Sunday, 22 March 2015

Structural work, and more trim

In the final stage, there will be a bed on top of the refrigerator and above the seat across. It is important that the structure underneath will support this. Therefore, I added additional pillars. Onto that refrigerator region there will eventually be a counter top, covering all the wiring.

I also upgraded some of the cabling: added a ground/minus cable suitable for 50A to the leisure battery. Also I had to reposition one of the posts of the refrigerator compressor shelf, to make more space for the leisure battery.

Finally I added the Veltrim material to cover some of the blank metal parts on the rear sides. Some parts I had insulated underneath with the aluminium bubble foil, but on other parts I affixed the Veltrim directly onto the metal.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A pedestal for luggage

One very specific feature of this my MicroCamper which is not available in most micro camper conversions is the fact that this Fiat Doblo conversion will keep its 5-seating capability for daily driving. In contrast to what most other converters are doing, I am leaving the rear seat bench in the car. This limits the usable "living" space for the camper, but that space is so small anyway... All I need in that living space is the refrigerator and a seat with a table. No need to walk around there, as this is not possible anyway because of the low ceiling, despite the added headroom from that roof extension.

So my decision to leave the rear bench in allows me to have this car as a regular 5-seater. When going for a camping trip, I can fold the rear bench and use the additional space for specific "inserts" that can sit on top of the folded bench. When not used, these inserts can sit in the garage.

This is a bit similar to the rear insert which is offered by Amdro.

The rear bench is 1/3 - 2/3 split. First I built a pedestal for when the 1 single rear seat is folded down.

The folding of the rear seats in the Fiat Doblo can actually happen in 2 stages: the first stage fold-down is when the backrest is folded forward. This results in a relatively flat surface onto which something can be put on top. The second stage is folding the whole seat forward. In that case more space is opened up at the rear, but the flat surface disappears, and also the space at in the foot area of the rear seat. Therefore, I have decided to use only the first-stage folding down for my insert.

It is basically a 3mm thick hardboard, strengthened with 34mm x 34mm beams. It is cut so that it fits exactly onto that single left rear seat. It provides a smooth stable surface, onto which I can put foldable boxes. Ultimately, there will be an additional support on top of this for a bed structure; therefore it needs to be very stable. Hence the support with the thick beams underneath. There are hooks for attaching bungee cords for keeping those foldable boxes in place.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Finalising the ceiling insulation

After the sheepswool was covered with a polyethylene foil to keep moisture out, I did affix the original interior trim panels. The wool insulation has plumbed up the space between the ceiling and the panels, so it was a bit hard to get those again in place and affix them with the original clips: the distance between the trim and the wall had increased in some parts. But with a reduced number of clips the trim still does stay in place well. The LED strip at the rear which provides a great bright light when the rear door is opened, was affixed with cable binders to the ceiling trim.

Fixing the ceiling insulation

The temperature is still not very mild, is quite cold. But I decided that I need to make some progress with the campervan conversion, and so I did continue with working on the insulation. Added more alu-bubble-wrap foil in the parts where it still had been missing.

After most of the metal parts were covered by this aluminium foil with its air bubbles, the next step was to add a layer of thick sheep wool insulation.


Then the final layer of polyethylen foil was added, covering the wool layer, to keep the moisture out.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Double glazing

The glass windows in the raised roof part are not tinted. Since they are higher up, I think that they could be subject to condensation. Therefore I decided to double-glaze them with an internal cover of polycarbonate panels.

I got those panels cut from HLN in Leeds, which have a wide variety of plastic parts. I chose 3mm thick polycarbonate, because it is soft and can be cut with a saw without it breaking. On each of the 5 roof windows I attached such a plastic sheet at the inside, fixing it with double-sided foam sticky tape. This tape can be best gotten from ALDI (once it is available again, is unfortunately only there on special sale). B&Q also has such tape, but at a quite expensive price (5 £ for a roll of 1.5 m).