We had not forgotten the external side of the trailer while we were inside, but we needed fine days to be up a ladder working 8ft off the ground. Despite a
few breezy days we got the rain gutters up in place and also fitted the side, front and rear marker lights. Mainly just a case of cutting a hole for the light body
and then sealing it with Sikaflex 221 before screwing it to the body. The lights contain four LED's and aren't too bright but are OK in darkness. Reflectors were
also fitted at about this time.
Rear marker lights.
Side marker light with rain gutter above.
Lower body reflectors.
All lit up on battery power. Interior lights quite good at night.
Next on the jobs list was to sort out the door into the front living section. This would then fix the positions of other things like the windows and the kitchen units.
As we said earlier, the two caravan doors and frames that we had weren't any use as they were for a thicker wall, so in the end we cut the aperture and used
the material that came out for the door. We had already ordered aluminium channel and framing extrusion, so we got that done fairly quickly with the jigsaw.
Side door cut out and framed, no rain gutter or hinges/lock yet.
We were now at the 25th May, still hadn't sorted out the brake linkages, finished the beds or the cooker etc etc. The list of jobs seemed to be getting bigger not smaller!
The extrusions for the rear ramp/door had arrived and we had them cut by our machine shop next door, their CNC saw was magic for accurate repetitive sawing,
just what we needed for the expensive bits of extrusion. We had two pieces of large channel extrusion that we were going to use as ramps, but the addition of the floor plate
extrusion gave us a full-width door as well as a walk-in ramp.
Rear door/ramp support extrusions in place.
Rear door/ramp assembly of floor extrusions. We had just enough room to lay the ramp flat, it was a bit of a squeeze!
Rear door/ramp on its side to show the construction.
Framing trim round the edges of the floor planks.
Rear door/ramp support extrusions after chamfering.
The chamfering of the big channel extrusions took a while, but again we used the little angle grinder with a 1mm cutting disc. It didn't much care for aluminium,
but did the job well and all we had to do was to clean up the cut with a file to take the burrs off. The completed door/ramp was too big for me to lift by myself,
but I could manhandle it around. The pivots had to be drawn out so that we didn't finish up with a situation where the door couldn't open down because it was
fouling part of the body.
Rear door/ramp pivot blocks. M10 bolts go into threaded insert in the main chassis. Nylon bushes all round.
Rear door/ramp pivots and (temporary) steel pivot bar. The bar was replaced by a piece of Dural to save weight.
Rear door/ramp pivot assembly, unpainted.
A stainless steel spacer was fitted later to keep the nylon bushes in place in the
Rear door/ramp complete.
Rear door/ramp complete.
The back panel of the trailer was fitted with 3/4" foam strips that the rear ramp closed against, to make a fairly good weather seal. We fitted two spring loaded
side bolts to keep it in place while travelling, and there are two wire rope safety strops that hook onto rings on the ramp, so if the bolts failed it would still be kept
from falling down. In 2012 we fitted hasp and flap padlockable fittings and now the back and side doors are kept padlocked.