor? Some tyre fitting services have adapted air hose nozzles. Makes reaching behind tyres easier. First port of call for you to check out your set up. Compressors tend to be crap unless you buy professional range.


    You must have read my mind... I thought after posting of nipping along to a tyre firm in the next day or two...


    With cars and Landies I've always checked pressures weekly... to nip any problem in the bud... it looks a real pain to get a gauge in between the twin wheels... and I have never thought that the gauges on the airlines at filling stations were liable to be accurate... also some of the air-lines only give you a limited time before you have to get another token or whatever... hence my thinking of a compressor.


    But yes... tyre specialists first priority!

    This is what I was thinking about doing! I've been having a look at lutons today and I would love to put a bed up over the cab (I'd call it "The Nest" and then have some of those little stairs with built in storage leading up to them. OH THE POSSIBILITIES! Very jealous of Colin and his huge beautiful new truck... if I'm not careful I'll end up with new license and something like that haha


    i'm going to do some sketches. Anyone know where I can find internal dimensions of different lutons? Or anyone know an average floor space of one?


    The shortest luton seems to be 3m or so (10ft) floor. I decided I wanted longer (lot of books... and musical instruments...) so got a Ford Transit smiley luton which is 12ft 10in long on the cargo floor. I'm delighted to say it has the 'banana' engine, too...


    My floor width is 2.070m (6ft 9.5in) not including 25mm (1inch) each side between the ribs which can be used for insulation... but I'm going to put 50mm (2inches) of insulation which will still leave plenty for a bunk length. I believe that some lutons are narrower... so you need to check it out. Irritating if it won't take a full mattress length...


    The floor space over the cab is .92m (3ft) so room for a standard single, which I will extend.... again, I expect there is some variation.

    You can still get a good size wagon with a cat B, get a luton-bodied van and stick the bed up over the cab, and you'll have plenty of floor space to play with. Good luck with it, and post pics...


    Agree, that is what I have just done (pictures and stuff on another thread somewhere...) The idea of a bed over the cab which wouldn't need to be set up at night and taken down every morning was a real clincher for me... using a bed as a seat is also not ideal...


    My over-cab space will take a standard 3ft mattress as it is... but I intend extending it to 4ft... to take what is sometimes known as the (ahem) "honeymoon size" mattress... or maybe even extending to 4ft 6in... but that would involve some sort of folding or sliding extension in order not to intrude on the daytime space... and making a narrow mattress for the extra width... I'll see.


    The vertical sides mean that fitting out will be dead easy. Or you can just lash furniture to the sides (as I am going to do) for a quick fix and a layout which can be experimented with...


    Bigger vans feel much safer to drive, too... not having your ass down at road level means sooooo much better visibility... and you soon get used to the width and length.


    More air space is healthier, too... not breathing your own breath quite as often.

    The twin rear wheels on my recently acquired Transit Luton have the valves of the outer wheels facing the inner wheels and vice versa... so it is fiddly to remove the valve cap on the outer wheels and almost impossible to remove the inner wheel valve caps with the fingers.... I have never had a twin wheeled vehicle before...


    I see various valve extensions on ebay and amazon including this one:


    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/210M…ain_3&hash=item20d76aad85


    Any comments from experienced members would be very welcome!


    Also I am considering a compressor so I don't have to fiddle around on forecourts... this one is inexpensive and has good reviews... The power lead would need extending - which is nothing - and crocodile clips on to the battery would be another simple mod...


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-R…fRID=1321D0M4FRVDB0XEPSSD


    Anyone had one of these? Any other comments, folks?

    Im interested in setting up a panel van as a stealth camper. How would it be possible to have a woodburner and remain stealth? Does a retractable chimney exist? Is a retractable chimney even feasible?


    It is perfectly doable.


    I had a twelve ton gaff cutter with a 'Diamond' range and three chimney options - capped - for summer when the range was not in use or sailing in severe weather or whatever - short flue above cabin top for sailing, and longer flue for alongside where downdrafts from quayside could be troublesome.


    The only thing with a van is that you might need to carry a ladder (depending on roof height) to swop things around.

    Good point about the small dwellings, less ventilation and moist air - very pertinent.


    Cold air is also bad if your chest isn't 100%. Going out in cold conditions without being well wrapped up and a scarf over nose and mouth is very unwise and makes things much worse almost instantly... our mothers and grannies were right!


    You may need to move out of your van until you are over it or until there is real summer weather... if you don't have friends nearby who can help you could put an SOS on here, maybe...


    My ex-wife got pleurisy in November... it was baaaaad. Look it up. It is an infection, not actually in the lungs but in the pleural cavity - the chest space around the lungs. All sorts of shit there which could be affected.... apart from the lungs, the heart and various other vital organs spring to mind...


    She thought she was going to die. She was on antibiotics for a while, but even when the infection was clear she was terribly weak and could hardly move from bed for a couple of weeks. She had to take a month off work, and even after that wasn't really ready to return... pleurisy can take months or even a year or more before you are back to normal health.


    Please see the quack urgently, get antibiotics and keep us posted Shamrockhead...

    I am told by an Italian friend that this is the only coffee maker to have... but the illustration on the link above looks as though there are cheap copies... which could be OK - it would be interesting to know if there have been any reliable comparisons...


    Certainly if the cheap ones are OK then having several would mean that you could deal with several orders at once. Alternatively a large, simple jug - and an ordinary tea strainer - makes good coffee in quantity or just a cup or two as required. I had a little enameled coffee jug for years on my yacht...


    Incidentally, the idea of using a 12 volt battery for power is fraught with all sorts of problems. For the same weight and a bit more space you could have a small gas bottle, regulator and hob. Gas is very expensive in the smallest sizes, though, but if you are thinking of a trike then the 12.5 kilo size is much cheaper to refill.


    I think I'd work on the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) and get a large enameled (or whatever) jug or two (or a large one and a small one) and a gas hob etc. Simple solutions are often the best, as Occam pointed out...


    Also, with a gas hob you could branch out and have a large pot of veggie soup, or stew or curry on the go... everyone will eat veggie if its good, after all, but not vice versa... or even if you just used ot for your own grub...


    A hob gives you flexibility...


    Moka-Express-(3-Cup).jpg

    Once my ex-wife and ten year old son are moved to their new address I can start fitting out... except that there is a kitchen and bathroom job lined up in their 'new' house.... so I will be parked nearby and to-ing and fro-ing between jobs as appropriate.


    Once that is done, the plan is to look around for a bit of land for cash... and get hold of a load of straw bales.... :)

    Don't underestimate chest infections. Pneumonia and pleurisy can kill you. Get to a doctor as soon as possible - you need antibiotics. Even with antibiotics it can take many months - and sometimes more than a year - to get over pleurisy.


    Lots of onions and garlic will help as preventatives but it has gone beyond that. Get to a doctor!

    Betty Stogs is my favourite beer. If you haven't tried it but know Old Speckled Hen, it is - to my taste - similar but even nicer...


    I often drink Healey's Rattler cider, which, although a little bland for my taste, at 6% puts a shine on an otherwise dull world...

    Well, they are posted.... let's see if they stay there.... it may be that the ones I posted before were too large, and maybe when I logged out they disappeared... I'll log out and log in and see....


    Well, I went out and came back in - so maybe the original image size was the problem - but the software didn't reject them at first.... weird.

    Hippydom is fast approaching.



    I bought this on e-bay Thursday week, went up to Trowbridge on the train Saturday and drove it back - 140 miles back to Perranporth in 3hrs 45 minutes, going carefully at the start to get used to the width and so on. This photo was taken in the seller's front garden and is from the ebay advert.


    She handles very well and the 2.5 Ford di diesel (this version is the 'banana engine' - due to the unusual shape of the inlet manifold) is reckoned as being 'bullet proof'. Some models had timing chains, but this one has a belt, but being OHV if it snaps it doesn't wreck the engine, just bends a few valve stems... people have been known to straighten them with a hammer... but it does mean removing the head and stuff, so a bit of a drag... it will have a new belt by Thursday...


    Direct injection (no heater plugs to go wrong, turn the key and it starts) no computer to go wrong, a simple engine which can be worked on with hand tools... there are no electrically operated windows to go wrong, either...


    1997, but only 61,000 odd miles.... nothing for a diesel, barely run in... used for local deliveries only... "Johnson and Johnson Interiors, Castle Carey" (not the talcum powder people!)


    I used less than a half tank for the trip (but I dunno how much the tank holds - it was full when I bought it!) It is exactly the van I've been searching for for the last few months...


    Many thanks to Terry Tanner, a great ebayer, an honest Joe and generally good nut. The photos are from his ebay advert.


    With a 12' 9.5" X 6' 9" cargo floor and 6' 10" headroom and enough space for a double bed over the cab it is going to make a great camper - after I have done a removal job for ex-wife Tamsin when our house sale goes through....


    Less than £1900, twelve months tax online for £232.50, fully comprehensive insurance online for £242 odd (I had no no claims bonus as I had been driving my ex-wife's car.... but being a 'named driver helps bring the cost down with some firms...)


    I play saxophones and clarinets... anyone who needs a practice room so as not to annoy family or neighbours could find this would be a solution... and you could earn some cash as 'man and van'... or just use it as a stealth motorhome as I will....


    Insulation to keep snug ought to have some acoustic value... but, anyway, you could always drive it somewhere away from houses...


    Once the house is sold and I've done my removal man duty, it will be fit-out time...

    Go to a surplus store and buy some used German commando boots. Incredible longevity, comfort and they are easy to put on and take off. You may need to go back a few times until you find a pair that feel exactly right.


    I had some that lasted ten years and multiple re-solings. Excellent value and you are recycling ... even if you feel you have to compromise on supporting military activity. I look on them as swords into ploughshares. :beard:


    I agree.


    Last year I bought a pair of Dutch Army boots online - cost me £40 including postage. The soles were completely unworn, the uppers a little creased as though they had been unpacked and left in a heap for a while. Extremely solid boots. I'd guess that this quality would be well over £100 in a shop - if you could buy anything as good.


    Can't remember the firm... but if you can get to a surplus store you can see - and try on - before you buy.

    I'm in Cornwall, so I'll be voting Mebyon Kernow - the Party for Cornwall.


    If I were in Wales I'd vote Plaid Cymru, in Scotland I'd vote SNP. In Northern Ireland I'd vote Sinn Fein.


    All the other parties are London based and are dominated by a Middle England mentalisty... which is centralist and Unionist. The Scottish Green Party is - pragmatically - pro independence... south of the border it is dominated by the same Middle England mindset as the other London parties. Its anti-car policies show that it doesn't actually understand rural economics...


    It is highly likely that there will be a hung parliament with Labour and Tory roughly level pegging. The SNP look set to have maybe 50 MPs and be holding the balance of power with Plaid (be nice to get an MK MP too...) but not in a coalition - rather by enabling a minority Labour government on an issue by issue basis. SNP would NEVER support the Tories in that way...


    The effect of governing only by the support of the SNP, Plaid and others will be to force Labour away from its Red Tory agenda and back towards its traditional (pre-Blair) position.


    Independence for Scotland will not be far off. The so-called UK is over centralised, run to suit the financial sector and past its sell-by date. Increased devolution for Wales and an Assembly for Cornwall will become more achievable.


    An independent Scotland will have an interesting effect on the politics of Northern Ireland.


    I don't know how much real support there might be for regional government within England in the near future, but in a few years there could be some movement. The problem would be in defining their borders...

    I lived on a 12 ton sailing yacht for twenty (? I think...) years - fridges and small seagoing boats don't mix. I never even entertained the idea. Eat veggie, use dried milk, cheese keeps for days even in summer (week or more in winter in a cool box on deck) in any case it tastes better if it has learned to walk a little... I had no electricity at all on board, and no engine - sailed everywhere, or anchored, or used the tide, and a sweep (or two when I had a crew).


    When I sold the yacht I bought a ruin and some land, met someone and rebuilt and extended (considerably!) the ruin. We had a fridge for several years - our house was off the grid. It was a 'Dometic'. We ran it on butane - a 14kilo bottle would last about five weeks - not cheap (say £5 per week, £260pa now?) but we had a kid... looking at the rating it would have been silly to run it on 12v or 240 via inverter.


    Contrast this with the cost of cooking on butane. On the yacht for a while I had a double burner hob and grill and a 14kilo bottle used to last a year or so. Today's cost about £25? Maybe about 8% of the consumption of a small fridge - which is going 24/7, don't forget.


    I started our Lister genny (hand start) whenever we wanted hoover, cement mixer, welder, angle grinder and if not twice a week to charge a couple of 110ah leisure batteries which we ran through an inverter for food mixer, odd use of electric drill etc. A friendly farmer sold us red diesel at cost. We would have 12 gallons every three weeks, maybe. But it all depends what you are doing... obviously you will use less if you are not using cement mixers and stuff.


    We had two lighting systems - 240v with low energy bulbs (from the inverter) and 12v. Partly belt and braces, partly because if you can see well enough with 12v it is more efficient and saves battery power. LEDs are useful, too - more choice now than even a few years ago.


    When I finally get my equity sorted and get a biggish van I'll be taking the same fridge (it has followed me around) but I don't know how much it will be used as such. A lot of the time it will probably be used just as a well insulated food locker - apart from veggie sausages, milk, and cheese I have little use for it... might get rid of it! But if I find somewhere to park up for any length of time with a hookup it would be practical...


    I guess I'll have a couple of 110ah leisure batteries and an inverter. Solar panels will be a new toy for me - they sound good if the price is right, and will help keep the batteries topped up. Preventing lead acid batteries from getting too low on charge is worth doing - more bang for your buck from a battery which is up to voltage. Lower state of charge, lower voltage and it takes a lot more out of the battery for any given amount of work - diminishing returns... worth looking up this sort of stuff on the internet!

    Unable to edit for some reason... I wanted to add that I'm now going into my second winter in this van ( pending getting a divorce sorted out financially) and it is OK - but (unless newer vans are better) inadequate insulation is the biggest problem. The floor has none - and it is noticeable (I have rugs, which helps). Touring caravans are not designed for winter living, I suppose.


    I think a big factor is the site. I'm on the north side of a hill... not ideal. And exposure to prevailing winds... I'm quite sheltered.