Lister 5/1 Diesel

Drawbar Trailer Design & Build

Designing & Building Our 6-Wheel Drawbar Trailer Page 21


More work on the trailer today, but first had to have a trip to the tip with some house junk. The 8ft square sheet of GRP honeycomp got cut up to size first, that meant it could be stored away rather than sitting outside. That is for the bathroom wall replacement, scheduled for when we are past Nuenen and the Forum crank-up. Having sorted that out, we got the bits together and made a start on the front LPG filler point. All went OK, got the first pipe section bent and fitted, but the rest of the pipe was not Bundy tubing but hydraulic tubing, and the hand bender couldn't handle it. Going to see if we can find anything tomorrow so we can finish it off.


The replacement brake cable came this morning, 4mm galvanised cable with M10 fittings crimped on. This is replacing the 2.5 metre-long M10 stainless threaded rod that we fitted originally, saving about 1.5kg in weight and stopping it whipping up and down over bumps.

We fitted the satellite TV dish mounting last evening and got the cable fitted through the trailer to where the receiver is fitted. The mount was out of the original portable dish kit, just cut down and two holes drilled in it and bolted through the top rear n/s corner of the roof.

The kitchen splash-back panel is coming out, it was made in 16g stainless and is bl**dy heavy, I asked for 18g but they didn't have any, and it doesn't really do much, the cooker already has a lift-up panel that does the job.

Spare toilet cassette arrived last week, part of a Thetford 'Fresh-Up' kit, it gives us extra toilet capacity for when we don't have a toilet emptying point near to us.

I collected the plastic-sheathed LPG pipe from Tinley tech on Tuesday, rubber-lined clips came yesterday so got to get under and pipe up the front LPG filler point.

Got a couple of new 2gb memory sticks for the camera, expect to see some heavy use during the Nuenen weekend.


The stiffeners for the front floor under the engine arrived this morning, I've got to get them powder coated on Monday, but I can get the holes drilled and M10 inserts fitted into the trailer chassis over the weekend.

They bolt across the flat faces of two cross-members in the chassis. 398mm between the ends that go up between the cross-members.


Got the stiffener mountings done, one yesterday evening and one this morning, also checked wheel bearings and brakes while under there.

Each stiffener has 4 X M10 nutserts set into the 75 X 50mm cross-members, to support the floor under the front engine trolley wheels. I haven't looked to see where the rear wheels come yet, will do that later.

Last 'big' job to do is the piping up of the front LPG filler point. I'll probably do that in 2 pieces as it's nearly impossible to get all the bends in place with 15ft of pipe.

Silly job: fitting new feet to the folding chairs! At Nuenen last year we lost 12 feet in the ground, so this year we are super-glueing them to the chair legs!

Front towbar is fitted, not a particularly difficult job, but awkward to get in place and to get the mounting bolts out and new bolts in. It replaces the front chassis crossmember.

Also fitted a new n/s spotlight, the old one was damaged in Rita's little shunt a few years back but didn't get replaced. The body was cracked and it slowly filled up with rusty water.

Just having a cuppa before the next job, which might be the gas piping if the weather stays dry.

We've done quite well today, the stiffener mounts are all done, we took the stainless steel splashback out of the kitchen as it wasn't really doing anything, fitted 16 rubber feet to the chairs and all the brakes etc are checked and OK. Had two or three heavy sleet / hail and rain showers.


Another excellent run to Nuenen and back with the trailer, nothing broke or fell off, and the shower etc etc all worked a treat.

We lost the EHU (Electrical Hook-Up) a few times during the heavy rain, so the solar panels were really useful to keep everything going in the trailer, and we additionally had the satellite TV this year, which worked well. We were able to get Astra1 on 19.2E with lots of European and other foreign stations, but Astra2 on 28.2E was far better and had all the UK channels that most folks watch.

We had used Dishpointer in advance of the trip to mark up alignment positions so we knew roughly where we would have to point the dish, and it worked well.

There was a small issue with the cassette toilet, the opening and closing of the seal between the fixed portion and the removeable cassette became very stiff and vague at the same time, and on arriving back we found that one of the support bushed has broken out of the mechanism housing, caused mainly by water scale making the pivot bushes stiff to operate.

I've Araldited the broken bit tonight and will de-scale the bushes, perhaps adding a bit of vaseline or silicon grease when I assemble the bits.

Here are some pictures of the bits and pieces:

The break and the broken out part are clearly shown, as is the lime scale on the pivot.


We had fitted the front towbar onto the Discovery before leaving for Nuenen, but didn't get a chance to try it out, but when we unloaded the Ruston, we used the front towball to push it into the factory yard and up onto the step by the roller shutter. Did it in low range with the engine on tickover.

Same when we put the trailer away, it was sooooo much easier with the push bar, just a little strange to start with until you had worked out the relationaship between the steering wheel in the car and what the trailer was doing!

The floor supports were great, and we have ordered another pair for the rear, hoping to have them in the next few weeks.

Re-working the bathroom which was put off due to cold and wet spring weather, will go ahead, we have cut the new walls out of the sheet of honeycomb that we bought last year, hope to begin stripping out the old stuff this weekend, now we are back from Nuenen. Nothing else on the cards rallywise until after the summer.


Spent the best part of this weekend ripping out the bathroom entirely and removing the chipboard panels. They were Focus DIY specials, but very poor quality (B&Q were out of stock)

We bought the honeycomb sheet last year, it's been sat outside strapped to the trailer all this time.

We cut the sheet of honeycomb up before Nuenen, so all we had to do was to refit the new walls, cut the doorway aperture and screw everything back together, but it didn't work out that simple, it never does!

There were a few things we wanted to do better this time, so we did the mod's required and finally tonight had it all assembled, just needing the shower tray to be sealed around the edges and a piece of foam made up to go in the corner by the window.

Cutting the GRP is a nightmare, HSS blades seem to do the job best and cleanest, but facemasks are needed and the dust gets everywhere.

Trying to find someone to sell me a small quantity of 9/16" rubber channel to go round the cut edge of the door aperture now. Best one is in New Jersey....


We've been ripping out the bathroom on the trailer and putting new walls in, using GRP/Honeycomb, which we should have used originally as the chipboard we got from Focus DIY was rubbish. Anyway, old stuff out, new walls in, sat the shower tray in place and screwed everything together, all looks great, just waiting for some flange head pozi self-tappers and nylon washers.

Why does it always seem to be the case that if you order 6 things from ebay, 5 will arrive the next day, but the ONE thing you really need never shows? Anyway, decided that we could carry on with the next phase, which was to replace the bed/seat ends with something better than what came out of the Swift Challenger that we gutted for parts:

Those end panels nearest the camera are hollow, just thin 3mm sheets of cr*p plywood with a solid filler where the screws go. The cut-away areas are where they went over the wheelarches in the caravan.

Over a period of time, those panels and the staples that hold this lot together have worked loose and give out the most apalling squeaking/groaning when there is any movement on the bed/seats, which sometimes causes us to end up in fits of giggles at night as people must wonder what we are up to, or maybe they are just jealous?

Took them out this evening, made up two new solid panels that are much taller, about double the height, and then came to screw them back together, only to find that I need 45mm screws and I have every other size but 45mm long....

We are going to make up a couple of shelves between the seat on the right and the new bathroom wall, mainly for stowing our suitcases when we are away as the trailer doesn't have a huge amount of storage space. The shelves will be in GRP/Honeycomb as well, but 21mm not the thinner stuff we used for the walls.

I'll get some pictures taken tomorrow.



How many can openers does it take to open a Fray Bentos pie? Rita went up to the field to plant some Gorse plants, Philip went with her as he had a pile of brushwood to burn, plus the old chipboard out of the trailer. Rita kindly left me a Fray Bentos pie for lunch, trusting that I could manage to heat it up without blowing the house up.

It took me 20 minutes with THREE different can openers to get into the bl**dy thing! Talk about design problems, Here we had three almost new openers, none of which would do the job properly, I had to go round three or four times before the lid came off and I could put the pie in the oven.

Anyway, back to the job in hand....

Having made both of the bed ends up to replace the old ones, I had to go to Wickes to get some No8 X 1-3/4" screws. 4mm X 45 was too long. I picked up some plastic trim angle at the same time, but looking at what they charged me, I'd have been better off driving to B&Q at Wellingborough.

I found that the No8 X 1-3/4" were fine if I didn't drive them too hard, otherwise they would just start to poke their way into the Gel Coat of the ply pieces. The

n I made up the first of the two shelves for the suitcase storage, I had some unequal angle in the engine shelter and that was enough for one, I'll get another couple of lengths delivered next week from Aalco. Once I had the shelf supports done, I cut the 21mm honeycomb up and with the bits of trim in place it looks quite tidy. There will be a trim piece at the front edge that will give a low lip to stop things sliding off. I also spent a while sorting out that awful creaking on the bed frame

Still trying to find some flexible/soft 14mm or 9/16" rubber or plastic channel for the bathroom door aperture trim.


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