I moved the caravan out of the drive, where it's been for the past 5 months, while I rebuilt the interior, and took it for a test drive. At first it seemed very heavy, but a couple of trips around the estate freed it up, but the brakes don't seem to brake as well as they once did. I've still go to change the second tyre, and this will give me a chance to look at the brake. I've also tested the lights, and I have no running lights, and a dead indicator bulb! My TV mount needs a bit of fixing up, as the tv flaps around quite a bit. Other than that, and a good clean, we are ready to go on next Saturday morning.
During the week I'll do a tot up of the bills and teel you all how much I spent. This week on Ebay, another Dino 134 almost identical to mine, even the same colour, was sold for just over £300.
I found that link a few days ago, and checking the tyre I bought, it will be OK.
I've got to shunt the van around next week, so I can couple up the car and tes the running lights, and fit another new tyre.
Still seem to have lots to do, and only 14 days to go! I just hope the weather holds.
Yesterday, I found another job. The nice Green corner bolts, which hold the body to the A Frame, were only coach screws, which pulled out very easily! They were only screwed into a bit of ply and foam under the floor. I only noticed this when I found the lower face of the plywood fllor, was patched. Removing the patch exposed rotten ply, and the polystyrene floor insulation. I've removed the rot and patched the area with new ply bonded to the insulation, and screwed to the upper woode floor surface. These will be replaced with proper bolts, with large washers on the inside of the body, to hold it on.
Next year I will have to lift the body, off the frame and replace the lower floor ply, so the floor structure does not fail!
've been busy, now the kids are on holiday, so much so, the caravan has had to stop for a bit.
Even so, I've finished the ceiling, and paneled out the toilet. The rear end of the van it rotten too, so another job for next year. We had an almighty thunderstorm the other day, and it showed up a couple of leakes. One from a bolt on the roof vent, and another from the top of the door frame, both easy to fix.
I still have to buy a tyre, ans lub up the draw hook and axle, but most of the big jobs are done, and ready for the off on the 16th!
I'd still like to know what pressures I should have in the tyres?
The vans weight is about 880kg, as per the plate, and I don't think I've added any real weight to the van.
I don't have a hub puller, and time is gettig very short to do major jobs. My hand really suffer trying to do heavy jobs, because I have Carple Tunnel Syndrom, and Arthritis, in both hands, all due to my former jobs and hobby. I find it very frustrating to not be ablt to do things, which once were easy for me, and has made me suffer from depression, for which, I take medication.
There are no external springs, or rubbers on the suspention, just the long steel axle, with two arms, with the wheels mounted on them. When I jacked up yhe caravan, the wheel dropped about 6", before it started to lift free of the ground. It stuck as I lowered the van back onto it's wheel, but returned to it's normal height, when I went inside. There are grease nipples on the axle, and they don't seem to have been greased in a long time, so I'll be greasing them as soon as my new grease gun arrives.
I sucessfully tested the gas hob on Sunday, which is all I will have in the way of working gas equipment, for this trip. I've replaced nearly all of the gas pipe, and fixed it to the structure of the van, so it's not flapping around loose, as it used to be. I also topped up the 12v battery, which was a bit low on water.
WD40 and hitting the drum is my normal methode of getting the drum off, but it's solid. The wheel does spin freely, and it does brake now, so I've put a new tyre on, and greased everything, on the Right side. I'll try the same on the Left, one I've turned the caravan around. I only have a narrow drive so I can only do one side at a tme.
I've got the gas working today, two burners and a grill. I've isolated the fridge and heater for now,as I'm running out of time to finish everything.
I must admit I'm getting more and more depressed, as the time gets closer to go. I have no holiday booked yet, and no one is helping me anymore. I spend loads of time on the van, the house is becoming a dump. The kids are doing nothing to keep things tidy, and I don't have time to keep on top of all the house work and restore a caravan. I just hope the children's services don't come around, for one of thier spot checkes, or else I'll be in for more trouble.
I jacked up the caravan today, and took off one wheel. On closer inspection, the tyre tread has perished in one place. So a new tyre is needed, and I guess the other side will be the same.
Once I got the wheel off, I tried to get the drum off. I've not had much luck in getting it off. It all looks like it's not been off in years, maybe never, but it's soaked with WD40, and I'll see what happend in the morning. I've ordered a grease gun from Ebay, so I can pump grease into the torsion bar.
I've got the brake working on one side. It was seized, but if I can't get the drum off, I'll see how it tows and brakes before going further.
I hooked up tjhe fridge today, and it's running on 24V and 240V, but I'm going to scrap the gas install. I'm running out of time so I'm going to only hook up the gas cooker for now. While I was doing the fridge, I took a few pics under the caravan.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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 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 + - ?
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.
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.
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.