Posts by MadGutts

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    So my next installments will be the new underbody storage boxes to replace the plastic one that was already on the truck when i bought it... I am building 3x new boxes, one for the gas bottles, one for the pump, toilet fluids and spare cassette for the bog, and then a third for other bits and bobs like the leveling legs and other junk i need to carry! lol

    in the week between xmas and new year i decided to modify some of my old awning sections to make a mini awning... its big enough to house bikes and my new generator and as someone else pointed out, its a good wood shed too! as the generator makes enough heat to dry the wood :D

    so a feww bits of old PVC with the cord on to slid into the frame, makes this awning really quick to assemble!

    and it all packs into a back... well except the ally frame

    moving on... and with the sun out and the panels flat i was getting a good voltage and charge for my batteries

    Yet after the summer and now we dont really see the sun, i decided to actually fit my panels correctly as i ran out of time in the summer... in these winter months, the lorry is off the road for some major mods and the solar was one of the changes i need to make for the darker days...
    So the first thing to do was remove all the old fixings and work out new ones... so i made some simple aluminium angle hinges and got some aircraft pins to hold the panels in to the new brackets.

    Using these quick release pins enables me to remove 2x pins and lift the panel up to face the sun.

    So the rear panels can be lift to face the front of the truck, and then both side ones can be lifted to face the sun too... so i can have the 2x panels nearest the sun flat, and the 2x behind them tilted to give more power - if i tilted the one nearer the sun, it would shade the other 2 ;)

    So this means when its overcast or low sun i can still get power and it has made a difference believe it or not!

    So the next plan is to finish the roof rack on the cab and then to have a temporary mount on there for 2 more panels in the winter as they can simply be stood on the cab roof rack and leant on the body ;)

    Also in the summer when it was bighter, i decided to bite the bullet and buy 2x mini heki roof lights, these are awesome and let so much more light in that a normal roof vent.
    Installing them was the fun bit though... my celing in the lorry is a double skinned fibreglass roof.. the outer skin is bonded to the metal frame work which is what holds the roof up, then there is 25mm of polystyrene and another layer of fibreglass riveted on the inside...
    So i made a wooden frame up to support the roof whist cutting the first layer of GRP out.

    once that layer was out i could cut out the excess polystyrene and fit another wooden frame into the void... the inner and outer frames were then screwed together to stop any movement.

    then i could remove the much thicker GRP exterior roof

    using loads butyrub (non setting mastic) i sealed the grp to the wood, and the new rooflight to the grp and made sure there were no gaps!

    this process was completed twice and it makes one hell of a difference!

    So update time!!!

    The last few months have made me put the lorry on the back burner as i have had to move to a new yard and setup my office and storage.... Using an old container which we cut in half, i have now 2x containers, one for stoarge and one that is my office :D all off grid....

    So while i was sorting things like that out, i gave my mum my material and foam and she made removeable covers so i can wash them for some of my cusions

    so all the rear bunks are pretty much done...

    While at the new yard i decided to upgrade my mains hookup - future proof and knowing what i will be getting up to with the truck in the comming months.. so i now have a 32A feed to my fusebox, and an adaptor cable to a standard 16A plug on the rear too...

    So after a small test road trip with the wagon we went down to the south coast for a few days in the summer and headed to Bimble solar to collect my new solar systems....
    So another long day to rewire my entire power box and make room for 4x new batteries, the solar controller and all the extra wiring required too!

    so took a couple of days but new batteries in, new fuseboxes in, wires all tidied, solar in, small inverter in and ready to go!

    So once all the wiring was done it was time to connect everything

    so with 700w of solar i never run out of power!!

    Can I just ask, how loud is your generator, when it's on and you're inside?
    Do you notice much vibration?

    The genny isnt a quiet type and unfortunately has an over run issue, so i have removed it at the moment... so thats getting rebuilt, but in all fairness, it was faily noisey but wasnt too bad inside due to all the insulation on the box... vibration was minimal as the generator was mounted on rubber feet ;)

    I have a much larger set which i can use when i really need power, but my solar is working very well so mains power isnt really needed much! ;)

    HI guys, sorry is been a while since my last confession!!! lol
    So "floatingaround"
    The storage boxes are not metal! they are flightcases made from a lightweight plastic sheeting with aluminium edges... im then building a subframe from ally angle and box to support the boxes, this subframe is bolted to the cross struts of the box body ;)
    Will get some pics of the next boxes which im about to make for the other side now ;)

    So a few weeks ago a friend asked me to come over as he was having a party, so i loaded up the wagon and headed over

    so with enough chairs and tables for the BBQ and food, i also took a sound system for some light entertainment

    Then 2 weeks ago another trip up to Santa Pod raceway for Dragstalgia and this was the first time since the road trip to get the awning fixed and new sides made back in february to actually asseble the whole awning!! WOW
    it took me and my son nearly an hour to build it and work out the best way to assembe the parts - i did read the manual some time ago which seemed fairly straight forward, but it was deffinately a misson! so practice will make purfect im sure! lol

    And now my new cusions for the bunks have turned up too! so have just covered themin the netting stuff and test fit them as the sofas

    i had to pull the carpet up in the front as it was wet, but not found out if it was condensation or a leak... but its been dry for the last couple of weeks..

    So a couple of nights ago i managed to fit a new awning light... ok the flood lights are amazing! but when you just want a small amount of light like a lantern etc, it was too much... so found a led tape with multi functions including white which is much better

    So the next installment will hopefully be the cushions covered and fitted properly... Still the whole roof to do inthe rear, but i need to get some roof lights now as with 4 of us in the truck it got a bit stuffy over night.... so need more ventilation ;) loads to do still but im loving every moment of it! :D

    Cheer guys, still loads to do but its just the money and time factor... and now with moving to my new yard, im setting up a container to be an office and be off grid too!! :D
    But still doing bits when i can...

    So another sunday morning, i dug out my industrial carpet and fitted a piece in the front end of the lorry

    Then after waiting a month for all the parts to be delivered i managed to get a nice piece of brushed alluminium composite panel under the CNC and make the panel up

    there are 2x battery gauges because the leisure battery bank is 24v in series, but i use the fist battery 0-12v for all lighting pump, and general electrics running the essential systems.. Then the second battery 12v-24v (only 12v outut though) runs the 12v socket in the panel which is where my freezer coolbox plugs in

    love the brushed effect against the dark wood, the first switch is the power to the guages, the second 2 way switch enables me to turn on 1 or both of the usb sockets - no point in wasting power if im only charging 1 device! then the 3rd switch is for the lighing under the seats... the 4th is spare at the moment, but im sure it will have a use later! lol

    So another late night, but installed the flood lighting onto the side of the box, it did mean i had to take a cupboard backout but i have made everything easily removable so was easy enough...

    Oh, and she was weighed - 6.6 - result.

    I have some tiles and timber in there that I need to get shot of - forgot to take out - so I think that I still have a tonne to play with - result!

    Wow! mine only weighs in at 5.8 with a bloody great awning and full water tanks!

    Thanks mate.. still loads to get done... but its useable now!
    This week the new foam turned up and the netting and material to cover them... so hope my mum can get stitching soon! ;)

    So on a sunny sunday morning:

    the wagon got moved to its new home:

    So another LED purhase for some nice moodlighting RGB tape with a remote control

    At the end of May was the Main event at Santa Pod Raceway (love a bit of fast car action) so the truck had her first test!

    Over the 4 day event.... found out the water tanks are not big enough... so need to double up my tanks... Deffo need to get some solar panels on the roof too... 2x 85ah batteries worked fine for the weekend for running the pump and electrics, but di have to change the battery over on the saturday night... not a biggy but solar would be a great boost when the trucks being sat all day!

    so my shopping list goes on! and so will the build - funds allowing!

    Well i have been busy over the last few weeks... unfortunately due to circumstances out of my control, i have lost my old unit but i have found a new yard... so all is not lost.
    But before i moved out, i had to finish a few jobs.... So i have built some large flight cases:

    Once the case was made i then used some aluminium angle to build a frame to attach the case under the lorry

    this is where all my awning sides are going to live.

    So with the side bar back on its a snug fit!

    so another late night and the rear box was on too

    So another few late nights but another little job completed...
    reclaimed steel to make the framework, some hevy duty runners and some aluminium box section - all for free :D

    So the control box for the tail left needed tobe moved, and i had to remover the rear of the wheel arch to allow the stainless box sections to be bolted to the cross members

    So after a few hours of messing (and a late night again) i got the framework in and test fit the generator

    So i managed to make the front door and use some ACP panels tomake the back and sides of the box and then refit to the truck

    so the door protects the generator

    which then slides out for use

    Had to movemy mains hook up too for ease of access too

    but fully functional and enough power to run the small electrics on board...

    next is the belly boxes for the other side ;)

    So another update...
    love using the CNC to cut the doors, panels etc.. everything is mm perfect and all i have to do is sand the edges and drill pilot holes - far better than any MFI type kits! lol

    So i got totest fit the end and face

    then the base and centre partition/support went it and the front was fixed in

    then after fitting the doors, staining, and fitting the other hardware the unit was finished!
    now got somewhere for the sleeping bags :D

    now this is my point, the laptop is not the problem... my laser printer and heat press are the issues!
    both need a good amount of power required for both!

    Hi guys... im new to the solar world but im after a way to get good clean power without the noisey generator running...
    I fully expect that the easiest and cheapest option in the long run will be to buy a desent silent gen set...

    but im looking at a solar solution too...
    I need to run computers and other low power devices, so a pure sign wave inverter connected to a battery bank and solar panell array would work, but im unsure of exactly what i need

    So power wise, a 1000/2000w inverter, big bank of batteries and some large panles to keep the charge is obvious.. but i no nothing about charge controllers (i know what they do), but not which type i need...
    So MPPT or PWM ? pros and cons please!

    thanks in advance

    So another few little jobs done in the last week, got roof insulation and roof panel with lighting in the wetroom

    so a warm led downlighter installed and only a few more small bits to actually finish the wet room off - like a mirror, sink splashback anda shower head and hose..

    So i have started on the rest of the storage , so a cupboard over the sofa has gone in - finally somewhere to store the sleeping bags

    So now that end unit is in i can make the rest of the unit coming down the side to the door... hopefully this week! lol

    Bondheaddread :
    this is probrably correct, however the MOT teste ron the day has the final decision.. Plus it can also be classed as a Living van if you have a garage or larger load space... but if the tester isnt told, im guessing they will only go n the V5/plate details on there system

    Nice work so far, just a bit of advice but you really need a non return valve in the cold water supply to the boiler just before the drain valve ie not between the drain valve and the boiler couldn't see one there in the pics, without one you can get hot water feeding back up the cold pipe,

    I was ondering about putting one in, but haven't put any water through the system yet! so willgetone ordered and fitted asap ;)

    So another weekend of tinkering away... test fitted the shower pod and tap

    going to work there, still pleanty of space

    so with the shower tap towards the back wall of the a wet room, there is space for a door, i wanted a bi-folding door into the space

    So the sink went in and the drainage all got connected...

    Next is the celing and LED lighting ;)

    I have RAC cover which i now know was not the best option!
    Firstly is a life time membership which is fine, however it doesnt cover the recovery! so 90 quid to be registered and then they do bugger all for that other that supply a maned phone line to help you! thwy will arrange everything but you have to pay the recovery!

    So im now looking at the green flag mayday policy too - heard only good things! think you are suposed to be a member of the Caravan club, but dont see anything saying you NEED to be a member when you go through the forms!
    Infor here:

    So on to the back bunks..
    before i started, thought i would show you guys how the pull out frame worked as someone was asking...

    closed, makes a sofa,

    and folded against the wall its out of the way...

    so over the weekend i added to the bottom bunk, and now the wall looks like this:

    Now folding the bottom bunk down, the back of the sofa folds up and makes a work bench in the rear

    the bottom bunk can be folded backup too

    So with the work bench out of the way, the top bunk can be used:

    So with the cushions on, it looks useable:

    Though im going to put a side on the top bunk and and a ladder at the end... but good stopping point for a sunday! ;)