16th January 2015
A very puffed courier rang the bell at the factory, seven large packages on the doorstep. The eight new windows have arrived at last!
Initial feelings are that they are well made, we had tinted glass on all and opening top sliders on some of them.
Now got to take the old ones out to see how much work we need to do on the body under the bonding.
The new windows have curved corners, so we'll need to think about that as the old ones were square. These are the smallest pair, we haven't unpacked the large ones yet.
17th January 2015
Had a fairly rare lay in this morning, made SWMBO a cuppa about 9am, did emails etc then went out and got on with putting the roof lining supports in.
Robert had the insertion tool for the threaded inserts from when he worked at home after his face problem, and the little so and so kept forgetting to bring it back!
Anyway, he dropped it in this morning and I had a decent day in the sunshine putting the inserts into the roof supports and screwing the pre-drilled timbers to them.
The last one has to be finished off, M-Benz in their wisdom put a series of 7mm holes in the supports almost exactly where I needed my inserts to go, but as I could use the hole I got a blank timber and drilled the others as I went along. Three more holes to do.
18th January 2015
Another day in the bus, finished off the roof timbers and then started stripping out all of the bus wiring which was not original Mercedes kit. Leaving a tidy cab area after all the spaghetti that was there before!
That took a while, and the heavy stub of the dashboard end is still connected, I didn't fancy pulling the dash out today.
The wiring looks like it is well-made by an external company and has earth returns for all circuits, nice touch. Started to spray the roof panels with preservative after taking the wood runners down.
20th January 2015
Bit of an upset, the new windows are all wrong!
Checking sizes for the new external skins, we found that the biggest are 40% larger than ordered, and it looks like the window company has got confused between the office and production people.
Took them all back this morning, they have been re-advised of the required sizes and they say they will make a new set for us.
I have rechecked the sizes again tonight, all is correct and how it should be.
24th January 2015
Cold day but fairly pleasant out, went up to the factory to see about getting the roof cladding panels cut to size. Couldn't find a decent fine-tooth saw or the workshop set square, so went to Wickes to see if they had anything, but wasn't impressed, went to Wellingborough and B&Q, better selection.
Came back with a couple of gallons of premixed screenwash at £3 a gallon, but only good above freezing, so will put some Methylated Spirits in it when I get a minute.
Needed 5 pieces 15' 11-7/8" or 4.87 metres long, they are just over 300mm wide. Got 4 cut, 5th had some marks on the edges and 6th had the edge damaged, so the 7th was trimmed and I got the whole lot taped up and onto the Discovery roof, along with the finishing trims.
Put a ratchet strap through the rear doors and drove back home.
Degreased the roof hoops ready for the double-sided tape to go on, cleared up the pile of scrap metal from the skirt removal last year, then after the solvent fumes had dispersed I put on the double-sided tape and called it a day.
5pm and it was still quite light outside, nice to see spring is coming, if a little slowly.
Carry on with the insulation tomorrow, will be nice to get the cladding finished so I can get the floor done!
25th January 2015
Another half-decent day, got three sections of the roof fully insulated, looks reasonable and the cladding support timbers clamp the polythene against the roof hoops and double-sided adhesive tape once they are in place.
Hope to get the rest done if not too cold in the week, the adhesive and polythene sheet don't hold together too well in the cold.
27th January 2015
Got more done tonight, but had to finish early as Rita was not well and I took her up to Kettering to the 24hour surgery there. Got something for her tum and as we are online to our GP we got an appointment booked for early tomorrow morning for her.
Roof insulation is all done, and I have started to get the cladding supports up in place ready for the cladding itself.
The cladding sheets are 16ft long and are fixed to those timber strips (hardwood actually) They are tongued and grooved, so we start at the right-hand side against the top front cupboard runner and go right to left across and down the the other cant rail.
There is some sagging of the polythene sheet in places, but nothing to cause any issues. The cupboard interior back is two sheets of 1.5mm PVC sheet that curves from the top round to the back lower rail.
28th January 2015
Came home early to see Rita was OK, spent a couple of hours in the Mercedes getting the long starter moulding for the cladding marked out, drilled and screwed into place.
A trial fit of some short pieces of cladding shows that all is OK dimensionally, so later I may try a full 16 foot sheet in place.
Rita continues to improve but not eating much so pretty weak. Bit of a job getting her to eat anything, but she is in a more comfortable situation now and a lot more cheerful.
30th January 2015
Here is the first full length in place:
I have to cut holes in the second sheet for the lights.
1st February 2015
Said goodbye to one of our big engines yesterday, and picked up a tiddly one today as a smaller replacement
Work on the Mercedes continues, had to cut the first roof panel around the skylight opening and re-fit it, got the second panel ready with all the light cut-outs done and the wiring in place, then with Philip's assistance we got it up in place.
It isn't heavy, just very flexible and keeping it straight to engage with the first sheet was a bit difficult for one person. The starter strip for the first panel is much bigger and deeper and the panel stays where it is.
The cladding is hollow with very thin walls, so I cut strips of foamed PVC and slid them into the cavities to screw the light retaining screws into. To stop them going walkabout I screwed into them from the back as well. It was a scrap piece left over from the trailer that I cut up.My staple gun expired, nearly a new one in 2009 and hardly used, but a bit of plastic broke inside so off to Screwfix for a replacement.
Lights are up and wired in, look OK to me. Pictures taken without flash
We will be in California later this week, so work will slow down and stop as we get closer to the departure day.
Will have internet access at Tim's place, plus he pays something like 5c a minute for international phone calls, so we can keep in touch.
2nd February 2015
Work continues on the Mercedes, suitably encouraged by the past couple of days we went for another two ceiling strips tonight, no big issues except that the last one was too close to the windows etc to get the staple gun into, and the wood support was about 6mm too far towards the centre, the only one that was appreciably wrong.
Also tried a bit on the far edge to see how it is going to work, or not.
It's a double curve at that point but we have two bending planes so it looks possible, but it's going to be a major struggle trying to spring a 16ft section into position! One to think about.
Cleared round the skylight as well, plus put some support timber up where the edges are each side. Bought some 100mm X 100mm UPVC angle today to cut down and fit round the skylight hole.
Got to start getting ready for our USA trip on Thursday, so tomorrow night is probably our last day on the bus for a while.