Friday, 19 July 2013

Campervan; bed frame and roofbars - Part 6

Little by little jobs are getting done, one day in the distant future hopefully they will all come together and the vision I have in my head will be a reality. First off I forgot to document a job I did a while back. I bought some roof bars and found they were very hard to fit without ladders!

 They were silver when they started, I wrapped them in matt black nylon and did a damn good job of it, out of the 3 bars there is only one small crease in the coating. Then went to fit the Hot Sails Maui rack pads and found that they would not fit around the bars. These are industrial strength bars and about double the diameter of normal car racks, also they are D shaped to add to the fantastic aerodynamics of the van ;-) An hour or so of faffing and trimming and I got them to fit. I must remember to buy a small set of step ladders for when Kat decides she wants to use the Kayak. The SUP will fit in the van on the 'really useful rail' that will mount to one of the old bulkhead brackets.

So today after a difficult week at work I dragged myself into the sauna  van and started the task I have been putting off for too long. Measuring out the height of the bed. With kit in this van seems to decrease considerably in size, and to get 3 boards and all other bits will be a compromise of living space for summer adventures. It will mainly be used for windsurfing all year though so I am building permanent space for 2 boards and all other bits, the third/forth/fifth boards will slide in as well when not camping, but not into the 'wet box' area.

What I am planning is the boards are going to go in in the orientation you can see in the pic, with sails underneath. This way round is chosen because my 7.3 and 8m which are my most used sizes are 250-260cm in length whereas the boards are only 235cm. All of it will end up under the kitchen, but what I can do is a seat that the sails go under so I still have space for my fridge under the sink.

This is all going in the RHS of the van. There will be a support about two thirds of the way across for the bed, and to separate the wet box from the van. The final third will be removable and can be lowered down to the wheel arch as a seat either facing in or out of the van according to mood.

The boards will be at apx 45-60deg angles from the floor, footstraps to the rear and facing down. They will also point down to the front of the van so that their noses fit under the sink.

This requires a height of 80-85cm. To allow for a bit of space so things are not tight I have decided that the supports will be 91cm, with 4cm for the lengthways cross members making a total of 95cm. With the aluminium widthways supports, ply and foam taking another 7cm it leaves us with about 60cm in height to sleep. Kat seems to think this is not enough, it will be plenty for her but limited for me. I am banking on the fact that my shoulders are not as wide when lay on my side as they are when I am standing.

 The picture to the right shows one of 6 vertical supports shaped to fit around the altro flooring and also the taper in the sides of the van as it passes 50cm in height. I think there must be better tools to do this than an old jigsaw but I only need to do this for the supports on the right where I want a tight fit.

I have definitely over engineered this, and could get away with less wood. I do not want to take any chances though as an aluminium pole and carbon boards wont go well together if any supports break. Also I need to get the back of the van down, its designed to carry a lot of weight and without any I am occasionally getting rear wheel spins on corners due to lack of weight, great for drifting but not really desired. I have read that this is common with big rear wheel drive vans when empty.

I just hope that my skills improve so that I can do some of the useful additions I have planned, such as a cupboard door that turns into a sliding table, and an extension to the kitchen that is invisible when not in use..................I think I am being over ambitious.

Hopefully will get the frame looking more like a bed than a pile of firewood on sunday. Before that I need to trim the metal around the door, and decide whether it is best to carpet the wall before fitting the frame or after. Plan was after, but now I am thinking it may be better to do it first.

Good speeds and winds
The Bus mk2

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