Apologies for the lack entries for almost a month but Christmas, New Year took account of two weeks of it. I haven’t been idle though in the first part of January. With the van now having a full MOT the owners could insure and tax it so they could take it to Careavan in Rubery (Birmingham) for upholstery. I have to say the folks at Careavan did a first class and sensitive job and have matched the fabric to the colour scheme well. It now looks and feels really homely and cosy inside. Some people don’t like the carpet lining on walls but it does give a lovely snug and warm feel to a relatively small van interior.
Since it came back from Careavan I have fitted the kitchen unit, connected the gas system and pressure tested it(all tests passed first time I’m pleased to say), hooked up all the fresh and waste water plumbing and have now connected the electrics, both 12V and 230V systems. Full working order on the mains side of things but a problem with the Truma E2400 heater to sort plus a couple of LED lights aren’t working but otherwise its all looking great. These faults turned out to be really minor (pleased to say), one unconnected wire was the cause of the non working LEDs and the heater was simply a blown fuse on the PCB so all is now working as it should.
Extension lift ups have been mounted on either end of the kitchen unit to give some workspace and where the kitchen overlaps the side door I’ve fitted an access door to the rear giving access to the gas taps and perhaps allowing easier loading of shopping into the kitchen storage.
The two main ceiling lights are dual switched as well as having individual switches on the units themselves, this allows them to be switched on or off from two different positions. There are also LED strip lights above the side door and over the rear of the cab, these are both operated from a single switch just inside the side door. Other LED strips are fitted under the front edges of the high level cupboards, individually switched for ambient lighting. A separate DAB/FM/USB radio/Media player, powered from the leisure batteries, is mounted in the Sargent EC450 power control and distribution unit which is switched on or off via its own switch on the lower edge of the Sargent unit, the speakers from this radio are above the offside rear seat and TV area. We opted for this setup to avoid messing about with the in dash unit which is engine battery powered and CANBUS controlled. On the roof is a Snipe automatic satellite dish whose output is fed to a socket on the wall above the fridge, the Avtex LED TV includes a free to air HD satellite receiver so no additional boxes are required.
Two leisure batteries of 90 AH capacity are fitted on the floor behind the driver’s seat and the mains charger is hidden behind a closing panel at the side. Alternator charging and solar charging are dealt with by a CTEK D250S Dual charge controller, a clever piece of kit incorporating a MPPT solar regulator and intelligent, multi stage battery to battery charger. The solar charge is automatically split between leisure and engine batteries according to their need.
In this final week of January I have built the high level cupboard over the kitchen and fitted a work light there. Final bits of carpet lining fitted and the leisure batteries and inverter mounted and boxed. Full testing of all systems has now been carried out and the water system fully commissioned with just a couple of easily resolved minor leaks.
One issue that looked like it might give us problems was the fuel gauge, despite fitting a nice shiny new tank unit the gauge stuck resolutely to zero. A diagnostic scan showed the BSI unit to be reading the tank unit and the gauge to be functioning but they just wouldn’t talk to each other. The BSI unit was removed and sent off for testing and repair but after a week was returned untested as the company don’t have the facilities for such a new unit. Oh well lets plug it all back in anyway because without it the vehicle is dead…………….guess what, the fuel gauge now works perfectly!
And finally today the owners have collected their new motorhome. For the first night out we’ve booked them into the Severn Gorge site near to our workshop so that we are close to hand should anything major crop up. There are still the graphics to apply but we’ve agreed with the owners to wait till the weather warms up a bit for that.