Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

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Dormouse
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Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

Pint Pot, our Fiat Ducato, follows a line of campervans we have had over the years. We started off with a Mercedes 508 D, ex Potato Merchant workhorse with sky rocket miles but sound and rust free. Oddest job was to add a block under the left hand front spring to level up the front of the van. It needed an 1 1/4" spacer and stretched u bolt to get the front level. There was absolutely no accident damage or twisted frame, the spring had just settled from the huge torque in the frame of carrying full loads day after day, year after year. This was followed by an exlwb LDV minibus which was stripped out to became a bar for our 25th wedding anniversary and never got refitted.... We went over to the dark side and had a Royale Tour Ranger 2berth caravan for a while and did mostly shows with it but some touring as well. Heavy old beast of a thing but a beautiful interior. This was followed by a belts and braces approach where we had both a very early Auto Trail campervan based on one of the first ever Talbot chassis brought into this country and an Adria 400b - again one of the very first "modern" caravans with an integrated front box style. The Talbot chassis/cab started to go the way of many (all) of them and needed more and more welding. With back, hip, shoulder and now knee problems, it just became too much and was sold to a younger, more able enthusiast locally who is giving it the attention it deserves.
This left a 6.9 m hole in the driveway which pleased LOML immensely and she got the monoblocked driveway she had yearned for. However, a 5 m long Ducato has now filled that gap and is a running/rolling Day/Campervan conversion. As if I don't already have a very long list of overdue domestic projects.
Pint Pot was born.
Last edited by Dormouse on 04 Oct 2021, 12:30, edited 2 times in total.
Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

Pint Pot was acquired from a trade deal with a commercial sales outlet. I have attached the original advertising pictures. Trust me, she was way worse in the flesh. There was only one panel on the whole van that didn't have some kind of damage - the osf wing. Everything else, plastic or steel had issues. Saving grace - a 35000 mile short engine, new front discs (but not pads!) and an interior that was actually fair to middling and didn't stink to high heaven. And a low price.
First step was to MOT it. I did as much as I physically could and left the fitting of the remainder of the replacement bits I bought to the local garage who MOTd it.
Tah Da! A running useable van which I had hoped to be fully up and running as a camper by the Spring of this year. Then I knackered my knee. Zilch, zero, rien. I am still struggling on 7 months later. However, I have not been idle. I have finessed the original layout and thought about how to introduce all sorts of things like Solar battery and water heating. By inserting one pool water heater panel on the roof and juggling the solar battery panels about I can have both. A pure sine wave invertor will power the internal 240v sockets which will now also include full Worldwide 2 and 3 pin sockets and usb ports - no need for adapters for phones or shavers now! I have even turned hot water storage into a switchable on board radiator. There is a lot more but I will turn this thread into an information store as I go along.
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Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

Now, Pint Pot never started out as a Ducato. In fact she could have been all sorts of things. A Luton. A Minibus. Even a Car Transporter. From lots of manufacturers. The aim was to find a cost effective basis for a reliable Campervan. A Minibus has windows, heaters and a modicum of sound deadening but invariably needs it ripped out to put in the amenities you want. They also tend to be pricey. A Luton has space, a basic framed skin to add services and insulation to and lets you put windows and doors where you want to. However, unless you find a modern moulded body, are very utilitarian in appearance. Big plus they can have a rear slideout very easily even if they don't have a tail lift. Pick ups or car transporters can easily have a body built on them especially as modern SIPS panels are now available.
So Pint Pot is a van but she could have been a Trafic, a T5/T6, a Movano, a Vito. I missed out on a Movano before I got Pint Pot and I missed a bargain of a converted Vito afterwards. The Master/Movano S1H1 is slightly bigger in all dimensions compared to a Relay/Boxer/Ducato S1H1. The Vito lwb is lower and not as wide but longer. I can stand up, just, in the Ducato but not in a Vito. I have clear headroom, just, in a Master. Pint pot is a Ducato and the die is cast.
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I drew out and copied lots of layouts from other campers and ended up with all sorts of floor plans.
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Once I settled on a layout I then planned all the services and whether they went underfloor or overhead. I finally settled on overhead for virtually everything with the minimum of holes anywhere in the body/floor/roof.

So Pint Pot has been stripped out and ducts/cables fed in along with insulation.
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dave
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by dave »

I find camper builds inspiring.....

They inspire me to stick with premier inn's as cheap way of staying out form home :P
Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

dave wrote:
03 Oct 2021, 23:20
I find camper builds inspiring.....

They inspire me to stick with premier inn's as cheap way of staying out form home :P
My wife and I thoroughly enjoy cheap deals away in hotels too. Best cheap deal stay has to have been in Montmatre, halfway between the Moulin Rouge and the Sacre-Coeur. I just happen to like building things with my own hands and then both of us enjoying using them too.
My father in law used to take great delight in describing my liking for Golf as a good walk wasted. What he didn't say was how good at golf he was despite joining a respected Golf Club.
Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

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My current inside project is a new wardrobe for LOML. I have changed the layout of the bedroom where our bed slotted between the old side cupboards to this.


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complete with mood board for new colour scheme
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Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

Back to Pint Pot. As I said, the panels on her are really poor in places. The bonnet was a perfect example. I suspect following too many Fish Lorries or the like has done for the paint on the bonnet and the roof. Anyway, it took a lot of prep to get a half decent looking bonnet. Just follow the pictures.
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I had to repeat steps 2,3 & 4 to get a level surface. All in all a long drawn out process which I expect to have to do all over again when I fill in all dents and scrapes along the entire nearside.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I moved this topic into the Blogs & Galleries Forum as it seemed more appropriate if it's going to be an ongoing thread :wink:
Gibbo2286
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Gibbo2286 »

That Fiat 2.5 diesel always sounded a bit tractor-ish to me but seemed to give good results.
I had one that would have made an ideal camper, long wheelbase and high top, a man came all the way over from County Wexford in Ireland to buy it as a racing greyhound transporter..
Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

Without jumping the gun a bit, a thread in FCF today has raised a Question I Need an Answer to. Namely, how do I connect a small roof Solar Panel to trickle charge the service battery. Fitting Solar Panels for the Leisure Batteries is well covered and, in use, the service battery will be trickle charged through the ZIG unit once properly connected. However, I want a solution to long periods of idleness where recharging is not possible. For instance, if Pint Pot ends up in storage adjacent to our caravan where no hook up is available. The trickle charge Solar Panel works a treat on the Caravan Battery but Pint Pot could have a Battery Management Unit and connecting a Solar Panel is not so straight forward, as is the Zig unit too.
Anybody got any thoughts or experiences to share?
Last edited by Dormouse on 09 Oct 2021, 15:09, edited 1 time in total.
Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

This arrived today and will replace the bent one in the r/n/s door. The door sticks out an extra 30 degrees or so - must have been caught in a strong wind and stretched the arm.
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Now I can get on with fitting the insulation in the rear doors and fitting the upholstered door cards I have made. I have decided to use rigid insulation in the rear doors and Rock Wool in only the very uppermost areas so that the stay arms can move freely without fouling the rock wool stuffed in as per most of the videos I have seen. The o/s/r door carries the central locking wiring and the r/n/s door carries the number plate wiring and, now, two camera leads. Two cameras? That is for another instalment.
Insulation pictures to follow along with trim panels.
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

Pint Pot is progressing. The outside roof and the interior bare panelling have been painted last winter with exterior grade Marine Paint. Grey on the roof and cream on the inside. They have done a great job in limiting the amount of condensation forming inside the van. It has not eliminated it entirely but it is vastly reduced. I used this additive instead of buying premixed insulating paint.

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The whole of the rear seating points has been fully insulated. I used silver foil bubble insulation as the barrier on the outside skin and built up alternating layers with a centre and inner layer of High Value Insulation Board (black in the pictures). The inner Ply Liner is 19 mm and firmly fixed to the panel frame. There are seat belt mounts in there too but I will show them separately later.



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Ply bulkhead trial fit

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This is the trial fit for our toilet/shower and fridge locations.
The fridge will be further down hard against the wheel arch leaving romm for a 730mm shower tray.
The fridge top will be effectively an extension of the seat base on that side with a 19mm ply top over it with a thin cushion.


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So, things are progressing and the next stage is to make the cutouts in the unpainted wall for the cassette toilet and the 240v inlet. Then prime and paint the inside with insulating paint.
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daviemck2006
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by daviemck2006 »

This is going to be a lot more involved than I am intending with my caddy. I'm not intending doing a toilet, shower or kitchen. I don't cook at home so ain't going to be cooking in a van. A porta pottinger will do for emergency toilet needs and motorway services or the like for showering. A travel kettle will do fir my 2 cups of coffee daily, I drink cappuccino which just needs boiling water, no milk, and I prefer juice at room temp so will not need a fridge. So my campervan will be a day van I suppose and just be a glorified tent!
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mickthemaverick
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by mickthemaverick »

With regard to your solar panel question a few posts back, I had the same problem with a friend's camper a few years ago. After some consideration of various commercial interfaces on the market I settled on my own idea. It was simple really!! I disconnected the wires from the dual battery charge controller at the service battery and reconnected them via a bridge rectifier thus preventing any back feed to the dbcc. Then i connected the leads from the solar panel via another bridge rectifier for the same reason and it worked a treat. So effectively I had the two charge sources in parallel to the battery and no possible back feed in either case. I later added toggle switches to both lines on the dash allowing isolation of the circuits should I need to work on any part of the circuitry. Still working fine last time I saw it in May this year!! :)
Last edited by mickthemaverick on 18 Oct 2021, 08:43, edited 1 time in total.
Dormouse
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Re: Pint Pot - squeezing as much into a small camper as possible

Post by Dormouse »

daviemck2006 wrote:
18 Oct 2021, 02:04
This is going to be a lot more involved than I am intending with my caddy. I'm not intending doing a toilet, shower or kitchen. I don't cook at home so ain't going to be cooking in a van. A porta pottinger will do for emergency toilet needs and motorway services or the like for showering. A travel kettle will do fir my 2 cups of coffee daily, I drink cappuccino which just needs boiling water, no milk, and I prefer juice at room temp so will not need a fridge. So my campervan will be a day van I suppose and just be a glorified tent!
It is Horses for Courses. Decide what you need, add what you would like and find a compromise that does your job. The are lots of different ideas out there. Look, ask, think and I am sure you will get what suits you. The is no one size fits all solution. I always write Lists and draw Plans and eventually whittle it down, other people do it all in their head. Some people just open their cheque book (or is it Apple Pay on their Smartphone nowadays). There is a solution out there for you