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Camper/conversion advice

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Camper/conversion advice

Postby mafty » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:56 am

Hi all.
I have gained so much knowledge and information from this forum that I have decided to try to give something back.
I work for a company specialising in camper/day van conversions and wish to offer my advice to anyone undertaking any of this type of work, whether it be insulation, electrics, windows, whatever...

Anything you need to know or are not sure of, post here and I will try my best to help and advise you.
I can't promise to know everything, but I will do what I can...
Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!

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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby derv23 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:13 am

Good man :D
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby chris72a » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:45 am

Nice, I'm sure I will call on your advice at some time :-)

Cheers
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby MikeHamling » Sun May 15, 2016 10:51 am

Hello mate. I am just replacing an old electrolux 3 way fridge with a newer one. The old one had a 12v re-igniter but the new one has a manual "clicker" The old one was never wired up to the 12v leisure battery which suits me fine, just hook the van up at home for 24hrs, get the fridge cold, drive to where I'm going & hook up again or run on gas.

My point is i now have a spare 12v feed that used to power the re-igniter. Could I use that for the 12v power feed? I'm worried because the cables are really thin and my knowledge of electrics get fuzzy when it comes to things drawing to many amps and heating cables up and causing a fire!

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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby walt1984 » Sun May 15, 2016 1:51 pm

You would need to measure the length of wire needed to run from your fridge to where your picking power up from then have a look on line for cable sizing to work out wire size for running around 8 amps at 12volt by the distance. You will need to connect to the van battery easiest way is to fit a voltage sensing relay that will switch on when the engine is running and battery's are been charged

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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby Racevan Mad » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:09 pm

MikeHamling wrote:Hello mate. I am just replacing an old electrolux 3 way fridge with a newer one. The old one had a 12v re-igniter but the new one has a manual "clicker" The old one was never wired up to the 12v leisure battery which suits me fine, just hook the van up at home for 24hrs, get the fridge cold, drive to where I'm going & hook up again or run on gas.

My point is i now have a spare 12v feed that used to power the re-igniter. Could I use that for the 12v power feed? I'm worried because the cables are really thin and my knowledge of electrics get fuzzy when it comes to things drawing to many amps and heating cables up and causing a fire!

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Hi mikeHamling Do you have any plans for the fridge you taking out as im on the hunt for a fridge for my conversion?
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby MikeHamling » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:14 pm

Racevan Mad wrote:
MikeHamling wrote:Hello mate. I am just replacing an old electrolux 3 way fridge with a newer one. The old one had a 12v re-igniter but the new one has a manual "clicker" The old one was never wired up to the 12v leisure battery which suits me fine, just hook the van up at home for 24hrs, get the fridge cold, drive to where I'm going & hook up again or run on gas.

My point is i now have a spare 12v feed that used to power the re-igniter. Could I use that for the 12v power feed? I'm worried because the cables are really thin and my knowledge of electrics get fuzzy when it comes to things drawing to many amps and heating cables up and causing a fire!

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

Hi mikeHamling Do you have any plans for the fridge you taking out as im on the hunt for a fridge for my conversion?

I was planning on slinging in a skip. It's pretty old and knackered & the reignitor doesn't work although the fridge worked fine last season. It's still in my garage right now but you're probably better off looking for something in better condition.

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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby Racevan Mad » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:01 pm

Hi ok thank you for you reply, i will keep my eyes open. :D
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby CamperVanBeethoven » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:32 pm

Hi mafty,

What are the laws/regulations on doing your own gas work? If I redo the pipework to add to the fridge, does the whole gas installation need redone to up to date specs?

If so, does 'up to date' involve making sure the gas cylinder compartment is (apart from gas drain vent, of course) sealed and only accessible from the outside? Currently it is just secured to body with plastic strap in back of van, with drain vent next to it. Van is a Leisure Drives conversion from 1998 ... Acceptable in the Nineties but not now? :(

Every appliance is supposed to have its own shut off valve, and it's best practice to have this near the cylinder, but is that a requirement? (I was just going to tee off a connection with a shut off valve from the pipe going to the hob). Are you allowed to use flexible hose as long as it's on the low pressure side? Would like to be able to take fridge out if necessary.

Thanks ... hope you can answer some of those questions. Can supply pictures tomorrow if you want to see what I mean :)
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby ake » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:54 pm

CamperVanBeethoven wrote:Hi mafty,

What are the laws/regulations on doing your own gas work? If I redo the pipework to add to the fridge, does the whole gas installation need redone to up to date specs?

If so, does 'up to date' involve making sure the gas cylinder compartment is (apart from gas drain vent, of course) sealed and only accessible from the outside? Currently it is just secured to body with plastic strap in back of van, with drain vent next to it. Van is a Leisure Drives conversion from 1998 ... Acceptable in the Nineties but not now? :(

Every appliance is supposed to have its own shut off valve, and it's best practice to have this near the cylinder, but is that a requirement? (I was just going to tee off a connection with a shut off valve from the pipe going to the hob). Are you allowed to use flexible hose as long as it's on the low pressure side? Would like to be able to take fridge out if necessary.

Thanks ... hope you can answer some of those questions. Can supply pictures tomorrow if you want to see what I mean :)

If your doing it yourself, for your own use, you can do as you wish
You only need a test certificate if hiring it out or selling it.
Flexible hose is only permitted between fixed pipe and bottle.
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby mafty » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:09 pm

CamperVanBeethoven wrote:Hi mafty,

What are the laws/regulations on doing your own gas work? If I redo the pipework to add to the fridge, does the whole gas installation need redone to up to date specs?

If so, does 'up to date' involve making sure the gas cylinder compartment is (apart from gas drain vent, of course) sealed and only accessible from the outside? Currently it is just secured to body with plastic strap in back of van, with drain vent next to it. Van is a Leisure Drives conversion from 1998 ... Acceptable in the Nineties but not now? :(

Every appliance is supposed to have its own shut off valve, and it's best practice to have this near the cylinder, but is that a requirement? (I was just going to tee off a connection with a shut off valve from the pipe going to the hob). Are you allowed to use flexible hose as long as it's on the low pressure side? Would like to be able to take fridge out if necessary.

Thanks ... hope you can answer some of those questions. Can supply pictures tomorrow if you want to see what I mean :)


Yeah, what Ake said!
We put our shut off valves in a cupboard roughly half way between the gas bottle and the appliances. It doesn't really matter as long as it's easily accessible.
The best way to assure yourself of the safety of the gas work is to use 'Gas Seal' or similar pipe jointing compound and to check the joints under pressure with a can of gas leak detector.
As Ake said, all pipes should be copper apart from the one to the gas bottle.
Hope this makes sense.
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby kgibb » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:14 pm

Hi Mafty, maybe you can advise me on an internal lighting question... I'm currently converting an 08 LWB Connect into a stealth camper and looking at lighting solutions for the cargo space where I will be cooking and sleeping. I have a 5m coil of 12V 5050 LEDs which will work off the existing connection but will be much brighter than the existing bulbs and hopefully use less battery power (depending on how long I keep the coil obviously)

Currently the switch in the cab for the reading light controls both this and the cargo area light simultaneously and they can be set to OFF/DOORS/ON. Obviously I'd like to be able to switch the cargo space lights on independently of the cab light from the back of the van.

Is this a simple case of bypassing the cab switch and installing a switch (and in line fuse?) in the rear? If so, what is the best way of bypassing the front switch? Easy job?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby lennoxlewis » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:01 pm

i have many questions but i will ask your advice on the following first. my project is a mk6 to be converted to a part time camper.

i plan on having a lounge area on the roof by applying a roof rack like this:

Image

as i need to have an extraction fan and opening on top to ventilate the interior, i am planing to go big and cut an opening to access the top of the van by the interior, using a loft telescopic ladder:

Image

for the opening itself, and this is the question, i tought of cutting a corsa roof and welding it to the van roof:

Image

by cutting the roof and welding, i would not bother with waterproofness other than on the welding itself.

The corsa sunroof is large enough to go trough, cheap and available, waterproof (had several corsas and tigras with no issue there) and i can modify it to have a built in push/pull fan along with a bug screen.


Do you think its a good option or are there better options on the market that are affordable?

cheers
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby bulls in transit » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:49 pm

Seems a lot of work and additional weight for a lounge area,would of thought a fiamma type side awning a lot easier.Handy for sightseeing in busy car parks though.
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Re: Camper/conversion advice

Postby Skevofish » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:58 pm

Hi Marty.
It seems that you may be just the chap I need. This coming march I'm getting a new custom limited L2H1. I had planned to buy a second hand van and convert that but as my old vw lt work van bit the dust before Christmas i decided to bite the bullet and go for the transit. My new plan is to convert this into something I can use as a camper when needed (insulate, carpet lining, floor and electrics with side Windows cut in it)but ply it out inside of that so I can use it for everyday work duties. Daunting where do I start? The insulating and ply lining isn't a problem but the electrics, where do I really start? I want to have a leisure battery to run lights tv fridge phones etc. But I haven't a clue on what gear I need to get this sorted. You tube will help but I could do with somebody who's done it all to help me out. I appreciate any help advice I can get. Cheers mate
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