Daisy the ldv campervan conversion gas delivery


We purchased a townhouse in the costa del sol a few years ago. The only problem was how to transport our boxer dog to and from Cadiz. Both of us did not like the idea of putting Bruno in a plane or leaving him in a car on a boat. We thought about purchasing a motorhome, but we were put off with the expense of them. Louise’s dad suggested a camper conversion, they had purchased an LDV 400 Convoy to take their furniture to and from their new house in Malaga. We purchased it off of them and started to plan out Daisy.

On looking at how we could convert our LDV we purchased the Haynes book “Build Your Own Motorhome”. After reading through it a couple of times we decided to go for the donor caravan approach. Our next task was to find a caravan that would suit the inside of our van. gas station We did not want to pay too much money for a caravan, but we made a list of everything we needed for our journey. It was decided a cassette toilet, shower and water heater was a must for such a long journey. We also wanted a 3 way fridge, cooker and oven. We decided a 6 foot 4 long bed would be best as this would allow Barry some comfort.

We found a second hand caravan parts dealer nearby who had salvaged a nearly new sink and vanity unit complete with tap and long shelf from a recently storm damaged caravan. Whilst looking at photographs I enquired about the Thetford Swivel toilet with electric flush which he also had. We agreed on a price and I picked them up the following weekend.

Unbelievably, the sink unit shelf fit perfectly lengthwise without any modification. The new toilet required some effort to accomodate the different shaped cassette, cutting and refitting new wallboard solved this problem. gas quality by brand We placed a sheet of white hardboard inside the bathroom underneath the shelf and behind the toilet to hide the old cassette access which had to be moved from its previous position. Above the new sink and vanity unit we fitted a large perspex mirror to hide some of the marks from the previous unit. On the opposite wall we fitted a series of pockets for medicines, plasters and other things, again to hide marks from the previous unit. la gas leak We purchased an offcut of lino (2m x 1m) from a local carpet store for a few pounds to fit to the floor.

We originally used the ZIG CF2000 unit recovered from the caravan to distribute power to appliances and charge the leisure battery when driving by connecting the ZIG to the leisure battery and van battery. The fridge would be wired directly to the van battery. The only wiring we planned for was the battery connections; fridge (12V and 240V); bathroom light; toilet flush; a 12v socket at the kitchen; and a single light in the centre of the van. We calculated how much wiring was required for the submersible pump and microswitch cabling would be routed along side the cold water pipes where possible through the furniture and wallboards during construction.

We connected the ZIG to the leisure and van battery using 35A capable cabling, installing a 30A fuse for each feed. The 2 runs of 35A cabling was fed around the engine compartment, through the bulkhead and up the a frame into the over cab space. The fridge was wired directly to the van battery with 15A capable wiring with a 15A fuse and via a relay which switched on only when the alternator was generating power. We hid the fridge wiring and cabling for the bathroom light and toilet flush behind the wallboard along with cabling for the ceiling light behind the ceiling board. We originally used figure 8 cabling to connect the leisure and van batteries to the ZIG unit, this was a mistake as we should have used the van body as the return path and given the length, we should have used thicker cable.

After a journey to Spain we realised the fridge needed some assistance, the original ventilation holes were too small so we increased the sizes and manufactured a guide to help the airflow between the walls of the van. We installed a ‘Convoy’ 12V thermostatically controlled cooling fan kit which increases airflow if the temperature behind the fridge is too warm. The wiring needed to be routed after furniture had been fitted. We were able to route this through all of the kitchen unit and in front of the bathroom door by use of some edging strip where it entered the wardrobe and the wiring for the water heater control panel.

When installing the overhead cupboards we took the opportunity to hide some more wiring for additional lights; an LED strip light in the galley area and three smaller LED lights in the dinette area. The galley light took a feed from the bathroom light wiring and the dinette was a fresh feed from the ZIG. At this point we installed a fused distribution panel to take the two 10A feeds from the ZIG and distribute them to the variety of different appliances we now had. There was a space beneath the ZIG unit which we used as a shelf for the satellite receiver and a 12V socket for both. We also installed an exterior satellite socket routing it through the facia being installed as part of the overhead cupbaords.

After a leisure battery replacement and starting to use a Shurflo pump, we decided to retire the ZIG unit and replace it with an AGU 2 way fused distribution box to feed both inputs to a blade fuse panel. types of electricity We hadn’t used the electric charger in some time and combined with the solar panel the need was less. The fridge mains feed was rerouted directly from the 240V consumer unit (so we can power the fridge from 240V before setting off). We then replaced the 12v leisure battery feed with significantly larger 4 guage cable, I left one of the old 35A feed cables to be used for the Fridge to reduce voltage drop and removed the van battery feed. The new 4 gauge cable (for car audio) was routed from the leisure battery to a 2 way distribution box containing a 30A fuse in each side and a new earth bolt connecting the chassis directly to the blade fuse distribution box using 4 gauge cable. This also required upgrading fuses in the engine compartment which were helpfully included in the audio kit I bought.

The van battery was connected to the leisure battery via a 100A relay with a 100A blade fuse on either side. We installed a TEC3M controller connected to the van battery which detects when the van battery is being charged. When it is, certain pins become live, we use these to trigger the 100A relay to bridge the van and leisure battery, switch off the solar panel and provide power to the fridge. gas in dogs stomach This means the leisure battery will recieve a charge from the solar panel when stationary during the day and from the alternator when moving, but never at the same time.

The gas box was designed to hold two 15kg size Calor Butane gas bottles which are 580mm tall with a diameter of 318mm, this would allow us to accomodate two 15kg or two 7kg (495mm height, 256mm diameter) or one of each. We obtained some steel, checkerplate flooring, dropout vent covers and stickers to manufacture this box. We also found some braces removed from an old BT van on eBay which we purchased. There is a good post on the SBMCC (self build motorcaravan club) forums summarises the EN1949 standard which motorhome manufactures follow.

We ordered gas pipes from Oleary’s Motorhome which also advised on the necessary fittings and manifolds. We purchased a 3 way manifold for use in the kitchen unit (oven, hob and fridge) and an inline manifold for the heater unit. We deviated from the original plan which was to route the gas pipe under the floor from the heater to the kitchen unit, instead we opted to spur the gas pipe in the wardrobe and route it through the bathroom between the shower tray and the interior partition and into the kitchen unit so it can be accessed conveniently by a ground level hatch door.

After a few years when we replaced the bathroom, the tap unit that came with the sink we purchased was not microswitched meaning we couldn’t use it with the submersible pump. We purchased a replacement tap which unfortunately conflicted with the top of the raised sink, we then decided to refit the old tap and upgrade the water supply to a pressurised system using a Shurflo Trailking pump. The newly purchased tap was used to replace the old Avondale tap in the kitchen. This meant I could strip out a lot of redundant microswitch wiring too! Because the sink was being moved the older water pipes were removed and replaced with a straight feed to the kitchen taps. The pipes under the van were then split and a cold and water spur routed through the old shower trap hole into the new sink cabinet. This pump has a sensor which detects if the pressure drops and starts up, this would happen if a tap is opened, but could also happen if a water pipe bursts or is loose. This would result in all our water being pumped into the van and potentially the motor running dry. grade 9 current electricity test We fitted an isolator switch to cut power to the pump when we’re not using it to avoid this.