Muircockhall Build Log

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:41 am

The first post of a build journal.

Once upon a time, we had a caravan, a proper one. Went camping in it once and I hated it: I’m too big, clumsy or both. It was frustrating towing this monster behind you. Most of my life, I’ve fallen squarely into the anti-caravan camp.
A cousin came up with a caravan to Scotland and stayed at a park with some micro lodges. http://www.largoleisure.co.uk/holiday-parks/sauchope-links-park/holidays/micro-lodges/ (it is really a good site if you are ever near St Andrews, Scotland) We stayed in the lodges and it was very comfortable and cosy. I did not realise at the time but it was the germ of this idea.

Ade in Britain was on TV http://www.itvstudios.com/uk/programmes/ade-in-britain when I arrived home most nights and the odd snipp-it was shown to me. He drove around with a teardrop behind a mini. The idea started to grow.

As ridiculous as it sounds, this project started off as an idea to build a full sized “A” truck RV. The idea was to buy the freight box from a 7½ tonner and turn it into a luxury cabin. Then when it was ready, to buy a chassis truck and fit this “box” to the chassis. It meant I could work on kitting out the living space without an expensive truck deteriorating in the process.

My son, Rory, was keen to have a summer project. Last year, he and his two friends helped kit out a garden lodge and were good workers when they were there. Teenagers tend to spend a lot of time sleeping or watching TV, but they were keen and learned a lot. It is definitely their lodge and they obviously have a huge sense of satisfaction from being involved with the build.

With my current finances, I decided to down scale and started to look at other options. As stated I really don’t like full sized caravans. Teardrops look the business, and I love the look of airstream caravans. With aircraft grade aluminium we should get there.....

I've just agreed to buy a donor caravan for the TD for £50.
I'll collect it next week end!

107825 107824

I've already had the comment "It may be worth keeping it and redoing the inside."

naaaaahhhh.... lets make a teardrop!
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:47 am

Just in case you are wondering.....

Muircockhall Farm is where we live, a muircock is a grouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagopus

I've found a Scottish Wikipedia and it's made me smile. Most of this is phonetic.
The Muir cock or Muir foul (Lagopus lagopus) is fae the order Galliformes. Whiles kent as the muir bird, gor-cock or reid foul an aw. The speshie in Scotland is for ordinar clessifee'd as a subspeshie o Lagopus lagopus but is whiles thocht tae be a sindry speshie Lagopus scoticus. Thae birds feeds mainly on vegetable fuid, but will feed on gollachs forby, ance eerant whan feedin a cleckin. They are whiles huntit for fuid.
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:40 am

UK trailer law and information http://www.ntta.co.uk/downloads/SafeLegalTowingShort.pdf
Positioning of lights, number plates etc.
Here is some more details http://uk-trailer-parts.co.uk/trailer-lighting-rules-regulations-and-requirements

This may be out of date but it has the wiring diagram for the plug http://www.dirtybiking.co.uk/features/features_trailer_regs.htm
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:16 pm

Welcome to the forum! Take a good look around here if you haven't already. There is a ton of useful info and ideas to learn and use.

The most important thing is to have fun, post lots of pictures (we like da pic's), and never be afraid to ask questions.

I love the cultural exchange that comes from the world wide access, but I'm afraid that my Scottish is a bit... well, I didn't understand most of that, but it was fun trying!

:thumbsup:
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby aggie79 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:04 am

Welcome! I look forward to your build and as KC said the cultural exchange also.

My father's side of the family immigrated to what became the US from Scotland around 1740. Visiting your fine country and my heritage is on my bucket list.

I wish you well on your build. Please keep us posted.

Take care,
Tom
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:56 am

107953

When travelling, the out-rigger table keeps everything in place, and the drawers shut.

107952

The design has changed in the galley area. I’ve taken an idea I saw (which I now can’t find) of a swing out surface. Rather than have it split, I’ve designed just one swing out. This will be hinged and will need support at the end either with one or two adjustable legs. In the space this vacates I’ll put our cooler boxes, one passive and the other 12v “fridge”. These travel in the car/inside the trailer. There is just enough space to slide the gas stove between the drawers and the closed unit while traveling.

The “sink” will drain into a bucket below on the shelf. I may pipe all the way through the lower shelf to give me more useable shelf space and put the bucket on the ground. I’ve a flexible hose in the garage that could do the job.
The drawers are new too, and will house cutlery and itty bitty kitchen utensils , cloths and other bits and bobs.
Under the trailer, I’ll add angles to support plastic tote bins that will travel in the car or tear drop. They are sealed so vermin and insects will struggle.

107954
The section (not complete) shows more detail of how the galley works and the swing out surface in the "travel" position.
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:19 pm

Struggling to decide on which tow bar I need for the Toyota Rav4 and if I need to lash out and buy the specialised electric kit for £100 or go to Maplans.co.uk and buy some decent connectors and wire it up myself.....
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:06 pm

108135
A tad heath robinson but it worked and we got home. (smelll of burning clutch on the neighbors car....
108136
New home!
108137
Internal view without the foam seats. Within two hours most of what you can see was ripped out. Pulling out is always much quicker than putting in.

The expectation is by tomorrow night we should be down to the bare chassis.....
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:31 am

The new look stripped out
108295

This is how to fit most of a caravan into the back of your car.....
As I'm ripping it out (mostly rotten) I'm thinking about how long it will take to rebuild. Demolition is quick and easy.
108296

The timber supports are 3/4" x 1 1/2" about 19mm by 38mm and they're not close together. The walls are a composite (SIPS) wall with Aluminium skin on the outside and ply 1/8" 3mm on the inside with white polystyrene glued to both surfaces.
The roof has the same size timber supports(spars) and mdf 1/8" stapled on the inside and fiber glass insulation and the roof is not fixed to the timber at all.... :thinking:
On this information, I've completely over designed it, my roof spars were originally 2" x 1" and the walls were 1 1/2" x 3"

The floor looks about 3/4" ply but I'll check that when the walls and roof are down.

Managed to give myself tennis elbow by vigorous un-screwing.....even typing is painful. :?
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:47 am

108384
As you can see this is really a SIPs wall there is almost no vertical stud work. Ripping off the ply was not easy, it was really stuck well to the polystyrene.

To give you a house building idea of the strength of a sips panel vs timber-frame (UK) stud/stick build (US): The design load on a house wall is around 1 tonne per meter, a timber framed/stud/stick build supports 3-4 tonnes before turning to matchwood. It's still pretty good. After a fire test one of our SIPs panels were put in a test press and the gauge stopped at around 60 tonnes. It is important to stress that the two outer skins and the polystyrene are glued together and act as a composite panel. SIPs panels are also particularly good at racking. (turning a rectangle into a parallelogram with a sideways force) This is handy info you can use on a smaller scale with your TD or TNTTT
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby celticquetzel » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:04 am

Appreciate you sharing the information on the composition of your demo. I've been pondering if trying to go lightweight, similar to what you described, would be strong enough. Clearly, if done carefully, with enough glue, it is. I've found with sewing (lots of Irish competition dresses) it helps to take one apart and see how the professionals do it. Looking forward to seeing your progress. Oh, and your design is very similar to what I'm planning. :D
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:05 am

Demolishing the donor caravan. I used a circular saw. To break into a caravan would take 2 minutes with a circular saw......
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA1-QcGYgPE&feature=youtu.be

This whole process took less than half an hour.....
108405
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:37 am

108623

The remains of the caravan, all aluminium and worth £25....hard graft.
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby nevadatear » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:06 am

Just to give you our own experience, we tried wiring wiring our rav4 on our own (husband used to do the wiring on armoured cars) after 3 years never could get brake lights. Finally broke down and bought the toyota harness 5 to 4 wire. Now we have brake lights!

Also, one thing we thought about when designing outrigger tables, will you close your galley lid at night or when you leave camp, if you do? We often camp in bear and raccoon country, so closing the galley lid every night is required :lol: so out tables attached to receiver tubing. No connections to mar the look of the sides, but didn't have to put everything away on a table attached to the galley to close it. Just our experience. If you don't have the critter problem across the pond, then no issue for you! 8)

PS. I love your pinterest board, following it!
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Re: Muircockhall Build Log

Postby grantstew8 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:22 am

Thank you for the warning about wiring up the rav.... Putting on the hitch is a sintch, its the electrics that worried me. I've been told "if you can't fix it with a hammer it's an electrical fault". I think I'll pay the extra and get a man to fit it.

With regards critters, in the UK they really don't struggle much, but it's something I'd not considered. We're planning on getting one of the coleman event tents with sides on it. The TD will hide inside it. I grew up in Zimbabwe and that is a different issue. When I was 14 or so, we went to the camping to the Okovango swamps and met a couple who told us what had happened the night before. Elephants love oranges and will demolish almost anything to get to them. Before tents were all on one including a ground sheet, (yes I'm that old) this couple camping had oranges inside their tent. In the middle of the night, an elephant picked up their tent in one movement, tossed it aside, casually picked up the oranges and sauntered off. This is a 4 tonne wild animal. Although unhurt, they were really shaken up by the event. :oops:
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