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Badger110

Defender 110, a Bedford cf and a utility truck walk into a bar...

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In my quest to expand on the current long distance traveller build of the 110, I toyed with bolting a ambulance body to the back of the 110, even selling it as it is and buying a 130 pulse or mashing together 3 different vehicles to come up with ( queue Guy Martin's voice ) ' A grand idea '.


I went with the mashing of 3 vehicles, namely the 110, a Bedford cf2 camper van and a 110 utility truck special build.


Before I get to that ' Grand idea ' of mine, a little history of where we are now.


The base vehicle is a 2011 110 USW in Buckingham Blue which is a bit blue and a bit dark...so dark blue. It is a XS spec which means something although I’m not sure exactly what that is but the seats cook your arse in the winter and the front screen is heated which if I’m honest, is rather helpful on those cold mornings. It has/had aircon too, which in any vehicle is a stupid idea in my honest opinion...no point keeping yourself cool when you open the car door and its still bloody hot outside...open a window and climatize yourself.


The previous owner was a farrier who had it from new and the rear load bay was sectioned off from the rest of the truck with a hatch built into the side for access to his forge etc. Other than that, it was pretty standard.

 

The build begins


I had to make the area available from behind the front seats to the back door as a living space for 2 adults and 2 dogs ( Old English Sheepdog & Basset Hound ) to include cooking, washing, sleeping and seating.

This isn’t easy when you have 1400mm x 1900mm floor space and a head height suitable for a 5 year old. Standard procedures are to have a bench seat down one side and a counter top on the other to include the cooker, sink etc. This leaves a small area along the middle to fit your legs and feet but not a lot of room for the Floof ( the nickname for the Old English Sheepdog ) especially when we’re sat on the bench seat.


I wanted to create as much floor space as possible for the dogs to lie in and for us to be able to sit without them on our laps or getting in the way. It is a lot to ask for in such a small space, but it is possible.


I came up with a stowaway seating option which allows us to pull the seats out when we want them but have them stored away when not in use. They double up as storage box’s all the time. This may sound quite interesting and abit ‘ out there ‘ in design etc, but in all honesty they’re box’s which we sit on. Yes I made them the correct height so we can sit on them without bending our heads on the roof, but they are still a box. Simple.
 
I made a unit to fit a sink/cooker combo I ‘borrowed’ off a mate, made some units to house my seat ‘ box’s ‘, added some wood as fold down tables, did some electrics including 2nd battery, water pump, amp, sockets, lighting, fitted a webasto heater, chucked some carpet on the units, some on the floor and got it ready for bombing around the UK with a roof tent up top.

There’s a divider piece between the front and rear cab which, when the front seats are folded forward, acts as a back rest for the box seating, a small draw which slides out from the original footwell of the rear seats and a host of other bits n bobs which I’ll cover later on.

 

The build at the moment was a little rushed as we wanted to get it up n running for the summer to use before the ‘ Grand idea ‘ build starts with it which I’ll cover next

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So that’s where I’m at now.

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Posted (edited)

 The Grand Idea.

 

 I wanted a pop top roof for the 110 as I liked the idea of not having to crawl into a roof tent all the time and it made living in the rear a more comfortable idea.  

 

I have seen the various ideas for sloping pop roof’s, bongo roof’s and all manner of different ideas on the internet and forums, some of them are genius in their ideas and some are a tad bonkers.  

 

I think my idea is somewhere in between.

 

I settled on  Dormobile roof and after contacting them for a quote, binned that idea. 4.5k for a pop up roof is too high a price that i wanted to pay and i do like a challenge so i sat down and waited and watched until the right 2nd hand unit appeared.

Appear it did, however it wasn’t where i expected it to be.  Rather than wait forever to find a Land Rover dormobile roof to come up somewhere on this planet, i took a gamble and bought a 2nd hand roof attached to a 2nd hand van, namely a Bedford CF dormobile van from 1972.  Trailer hired and off i went up country to pick it up.67BF2D22-51EB-4681-90B2-D549D2BFBE63.thumb.jpeg.e5118ddff4a1ca4ddf2aadbbc3130d04.jpeg

 

The first sliiiiiight issue is the dormobile roof from a Bedford is bigger than a defender roof.  It’s longer than the ‘ flat ‘ section of the 110 roof and wider than the roof by about 200mm.  

 

This is where the final part of this ménage å trois comes in.   

A utility truck with an extended roof appeared on the bay, with the roof being sold separately.  The roof has had a 600mm extension to the rear of the roof added ( special vehicle addition ) which pushes the slopped part of the front of the truck over the windscreen and is finished to cap it underneath.  

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The roof solves the length issue with the Dormobile from the Bedford, but not the width.

 

The build from here on is where i’m at now.  I have the roof removed from the Bedford, the utility roof and a clear garage.

 

I could cut the dormobile roof down the middle length ways, remove a section and remake the roof back together with some extra bracing to strengthen it so that it fits onto the roof.  Points to consider with this is the bars for the bellows will also have to be reduced in length and possibly the bellows themselves...

 

The other option is to make a profile larger than the current roof to allow the dormobile roof to ‘ sit ‘ down on top of a new profile. 

 

I like this idea more as it allows me to come up with some other ideas at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Badger110

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Interesting project...

From personal experience, have you ever slept in the Dormobile "stretcher look-a-like" beds ?

I did and didn't...

I'm in the process of building a lift roof on the 110. Having a roll cage makes it a bit different.

Bon Courage !

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I found placing a thick blanket on the bunk before slipping into a good sleeping bag helps distribute the heat around the body evenly without ending up with a cold bunk base works for me!

 

 

A few other bits done worth a mention;

 

The cubby box had to be made from scratch as it housed the rear sub and needed to be slopped to accomodate the rear seat back rest when in s a stationary position. 

It also has a compartment at the base for valuables which can only be accessed when the hi low ratio gearlever is forward.  Normal driving position limits it from being opened ( sut out to the left front of the picture ), combined with the base being fully hidden, you wouldn't know it existed.

 

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I removed the AC and sold that on as it wasn't needed and purchased a Webasto for the rear of the truck which i wanted to fit under the sink cabinet.

 

The unit itself sits just behind the water tank on the wheel arch as this puts the input and outputs above the rear wheel and easily accessible.

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The input for fresh air is situated just above the main chassis facing rearwards which makes it as protected as it could be in my opinion.

 

The fuel pump itself is located just above the fuel tank and is accessible through a hatch in the rear tub floor

 

1394967539_IMG_03521.thumb.JPG.453d49ca6a92ee2b3eaa06e33cffa56f.JPG

 

 

the fuel lines were sleeved in a copper outer ( 10mm ) which gives them some protection and i flared the ends to stop rubbing at the entry and exit points

 

1644076555_IMG_03671.thumb.JPG.36c11656bc12d0174703e4ac8c9024b9.JPG

 

Then added a little bit of tape for extra protection

 

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Bleeding these are a pain, but i found a small syringe like you get with animal medicines is great to draw fuel from the tank upto the pump works best

 

 

 

 

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A cheap and fairly easy mod for cold weather driving is using heated tape to stop ice build up in the breather pipe to the rocker cover.

 

JLR do a particular item which is fitted to artic circle defenders as standard and you can buy one for about £140.  PN; LR012616

 

A simple mod to stop the build up of ice in the breather pipe is to use the heated tape via a relay and switch in the cab. 

 

I fitted the tape with firstly electrical tape, then insualted tape around that, then filled the pipe with water, connected the tape to a battery and placed the pipe in the freezer for 24 hours.

 

The water never froze, so the mod works down to -18 at least ;)

820484846_IMG_04271.thumb.JPG.ae70a477440ebe3d66b1b7567b22341c.JPG

 

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A webasto thermo top is one of the next jobs on the list.  I have a kenlow hot start waiting to be fitted too for when i can gain access to a power point, but the webasto will be used for engine block heat up from cold as well as a hot water tank heater.   The plumbing required for all of this will be interesting and i may just ditch the kenlow as it's unlikely it'll be used in the uk and it'll add to the plumbing for something that wont be used that often.

 

The set up for the thermo top will be in situ in the engine bay with valves which allow the water to be pumped into a hot water cylinder in the truck and when temperature is reached, a lock out thermostat turns off the feed to this cylinder. 

What i then have to achieve is being able to bypass the hot water tank and switch to the cylinder block so it heats up and circulates the water in the engine block for arctic circle start up temps.

The issue i can see is, the thermo top is designed to do one or the other, but not both from one set up.  The water used to heat the engine block is the coolant in the truck, it's just heated up and pumped by the thermo top.  The water in the system to heat up the hot water tank isn't coolant...it's a seperate system, however i have to find a way to keep both systems seperate but use the thermo to do both jobs...

 

The other option is to buy another thermo top, the rover 75 ones are pretty cheap to buy in the middle of the summer ;)

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Looks like an interesting project! I find air-con is also useful for pulling moisture out of the air if you get into the vehicle wet and then find that every window mists up instantly, although admittedly I've never used the LR air-con so it may not make that much difference there!

Rich

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I’d still wind the window down! 😀

 

 Today was about getting to grips with the roof and dormobile section and what i needed to do to get it as one.

 

Firstly working on the floor of the garage with the roof was a no no so i whipped up a frame which allows the roof to sit on it and i can wheel it in and out of the garage when i need to.

6119CACE-8D58-4D29-BF21-AA432D2813C8.thumb.jpeg.8f254b31a032b11287d06481472ae9a5.jpeg

 

Once i had that set up it was time to see how the Dormobile roof sits on it

 

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Size wise it’s not too bad, 70mm proud either side and hangs over the rear of the roof.  At this juncture i began to see what had to be done to bring the two together and make a servicible roof.   I need to make up some brackets to take the hinges which will be bolted to the aluminium extension which runs all the way around the roof.  

 

You can see it in the picture below...it provides a 100mm height extension to the entire roof and allows me to mount hinges from it ( its pretty substantial ).

 

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I then trimmed the front profile to sit better on the roof and to level out the entire Dormobile roof along the Landy roof.  It was at this point that i needed to be able to see how the bellows will sit when the roof is closed and although i took lots of measurements from the donor Bedford when i took it off, I didn’t get the measurement of the Dormobile roof from the vehicle roof.

 

So it was time to start cutting a hole in the Landy roof!

 

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The hole is oversized compared to the Bedford hole, but it is smaller than the bellows in it’s length.  The original springs will be replaced with gas struts and the bunks may be replaced with a different set up which is much better in design and comfort ;)

 

So that’s where i’m at for today, the roof has a hole in it, the Dormobile will now fit with a wee bit of fettling and it was time to strip the Dormobile and look at the state of the GRP.

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I stripped down the Dormobile roof to see what kind of condition it was in and given it’s 47 years old, it wasn’t too bad.

 

There are some areas where the wood has rotted a bit, but these will be replaced with Phenolic Ply and bonded back to the GRP with CT1.  

 

I’ll also line the entire roof with Pu foam like i have done the Landy itself, over this i’ll cover it in fabric ( car carpet stuff ) and install some extra mounting points for the gas struts and to hang stuff from.  I’ll also fit new LED lights in the roof to work off a switch inside the Landy.

The hinge section will need some work doing to it..the hinges themselves are bolted through the GRP only, i was expecting a plate of some sort around the area.  

I’ll consider a long plate along the one side for the hinge.

I know a little about GRP using it at work but with high stress areas i guess it’s a case of building the layers with some extra strength

 

 

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Good progress !

Interesting to see where this takes you.

I'll be doing the aluminum lift roof section this Winter (me hopes)

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This is excellent - some great problem solving and lateral thinking.

I also like the copper pipe idea for the heater, I’ve often looked at mine and thought how vulnerable it is having the exhaust, fuel line, and wiring exit right next to each other...

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For the hot water.... is it worth having the water circulate through the engine and heater as normal, with the hot water tank last in the line before the water returns to the engine? I can’t see any issues. Only thing it might do is knock down the engine temp? :unsure: . Equally if the cylinder is suitably insulated then that shouldn’t be an issue?

sorry for the waffling! 

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A heat exchanger should help you, these are very efficient:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F392371915664

 

I have a similar one installed parents diesel camper van and it will supply continuous *really* hot water while the engine is running.

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The system Ross describes is known as a clorifier in the marine industry. It shouldn't affect the running temp because the thermostat will just stay closed for longer but it will increase warm up time. However you could put a hydronic eberspacher in line or standalone and use it for heating to.

Mike

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50 minutes ago, landroversforever said:

For the hot water.... is it worth having the water circulate through the engine and heater as normal, with the hot water tank last in the line before the water returns to the engine? I can’t see any issues. Only thing it might do is knock down the engine temp? :unsure: . Equally if the cylinder is suitably insulated then that shouldn’t be an issue?

sorry for the waffling! 

I understand what you are saying :)

 

My initial thoughts is this; 

I'm using the cooling system to heat a water tank which is adding more plumbing, or more possible problems lets say, to the cooling system.  A fault in the hot water tank or plumbing will affect the engine, if a leak were to happen.  A standalone system will, if it fails for any reason, only affect the hot water. 

31 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

A heat exchanger should help you, these are very efficient:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F392371915664

 

I have a similar one installed parents diesel camper van and it will supply continuous *really* hot water while the engine is running.

 

4 minutes ago, miketomcat said:

The system Ross describes is known as a clorifier in the marine industry. It shouldn't affect the running temp because the thermostat will just stay closed for longer but it will increase warm up time. However you could put a hydronic eberspacher in line or standalone and use it for heating to.

Mike

 

Ultimately the clorifier system running from a webasto thermo top is the way to go. 

A seperate system with it's own water.

I have also got it a water heater from a BMW which runs off the battery when the engine is running.  It's primary function is to help provide hot air on start up by forcing the coolant to be heated in the engine although it will draw a fair amount of power, but this will only be run when the engine is running and i MAY fit a 3rd battery for this funtion.

Ignoring the chandelry websites for a clorifier, i shall keep my eyes open for a 2nd hand unit...

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Toying with the hinge brackets at the moment whilst I source a replacement bellow as the original is serviceable but I would like to replace it with a breathable tent material...it’s just finding a company that work with it!

 

I’ve done a mock up of a bracket idea

 

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the roof has 4 of these down the one side, however due to the shape of the roof, it’ll require them all to be individually sized

 

stress wise I reckon I’ve got it sussed, however the back plate that bolts to the roof could do with going down onto the gutter for extra bracing without relying on the bolts only to take the strain.

 

Materials to use for the brackets?  I was thinking aluminium ,but have no experience with it.  

 

I think steel will be abit overkill and bulky...

 

 

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Wouldn't it be easier to get someone to alter the fibreglass a bit to make it fit better I would offer but I don't think your local to me.

Mike

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If you're planning to use a Webasto to heat hot water, do you need a heat exchanger or could you just heat the water directly? As long as the webasto isn't run dry it should be fine, it's a plastic pump & impeller so you could just flush it before fitting to remove any old coolant residue.

The webastos have enough safety cut-outs and things, and if memory serves they cut off at 50-70degcC so should be pretty good for heating "house" water directly.

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On 8/11/2019 at 1:18 PM, Badger110 said:

Toying with the hinge brackets at the moment whilst I source a replacement bellow as the original is serviceable but I would like to replace it with a breathable tent material...it’s just finding a company that work with it!

 

I’ve done a mock up of a bracket idea

 

1F17E0D1-E587-4929-A518-B1623E36B4E8.thumb.jpeg.45db3dc6a6d86df05a95df5473e226b2.jpeg6BA816DA-36FE-42E9-BD1E-3A991B2CDA59.thumb.jpeg.d63016393677b672842896c440a54b7b.jpeg

 

the roof has 4 of these down the one side, however due to the shape of the roof, it’ll require them all to be individually sized

 

stress wise I reckon I’ve got it sussed, however the back plate that bolts to the roof could do with going down onto the gutter for extra bracing without relying on the bolts only to take the strain.

 

Materials to use for the brackets?  I was thinking aluminium ,but have no experience with it.  

 

I think steel will be abit overkill and bulky...

 

 

Bear in mind that those hinges will also need to keep the roof firmly attached on the road while driving, and not just allow the roof to open.

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On 8/11/2019 at 10:19 PM, miketomcat said:

Wouldn't it be easier to get someone to alter the fibreglass a bit to make it fit better I would offer but I don't think your local to me.

Mike

I have thought of this and contacted a few people, however it’s getting the entire roof system to them and them being able to work on it.

 It’s not out of the question, but i’m looking alternative ideas at present.

19 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

If you're planning to use a Webasto to heat hot water, do you need a heat exchanger or could you just heat the water directly? As long as the webasto isn't run dry it should be fine, it's a plastic pump & impeller so you could just flush it before fitting to remove any old coolant residue.

The webastos have enough safety cut-outs and things, and if memory serves they cut off at 50-70degcC so should be pretty good for heating "house" water directly.

This could theoretically be done, but it will require the system to be ‘ open ‘ all the time, ie varying levels of water in the tank being heated...old heating systems in houses did the same with header tanks.  Using a clorifier allows a closed system which is easier to manage and maintain once correctly set up.

however i’m open to all ideas 

32 minutes ago, JohnnoK said:

Bear in mind that those hinges will also need to keep the roof firmly attached on the road while driving, and not just allow the roof to open.

Not entirely true but yes you’re right in mentioning the role of the hinge when closed.  The roof is secured on the opposite side with clamps as well as large spring loaded arms inside in their closed position as well as clamps.

 

i want to do away with the large springs for gas struts and have the interior with several clamps so I don’t need to exit the vehicle to raise the roof

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I'm with mike. Adjust the fibreglass to fit properly. It will make it a proper job rather than a hack.

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Personally, I think that hinge is quite likely to fold in half.

I'd and get it shrunk, as above.

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