Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Over-cab Section

The over-cab section is essentially our bedroom so we want it to be as warm and sturdy as possible. We were originally going to just cap over what was already there with a heavy duty plywood board and pop our mattress on top, but investigations at the weekend revealed yet more rot so it had to all come out as well. Much to my dismay it also meant that a piece of plywood that we had already put up had to come back off to get to the corner :S

I came home from work the other day to what looked like a disaster zone as Ryan on his day off had torn most of the rotten soggy battens out from the bed section, pulled off the plywood and also a lot of the insulation to get at it all! Not only were the battens rotten but the metal itself was very corroded, and even had some small holes in the curved part at the front. I got the last pieces of the plywood chiselled off of the bed platform and cut out the old bed framework.

While I was on the roof painting (see 'The Roof - part 2'), Ryan got it all cleaned up and sanded down. He also applied a good coat of zinc chromate (an anti-corrosion aluminium primer) as we had done on other areas of corroded metal that were uncovered, though none of them were quite as bad as this part! It still needs filling to plug the holes, Ryan said he wants to use fibreglass for that part - it withstands flexing better than bodywork filler and that area does get the full force of the wind and weather when driving, which is probably why it's so bad.

The previous bed design consisted of three sections of mattress, the middle one of which slotted above the curved part of the cab ceiling. This was useful for walking into the cab to get in and out of your driving seats if the bed wasn't in use, though I always did seem to forget that the floor dropped away there and would mostly fall into the passenger seat! As we will be using that bed full time we are building a solid bed platform so won't be able to use the headroom there, but hopefully it means I'll take better care ducking into the cab in future!

The upholstered edging to the curved cab ceiling stood above on the platform at nearly an inch, and as headroom is a very precious resource to us now we realised that it would be a waste of valuable space to put the plywood board on top of the upholstery!

I decided to undo the fabric and padded covering and take off the protruding lip so that the board could go on flat to the existing platform.With the lip gone I pulled the fabric back over the edge and glued and stapled it down again, like new! :)

An interesting discovery was the date hand-written by Waki's makers on one of the wooden layers under the fabric 10-9-85!

                                                                  * * * * * *

As I'm writing Ryan is sitting on top of the bed platform putting the insulation back into the corner wall. The bed now has a new framework in place and the heavy plywood boards cut to size though still needs fixing down permanently, but the curved section of the over-cab needs to be finished first. We have also been investigating the walls around the sofa window and into the kitchen which has unearthed a few areas that need replacing too but that's for another day.

Thanks for reading, night night! :)

The Roof - part 2

As it was such a glorious day on Sunday we got the last beam properly secured and sealed on the roof. The bad weather, fading daylight and then shortage of silicon last time we was up there meant that Ryan could only put one layer of the roof seal on to get it at least weather proof and to stop it actively dripping inside when it rained (or when the snow melted!).

So Ryan scraped the layer of roof paint back off to redo the sealant on the bolts, a messy job as usual for him, and once it had dried I got up there with a paintbrush and got a good couple of coats of the roof paint over it all and around the edges again to use up the rest of the tin.

I had a succession of pointing children asking their mothers "why's that lady on the roof?!" and a few odd glances from Ryans family, but eventually finished and climbed back down to normality - well almost normality, it is me we're talking about!

I'll definitely have to try and keep a section of the roof clear of stuff as it makes the perfect sunbathing spot, and I enjoyed a moment of laying down with my hands behind my head and my work boots crossed but had too much to do to be able to stay there too long. For now I've just reserved the idea for when we find a nice spot on our travels, around the Cornish coast perhaps? :)

So now that the bolts for the roof beams are properly sealed we can finish the battens on the ceiling inside and get the insulation and cladding done there, after the front window has been replaced of course, and the bed finished, and the walls papered... *sigh* better get back to work then! :)

Monday, 12 March 2012


I'm sick of chiselling, I'm sick of hammering, and now I'm very much sick of sawing too but the walls are looking lovely at last! The plywood has been cut to shape and put in place...

The section for the overcab sleeping area was the toughest to fit due to it's awkward shape and the fact that I can barely reach the corner even when stood on the passenger seat! Thankfully my calculations lined up ok to cut it all out correctly, though I must have remeasured 5 times because the section of wood looked far too small to be our actual sleeping area! I think that's something we'll just have to get used to, I'd still rather risk hitting my head the odd time than re-make our bed every single day in the living area.

I cut out the ply around the door and living room window whilst Ryan was at work and we got it actually fitted up together as that involved taking the windows out again to seal them better. Ryan also replaced the electric hook up socket & added an outdoor plug socket so we don't have to trail an extension lead through a door or window if we need power in the awning.

As the largest areas of plywood were the reclaimed board they do need a good deal of sanding down before we can wallpaper them, but I'm just glad to finally see a solid wall in place for now! As they say, simple things please simple minds... :D

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sweet FA!

The weekend before last we literally done nothing to Waki, and Ryan was working for the whole weekend just gone so we didn't get any further then either! I feel this an important post still though to show that sometimes in a project like this, you just need to take a break. 

Both me and Ryan have been feeling some mental burnout from working full time and pouring all of our spare time and energy into the refurb at weekends or on any days off, so it was time to pull back and relax for once! It’s a difficult thing to do as on one hand I feel so frustrated that things never seem to get done quickly enough as we just want to be finished and able to move in, but that is just the reason that we needed a break to re-coup and be ready to push on with it all next week. 

So we're sorry we have nothing more interesting to write about this week, I promise we'll have lots to talk about next time! Thanks for your support everyone! :)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Fabulous Fabric!

I had a lovely shopping trip the other weekend with Ryans mum to find some curtain fabric for the living area. She is a very talented seamstress and so at Christmas I made a deal with her for a future favour instead of an extra present in the form of some curtains. I'm quite happy to re-adjust clothing or sew buttons etc by hand but haven't really done anything quite as complicated so this is one part of the project I am willing to pass to someone else!

I'd been looking online and on e-bay etc but couldn't really find any good deals, and it's hard to tell what the fabric is actually like if you can't physically touch it. So joined by Ryans brothers girlfriend we searched Dunelm, John Lewis and Milton Keynes markets' fabric sections but in the end came back to the same one we'd seen in Dunelm first (always the way!) which is a lovely doubled-over rich red fabric with small furry spots to add some patterning without being too over the top. We happened to find it in the discounted end-of-roll section for only £2.99 per metre so am very happy with the price indeed!

I think I will get the lining and the tape from John Lewis as I still have a £50 voucher won through a sales promotion at work so technically won't cost me anything, though I might still buy it online if I see anything else I would rather have from John Lewis!

I think it will really help bring some warm creative energy into the living space, and can already picture the curtains in place and the paint on the walls...