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Bed Slide-Out

By |December 20th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

Today I had dry fitted the the slide out mechanism for the bed. Placed the bottom board for the slide out on the rollers and checked the width. It is just perfect. The vertical panels will be rebated so the 3mm skin will go between the slide out mechanism and the bottom board. Just enough space for the glue, there will be no gap at all once the box is built.

Placed the mattress on the board to take the measurements for the fascia around the top of the bed box for the indirect lighting. This is multicolour and has […]


By |December 13th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

One of my pet hates is to have an awning hanging off the side of the van and giving up at least 10 cm interior width. Also the awning being out in the weather and dust all the time is a nuisance. For this one I decided on a boxed Fiamma 45 which encloses the vinyl inside a box because I also did not want the legs. Without legs the awning is less stable of course and in windy conditions need to be wound in. So we decided on the Fiamm F45 Eagle, which is the electrical version available […]


By |December 13th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

The outside corners only require a small trim. The panels are rebated and glued together in a way that the gel coats are quite close together in the corners. The panels are not simply joined and covered with big alu profiles like cooling trucks and some home made vans. I can use 12×12 white alu angle, which is cut on the side for the curve in the front. The typical edging on vans with the plastic inset is ugly and the plastic shrinks and gets yellow over time. I don’t really like it.


Another components of the outside trim is […]

Windows And Doors

By |December 12th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

I fitted the doors and the windows. Cuts were accurate as one can see in the second image down and it was quite easy. Only a few spots needed trimming. This has nothing to do with the cut out itself, more with inaccuracies of the window corners due to bending the material. Same with the doors, a few bits to trim and they were in.

We use sliding windows with real automotive glass. They are heavier of course than the flimsy acrylic windows used for caravans here but are superior in my opinion in many ways. Acrylic windows used for most […]

Slide Outs

By |December 11th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

Prepared the faces for the slide outs. Removed the rebate all around the slide-out faces.
The remaining fibre glass skin will be supported by an alu angle 80/38/1.5 and the outer edge will be trimmed with a seal. I opened the slide-outs and checked the fit of the mechanism. All good, fits well. The two large ones are 64cm deep and the bedroom one is 60cm deep.



Mounting Baggage Doors

By |December 11th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

Removed all the cut-outs for the baggage doors and fitted the doors. I had to trim the corners a bit since I had the wrong radius. I did not measure and trusted the specs of the doors, but they specified outer diameter not cut-out diameter. Not a biggie, was easy enough.

First Activities At Home

By |December 11th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

First steps were to remove all the tape and clean the surfaces with turps and methylated spirits to get the glue off.

Then we fitted a couple of traps over the van to keep the bird shit off and protect it against the occasional rain we still might get in December, and we did get some – a big one. It also keeps the van cooler in the heat of the day.


On The Way Home

By |December 11th, 2015|BODY BUILD, BUILD|0 Comments

Exactly two weeks after I arrived in Yandina I left early in the morning.

I stayed again In Peterborough and also Cobar at the same places but this time I only needed 5 days. I was home Wednesday evening. Needed another couple of tyres in the front since the alignment was still off and the old tyres did not like it that much.

Everything else was fine.

On the Nullarbor I needed around 17l/h and the trip average on the way home was around 18.5l/h with 90-95kmh most of the time. Occasionally I was a bit faster especially towards the end on […]

Getting Ready For Home

By |December 9th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

I started taping up all the gaps to keep the dust out on the trip home.

The top image shows the taped panel without the rear wall and ramp.



We have still done a fair bit of work inside the van. Glassed in the roof edges and quite a few more edges. Fitted the rear wall and Shaun made the ramp, which we taped and fixed with a couple of ratchet straps.



The image above shows the rig ready for the trip. This was taken in front of my accommodation.

Interior And Fender Skirts

By |December 9th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

Fitted some of the inside walls to stabilise the roof. The fridge wall and another short wall opposite of the fridge. The corners are stiffened with alu angle.

Finished the wheel wells from inside. They are fairly low and will be inside cabinets. Nothing visible from the inside once finished.

The cut outs for the fender skirts were perfectly positioned. After mounting the wheel again I fitted the fender skirts. Just glued on after a bit of trimming.



Looks very nice. Like made for it, although the skirts are from an American motorhome. Had the coming with […]

Panel Installation

By |December 9th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

With the chassis low and right next to the router it was reasonably easy to lift the panel into position. We started with the left panel, which was the other side of the router and the second panel only needed standing up from the router bed straight into position.

Both panels are hanging on the lifts and get glued to the chassis frame.



Cutting the panels

By |December 9th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

Since I had everything in CAD it was fairly easy to transfer the files for the cut outs to the software Vanglass uses for the router. The cut outs stay attached at a few stops for stability of the panel during cutting and it is also a good concept to leave everything in for the way home. I only needed to tape up the gaps.

The large panels needed about an hour and a half to be cut.



The side panels had a rebate at the top and front for better and stronger connection to the roof and […]

Preparing for the panels

By |December 9th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

The plan was to mount the body in the factory because the panels are way too big to be shipped and it would be a pain without the proper tools and more so without the experience of the guys at Vanglass.

Unlike the US vans this one is not as high, still the panel is 3m high and over 11m long. Than van is 2.8m at its highest point and we needed all the height of the lifting gear to get the panels on.

The first thing in the factory was to remove the wheels and drop it down as low […]

New Tyres

By |December 8th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments


The Nullarbor on 2 trailer wheels was no problem. The Duramax ticked over nicely, hardly working with a light tail wind. At 100kph the engine revs at 1600 and I did not even use tow mode. Form Madura to Ceduna I used under 14l/100km. In Ceduna I mounted the new tyres on the trailer and went on to Peterborough where I spent the night.

A nice coffee shop in the old cinema makes an interesting place for a break.



After Peterborough the roads got worse and worse. Past Broken Hill and the rest on NSW was atrocious. I was happy to […]

Burning Rubber

By |December 8th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

The trip over to QLD started ok until I reached the Nullarbor with an outside temperature of 50 degrees. I had different tyres on the truck and the trailer, old tyres I have to admit. I did not want to ruin my new set of 12 because I knew that the alignment of the front of my truck was off and that the tyres would not last much more than the trip. I thought the trailer tyres, also an old set, might last the trip, however it was not to be. Just past Madura, actually before the Nullarbor on […]

Ready To Go

By |October 16th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

All packed up. Antennas and radios are back on and in the truck. I had the HF antenna removed when I needed to get on a friends hoist and had not put it back. Now its worth for the trip. Can do some DX calls from the Nullabor plain.

I also have the UHF/VHF radio back in again with the GPS for the APRS system. The 2m whip is on the left in the picture. The whip on the right is the long whip which can go on top of the HF antenna instead of the short whip with the […]


By |October 7th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

This is the first post in the category “Body Build”. The day gets closer when I leave to QLD for the body to go on. One of the main activities the last three days was double checking measurements. The paper specifications of the windows, doors and baggage doors are all 5-10mm wider than the actual cut-out needs to be.

I was wondering about that but from the answers I got from the manufacturers of the items it is just for fitting purposes. All these items are custom made to measure and are not mass produced with a fixed size. The […]

Door Profiles

By |June 18th, 2015|BODY BUILD|0 Comments

I found the profiles for the furniture edges, doors, drawers. I was looking for these for some time. Trailstar used them when they were around and built vans. They no longer do. They also used these panels, which are leagues above anything used inside vans by others, but most likely too expensive for the average builder or buyer. The Australian market does not really appreciate quality. Most still think heavy is good.

Now I can use the same profiles for my Duralite panels because I did not like what they have to offer for edging. They door trim looks very […]