As you can gather, this page has nothing to do with Race Management other than it may be my temporary home while on site helping with events. It all came about because my poor Ford Mondeo was struggling to carry all the “stuff” we need to run racing, plus a desire to be able to sort out our own accommodation. I started looking at campervans and mobile homes but the price differential from a normal van was huge and layouts were not what we wanted so we decided to go our own way and do our own conversion.
Thoughts on Design
All Campervans are different in layout but there are some dominant themes - a couple of things we did not like. Firstly most small van (Transit, T4/5 size) conversions seem to be designed around double beds - fine if away with your partner/spouse but not so good if away with a friend. Secondly we were amazed to see campervan conversions selling with a Porta Potti in a cupboard in the main living area. Need to be close friends in those vans! Lastly there was never a lot of room for the additional stuff that we might need to carry - Masts, flags on canes, signal boards, sound signal devices etc. Plus where will we put our wet gear when it is wet?
The van is very clean with only one small mark on the offside which we are not going to do anything about.
Took out the bulkhead in around ten minutes and sold it on Gumtree for £25.00
We then removed all the existing panelling and floor. Where these panels had been screwed into the bodywork we painted with red lead to prevent any further rusting.
To be continued . . . . . . . . .
Floor and Insulation
Saturday 11th July 2015
Got started on the van at last - Stuck framing to the floor using Stixall and then cut and fitted 25mm insulation sheets into the gaps. Never used Stixall before and its great stuff - grabs right away. The van already seems quieter.
Next Job is to fit the floor - if my back ever recovers.
Sunday 12th July
Made good progress - scribed out the 12mm plywood for the floor and got it cut out and screwed down in place.
Last Job of the day (before pint time) was to start scribing out the first of the roof battens which will be Stixalled to the roof to hold the 6mm ply roof. Only the top of the first one finished - did the final cut freehand on the router table.
In hindsight the way I did the battens was over engineered - a number of pads glued to the roof would have done the same job. But its done now.
Why battens at all? Well I did not want to screw the roof ply directly to the cross struts in the van as there would be no thermal barrier between the outside and the screw head and I could foresee little drops of condensation dripping from all those screw heads - not sure if this is right but this was the advice I got.
This page is getting a little large so going to split up the build photos into more pages: For the next installment - Click Here
Converting a Transit Van into a Stealth Camper capable of carrying all my Race Management Kit
What size van was the first question. We have some space constraints and also the thought of driving a large van like a Transit Jumbo or similar would freak out the female of the species. Standing head room was desirable and so we started looking at Medium Wheel Base, Medium Height (we are not tall) Transit Vans. It took a couple of months but eventually found a 2011 (61 Plate) Transit with only 20k on the clock. It was only when driving back up the M4 to get the boat back to Ireland that I realised it also had Air Conditioning and Cruise Control - a definite win!
Last picture is SWMBO starting on the first layer of insulation - the foil covered bubblewrap is stuck to the panels and roof of the van with high temperature spray on adhesive. We found this a bit awkward to do in parts so developed a technique - shown here.