19th February 2015
Getting back to business after a week in California:
I was thinking about the skylight aperture trim last night, I'm still a bit out of kilter with my body clock so wake up at 02.30 and lay there for a couple of hours.
I'll need to re-seal the aluminium angle trim that is above the roof, that is screwed through the roof panel into four hardwood pieces that form the hole in the roof. The skylight mechanisim screws into that wood front and back. It isn't particularly well done and needs a bit of work, but won't be done until I can take the skylight off for a few hours on a dry day.
I intend to use the 4" X 4" UPVC trim that we bought a couple of weeks ago, to cover the edge of the roof cladding and up into the skylight hole in one go, just needing to cut four pieces on the mitre saw to make it neat. I'll Sikaflex it to the roof cladding inside and screw into the hardwood pieces, then the skylight mechanism can be screwed through the UPVC and into the wood, with the finishing metal trims on last that cover the legs of the mechanism.
19th February 2015
Out in the Mercedes this afternoon, a bit nippy and breezy but OK once you're inside the van.
Job for today was to have a look at the skylight, determine the condition of the seal and check the state of the main frame which is fixed to the roof and carries the main cover.
The frame was covered in silver foil and adhesive, and lashings of what looked like Sikaflex. Took a while to clean that all off, and the main cover was removed so I could get a peek at the sealing between frame and roof.
The assembly seems to have come from Britax PSV but has a Kwikvent sticker inside. Kwikvent are a US company so not sure about its parenthood. It has a marking inside the cover with PSV approval details.
Once I had all the gunge cleaned off I refitted the cover and took a couple more shots.
The self-tappers that hold the top cover in place go from the inside-outwards, and although under the overall cover of the dome, they still let water in, but most of from the ali frame where it has not been sealed properly or the sealant has come away.
It's now or never to seal it all up as I will be Sikaflexing the surround trim in place and don't want to have to remove it for water leaks afterwards.
It's a big hatch, probably 600mm square inside. The more red coloured bit is the new piece fitted to carry the roof cladding.
23rd February 2015
Sorting out ventilation/extraction fans and their piping today.
We have two Manrose BSF112W 12V DC extraction fans, one for the shower/bathroom and one for over the cooker.
The dimensions on their website pdf are wrong, the smaller diameter is given as 90mm but in fact it has three moulded bosses that stick out and take the actual diameter close to the main body diameter of 98mm.
We have two existing mushroom vents which were fitted last year, and there needs to be a length of tubing connecting the vents with the fans. The shower fan will sit in the ceiling cladding, the sink/cooker fan is in the bottom of the cupboards.
Have also got to provide wiring feeds for the fans and the lights that go alongside each.
24th February 2015
Nice to have a bit of daylight at 5pm!
Whipped out the stepladder and measured up the position for the bathroom mushroom vent, measured off the skylight frame (which reminds me I didn't close it!).
Popped inside and transferred measurements to the roof cladding and whacked a 95mm hole right through.
Fortunately it was pretty much smack on the money I was able to cut slots in the vapour barrier, push the insulation away and there was the base of the mushroom vent.
The bathroom fan is only a few inches below the mushroom vent and fixed into the ceiling cladding. I'll have to make up an adaptor sleeve to go between the two items and to accommodate the different diameters.
At present, the bathroom walls won't be fixed to the ceiling, but will finish just short with a foam seal between.
4th March 2015
Waiting for the windows, promised for delivery today but had a call to say will be leaving today, 7 built, query on the last one.
Have a large piece of 110mm nylon bar which I am going to make an adapter for the extraction fan out of. It couples the mushroom vent inner with the extraction fan outer. Both different sizes....
Fire blanket purchased, plus odds and ends for the spares box: new clutch and a new flywheel (dual-mass) some engine management sensors etc.
Haven't been in the bus for a few days, but things picking up now and if the windows really do turn up tomorrow, that will gee things up somewhat.
5th March 2015
We have windows!
They look dimensionally OK as well, which is a major boost.
6th March 2015
Had a couple of new batteries for the trailer to fit, gave them a quick refresh charge and will fit over the weekend. Old ones were three or four years old when we put them in:
New windows are waiting for the aluminium sheets to be made:
9th March 2015
Last of the windows arrived this morning, as promised, so we have a complete set of eight now.
Got to get out in the bus tonight and measure up accurately the distances between windows in each pair, so they can have their apertures punched out in the new covering panels.
Then we have to remove eight largish bonded windows without damaging them. That should be a barrel of laughs.
Things are picking up a bit as the nights are getting brighter, but still cold working outside. There are quite a few jobs to do on the bus itself, like an air leak which involves some stripping down under the chassis, but it's too darn cold to be underneath at present!
14th March 2015
Been fairly busy with bits and pieces, the Bullfinch external LPG point came this morning, and I've been chopping up a sizeable chunk of nylon to make the adaptor for the extraction fan in the bathroom.
Industry being what is is, there's little standardisation between parts that have the same function, so the 12V extraction fan has 88mm or 98mm over its body, the mushroom vent takes 85mm pipe. You couldn't make it up!
There is enough roof void space to use a sleeve that can be double-diameter so it fits both articles.
So I started with a 175mm long chunk of cast nylon, 110mm diameter. I put it on the Rapidor to cut it down, but it was a right so and so to cut, I had to keep feeding lubricant to it or it would overheat and melt.
I'm just having a quick lunch then I'm going to see if it all fits to the roof. I'll have to open the hole up in the cladding by a bit, but I've got some new HSS burrs or cutters to use in my Dremel clone.
I also have to bring the fan wires out in the ceiling void and provide feeds for the two LED-converted lights.
15th March 2015
Spent a couple of hours today getting the vent fan in place and the two lights that go into the bathroom fitted and wiring brought out.
As the ceiling cladding sections are hollow, you cannot rely on screws to hold things in place, so I cut strips of foamed PVC board to go inside the ceiling cladding and screw into that.
I had to move the hole over a bit and widen it to take the bigger diameter of the adaptor. I use a Dremel clone with an HSS cutter of about 8mm diameter and not too fast. It creates a storm of plastic particles but eats through the plastic very easily.
Quick bit of wiring and a test to check all was working OK. The fan is noisy like an extraction fan, but no blade whine which I find more annoying that the airflow noise.
The lights are standard flourescents converted to LED's.