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Thread: A conversion with no knowledge, but with the best of intentions.

  1. #25
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    Haven't updated this in a while, but we've been working on it at every opportunity. I think all the hard and dirty work has now been done and we are finally onto more of the good stuff. Making windows and starting on the internal walls this weekend, so it may begin to look liveable soon . Speaking of walls, does anyone have any cool or alternative ideas, that are pretty rapid to get going? Originally I was going to grab a load of reclaimed planks and such, but it turns out that they are usually way more expensive than buying it brand new, one place was asking within the region of 90 per square meter!!! So now it's good old Wickes and some 7 to 8 per square meter cladding unless inspiration happens.













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  2. #26
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Looking good

  3. #27
    just me Colin M's Avatar
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    Going very nicely

    :-)
    Smile - It'll make them nervous.

  4. #28
    Chilling Out jonathanh1989's Avatar
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    Planks for the walls! It must be nice not having to weigh everything you put into you're build...
    You could use pallet wood for cladding but by the time you source/de-nail and prep it it might not be that rapid.
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  5. #29
    wandering wanderingwill's Avatar
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    good work ...

  6. #30
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    Why not clad with 10mm thick pine tongue and groove. Not too heavy or expensive. Just remember to fit heavier stuff behind for any wall mounted cupboards etc. And it would be pretty easy to calculate how much it would weigh. Or 5.5m ply but that might work out expensive.

  7. #31
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    Thanks all. We ended up getting a few packs of the 7psm cladding from wickes and tried it out on one section. It looks rather good, but it's a bit too white for my liking so we will definitely stain it at some point. I've put a load of extra battons up behind the cladding where the kitchen units will go. And a big chunk of OSB where I'm expecting to mount the TV and another unit.

    We are toying with the idea of using different materials in the front end of the horsebox. Someone suggested plasterboard....but I've not seen one conversion where plasterboard has been used, I'm guessing this is mostly because of the weight? I love the idea of a pallet wall, just need to find an easier way to prep it 1st.

  8. #32
    Don't use plasterboard, seriously, it is too heavy and too weak.

    You can buy thin plywood with a smooth polyester coating on it, this makes a great smooth surface to paint or wallpaper to, horsebox conversion places are a good source of properly priced decent thinner plywood. Or wood veneered thin ply if you like that look. 5 to 7 squid a m2 will get you lots of options to choose from.

    Lightest ply is probably Italian 3 ply poplar ply, used in model plane making, it is cheap enough too, this can be varnished to seal it and then put a nice finish on that. Downside is it isn't that stable, so will twist unless you have plenty of supports. Pretty much any thickness down to 2mm is available, and other than Depron, I doubt you will find anything lighter, or weaker. 5 mm poplar ply costs about 4 quid a square meter here in France, I imagine you could get it cheaper in the UK as all manufactured wood seems cheaper there. I use the 8mm a lot in conversions.

    Caravans often use 3mm to 5 mm or so hardboard with a printed wood or white finish, not sure of the cost, but I imagine cheap as chips ( as long as you don't buy it from a caravan shop) , dimensionally stable and pretty light.
    Last edited by Languid Virago; 09-04--2017 at 10:17 AM.
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  9. #33
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    Prototype window built! Cost around 20~25 which is quite a bit cheaper than an "official" horsebox window and much cheaper than a caravan window. The design can be improved upon and I still need to add some seal or gasket strip and a bit of filler here and there. But a few of these will get us through the summer .

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  10. #34
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    Oh! Forgot to add these! Few more pics of the window in its designated place, the cladding (which is a bit too light in colour....think I should darken it and make it look warmer) and the stud/frame that is going up for our tiny shower, the compost loo and our son's room.









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  11. #35
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    Little bit more framing of our sons room and our 1st piece of home made furniture (kind of).









    Still procrastinating with the electrics and water though. But the next step needs to be power, I'm redesigning the electric at the moment though, simplifing it quite a bit. Originally I had 2 electrical systems that were isolated from each other but charged from the same alternator, mains supply and so on using big clunky switches. Would of been cool, but far too convoluted for what we really need. I

    think I know what I'm doing, but just in case, is there anyone on here that wouldn't mind double checking my schematics?
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  12. #36
    Dirty Uncle Bertie... julianthegypsy's Avatar
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    Don't use plasterboard! It can't cope with the flexing that all vehicles have, and will slowly, or not so slowly crumble!
    Yawn I'm so tired with this big bag of coal on my head...
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  13. #37
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    Don't worry, not going to go anywhere near plasterboard. It was suggested by my step farther in-law who is an old school carpenter/builder that is very set in his ways. Not seen a single conversion or read a single thread that's recommended plasterboard.
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  14. #38
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danbot View Post
    ...I think I know what I'm doing, but just in case, is there anyone on here that wouldn't mind double checking my schematics?
    Put a drawing up, and we'll have a look. You might get differing opinions though!
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  15. #39
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    Here is a semi-finished version. The idea is to have analogue amp meters on all of the charging devices and on the outputs to keep track of what we are using. I'm also going to have some kind of monitor to measure the power left in the battery, push button or analogue, haven't decided yet. And I think it may be a good idea to add a couple of LED's to indicate if my sockets are plugged into the inverter or the hook up. There's also a split charge relay which I've forgotten to add.

    Edit:- Slight error in that the shunts should be AFTER the isolate switch.

    Edit 2:- And I've got the solar + and - the wrong way around on the battery! I was in a rush .

    Last edited by Danbot; 09-05--2017 at 01:44 PM.

  16. #40
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    That's pretty much identical to my set up, except

    1. I used a 3 pole 3 way (On A - Off - On B) to select whether the internal sockets were running from the inverter or the hook up. (I also put a 240v socket outside under the floor in case I want mains outdoors..

    2. I put big isolator switches in the +ve lines from battery to solar controller, and from battery to inverter...

    3, My charger isn't wired in, for flexibility of use.
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  17. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by realnutter View Post
    That's pretty much identical to my set up, except

    1. I used a 3 pole 3 way (On A - Off - On B) to select whether the internal sockets were running from the inverter or the hook up. (I also put a 240v socket outside under the floor in case I want mains outdoors..

    2. I put big isolator switches in the +ve lines from battery to solar controller, and from battery to inverter...

    3, My charger isn't wired in, for flexibility of use.
    1. Something like this? https://www.rapidonline.com/baco-nd0...switch-50-2904

    2. Noted, will add those in.

    3. So rather than going straight into the charger, have that going to a 3pin socket and fit a plug onto the charger?

  18. #42
    Heavenly Creature realnutter's Avatar
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    1. yes, just like that, but common the earths! Also, if that switch is like mine, it's actually 2 separate 3pole 1 way switches, and you need to common one side of each together for the output...

    2. good call

    3. My charger's not wired on the 12V side either.. I can take it right out to help people out if necessary... It will get plugged in and clipped to the battery if I ever need it.....
    Last edited by realnutter; 09-05--2017 at 03:05 PM.

  19. #43
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    The mains charger is causing me a bit of confusion because there is such a variation in prices for chargers that seem to more or less have the same spec. I'm looking at a 30a mains charger on ebay which is 69.99. You can find what looks like the same charger (but re-badged) for double or almost triple the price. And if you start looking at the key brands they also cost a lot more. My instincts tell me this isn't a item to really cheap out on if possible, but does it matter that much? I will probably be using it quite a lot.

  20. #44
    Heavenly Creature realnutter's Avatar
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    If this one is as good as it claims to be, it would be more than adequate....

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-30A-Ca...4AAOSwo4pYOv4d

  21. #45
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    Be careful with chargers that will be permanently connected. The money is spent on controls for the charge rate(s), to be able to "float" etc a simple flat rate battery charger will fry those expensive batteries if it just keeps pumping too much current into them. Marine stuff will give you an idea of what's suitable.
    You can get good combined charger/inverters from the likes of Mastervolt and Victron. (not cheap new, though)
    Rodders.

  22. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by realnutter View Post
    That's basically the same as this one isn't it? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/30A-Leisur...wAAOSwax5YpB-V

  23. #47
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    I cant see the drawing and post at the same time, but you have one seperate socket fed of the inverter correct?
    You have the load of the solar controller connected to the battery and it shouldnt be.
    Imo you are going over the top with all the ammeters.
    You shouldnt have a 32a breaker on the charger supply.
    You should use a smaller rcd, ideally get a rcbo instead. Youll only get a small amperage supply from a caravan site so ideally you would make the socket breakers smaller so they trip rather than the site supply.
    You have earthed the 0v from the battery to the chassis. I would install a cable from the battery 0v to the charge controller to avoid any potential corroision / earth issues.
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  24. #48
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    And for clarity i would use either green or orange for earth, you are using both, and change the red to brown for the 240. That way if you keep a drawing and anyone looks at it in the future they should be able to differentiate the ac and dc immediately
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