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Building A Vauxhall Combo Micro Camper.

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    As a side note to the purchase of my lovely little Veritas Pandora I wasn't over inspired by the condition and age of the flexible hose that supplied the appliance from the campingaz cylinder. Today I modernised the set up by replacing the connections with a new high pressure hose, cylinder isolation tap and appliance isolation tap. As a qualified LPG service engineer and installer I strongly recommend you that you maintain a high standard of service with any fuel burning appliances you may have inside your vehicles. I've also added a dry powder fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide alarm and fire blanket to the van today.

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      What a great Saturday mornings read all this was! Great to see such quick progress you've done more in a month than we have on our van in 18 months. Hope you will carry on reporting the progress and any probs' you may have now it's usable.

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        Thank you Owd Bob.

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          The space under the floor, behind the drivers seat, is where I will be keeping my gas cylinder and my stove. In order to be able to maximise the internal space, particularly at night, I need to be able to put my cooking appliance away. This is why it was necessary to find the smallest stove possible without having to rely on the disposable canister type. Because I'm storing the cylinder under the floor it is absolutely necessary to consider ventilation. In any cylinder compartment a means of escape for leaking gas must be provided.

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            Great stuff keep it up

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              Having vowed not to strike a bat today my eagerness to stay on track got the better of me.

              A couple of evenings ago the wife and I decided to give the concept of just pulling up somewhere and climbing in the back a try. A dry run we said. I was particularly eager to see wether, how, if the inflatable camp bed A. Fitted and B. if it actually worked as a concept.
              We drove a short distance to our local German supermarket and put the plan to the test.
              We had already proved this theory at home but at the time (during the build) we hadn't tried the air bed for size.
              Getting in the back of the van from a seated position in the front is easy. My wife sits to the front edge of the passenger seat and folds the back of the seat down flat. She then moves the cab curtain to one side and scurrys off into the back. I climb over into the passenger side and follow her in. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (we could just get out and enter through the side sliding door but where's the fun in that?).
              This is where the whole experiment turned to mud. Trying to manhandle an oversized lilo, with the two of us cursing and shaking, stooped over like two bent sticks, trying to inflate a bed which has more valves than an octopuses internal organs was simply too much for us both. It does not work. It will not work.

              Back to the drawing board.

              After a bit of online window shopping (actually my Wife mentioned these right in the very beginning....... I apparently never listen) we found the Z bed. These type of guest beds are entirely made of foam and are (in the case of the ones I purchased) tri-folding. They form a seat base and back rest during the day and when unfolded create a 6 foot long sleeping platform which is 13cm thick. They're all over the usual online retail outlets but, luckily for us, the big A and its shiny book of dreams came up trumps.

              Problem solved.

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                Originally posted by DANTAGE View Post
                Having vowed not to strike a bat today my eagerness to stay on track got the better of me.

                A couple of evenings ago the wife and I decided to give the concept of just pulling up somewhere and climbing in the back a try. A dry run we said. I was particularly eager to see wether, how, if the inflatable camp bed A. Fitted and B. if it actually worked as a concept.
                We drove a short distance to our local German supermarket and put the plan to the test.
                We had already proved this theory at home but at the time (during the build) we hadn't tried the air bed for size.
                Getting in the back of the van from a seated position in the front is easy. My wife sits to the front edge of the passenger seat and folds the back of the seat down flat. She then moves the cab curtain to one side and scurrys off into the back. I climb over into the passenger side and follow her in. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (we could just get out and enter through the side sliding door but where's the fun in that?).
                This is where the whole experiment turned to mud. Trying to manhandle an oversized lilo, with the two of us cursing and shaking, stooped over like two bent sticks, trying to inflate a bed which has more valves than an octopuses internal organs was simply too much for us both. It does not work. It will not work.

                Back to the drawing board.

                After a bit of online window shopping (actually my Wife mentioned these right in the very beginning....... I apparently never listen) we found the Z bed. These type of guest beds are entirely made of foam and are (in the case of the ones I purchased) tri-folding. They form a seat base and back rest during the day and when unfolded create a 6 foot long sleeping platform which is 13cm thick. They're all over the usual online retail outlets but, luckily for us, the big A and its shiny book of dreams came up trumps.

                Problem solved.
                I'm just laughing to myself at the thought of you and the Mrs in the back of the van in a supermarket car park. What do they say " if the van is rocking ..........

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                  Just incase you may have been thinking that my little project had gone quiet I'd like to share with you a progress update.
                  I haven't been quite as busy because most of the work now revolves around designing the internal space.
                  I have been toying with the idea of upper storage cupboards and it's taken me a few days to get the dimensions just right so as the cupboards aren't too intrusive but yet big enough to house the basics.
                  A good idea when designing something like this is to use the universal law of size. If you're not familiar with the universal law of size let me enlighten you......

                  Baked beans.

                  Oxtail Soup.

                  Sweet Corn.

                  Rice Pudding.

                  Meat Balls.

                  That's right!!!!!!!!

                  The tin!!!!!!

                  Empires have been created and humankind has populated the globe due to this simple innovation. Tin size is a universal measurement and it offers an individual like me the law of size.

                  Having decided on my length and depth I cut four strips of 12mm plywood to 160mm x 1000mm. I screwed them together using block fixings to create an L shape. Using the universal law of size I cut openings in the front of each L section and then I covered them in spray adhesive and finally I wrapped them in the same material I used on the walls.



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                    Nice backpack...!!!

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                      Thank you NiedrigerIQ I found it at my local recycling centre (Tip Shop) and I had to have it. Canvas and leather with a rubber removable liner and 1 x Secret Pocket. £2.

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                        Quality item...

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                          Originally posted by DANTAGE View Post

                          . . . . .Tin size is a universal measurement and it offers an individual like me the law of size.

                          Having decided on my length and depth I cut four strips of 12mm plywood to 160mm x 1000mm. I screwed them together using block fixings to create an L shape. Using the universal law of size I cut openings in the front of each L section and then I covered them in spray adhesive and finally I wrapped them in the same material I used on the walls.


                          Surely those dimensions are wrong? I think you meant you cut 12mm plywood to 1.5 tins x 9 tins?
                          Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself.

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                            A day out at the garage for Vanessa and me today. I've had the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to really get to know the van as I use her as my daily drive.
                            Having got the van on the ramp and up in the air it was nice to have a good look and a poke around underneath. No nasty surprises really and in actual fact she's got quite a good bottom.
                            Oil and filter changed. The little oil leak which was suspected to be coming from the sump actually turns out to be originating from somewhere around the alternator. This will require further investigation.
                            I removed both front discs and pads and replaced with new. There wasn't a problem with the braking system and the old pads were ok but the discs were very worn.
                            There was a slight knocking on the front suspension and this was diagnosed as possibly the drop links being at fault. With the front brake discs removed the drop links could be got at and sure enough, o/s bent like a banana, n/s upper bush thread worn and threaded.
                            Rear brakes stripped and cleaned. The shoes were ok but there's a little bit of a lip on the drums so I might replace these later in the year. Handbrake adjusted to suit.
                            New rear silencer fitted.........by God what an absolute pig of a job. In the end I had to forcibly remove the old one with an angle grinder and cutting disc.
                            All brake pipes cleaned and visually inspected. They're showing some signs of (light) corrosion so again I'll keep an eye on this. In the meantime a generous coat of old engine oil mixed with grease will suffice (for me at least).
                            Crank sensor or cam sensor (cant remember now which one) was showing as a fault on the diagnostic computer so I changed this too. Another pig of a job.
                            And that was it...... for now. The thermostat is sticking I think as the gauge has a mind of its own and I want to also replace the fuel filter. There's a tiny bit of play in the steering rack but again, I'll sit on this.
                            I don't mind these kind of jobs as it allows for a deeper understanding of the vehicle. Obviously I don't possess a crystal ball and anything can go wrong at any time but I can tick these bits off and sleep easier at night knowing that they've been done.

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                              Err ummm yes. The new bed looked comfortable.
                              Seriously grand job, and lots of folk on here will understand the effort you are putting into the mechanical side.

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                                Thank you CJ. UK it's finally coming together now......I think. The bed system is great, I'm hoping it's as comfortable to sleep on as it is to sit on!
                                The next milestone is the kitchen area. I have made a template for my worktop using 12mm plywood, when finalised, the worktop will stow away flat to the side wall behind the drivers seat (shaped and sized to match the dimensions of the window inset panel I made earlier in the build). The diameter of the campingaz cylinder is exactly 210mm and this fits beautifully in my gas compartment along with my Veritas stove. I have just purchased a tiny little stainless steel bowl sink which, at exactly 210mm in diameter, will stow away with the cooker and the gas. Because of this I have cut a circular hole in my worktop to accommodate the sink. I also found a very old 70s/80s fold away Whale tap on the world's biggest online market place. This will be permanently fitted to the original Vauxhall plastic panel behind the drivers seat (hopefully) and via a switch and a pump it should (hopefully) provide my running cold water.

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