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it was requested, so here it is, the race-lorry build!

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i mentioned in another thread that i was building the worlds largest camper. and a build thread was swiftly requested, so here it is!


i have a build-thread elsewhere, so this will be copy and paste, for the most part. so bear with me if i seem to be answering questions that havent been asked :D


so i might now be the proud owner of a 2008 iveco eurocargo.... race lorry anyone?

only one slight issue, its 350 miles away! going to pick it up Saturday, first idea was to fly up but although cheap it looked like being a pain in the arris, so im driving up. slight issue, cant drive 2 vehicles at once. so im making the ramps before i go to collect it and will just lob the car in the back.

2 hrs welding later:




Edited by qwakers

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so i bailed on the iveco, it was almost perfect but the box was just too small to get a car AND a living into. 

im going to look at this on saturday:


which is 4ft longer, should just about do it, otherwise im going to end up in the 15tonner range, with a 28ft body which will be plenty. will decide on saturday, but a 24ft body SHOULD be enough.

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so that lorry fell through. he test drove it this morning (good honest bloke, didnt want me to come all that way for no reason) and he isnt happy with the crankcase pressure, too much piston ring blowby. he said i can come look anyway but he reckons its only good for export.
so ive cast around again and come up with a dealer in wiltshire, a lot closer, its a 15tonner but its a 29ft box and has a tail lift. he made the mistake of telling me hes desperate to get rid, he has about 10 of them blocking his yard and the contract he bought them for fell through.  he wanted $3250+vat but i beat him down to £2500+vat. he swears thats what he paid for it, and looking at trade auction prices, i believe him. its done a LOT less miles, its bigger and wider and its about the same price to insure and tax. so im going to look at that one tomorrow instead. 

watch this space!

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on another note, got the wagon home today, couple of small problems to fix and itll be ready to start converting.

im going to buy a caravan to strip. cheapest way i can think of doing it.

also 3.5m long ramps dont seem to be long enough.... bit of scrap age when at the top. as the rx is lower than my daily, im going to have to fix that!

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the wagonpxla19S.jpg

and the caravan ive just picked up to rob of the interior


Edited by qwakers

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following that post was a long list of predictable bread based jokes :D

Edited by qwakers

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well haven't i been a busy boy :D

in between working all hours under the sun and as much overtime as work will give me (my petrol habit has to be funded somehow) i've been getting TWO lorry's roadworthy. (yes, you read that right!)

My dads horsebox failed its mot, so i spent 2 days changing the steering box, steering drag link and multiple bushes in the rear suspension. boy was that heavy work. still i got to play with oxy-acetylene so not all bad :lol:

on to mine.

replace the clutch pedal rubber
the n/s/f caliper was way out of adjustment so adjusted that up correctly (full air brakes are weird!) it stops in a straight line now.
replaced multiple bulbs
replaced all the side reflectors
plated up and sikaflexed all the breaks in the mudguards
plated up the broken side rail
replaced the spring buffer on the o/s/r spring
tightened up the front prop bolts
greased up the o/s/f kingpin
put a new bolt in the exhaust bracket

also replaced the radio so i now get all speakers working and have bluetooth.

and today i spent a hour or so playing with the electrics for the tail lift to get it working by remote control...

24v tail lift remote kits exist, but boy are they expensive... so

one of these

and one of these

plus 2 of these

and a bit of wire means i can wire the winch controller to switch the relays on and off, and wire the relays to the out side of the switches for the taillift (all fused already so no extra fuses required) so the winch remote can control the lift without burning out. all sorted easy enough. and saved a fortune!

couple of small niggles yet to sort plus a load of painting and the living area to build but should be good to go soon.

i have 2 more sprint and hill climb events this year. one is at raf portreath this coming Sunday which i'm looking forward to but i'm afraid cameras and spectators are NOT allowed as its a active base. so no vids. sorry :(

having said that, i'm REALLY looking forward to it. portreath is supposed to be by far the best event in the calendar, and i'm likeing sprints a lot more than hill climbs as you get a LOT more track time!

will start prepping the car tomorrow. it hasn't moved in a month!

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i thought id update my lorry progress. passed its mot so thats all good for another year. now got it parked up outside my parents place so i can use their electricity (welder wont run off generator) got quite far with it now

kitchen units are in (and decent doors fitted)


(cream doors are final)

partition walls are up

toilet room built

lotts of ££££s spent on materials

ceiling beams are up and ceiling panels are cut so size (am skinning them now)

doors and windows are on order.

to do, 
plumb and wire all the gas and water stuff
fit the water tank
finish skinning the walls and celing in carpet
fit the toilet and shower stuff
put a floor down of some type
fit the doors
put anchors down for the car
build the ram hinging sysstem.

test it.

all before December hopefully, im thinkgin of a xmas trackday :D

oh and some scroat had a go at nicking my batteries off the lorry. im not having that, after my friendly neighbourhood oap (with a nasty vishous terrier :lol:  ) chased them off and told me, i made them slightly less accessible...


any more trouble and ill move them inside.

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got the main walls and ceiling done yesterday. bar the external walls, toilet and the trim round the ceiling, its done.... bar plumbing, the floor, the bed...... etc

got a load of wiring done too.

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soooo. ive been at the lorry again this weekend....

windows in, 

rest of walls carpeted, plumbing finished (internal, just gotta finish the tank inlet)

alloy and steel mouldings taken off and weighed in
(did i mention the windows? :D )

started lining the toilet/shower with hygiene board

got a massive solar panel to go on the roof for the leisure battery.

waste for the sink is all plumbed in.

left to do,

finish the loo/shower
fit door frames and doors
fit external door.
plumb the gas in
cover the floor
sort the ramps
fit a winch

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bit more done last week. progress is now appearing to be much slower due to the fact that most of the work is behind the scenes, so to speak.

now its at my place, i can nibble away at the jobs that i can do on my own, so im not wasting anyone elses time. so i got the reversing cameras in first.

now this should have been nice and simple. theye wireless so i just needed a 24v feed (dont want to waste leasure battery amps :D to each camera (x2) and stick the dispay on the dash and 24v to that too.

my idea was to tap into the feed to the lights, as the switch (and therefore the power feed) is nice and close. yeah, that works... as long as i have the tail lift isolator swiched on. seems that the lights are fed from the tail lift. doh. a new feed run through from the cab, and into the lights problem solved. or so i thought. i ended up pulling all the light wiring out and running it from the leisure battery instead as there was something weird going on with that, and using the feen id just run for the cameras instead, completely separately. this has the advantage of the lights not going out if the battery guard kicks in and i can have the switch next to the pedestrian door instead of over by the rear door. it has the disadvantage of me now needing to change the bulbs for 12v leds. no pics for any of this im afraid, was done in the evenings.

ive also got the pedestrian door in, and trimmed the bed/seat unit. 
plus ive done the trimming round the celing to neaten up the top of the walls.

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looks great, .... and 15t works on PLG? I never gave it much thought but I assumed 7.5t would be the limit. Academic in Ireland as its not possible to insure a lorry privately.

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its taxed as Private HGV, being over 7.5ton means i need to observe Euro drives hours regs (so on tacho etc) its registered (or will be) as a race transporter or motor caravan (havent decided yet) and its insured through a specialist company as a race lorry. (there are only about 3 in the country that will do it) big plus is the insurers also do a recovery policy with a 18ton weight limit, so no breakdown worries like my last wagon and only £98 a year. (my last lorry was a 7.5ton recovery lorry for transporting my trayback)


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Nice that it doesn't (needn't) cost a fortune to go out and play. :)

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well, its all relative. lorry stands me at £6-7k total (man maths says that's fine :D ) car that i play with and its being built for stands me at about £500. entries and fuel use whilst playing is about £700 a year and lorry fuel. well. 12mpg. so a lot.

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Oh yes - this is awesome.

The horsebox in one of the pics is also yours ?

We had a DAF 45 back in Holland as the Mrs. was always en route with the horses and hates trailers so I told her to get an HGV licence, and she did. Loved friving the thing. Getting it on French plates was a huge problem but somebody bought it and is still driving it to this very day. We now have an 5.5 tonnes IVECO and she's very happy with it.

I have converted 2 lorries for friends to move horses and be comfortable living quarters (one had a waterbed) and I really would like to get one ourslves again.

Question is : do I convert an 4x4 truck or take a 2WD one and carry the 88 in the back ?


Please, keep it coming.

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Size matters.... 😎

I love the luton style horse boxes over there - but getting them on FR plates is a nightmare..

Hope the build goes well.

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france is weird :) it seems to me that they are the worst of all the eu states for stuff like this.

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Tried to register an Iveco 40-10 in France a few years back, great truck but just to get started on the process the Iveco main dealer had to inspect the vehicle, he wanted €520+vat just to open a file! After that it was €60/hr odd before vat for his inspection and any work he considered necessary! A mate at the same time had a much more recent twin wheel tipper, it cost him €1200+vat before the paperwork was stamped........  I sold the truck .

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yeah over here that would just be a paperwork exersize, mot it, tax it and fill out a form. job done.

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so today i have.....

fitted the solar panel. 

first part of doing this was to get all the stuff onto the roof and clean the grime off the roof.

now the roof is fibreglass so fairly flexible and i didn't want to drill it, so i used a pu adhesive (the expanding/foaming type) to stick two 1" timber battens to the roof (weighted down to allow the glue to cure.

after a hour, i put a bead of sikaflex round it for belt and braces then screwed the panel to the battens. that's not going anywhere. (they don't call it gorilla glue for nothing :D)

then i ran the wires through conduit down the front of the box and drilled it through into under the seat area. attached it to the isolater and charge controller, job done.

took much longer than it sounds.

then i sorted out the water tank, easy enough to do, in theory. got it all attached with all the pipework in place then ran the lorry round to by my house and a hose out to fill it up.

that done i tried to test it, and found the self priming pump, doesn't. serves me right for eBay cheapy buying. got another pump coming for that, so that's that.

put a couple of cigarette sockets in the front of the seat unit so i can plug my inverter in, so now i don't need my generator except for the really heavy stuff.

put the wall cupboards back up 

all of which i have no pics for as i left my iPad inside the house and couldn't be bothered to go get it. pics tomorrow. or Tuesday. depends on work 

not actually that much left to do. I've got to sort the flooring out (Tuesdays job) finish the toilet (probably next Sundays job) and sort the internal doors.  then its just the car tie down points, winch (will have to wait for the coffers to refill) and ramps.

Edited by qwakers

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Interesting read, I'm too young to drive anything over 3.5t which is a shame, trucks like that are definitely the best value way of doing a camper if you can drive & store it!

Didn't see insulation mentioned, are the walls insulated already or are you adding some?

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yeah, it cost me a couple of grand to be allowed to drive it. its a 15tonner so even old people cant drive it either :)


the walls are 1” ply coated in fibreglass and im not insulating them, cost too much and be too complicated to do it right, makes it a pain to fit windows etc.


the ceiling is now insulated quite heavily. heat rises, after all.

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