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Our project


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Our project because it was Margarets idea and some input.

This started Christmas 2010 on a camp site in South Africa. Both of us getting older and having more difficulty getting the tent up, Margaret noticed the off road caravans. "They look nice" was her comment. So we managed to look at some on camp sites. Then while in Jo'berg we did a tour of the factories. The biggest problem was the price....£18,000 upwards.

Some thought and "I can do that for £6,000" and we were on.

We looked at

http://www.conqueror.co.za/

www.echo4x4.co,za

www.imagine_trailvan.co.za

We didn't look at the Jurgens because we didn't get to the showroob being stuck on the motorway for two hours due to two taxis falling over.

So home and start the search.

I did the sketches

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The side elevation is completly different now but very similar as you will see

The chassis is a simple channel section with live axle and leaf springs.

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Fun and games.

Not everything went smooth. Finding a supplier of a live axle and leaf springs prooved difficult. I wanted Land Rover wheels and Defender track. Rubber suspension was a no no because of the roads in southen Africa shold we manage to return. Eventually while looking for something else I found Peak Trailers. The second was the fridge/ cooker slde. I was quoted over £300 for a slide. So I went back to the earlier slide idea, anoth fun time. Getting small castor wheels. I didn't see the point, I might be prooved wrong, of roller bearings. I found a firm that would supply plastic castors at a give away price.

Aluminium was simple to buy after a couple of phone calls. That came from ALLCO in Gateshead with a 20 quid delivery charge. Steel came local from Carter Steel.

So axle got. I made a full size model of the bed using scrap wood.Pics to follow.

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Can we back track.

Margaret wanted a caravan/ trailer that had the bed already made up. Easy access to the fridge and cooker. An add on washroom/ toilet. Our fridge won't fit into any ready made caravan/ trailer slide opening because we have a Twozone fitted to the top, something Margaret was determined not to loose.That gives a 300mm added fridge height. Also it meant that the bed would be too high over our fridge, something that needed consideration. We still haven't worked out how to put the canvas to the raied roof, no doubt that will resolve it'self.

Those of you that are eagle eyed will notice my air conditioned garage. I do have this "garage" full of junk and bits.That's where I'm working with the trailer outside covered from the elements.

During the cold wet weather I made some small bits. The angle brackets to hold the tubing togethe, most likely have more to make.

Door hinges. Try as I did I couldn't find what I considered suitable hinges. Standing at the bus stop, I noticed the hinges on the rubbish bin and copied the idea...

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Hinge

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Hinge and brackets

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I made two, more actually, fixtures for making the hinges.This one for cutting the hinge block to shape in the chop saw.

img04201d.th.jpg

This one for drilling the hinge bolts correctly.

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Sunday saw a huge leap forward. My weldr weleded the chassis so that I could do more measuring and fitting.

img04411y.th.jpg

Here is prt of the chassis "dropped" onto the spring mounts upside down, I have changed ideas, so the chassis needs to be turned over. Then in the next couple of weeks the front of the body can be built up giving the exact position of the spring mounts.

The body will be alli sheet, 0.6 mm 1.0 mm 2.0 mm or 3mm as required. The floor except under the fridge slide will be 3mm, I don't thnk 2mm will be strong enough.1inch square tube will be sandwiched betewwn the sheets of alli. Glued and pop rivited together. Insulation will be 25mm Celotex, expensive but I'm told it's good.

Now if the rain stops I'll add another pic later.

PLEASE. Your comments are generally a great help. So if you THINK you have a better idea or product. Say so

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Why not use a 3 element board for the floor, light weight, very strong and insulated , available in different thicknesses from 20mm up wards to 150mm?

3%20element%20panel.jpg

Or if you feel the need for aluminium floor use floor planks intead, less work and much stronger.

http://www.serviceme...rtpage27-29.pdf

http://www.serviceme...rtpage77-88.pdf

(Aalco do the above as well)

Why did you use steel chanel instead of Aluminium for the chassis?

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Yes I looked at floor panels but I'm happier working this way.....

I did think of alli for the chassis but I stuck to what I know. The South African manufacturers are going stainless steel.

This one is very nice. Wasn't in production when were over.

.http://www.bushlapa.com/

The only downside for us apart from cost is the tent to sleep in

New trailer again in SS

http://www.thesafaricompany.co.za/partners/metalian.htm

I haven't looked at this site as Heinz posts eveything on SA4x4 community forum.

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Why did you use steel chanel instead of Aluminium for the chassis?

If it were me, my reasons would be:

- Difficulty of welding aluminium (it's a more specialised job both for initial fabrication & field repairs), steel can be welded, cut, re-welded, bent, straightened, etc. with no great problems.

- Aluminium suffers metal fatigue in applications like that (and so can stainless in certain grades)

- Aluminium (as LR owners know) suffers galvanic corrosion when in contact with steel fasteners/hardware etc.

Interesting project, my only thought is that the axle looks a long way back but I assume this has been calculated?

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If it were me, my reasons would be:

- Difficulty of welding aluminium (it's a more specialised job both for initial fabrication & field repairs), steel can be welded, cut, re-welded, bent, straightened, etc. with no great problems.

- Aluminium suffers metal fatigue in applications like that (and so can stainless in certain grades)

- Aluminium (as LR owners know) suffers galvanic corrosion when in contact with steel fasteners/hardware etc.

I would have bolted together with angle brackets as per 'pure' body building to alow a degee of 'flex ' to eliviate the chance of stress fatigue and cracking. Galvanic corrosion can be reduced to a great degree by using good quailty PU sealers where disimilar metals are touching.

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FWIW, the insulated radio body on my Russian Gaz truck uses an aluminium skin, a high density cellotex type foam of about 40mm thickness and an inner plywood skin of about 6mm. I think this must be made as flat sandwich panel then assembled as a box with steel cappings over the joints on the outside and inside. All interior fixings use an internally and externally threaded aluminium bush bonded in to the ply and cellotex. The external thread is coarse, probably 8-10 TPI on a 5/8" diameter.

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Why not use a 3 element board for the floor, light weight, very strong and insulated , available in different thicknesses from 20mm up wards to 150mm?

3%20element%20panel.jpg

Or if you feel the need for aluminium floor use floor planks intead, less work and much stronger.

http://www.serviceme...rtpage27-29.pdf

http://www.serviceme...rtpage77-88.pdf

(Aalco do the above as well)

Why did you use steel chanel instead of Aluminium for the chassis?

Oooohhh - where can I get some of that from??? I need to make a new floor in my Rangie ambulance and would like to ditch the thick marine ply - i've been looking for something like that for ages.

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Looks like a nice project, look forward to seeing it come together.

How are you going about getting around the requirements for type approval of trailers in the EU? Obviously not a concern in S.A. but you'll need to start here and go through the EU to get there!

I spoke to VOSA last year before I started the project. Because I'm building it for myself, They don't want to know.

ZA is actually worse than the eu for trailers. You are not allowed to build for youself. They get round that by starting with an old but police cleared and liscenced trailer. Rebuild everything except the trailer plate...

I wouldn't drive overland.Too expensive for where we would want to go.

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Mike,

Good to see it's moving along nicely, I have a spare pair of bump stops from a sankey if they are of any use to you? You can have them for the price of the postage.

Jason.

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That would be the idea. Assuming we can afford to go again. Getting there is now £10.000.

We still want to travel in the UK though. Might manage some shows, if the price hasn't gone to stupid levels

Thanks Jason. The way the springs are set, it doesn't look as if I need them, Now shocks...That's another thing.

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That would be the idea. Assuming we can afford to go again. Getting there is now £10.000.

We still want to travel in the UK though. Might manage some shows, if the price hasn't gone to stupid levels

An expensive game, no doubt about that!

Obviously the requirement for type approval applies here in the UK too, though I'm not sure that UK police and VOSA are that clued up about it. So long as the trailer looks well built and obviously isn't a hash-together I doubt they'd even notice that it's a self-build.

Good luck with the build :)

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Yesterday was a tidy up day. I need storage space and working space. Seems I can't at present have both.

Also there's a leak in the roof where two eaves join. I cant stop it so I diverted it....

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Marvelous what can be done with two screws and some alli sheet.

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As you know I'm complaing I need more light. Two quid light and five quid LED from IKEA, two bolts and more scrap alli helps me see where the drill bit is needed.

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Chop saw bench. The chop saw is bolted down. Halfway is a block and some alli angle. I can clamp the length to this at the correct height and in line for the blade. At the far end is another alli angle bolted down. Blocks can be used clamped to the table to allow more than one lenght to be cut to the same size.

Today I've been to Gateshead to Aalco, ordered more alli.

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