Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

99% sure there was more diff progress... yes, here and there:

viewtopic.php?p=44095#p44114
viewtopic.php?p=44123#p44123

Slept another night in this thing last night, but not a good night's sleep at all:

1) Neglected to level the mattress front-to-rear, thought it would be okay, almost was
2) Overly warm with a full duvet in summer instead of what I had up here at xmas time, and don't sleep well uncovered
3) Insufficient ventilation - it's true that the caravan is full of holes, but without wind or force, nothing flows, so humidity went up and amplified warmth
4) Has to take a piss in the rain/mosquitoes at 3am
5) Mind was humming with ideas about a cabin here and water supply and so forth, so ended up reading for a while, then got a few hours solid sleep until the alarm went

I would have just left the back open, but mosquitoes ruin the fun, here. Solution might be mosquito net across the back or solar powered fan in the OEM heater vent duct. Or both.

Solution to mattress levelling is to level the floor so the mattress sits lower and flat.

Yesterday I had to remove the right wheel and take it for some air, it was basically flat with 2psi, so I ended up with 48 in it by accident thanks to a shitty electronic compressor at the local gas station. That'll last a week, which is all I need. Will give it some bigger new tyres sometime soon.
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

Dragged it away from it's newish home base and abandoned it in a small town called Pahi for a little while.

Managed to use it to cook the brakes in the Stagea, too :-D

Likely to be staying in Auckland with me again sometime soon. We'll see how frequently the council comes a chalking then.

I know just after I took it away the old couple who lived next to/opposite it sold up and moved on (or at least one of them probably did, maybe not both), and I suspect it was her doing it as the chalkings had stopped shortly before that anyway.

No currently uploaded media to share, but if I get a chance I'll try to upload and do a post here with pics in it.
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

Image
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

Lots of updates needed here, both in travel and build progress. But in the mean time, time log:

After the Kai Iwi Lakes trip (Monday was a holiday, Auckland anniversary) it spent between 3 and 5 days on the street.

Then I brought it back in for the indifferent differential/G80 axle swap. Completed!

Now it's back on the street again, went back last night until I next want to do some work on it.

Next bite-size items:
  1. Custom bracket for upper torque rod on indifferent differential (with view to 3) - stops the axle rotating under brakes/with handbrake left on by accident/on purpose, removes more kgs of forward weight
  2. Pull the dent out of the right guard and maybe give it a lick of dark/metallic green to match?
  3. Modify the pivot points of the trailing arms so as not to interfere with the future floor space (straight lower)
  4. Trim dashboard to give more foot space when sleeping (tall person thing)
  5. Lighting, windows, locks, hooks, shelves, gap filling, insulation stuffing etc - utility additions/resurrections
  6. Lightening various front-end components further, eg door braces, glass vs plastic, etc etc, pretty sure I posted on this before
  7. Braked coupling added and calipers reinstalled with fresh or not so fresh pads
  8. Levelling the tow attitude/height with changes to suspension/A-frame/coupling attachment - will change with new floor so perhaps wait?
  9. New shock absorbers! And perhaps a gentle sway bar? And maybe springs to match the lowered 940 wagon (once I lower it)
Next BIG items:

1 Figure out interior space constraints around the suspension/diff/guards/etc and how the floor and front will fit together, then do the floor replacement and cabin expansion, all insulated laminated panels

2 Figure out kitchen facilities and space constraints around chassis rails, gas bottle storage, bench, food storage, cooking surface, etc, cut and expand the internal volume to allow for more gear and less dead weight

3) Build the kitchen facilities into the thing. See next post for design notes. May be duplicate of earlier post?

One important independent item:

Jockey wheel fixes (currently not happy), lightweight A-frame vertical reinforcement for trailer duties, A-frame weight reduction, A-frame galvanising.

I can do most of that still attached to the caravan, but it has to come off for galvanising, and I'd like to talk to a galvaniser before doing some of the work so as to ensure it's appropriately done and doesn't need rework. So the galvanising at least has to wait until it goes back to the site to live, otherwise I won't be able to move it around the street weekly to avoid tickets.
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

Kitchen details:

bench from glass to glass, or panel below glass to panel below glass, depending on standing height, head room, suspension height, etc.
bench built hard up against rear tail gate/door
drawers under bench except where fittings/etc interfere
storage shelves/bins/drawers for cooking stuff, matches, oil, salt, pots/pans/plates/bowls/cutlery/utensils - focus on ease of access
bench should have a sink for washing up, with a drain to the outside - high enough to enter a 20l bottle
bench should have a 2 burner cooker built in, or attachable - need to consider height above to flammables, and to sides, and to front/back or shielding/insulation, perhaps: http://stuff.fredcooke.com/CountryCookerSafetyCard.jpg
sleeping area and cooking area should be dividable/isolatable with something solid or a mosquito net, or both - prevent oil vapour ingress to bedding, prevent insects entering at night with ventilation
9kg LPG bottle under the drawers, ideally accessible through the drawers' holes, or from beneath - maximally rear-ward, perhaps have bench on hinges with gas struts beneath and latches at the back?
bank of batteries, also maximally rearward, with a master switch, solar charging setup, and external jumpering point(s) for charging on the move or from any external source
20l water bottle, also maximally rearward, with pump and open tap and knee/foot switch of some sort - should be easy to remove for refilling from local sources
storage for stands and/or jacks and/or chocks/etc - with the handbrake chocks aren't really needed, and although built-in stands for the back might be nice, front ones need to be removable/loose for travelling
forced ventilation either sucking into sleeping space and blowing back through and out of kitchen and/or sucking from above cooker and blowing out a small chimney

Possibly looking a bit like this:

Image
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

Interestingly, the G80 diff out of this is now in my 740 sedan and the B234F engine out of this is now in my 240 sedan. I'll need to tow it with both just for giggles :-)
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

Ticked off towing the caravan behind it's own differential (and brakes and other parts) tonight by towing it with the 740.

I only towed it around the block and back to the other side of the street about 20m further down. Why? This:

https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 5095105537
https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 7609279488

Image

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That was lucky! :-o I was sleeping in it alone just the other night, too. Would have scared the living shit out of me to hear that! :-o

Will be going back on our land at some point soonish. Not sure how soon exactly.

Would love to get the suspension mods finished before then, and maybe some other tweaks. Unlikely, though.
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

New WOF! :-) https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 3439939584

Image




And no other progress at all. Likely to go back onto private property in the coming weeks, not sure exactly when, or if any progress will be made, but...
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Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Post by Fred »

I write to you from inside this thing, first night was Sunday night, last night may be tomorrow night, we'll see, but:

All the same old complaints are still valid. However additionally:

I'd like the back end of the mattress to have some sort of padded head board that can be used as a seat, ie, sit on the bed and lean against the end, and use a laptop or read or whatever. Right now (literally) I'm doing that with a stack of pillows, but something designed for it would be superior.

I'd also really like this thing to hold a serious chunk of battery. In the order of 230AH LiFePO4 should be ample - the idea being to be able to charge it within about 2 hours of engine idling time and have it last a full day or two before needing another charge assuming there's not enough light for solar. I have a 455W panel here, but the best it's done is about 50W so far this trip in the shade behind a hill. In future the scenario will be better, but for the time being that's my lot. I've run the Carib wagon out of gas idling it for hours and hours on end morning and evening mostly. All this in a bid to keep my two laptops, various power tools, two phones, 3 power packs, and LED panel light charged and ready for hours of use.

I saw a van setup the other day with 20l water and 20l catchment - makes sense I think. Fill one up, empty the other, go on your mission and for hands/rinsing/steaming veges that will last okay if used sensibly.

So stuff to fit under the back around/behind/in front of the axle:

230AH LiFePO4 pack, charge controller, inverter
9kg LPG bottle, regulator, illegal plumbing to 2 burner and perhaps external hook up for bbq or smoker or something
20l+ of water + 20l+ of grey water storage - numbers must match

Another thing I 100% want is heating. I don't yet 100% know what I want but here's a few ideas:

1. LPG space heater, burns outside, heat exchanger blows hot hair inside safely
2. Diesel of same
3. Hot water circulating through alloy pipe grid above insulated floor, below mattress
4. Electric blanket - these are only about 60w/side so even on high you're talking 150w with inverter losses which is something like 12A which would do 10 hours for half of the capacity of the 230AH pack, pretty acceptable for the price of not freezing to death at night. And realistically you wouldn't need it on high.

Though I do like the idea of the air in the cabin being warm, too, not just the bedding. To achieve that from the electric blanket would roast the occupants before the air was okay above.

Reducing heating requirements is a key thing to do, too:

Clearly the new insulated laminated floor and front wall will help, however something I saw on an ozzy offroad yt video was mylar lined insulated panels that were fairly rigid and yet a bit flexible and had the mylar to reflect the heat out or in or both. The press fitted into each window frame or was there velcro, i can't recall but something along those lines that blocked all light and provided substantial warmth or cool benefits would be welcome. The pull over black window privacy things aren't great and can draw moisture inside.

Changing the glass to polycarb will help a lot, too. Would also want something like that for the front windscreen and rear. Or front and a curtain across the divide between sleeping/living and cooking/eating sections.

Enough brain dump, time to relax for a bit, then get some shut eye.
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