Lister 5/1 Diesel

Drawbar Trailer Design & Build

Designing & Building Our 6-Wheel Drawbar Trailer Page 22


Moving on from the Gorse planting (Rita planted 20 in total, 10 yesterday and 10 today) I was able to concentrate on the trailer for most of today, and managed to use up a lot of remaining ali extrusion and honeycomb off-cuts in the process, which saves a bit of money.

That's where we finished up, it's all in place bar some bits of plastic trim that need to be stuck down with some double-sided tape. It lets us put our two suitcases in the bottom compartment, on their sides and gets them off the floor, while the top surface gives us a bit of extra worktop space in the living area.

The extrusion across the front of both shelves is about 10mm high, just to stop stuff sliding about. Peter


We finally found some edge trim that looks OK, the only snag is that it is black, but fits the side panels and the door aperture nicely, if a little bulkily. Certainly finishes off the bed ends and the bathroom door aperture has the door across it most of the time...

Made my wrists ache!


More inside the trailer tonight, bought a used Propex warm air heater to go inside at the front, it's a 'balanced flue' type where the combustion air and exhaust are vented outside, and there's a blower to push warm air around inside.

Propex Compact 1600 is the type, current models are a fair bit of money, but this was 215 with carriage, and I've had to buy a length of the stainless exhaust pipe for another 25 including postage etc. Picture is a bit small, it was one on the ebay auction.

Most of the bathroom is now done, got the vanity unit to put back in when we have rigged up the additional taps for the basin. At present, the shower head doubles as a tap for the basin, but we have a new set of taps to go alongside with their own spout. Just got to pipe both sets up before it all goes back in.


More on the interior work:

Got the bathroom door back on, had to fit new hinges and devise a way of attaching them to the honeycomb, finished up through-bolting them with M3.5 coutersunk screws and brass round nuts inside the bathroom.

Broke the lock while sorting out a new striker plate and got marooned in the loo! Araldited the old one but just ordered a couple of new locks, still available but prices varied from 24 to just under 9. Amazing what you find if you search!

It's a fairly well-known occurrence, but I hadn't expected mine to fail!

The water heater tie-rod holds the main water reservoir onto the heat exchanger, and normally I'd not have given it much of a thought, but I had to take the tank off mine today to get at something right by the wall, and the tie-rod just snapped off at the point where it screws into the heat exchanger.

The rod is aluminium, painted but unprotected where the water takes most effect, at the joint into the heat exchanger.

Hard water is at its most corrosive where there is heat, and the pictures show what it does. I think that the long-term answer is a bit of 316 or 304 stainless steel in there, but for now I've ordered a new anodised rod from fleabay, from which I shall take dimensions to have a batch of stainless ones made up.

The remains of the old one will need to be carefully drilled out, if the corrosion is really bad it may need a Helicoil inserted. Might also try a sacrificial anode in there.


Warmish day but rain on and off. Had to put the sheet back over the Ruston as it had blown completely off.

Various bits and bobs being worked on, I took the damaged bed framing out on Saturday so we can order more hardwood and get it sorted once and for all. The quality of the framing timber is pretty awful, full of knots and splits.

I also started on getting the Propex heater installed, and cut two 50mm holes in the floor to allow the inlet and exhaust pipes to poke through. The actual pipes are 25mm, but clearance for the exhaust is required as it gets pretty hot and the polyester honeycomb wouldn't like that at all.

First picture is the heater roughly in place, with the repaired framing above it and at the end. You can see the split in the top end rail on the left-hand end.

Next picture shows the heater bolted down and the bed/seat framing removed, the wiring to the control box is in place and the other box which carries two indicators but a fair bit of electronics is stuck onto the casing for now, out of harms way.

Next picture is a closer view of the heater and one of the boxes. The four-way terminal block was already with it, I made up a new loom for the thermostat etc but didn't want to get too far into the box before we tried it out, may replace that later.

Last picture is a close-up of the thermostat box, pity the cables didn't come out of the other corner, but it is what it is, so we have a loop of cable outside.

Got to get more 8mm copper pipe for the gas feed, I have already taken the water heater feed out and put a T-piece on the pipe, ready for the blower heater.



As is usual with ebay, the things you are waiting for take ages to come!

Three bits showed up yesterday, including some stainless end caps for the Propex heater exhaust and a new toilet door catch.

Got the heater cap on last evening and fitted the pipes to the underside of the body.

Mudguards are off so I can get the supports properly finished, it was a bit of a rush job originally, so now they will get the usual treatment.

While in the Peterborough area today, we called in to Wisbech to look at a new vanity unit for the trailer. The old one has a few cracks and really is too large for what we need, so SWMBO asked to have a look at something new and smaller. We looked at a 'Cleo' tip-up sink unit with a matching cupboard unit, and herself pronounced them suitable, so that was that!

Also the Meranti timber for the new bed framing turned up, quite reasonably priced in my view, 22 for everything, and more than we needed, so enough to keep as spare material.

Also had a leak turn up in the living room ceiling this evening, so up on the roof tomorrow!


Went to another of Joe Saward's evenings in the City of London last night, good trip down and back and not a bad evening, bottle of white wine was 14 or so, and the buffet meal was pretty good as well. Downside was that we left St Pancras at 00.15am and arrived home at just past 01.30, so had a lay in this morning.

Anyhow, got out there and got cracking on the bed/seat frame rebuild. The timber we bought was 10m of Meranti 15mm X 30mm and 10m of 12mm X 15mm, came to 23 with VAT, which I thought was reasonable, considering what B&Q charge for a bit of square moulding.

Got the bed frame repaired, screwed and glued all the joints, and that finished off that corner for now.

Next job was to revamp the bed slats that go across between the seats to make up a full-size double bed. The existing system used slats connected by nylon braided tape which you pulled out in a string from under the end cupboard, but likely as not they would jam up under the cupboard either pulling out or going back, so we resolved to do something about it.

Using some of the spare Meranti and the slats, we built two panels of slats that are much easier to install and remove, and there's room behind the cupboard to store them after use. We will be routeing the blown hot air behind the cupboard so the slats had to come out anyway.

Got to pipe up the gas heater next, and then go for a trial run

Had a trial run with the new vanity unit and cupboard:


Spent most of the day in the trailer, the bed slat frames we made up yesterday were OK to handle as the glue had dried, and they fitted nicely behind the end cuploard at the front.

Then I sat down and drew up a sketch for the additional shelves that we had planned to go inside the front door on the left as you get into the trailer. The two shelves cut out of the piece we removed for the bathroom door aperture, so minimum waste.

I was going to pipe up the warm air heater, but didn't have a T-piece, so I'll order that from fleabay tonight.

Seeing the second picture reminds me I must move the CO alarm!

Note that the lower shelf on the other side of the trailer is out so we can get access to the gas feed for the warm air heater.

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