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Thread: Project van begins - NomadicMissionary

  1. #49
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    I use 18mm tantalised exterior ply and I coat the underside with 3 coats of bitumen type gloop.
    just a simple guy
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  2. #50
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ma bungo View Post
    6mm ply is way to thin for a floor, get the thickest ply you can , thin is a false economy !
    Was going to create a sandwich, 6mn ply - battons + insulation - laminate floor. I've taken the original floor up to save weight.

  3. #51
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    Sandwich OK 6mm ply no OK come on johnny in for a penny in for a pound
    just a simple guy
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  4. #52
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offgrid hero View Post
    Sandwich OK 6mm ply no OK come on johnny in for a penny in for a pound
    I hoped the baton's would bear the weight and the ply would just keep in the insulation but the consenses seems to be 6mm isn't enough. What's the minimum I could get away with? Desperate to save weight

  5. #53
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    You'd just be spending on battens when you should be spending on ply,400 centres I guess.
    just a simple guy
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  6. #54
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    Sorry didn't read your post properly if you're sold on the sandwich idea then 18mm bottom then on top you could take a chance but all you would save is the difference between 6 and 18mm not worth the gamble in my mind
    just a simple guy
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  7. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offgrid hero View Post
    Sorry didn't read your post properly if you're sold on the sandwich idea then 18mm bottom then on top you could take a chance but all you would save is the difference between 6 and 18mm not worth the gamble in my mind
    It was 18mm ply that I spent the last couple of weeks ripping out of the van, its now in pieces. I only removed it to try and shed some weight. If my battons run across the chassis frame surely they will be the load bearers along with the floor above, the ply at the bottom is only going to be exposed to anything flying up at it from below.

    I could get hold of some 9mm marine ply locally which would at least be a step up from 6mm... If not its 18mm marine ply and I'm back where I started but down 200 haha.

  8. #56
    The sandwich with thin skin thing only works if it is bonded, I use it in model making, floppy thin skin, soft balsa or foam between, thin skin on top. What the new bus will have when I actually get around to picking it up.

    If worried about glueing thin ply, try 9mm, then foam between and then 9mm ( or even 6mm if putting a laminate floor on top) again, same weight, and screw through, but it is now fully insulated.

    Play does need to be marine on the floor though. Underside for water spray, inside for spills.

    The more support structure you put in. The thinner you can go. Saving weight takes effort, The original floor was designed for abuse moving furniture and machines around. For example in houses, a 600mm joist centre means 21mm chipboard, a 500mm centre a 18mm, and 400 centre a 15mm.
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  9. #57
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    I would be aiming for a nice solid floor and trying to engineer some longevity to the work,18mm tantalised ply is not bad value your area is small and the weight I'd save elsewhere.
    just a simple guy

  10. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Offgrid hero View Post
    I would be aiming for a nice solid floor and trying to engineer some longevity to the work,18mm tantalised ply is not bad value your area is small and the weight I'd save elsewhere.
    Floor is the easiest place to save weight in the whole van, and since all the bottom layer does is stop water getting in why waste weight? With a heavy floor that has foam insulation on it and another layer on top? He only has about a tonne and the loose change available for the whole conversion including occupants and their possessions. This is a 3 person tour the world van that will be a home for months on end.

    Excluding people, food and their simple tatt, There is only 7 or 800 kilos left for the whole conversion to stay under 3.5 tonne, Every kilo saved is really important and he has to do that means from day one.

    18mm ply is about 150 kilos for the floor alone. Then foam, then another 18mm floor on top. 340 kilos before he has done anything important, Not off to a great start is he?
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  11. #59
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    18mm was the manufacturers choice in the fist place for good reasons personally i wouldn't bother with the sandwich idea and probably floor varnish the top and then for cold trips roll out a nice thick carpet,my vans are more often to warm than cold tis a small space,but about -8 is my record low so far.
    just a simple guy

  12. #60
    Yes, 18mm ply was the manufacturers choice.

    For carrying furniture, machines and general abuse every day for 20 years as a van, it wasn't the manufacturers choice to have insulating on top and then another nice floor placed on top of that for a camper van for 3 people to overland to China.

    My last post on the issue of weight.

    Frankly with so little weight available and such a big van, he has no choice to "not bother" when the van weighs 3000 kilos before his tatt, he will be screwed.

    Look at Beyond the Vans conversion, he had to update the van to 4500 kilos as it was so heavy. Extra spares, diesel and water suitable for overlanding it would be nearer 5000 kilos.
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  13. #61
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    Hi If the cross beams are quite close together I would just go with the 9mm ply ,paint the underneath of the floor and cross beams with boat black tar varnish , then if you want to lay flooring on top of the ply , put down a few layers of bubble wrap first ,then put you laminate floor down on top of that
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  14. #62
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    laminate flooring is bloody heavy have you lifted one pack at the diy shop..i got a nasty supprise when in b and q...
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  15. #63
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offgrid hero View Post
    I would be aiming for a nice solid floor and trying to engineer some longevity to the work,18mm tantalised ply is not bad value your area is small and the weight I'd save elsewhere.
    I'd love to and if it was a matter of expense I'd wait and do the job properly but I know I'll be fighting a vicious battle with weight every step of the way. 18mm ply + batons + insulation + 9mm ply + flooring would really mount up. Adam Croft from the vandiaries floored his van over the existing floor and they weighed in at 3.4ton when done but we are going to need to carry more weight in other places plus one extra person.

    I don't like the idea of sandwich without batons for support, I could see it getting squishy. So 9mm marine with liberal bitumen (or the boat tar you mentioned boneheaded) applied, then batons with 25mm kingspan between, then 9mm marine ply finished with varnish or something or 6mm marine with laminate over. The weight will be that of the original floor plus batons and insulation.

  16. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by boneheaddread View Post
    Hi If the cross beams are quite close together I would just go with the 9mm ply ,paint the underneath of the floor and cross beams with boat black tar varnish , then if you want to lay flooring on top of the ply , put down a few layers of bubble wrap first ,then put you laminate floor down on top of that
    Is that stuff better than bitumen then? When you say the cross beams do you mean the top face of the chassis frame that will be under the ply? I was going to red oxide & chassis black that.

  17. #65
    Love's the shire Offgrid hero's Avatar
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    I will make a couple of more points on the plus side for 18mm it's thicker so will insulate better in its self and I understand that part of the reason why the manufacturer used it was for surface load but also it offer's a better service life generally when exposed to the elements which is why I favour it also I was suggesting exterior tantalised ply not marine ply I suggested varnishing the top to save the quite considerable weight of the laminate and you could always add insulation on top as underlay etc if and when needed, all this talk has sparked my interest in doing another one for myself enjoy
    just a simple guy
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  18. #66
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offgrid hero View Post
    I will make a couple of more points on the plus side for 18mm it's thicker so will insulate better in its self and I understand that part of the reason why the manufacturer used it was for surface load but also it offer's a better service life generally when exposed to the elements which is why I favour it also I was suggesting exterior tantalised ply not marine ply I suggested varnishing the top to save the quite considerable weight of the laminate and you could always add insulation on top as underlay etc if and when needed, all this talk has sparked my interest in doing another one for myself enjoy
    You've made a strong case, I think 18mm ply should feel well defended! Seriously thanks for all your input I'll have to 'weigh' everything up and come to a decision.
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  19. #67
    by thickness kingspan has 7 times the insulation value of marine plywood, 8.9 R value per meter thick against 1.2 per 25mm ( or R value of 60 for a 1 meter thickness). kingspan by weight it has to be close to 50 times that of ply.

    those numbers are overly simplistic, but the point is the same, the insulation value of straight 18mm ply is negligable .
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  20. #68
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    I'm tackling the rust, it's going to be a long job! 32 hours on it so far but things should speed up now I've bought a grinder.

    I'm coating the bare metal with a coat of vactan to stop fresh surface rust returning whilst I'm doing it. Would red oxide cover over the vactan before my top coat or would I be better just top coating straight over the vactan?

  21. #69
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Slowly getting there...



    With plenty of help...



    Going to break it down in to sections, the top half treated with Vactan



    A bit of red oxide



    It's incredible just how many hours can be thrown at things like this with little to show for it. I have the day off tomorrow so hope to make some real progress.
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  22. #70
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Finally finished the chassis with 2 coates of chassis black.

    Patched up the sides with some aluminium strips to.
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  23. #71
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    Removed the shutter today and took delivery of some insulation.

    What's the best fixing to attach the new floor to the chassis with? I put some silaflex under it and got some stainless steel self tapping screw's, I drilled a hole for them but I can't get them to bite once they hit metal they just spin round, if I drill a smaller hole they snap!
    I bought some bigger screw's from wilko pick a mix which hold a bit better but still spin. I also tried some coach bolt things ( like a big thick screw with a hex head) that didn't seem much better...

  24. #72
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    In the end I used carriage bolts with nylock nuts for the floor instead of screws. It proved a lengthy job but seems to have done the trick.

    Here's the van with most of the insulation in

    Next job will be fitting windows/doors and starting the electrics. Ive downloaded vandogtraveller's eBook which I wish I'd done sooner.
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