A Fridge is a Fridge is a Fridge

I bought a Dometic RM7270 3 way fridge for my van thinking it would be nice to be able to run it on Gas, 12v and 240v as the need arose. Well it turns out the fridge was not really suitable for my van configuration, particularly because of supports etc in the van were exactly where the vents for 3 way fridge needed to be and because I don’t want to mess around with gas and ventilation not being 100% correct I decided to ring the company I bought the fridge from (http://www.magnummotorhomes.co.uk/) and see if they would exchange it for a 12v/24v compressor fridge. They were totally accommodating and swapped it no problem. I chose a Waeco CF110 as it was a similar price, once you factor in the vents required for the gas fridge, and is actually quite a bit larger inside so in many respects a better fridge. I am probably going to want to install solar panels at some point now so I am going to run the wire now before all the panels are on.

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Playing Catchup

Ok, so I am playing catch up a bit, I didn’t start this blog straight away so have to update you on what has been happening since I bought the van.

The previous owner had different ideas about what the finished campervan would be like and so I have had to undo some of the work already done. Not much but I have had to remove some of the wood panels and insulation in order to run the electrics and prepare for installing the windows.

The wiring, particularly the 240v,  needs to be run through conduit to protect it from chaffing when bouncing around in the van, I bought some plastic conduit off of bay for £10 plus shipping for 50 meters, way more than I need but it was still cheaper than any other seller.  I managed to run 3 lengths of 240v wire for the near side through one conduit and should manage all of the 12v through another. To be fair I could have easily run more as the conduit is quite a bit larger than I anticipated but that means the wires are not going to be jammed in and are less likely to over heat.

The small roof light was not fully framed in and was leaking a but so with the help of my mate Steve I removed and refitted the light using butyl rubber sealant. It’s not as pretty as the white stuff that was used previously but shouldn’t leak and who see the top of the van anyway, I may hit it with some white paint at some point. We have had some really heavy rain since and not a drop of water had leaked through so jobs a good’un.

I found it is hard to buy the stuff for the van in stages because it is hard to plan without them, in the end I have bought pretty much everything I need for the van apart from a few little things like the lights and a propex heater.  I will run the wire and gas pipe for them but install the heater and lights later. I also need to find a suitable counter top for the kitchen and something to use as the table tops, preferably I can find something that I can use for both so they match.

In Search of

Believe it or not I have been planning this build for over a year. I started off with a plan to buy a cheap, much older van for around £2000 and put another £3500 in it converting it but as time went by and I thought about what I wanted I started leaning towards something a little newer. I didn’t want to spend months working on a van and at the end of it all have something which wouldn’t make me feel like going camping with my family. I had auto searches on ebay for almost a year but nothing quite caught my eye until this van came along. Firstly it was already partially converted with Grey Waste and Fresh Water tanks as well as an LPG tank already installed under the van and the interior Fooring and insulation pretty much complete. It also had 2 roof lights installed and Vinyl on the side window areas to help blend in any windows and make it look more like a campervan. The pictures below show what the van was like when I collected it.

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In the beginning …

… was the panel van and the panel van is now mine and the panel van is ready to convert. Welcome to my Self Build Campervan blog. I would like to introduce Vinny, he’s my van. I didn’t name him, he was named by the previous owner and his wife who had planned to convert him to a campervan themselves but in the end he wound up with me. His full name is Vinny VanDiesel hence the name of the blog. I am going to stop referring to the van as him now. I shall be adding pictures and updates when I get a chance.