What an exciting month this has been :D
But I can’t really jump of joy as, in one hand my RV is proceeding smoothly, once again, this country has proven to really be the land of extremes… We just went from flash floods in some areas to a massive draught in others…
Hopefully we’ll manage to pass this one as well, but something has got to chance soon…
Back to Gigi… After finally finishing the outside re-panelling, it was time for the awning to be installed… I had previous conversation with people telling me that you must install the awning on the roof to comply with the 2.5 metre max width limitation, but after some careful measurement it became apparent that the Thule 8000 that has a width of only 105 mm, could easily fit on the side and still be within the limit… This was good news as there is no room on the roof because of the solar panels… :P
The installation was pretty straight forward with four pieces of profiled aluminium and the only fun bit was to lift the 58kg awning (that because of the length feels more like 200 kg), but with a bit of ingenuity it all came together pretty well. The electric motor and remote were already pair from the factory, so once connected to the power, it just worked out of the box..
Even by installing on the side, I’ll still need a stool to reach the folding arms that attach to the side, because the awning is still much higher than on normal caravan. It a one minute job and well worth the effort in my opinion..
While waiting for few metal bits to show up for the loading ramp, I decided to finish the “garage” by building a cabinet for all the gear… The material of choice for this build was 7mm plywood that with a proper frame turned up to be more than strong enough for the job, and more importantly light enough (4kg including hinges and handles). A nice coat of spar vanish and a bit of aluminium covering the corners completed the job.. It is probably bigger that I need it but I’m sure that in time I will find junk to add to the pile.. :D
The next stage as the last couple of pieces finally turned up, was to test if the motorcycle ramp actually did work as intended or it was going to be just a major waste of time.. Imagine the relief, when the test bike went in only with a couple of little minor adjustment… It was a success!
I would love to say that taking be motorcycle out went as easy as it went in, but that would be just a lie. This possibly also explain why on the hundreds of Youtube video, they always show the ramp going in or up, but never the part when you need to unload it.. I think I know why now..
Again after few small modifications, and taking advantage of the hydraulic jack by tilting the coach all on one side, it became a lot easier to get the motorcycle out.. Success again. The job of building this ramp was in all honestly the hardest of all so far, as I had to work within mm of everything, with a bike 1560 high and a roof entrance of 1630… That’s right… I had to fit the ramp and the trolley in those 70 mm of space left. It easy to forget that most ramp are used to load motorcycle on the back of the Ute, where there is no ceiling limitation..
Time will tell how good this setup is as I may ended up having a small Suzuki attached behind as well…
There are only few little jobs left in the garage, and then the first wall will be erected.. I’m using the same composite panel for the interior wall as well, considering that they are so easy to work with and once glued they are also quite strong as well.. Obviously the electrical job has been going hand in hand with the rest and the last two picture do show the “mood lights” installed and tested in blue or red but they do cover the entire rainbow and they also have a remote control for lights effects as well..
They can obviously been used as main lights as well as they are quite bright when set on white.. I’m also getting the diner seats and the curtains made at the moment as I can’t afford any more to wait for months every single time I order something.. :x
Next will be the construction of the main bedroom plus the bed itself that will have some very nice unique features… :D The bed will be installed transversal instead of the original longitudinal plan, since the body builder managed to install the garage door in the wrong location.. I had to redesign the entire RV because of that mistake he made, but few good ideas also did come up in the mean time (like the battery bank and the hydraulic pump location) and in the end, it could turn even into a better result that if I went for the normal configuration..
Another job on the side this month was also to replaced all the standard blade fuse with re-settable one. There are plenty of choice on Ebay and you don’t have to pay up to $7-10 dollars each, but they can be found from as little as $2 each… Beside the convenience of not having to carry spares, I like the fact that at glance you can see if a fuse has been triggered, making the job of troubleshooting electrical problems a breeze..
Finally a friend was asking if I had regretted going for a 24 Volt system instead of the more conventional 12 Volts and the answer was no. While I can see that there are plenty more gadget available in the 12 Volts range, because of my solar system, the last thing I needed was exactly that! More Gadgets…
Everything important was/is available in 24 Volts as well and maybe because normally they get installed on large truck, they seem to be better built for longer lasting.. The best benefit was from being able to use much thinner cable throughout the vehicle…