Sunday, 5 April 2015

Installing the worktop and beech panel

For several months only the refrigerator has been installed in the camper, being attached to a structure of wooden beams (34mm x 34mm) which are screwed tightly to the vehicle (floor and wall). The floor in the rear area had been there from the earlier conversion to a disabled transport, so it is not the original floor. But that is an advantage: it appears to be out of hardwood, and so I could put screws in it and bolt down very stable those wooden beams for the "kitchen". I also put a temporary vertical panel there, to attach some of the electric components (switches, solar controller). Looked all quite messy...

I should have done some more and better planning ahead, when I got the refrigerator and out it in place. There might have been a better , more space-efficient arrangement than what I had now. But I was eager to put the fridge in to a stable position, and so that was the first thing that I had done in the rear of the vehicle, and which now determines the use of the available space.

After last weekend's visit to the Yorkshire Motorhome Show in Harrogate, I had decided that the best combination in my camper would be grey worktop and beech panels. It would have been nice to get a beech worktop, but they are prohibitively expensive.

From Wickes I got a 2m long worktop for £ 30, which seems reasonable. The space I need to cover with it is only 73cm long; I will still have some use of the remaining worktop, for the opposite side in the camper. I also got a furniture panel board with beech laminate.

Before I would mount the worktop, I did attach a shelf in the area over the battery and near the fridge compressor. This needed to be done before the worktop is attached, as the worktop would prevent convenient access of that area.

I then decided to spray-paint the wooden structural beams in silver-grey, the same colour of the vehicle itself. This will avoid "collision" between different types of wood. The only visible wood will be the beech panels.

Before the painting I had added another structural support beam, onto which I would later mount the panel.

Then I took that vertical beech panel and cut it in size. The rounded shape at the left side I did capture with a template of cardboard, which then provided the proper cut out of the beech panel.

The vertical panel actually needs to be bent a bit inward, because of the slightly curved shape of the rear of the vehicle. Now, when I close the rear doors, they push the panel in place. But I soon will affix some kind of shelf which will do this bending in a permanent way.

The worktop cutting was done in several steps: first the overall width had to be cut: 73cm. Then I had to reduce the depth from 60cm to 56cm. As the vehicle wall under the side window is slanted due to trim and internal vehicle body, I also had to cut the worktop slanted. Needed then to cut out some conduits for all the cables. And I realised then that I had to extend a few of the wiring cables so that they would fit through. I used this opportunity to use thicker wiring, to ensure that at least 40A could flow properly (is a bit of an overkill, as the solar controller and the split charge relay are only made for 30A, but it never hurts to use thicker cables, for potential upgrades later). I also connected the solar panel through a relay, which disconnects it, once the vehicle engine (alternator) is doing the recharging of the leisure battery (at 14.4V, through TEC3M split charge relay).

All the wiring is still done ad-hoc. I plan to put it all into a special box, so that the wiring is hidden. In any case, it will be hidden in a shelving compartment which will be attached to the vertical beech panel, on top of the new worktop.

No comments:

Post a Comment