It's all a question of what we can afford. Having a free van two years ago seemed like a great idea for a family holiday for me and the kids. but I did not expect the gearbox to hive out. That's all fixed now, so it was time to look at the caravan. At first glanve the bits of water damage was only a bit of the ceiling, but as I went I discovered more and more. But, fixing as I go, has not been an expencive job. Enen now I don't think I've spent 200 pounds yet, and you'd pay that for another old rot box, so I guess I'm actually restoring a valuable collectors caravan for the future. I might even be able to get my money back and find another Lunar project.
Once I've finished, there will be only one section of ceiling, and the rear van wall which have not been renewed, so I guess the van will be OK for another ten years at least, by which time it will be too small, for 4 adults, and I'll be touching 70!
They seem to have become unsealed, and I have water in them from all the recent rain. At the point I am, I could easily remove the windows. But has anyone here ever resealed these plastic double glazed windows? If so, what did you use to reseal them?
Half Term put a stop to work, along with fixing up the car for it's MOT. But, even so I did manage to refit the front window, just in time for a load of rain to test my repairs. Unfortunatly, I didn't have time to fit the rain strip, over the front window. This caused a big leak! Since then I've refitted the rain strip, ans we are watertight again. I've now refitted the curtains to two windows. I'm now ready to start trimming out the panelling. It's going to be touch and go, to be ready for a holiday in August, but I'm going to do my best to make it.
I don't suppose anyone has any Grey window catch plates. I've tried all normal suppliers, and Ebay, but only Black are available, I need only 4. Seems like windows are recovered but not the catch plates.
How about getting 4 black ones and swapping them with 4 grey ones from a window which is less conspicuous, say a toilet window or a kitchen window?
Just a thought.
I don't have too many of them to swap around. A lot of them were broken with rust expantion. I bought two Black ones, but they look horrible. I guessed with all the old van which have gone for scrap these catches would be easy to find, but it's looking like big things like fridges and windows are sold off and small things go in the pot.
I've sent emails to some scrappers to see if they have any, but so far no replies.
If I can't get any, I guess I'll have to go to my local model shop and see if I can get some matching Humbrol paint.
BTW, I've taken out today the last fixed window, which had been stuck in wth a mixture of bathroom silicon sealent and strip mastic! I've got no idea how to remove the silicon from the rubber.
Reference the problem with the black/grey window catches, other than replacing the lot I have no other suggestions. It is a pity that your not happy with the black ones in view of the fact that grey ones are difficult to source.
Reference the silicon on the rubber, have you tried simply peeling it off like peeling sun burnt skin (always a strangely satisfying occupation)? The only other suggestion would be to try using white spirit which may loosen it's grip enough to peel it off but that is only a suggestion. I have never been in the situation where I've had to peel silicon from rubber so I can only make a suggestion in good faith. As the saying goes, "try it on an inconspicuous area first".
Sorry if I'm a pain, but I'm used to try and restore things, as were. I'm a bit dissapointed I've had no replies from breakers on ebay.
I can't see anything. Have you got some Grey locking plates?
I spent two days scraping off Silicon from the window and rubber. I could not get 100% of it off, so I tried a silicon remover. 7.99 for a small tube, but it did the trick on the stubburn bits. Since I've reseated the window, without silicon, and cleaned up the rebber seal, the window no longer leaks. I've now re paneled the Left side with ply. Just goes to show rubber seals, even 30 year old ones, are OK, if properly fitted, and not botched up with sealents, which only cover up the real problem.
The whole front section is now finished. I've just got to buy some 1/4 round to trim the panel jointsm new Black rubber trim for the Aly strips, and refit the curtain rail. The car MOT is over, but it blew a hole in my finances, so I have to keep spending to a minimum for the next couple of weeks.
I've bought a 20" JVC TV, which runs off a 12v DC mains transformer. Now is it safe to run this off the battery, Or retain the 240v transformer? What sort of wall mount will be OK? I don't have a lot of space, so I was thining of a fold up mount.
I had a good day today, getting the 240V system up and running, although the TV I bought turned out to be a duffer. It only has two colours working, so the Greens are all Brown. Shame it was a good size, but at least I got the chance to test the aerial and freeview box work OK, and we had a good signal. All I need now is another TV.
I've rewired the Fridge with a new 240V cable and a 12V cable. I've noted there is no + - on the 12v connecters. So, does it matter which is + - ?
Super little pump, and works a treat. Gone is the Whale foot pump amd water pump, which never seemed to work properly. The only slight problem with the pump is if you switch the tap on, but do not open the water valve, the peressure from the pump quickly builds up and starts leaks. But as long as you turn on the taps normally there is no problem. I've emailed to seller to see if there is a way to adjust the pressure.
With the pump installed I now have a working water system up amd running, which now just needs the power supply finished off.
I've still got loads of things to do, but I can start to see a glimer of light at the end of the tunnel.
I've had an email about the pressure problem, and it's fixed with a twist of a screw on the front.
While I was under the caravan, fixing the water system, I had a look at the axle. The main cross member is very rusty, but quite sound. A coat of red oxide should fix it. I have a new hand brake cable, but it does not brake the van very well. It would fail an MOT if it was a car! Just how good are caravan hand brakes supposed to be? What checks should I do on the running gear? The gator has fallen off the hook. Can they be replaced?
Two or three years ago I was trying to keep a ten or eleven year old Compass 'van on the road, literally on some journeys ( ! ! ! ) and the brakes were inefficient to say the least. Caravan Brakes should be efficient enough to hold the van steady on a fairly steep incline, but probably more importantly, to keep it from rolling backwards off of the top of the levelling block which you have tried so hard to drag the van up on to, in a very muddy field ! On that Compass 'van, there were two areas of concern, the first was that the brake cable had to be adjusted, usually from underneath the van so, that it acted equally on both brakes, and that was the easy bit.
The second problem turned out to be a complete absence of brake lining remaining on the shoes. Removing the brake drums necessitated a hardened, air gun type, suitable socket for the bearing nut, plus a long steel scaffold pole to achieve sufficient torque to loosen the nuts. Removal and re-assembly, plus suitable copper grease where applicable, was not too much of a problem, but taking digital photos of the various stages of disassembly helped in the correct procedure for reassembly. But seeing how good you are with digitising all stages of your rebuild, this at least, will obviously be no problem. Unfortunately, a fair amount of cleaning, loosening, and general rust removal will be required, particularly from the inside of the brake drums.
I'll have a look at everything next week, once we get rid of the rain.
I know this might sound a silly question, but how do you jack up a caravan? Are the jacking legs strong enough to take the weight of the van with both the wheels off the ground? I only have an old 1ton car sissor jack, which works fine on the car.
The corner steadies are precisely that, steadies. They should never be used to jack a caravan up. If you do use the steadies, especially on older caravans, it is likely that the steady will disappear through the floor of the caravan. Not good practice!
I don't know if your caravan has a solid steel chassis or a thin galvanised steel chassis. The best, and safest way to jack up a caravan is to put the brakes on, chock the wheels then put the jack under the axle or under the steel mounting bracket where the axle is mounted on to the chassis. The chassis members are not designed to be used as jacking areas. Having said that, AL-KO have jacking points on the chassis which are right-angle brackets, specially positioned and bolted to the chassis and designed to take the AL-KO jack.
Some older caravans were built on steel angle chassis and they are quite robust and may stand being used for jacking but only if the jack is positioned where the axle joins the chassis members. Axle stands under the outer ends of the axle as near as possible to the chassis mounting point are the answer. Before doing anything, check that the chassis has not rotted away or become weak because of rusting.
Look before you leap! I should hate to hear that your restoration project has become a heap on the floor.
My old van has a solid ally channel section frame, with a round tubelar steel axle, which is very rusty, but solid. Being a round axle I'll have to make a solid wood block channel, so I can lift the axle without a chance of the jack slipping out.
If the brakes need parts replacing, are the parts still available for a 1980's van?
Drum brakes are a bit old hat, but I've had plenty of old cars with drum brakes, so fixing them should not be difficult, as long as bits are available.
I don't suppose any suppliers will know what brakes were fitted to a Dino 13-4? Or is it a case of going to my local car parts supplier and going through the brake parts books?
As part of the rebuild, and without any original 12v wiring, other than the external lights, I came up with this DIY power board. I don't have a cover for the rubber junction box, so I'll make a wooden one from plywood.
The fridge is next to hitched up to power, which has been re fitted into it's original position, as per the drawing supplied by Lunar.