Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Reclassification to motor caravan

In August we sent off the V5 log book to change the body type from panel van to Motor caravan. I had been reading a lot of information on this on the SBMCC website and over the summer it looked like it was going to be impossible for self builds to reclassify. There was something about the police not being able to tell from the outside what the van was used for. Anyway, I used the checklist that they give you (this is all on the SBMCC website somewhere), and printed out loads of photos with labels for the bed, cooker, seats, table and all the list of things you have to have to reclassify it and wrote a letter that a child could understand to make it really difficult for them to refuse us. In addition we decided to stick loads of coloured stars all over the van. This is going to make it harder to go in stealth mode, but easier to reclassify as it really looks like a camper van now. We can always take them off again if we get hassled too much. 3 weeks later we got the V5 back, and they had changed it without question! Win!

Building furniture

We have built a bed a kitchen unit and a chair. We have been so busy trying to sell everything we own and move out of the house as well as building the van and organising a wedding and haven't had much time to update the blog. I will have to take a lot of pictures tomorrow.

The bed was built from stud work timber and we hope it is solid enough! We got a foam mattress from Ikea and cut it down to fit (about 5 ft 11" long and 4ft 6" wide.

We haven't got anywhere else to put the spare tyre, so it is going to live under the bed. We used some of the old metal rings which were in the van to strap it to the floor. I hope this is safe enough!

(You can also see my dodgy wiring attempt in the corner, the number plate light now runs of a feed from the back passenger light. It works, but you have to remember to disconnect the wire if you are opening the door)
Also we have put down some lino and carpet, which was salvaged from the recycling centre by my friend who works there.

We have built a kitchen from battens and plywood. This is not finished, we need to decide how big the water container and gas bottles are going to be so we can make shelves. My Dad has also pointed out that if we knew how to do proper dove tail or dowling joints we would have saved ourselves a fortune rather than buying loads of aluminium L brackets. They just don't teach anything useful at school nowadays do they?

The sink will go here.

This going to be a chair, made from a recycled Ikea cupboard. Not a toilet as everyone thinks!

Building the overhead cupboards from battens and L brackets

Fold down table and chairs. The leg is removable and fits on the floor to stop the table from swinging around when we drive.

 Sink in place, we screwed battens to the inside, glued them down with soudall mastic and put plumbers mait putty along the back edge. You can also see my first attempt at tiling! We used sheets of glass mosaic from homebase.

We worked until 10 on sunday evening and went a bit mad.

I have somehow completely buggered my thumb and it has swollen to about twice the normal size. Would be useful for hitch hiking though.
Here are some photos of the finished van! (minus the woodburner, which we will do in September when it starts getting cold)

 I am very proud of the metal bit with the light mounted in it. The underneath of the cupboard was getting warm when we cooked, so we thought a sheet of metal with an air gap would protect the wood. Keef recycled a metal shelf from work. It was a bit tricky to cut through!