The Millennium Phoenix

DigDom's Project
Status: Finishing what I started!

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I bought an old postal crew van used for deploying cycles. After spending months searching the web for what van length, height, make, value etc. this is what i settled on. It has what I wanted; up to 7 seats, low mileage, 55 reg (not too old), and it was cheaper than your average van at £1700.

I want to create a semi-stealth, 4 berth, camper thats not glamorous, but is homely and can be lived out of. with a hob and some washing facility. I would only be living in it with myself, and maybe my girlfriend. but it is always nice to be able to accommodate others. and thats why I also wanted a vehicle that could seat so many. so that I could travel safely with others.

I had never attempted anything like this before. but i'm fairly good with my hands and with the aid of so many helpful forums online nowadays it makes things a lot easier. I still underestimated the task at hand. thinking I could bosh it out in a couple of weeks. No chance. When your doing it alone, and with no prior experience, a lot of time is spent gazing and scratching the head.

So my advice thus far would be to take each task step by step. don't get ahead of yourself thinking about the next step, you will get lost in your own head. Start your task, write down the steps required, draw a little if you need and then work your way through systematically. For example I gutted it out, half insulated, cut skylights, started plying, insulated the rest, the did electrics, and then back to plying. I was over eager to get started with the easiest options of plying first. but once I had the mountain that is electrics out the way, it was such a relief.

FIRST things FIRST, check how water tight it is with a hose, soak it, from all angles whilst the van is empty. You want to treat any bad seals or rust before anything else. Stop rust, and prevent it with a converter and protective coating. Use a good ployeurethane + silicone adhesive sealant on any gaps.

These projects usually take alot longer than first anticipated. So make sure you work from your foundations upwards. and make sure your van doesnt rust sitting out in the damp while you slave away on it.

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Project Task Write-ups:

  • Base Vehicle

    Using screwdrivers, brute force and disk cutters I got to work removing the unwanted aspects of the old postal crew van. I actually stood inside an LDV minibus before purchasing this crew van, s...

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  • Project Plan

    I doodled and I day dreamed. You will always doubt your plan, and re-arrange countless times. There is no plan! Just a list of what I wanted: Insulation Seating for Passengers Sleeping for at le...

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  • Insulation

    I chose 50mm Celotex for the walls and 25mm for the ceiling because I wanted as much head rooms as possible as I am 6ft. The insulation was as much for insulation as it was also for sound dampening...

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