Marking out the roof material was a bit of a laugh, as it just wanted to roll back up like a swiss roll if you let go of it for a minute, so we ended up with it in
the road outside the house, held down with house bricks! We live in a cul-de-sac which is pretty quiet during the daytime, so nobody was inconvenienced.
The angle grinder with cutting disc did the job quickly and cleanly, and really earned its keep on this job.
The aluminium moulding that was going onto the top of the sheet had to be drilled through and so did the cant rails, so that was the next job. The capping ran
along both sides and across the front and back, with 5mm holes at 200mm intervals. Then we had to go back and de-burr them all....
Roof bearers and cant rails with double-sided tape applied.
Once we had it all ready, we got the roll up onto the roof and laid it out, fixing it down with weights until we could locate it accurately on the roof. Starting from the back
we rolled the roof towards the front, peeling off the protective layer on the double-sided tape as we went. It lay down fairly well, but we had little gullies in between the bearers afterwards,
so maybe we should have unrolled it the other way instead.
Roof sheet laid in top of the bearers, but the protective layer on the double-sided tape hasn't been removed yet.
Roof sheet stuck down onto the adhesive tape and bolted down front and back. Capping moulding to go on yet.
Looking up from inside, the roof is fixed down finally and sealed. Hasn't leaked at all yet.
The framing for the central bulkhead is in place, with an offcut sitting inside it.
Close up of the rear o/f top corner inside.
Once we had the roof on and sealed up, we could get on with the interior. What we had so far was an empty shell with no back door so we couldn't leave anything
inside of value in case of theft. The floor above the front axle was trimmed and fitted and sealed. Once that job was completed we could concentrate on getting
The internal divider erected and the side door cut out and made up.
We had already bought a caravan door and frame, plus we had one from the Swift caravan that we had broken up. The problem with them was that caravan walls
are much thicker, 30mm to our 14mm, so the doors we had wouldn't fit without a lot of modification. That wasn't a big problem, just something else to manufacture.
Last of the big offcuts of 21mm honeycomb. We used this material for the floor and dividing bulkhead. Rita in the living section.
Another job at this time was to get some lighting into the body so we could work on in the evenings. Four circular 12V flourescent lights had been purchased
and now we got them up on the roof supports and temporarily wired in for use. Each one has its own switch so we just fed 12V on a ring main to them. Their location
was revised after the first year, but the basics are the same, two in the back and two in the front, to which we added two spotlights in the front living section, with a pair
of linear flourescents over the sink/cooker area.
Interior lighting as originally fitted..
At the front end, we had laid out the Swift caravan beds and cupboard to see how it would fit into the area we had designed for it. With just a few packing strips it
went in without any modifications, the only issues we have had are that one frame for one bed had to be repaired after a piece was taken out by a previous owner
to clear a battery box that he fitted. We needed six strips of hardwood, two for the bed frames and four for the seat cushion back. Our local timber place cut that for us,
and after we fitted it all in, we had some offcuts which came in at just the right sizes for some other jobs later on.
First layout of the beds etc in the front. Cut-outs in the bed ends are still there, got to make new ends up.
Layout now with packing strips and beds screwed down firmly. Centre fill slats were a bit of a problem early on, but we solved that later.
At the back, work was still carrying on, but I had to work at both ends now, so it tended to be one end in the morning, then the other end in the afternoon/evening. We were
working on the wheel boxes/mudguards at the back, as they were something we couldn't travel without. In the end, they worked out well, we bolted a large piece of
honeycomb to the chassis to form the inner side, then boxed in the rest and used aluminium angle to finish it off. It looks OK and is very strong, you can walk on it
or jump up and down on it.
Wheel box on the o/side, looked tidy and was fairly economical. We used up most of the odd offcuts of the 21mm honeycomb.
Wheel box on the o/side, close-up of the mitres.
Wheel box on the o/side, another view looking towards the back door.
It was now 22nd of May, we were approaching the trip deadline fairly quickly, with lots of major jobs still to be done. We reckoned that we could live without the kitchen
and bathroom for the first trip, as it was going to be to Nuenen, which had showers and toilets for the exhibitors, and we could rustle up loads of cooking gear. Our
son, Philip was coming with his Land Rover, and then going on down to France afterwards, so we had his cooking gear as well.