An exciting weekend this weekend, making progress on our ideal overlanding vehicle to get us to see the great outdoors in comfort and style! Whilst Landrovers aren't everyone's perfect 4x4 vehicle, they sure are ours. If you don't know what we are doing, we're making a 130 single cab panelvan, which as far as we know, hasn't been done by anyone in the world before.
These updates are diary style. YOu'll notice there's gaps between the days because we have to work and sadly can't just do it every day as we'd like. That's the royal we, by the way - Jamie does the work and I just project manage, encourage, tidy and jolly on, as well as make decisions about how we're doing it. I know heaps now just from observing him do it for years, so though I don't have the practical skills, I can certainly make suggestions which he is grateful for and which make me feel clever too.
I'm also in charge of putting the spanners away on the wall in correct order (often fail) and tidying up the garage with him, lifting things, holding things, and moral support.
In this photo you can see the capping has been primed and painted and pop riveted around the top of the tub. The water tank finally arrived and we've just popped it in to get a sense of the space. That rear section will have a hatch on either side and the compressor, perhaps the secondary batteries and a few other things. The inside has been primed.
The door was put into place to figure out how to attach it. There's no hinge holes so we suspect it was never made to fit a back door. The roof and sides will have to go on first so Jamie knows where to fit it.
We clipped the aluminium sheeting to the side to see how it'd fit - annoyingly, the sheet metal guys cut one wrong so it was a few mm out so we had to go get a new piece. They accepted it was their fault so it was no biggie. I washed the sides in the sunshine so that they're ready to work with.
Much sanding and bogging was done today, putting the heater on in the shed to make sure it'd set okay - the weather is annoyingly too cold to paint without it. Jamie hate sanding and bogging with a passion - it's really not his thing. But he got on with it and didn't do a bad job. We're not making it perfect because that just creates more work and the first time it's out in the bush we're likely to bump and scratch it. You can't be too precious about these things.
Can you see the angled pannels on the back of the tub? They aren't standard for a Landrover. More on these later.
Jamie's decided to put the tub on before painting it. It will make him feeling like 'he's getting somewhere' - the oft repeated phrase around here. We do get places, but there's always a place to go, and lots to be done on these infinite pathways of Landrover decisions.
But before it goes on, the interior must be painted. As it'll all be covered with flooring, cupboards, insulation and the like, there's no point in doing it #keswickgreen - black will do.
Now we're thinking about who to call upon to put the tub on. That'll be fun and games. Part of him worries that it won't go on and we'll be back to the drawing board, which originally involved doing a composite board camper. We chose against that because it was going to be time consuming and expensive. Even to buy a pre-made or custom one would cost $30K and none of them were what we wanted anyway. None of them were perfect.
So, we are just crossing fingers and toes that all will work the way we expect, and want, it to.
Luckily it's the weekend so we can get lots done. We spent half the day getting the dual cab apart. No real issues, just a lot of time.
Jamie's mate Chris came and helped him get the tray off on Friday night. He has an amazing 6x6 Landrover which has been converted to a camper.
It was pretty light without the cab and the tray on that's for sure! And even lighter without the dual cab.
We discovered that the dual cab had a sill channel that needed replacing with a single cab one (the bit the door shuts onto) and luckily a mate up road had a wrecked Perentie that had exactly what we needed. Murray is so excited about our project that he was happy to give them to us.
Later, in the early evening, Murray got so excited for us he helped put the tub on. That really was the moment of truth... Would it fit? And it did. The chassis brackets were in the wrong spot but the wrecked Perentie had those too .. so lucky as there would have been more of a delay whilst we ordered them.
You can see our reel of the day on Instagram which shows the whole process. Do give it a view and a follow as we would love to increase our follow count! If you're on a PC it'll open in your browser anyway. Enjoy!
Voila! We woke up in the morning to some excitement. We have a Landrover panelvan! It's so lonnggggggg.
So Jamie set to work finding the chassis brackets off Murray, priming and painting them, and trying to get the whole thing level with the doors so the door gap was reasonable. Landrovers are famous for ill fitting, ill closing doors!
Now do you recall the back panels on the tub? We got rid of them as they aren't standard and we want it to look good from the back. Now we aren't sure whether to cut another plat of aluminium to sit over it so the holes don't show or just rivet them and paint over them.
Of course Sunday went faster than we would have liked and there's still tons to be done, but as we say around here, 'we're getting somewhere'.
Oh, and here's an interesting thing that might give some perspective. Some people put a 110 tub on the back of a 130, leaving it a dual cab. For the record, that idea occured to us - but omg it's longgggggg. Ours lines up with the back of the chassis and will look like a 110 except for those who know and look it and go - wait what - that's longer than a 110 - is that a 130?
It's pretty cool how the pop top comes up from the side like a dor mobile. Ours though will hinge up from the windscreen making it pretty spacious inside.
Watch this space - hopefully next post will be in a few weeks with the roof and side on!
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