VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

421 - 440 of 446 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Thanks for your reply. I bought mine as a minibus and they were already partly lowered. I cut away the the complete wheel arch area. which was large due to the twin wheels, and then re-welded a frame back in place. I paneled it in with sheet steel and have now insulated and boxed over the top. They only rise up about 70mm above the floor and I have a 70ltr water tank on top of one side and the other is a walkway to the side of the bed. I will try and post some pictures. I went to France last year fully loaded and the wheels never got anywhere near the arches probably as I have taken off the tail lift like yourself. I only had a bed last year but now am working on the rest of the build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Ok Will do, thank you for support. I need to sort out the posting of pictures so any help will be useful. I am Disabled with a type of arthritis ( rheumatoid) that can really slow me down so please bear with me if it takes a while. I am building the van to take this into account. I need a fixed bed as a minimum and other easy access items so any help along the way will be appreciated. I will start a new build thread in the morning. Thanks again
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #424
Ok Will do, thank you for support. I need to sort out the posting of pictures so any help will be useful. I am Disabled with a type of arthritis ( rheumatoid) that can really slow me down so please bear with me if it takes a while. I am building the van to take this into account. I need a fixed bed as a minimum and other easy access items so any help along the way will be appreciated. I will start a new build thread in the morning. Thanks again
After 2 builds with a bench seat that converted to a bed, I decided a Fixed Bed was a must. I used to get a real pain in my hip every morning after making up the bed due to the way I was moving and shifting stuff around. With my fixed bed and "proper" mattress, sleeping in the van now is super-comfy.


Something you may not have come across yet on the forum... As a free member, you will not be able to edit any of your posts once submitted.
To edit posts you need to be a "Member" i.e. Subscribed by paying £10 a year. Choice is with yourself and there is no obligation but the inability to update/change existing posts can be very annoying I find and that is one primary reason why I pay the £10 a year sub.

As far as posting photos in your Thread, you may well have a current picture host. If you don't, or are looking for one specifically for the build thread, there are plenty around but FWIW, I have settled on Flickr.com as I like the flexibility of their system.
You can upload photos to the forum directly but I personally prefer to keep it separate and just have a link to the image that is saved elsewhere (nothing to do with this forum specifically - I do the same on all forums, even the one I own and run myself!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
Are you using the bed solo or 2 up? A single fixed is not going to be too bad but a small double takes up a lot of day space. We looked at a lot of panel van conversions and were disappointed how much space they gave up to having fixed beds given that we need a double or twins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I will sort out a flicker account and also looks to be a good idea to join for £10.
As for the bed,
It is a double bed but the sort that is known as an island type. It is rounded at the ends and really makes a difference regarding space. I am going to start a new thread for my build so will move answers to there. Thanks for your interest.
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #427
Are you using the bed solo or 2 up? A single fixed is not going to be too bad but a small double takes up a lot of day space. We looked at a lot of panel van conversions and were disappointed how much space they gave up to having fixed beds given that we need a double or twins.
In my build, I went for a standard double (135cm x 190cm) and also have shelves to the side so the entire width is taken up by the bed. The compromise of a smaller bed to have extra 'walking' space is not worth it (IMO)
All the space under the bed is accessible from either the rear doors or by lifting the mattress so all that space is available.

An interesting option which is seen on some campers in the US is the "Murphy", or wall-mounted bed that drops down when you want to use it. That sounds handy as the bed can be left all made up and quickly just pivoted down with little effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
So we have gone for a small double. 1200 x 1900 using a SmartBeds Evo II but with a slightly wider base. Although a lot smaller that at home we have lived with 1100 wide beds in our T5 & T6 quite comfortably for several years and for weeks at a time.

Watch my thread, the frame is going in today :D
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #430
Just catching up on your build Hoovie, your voyages into the electrical mycellial future continue to amaze.
:)

This last week first time been away since making quite a few updates so had a chance to see how things have gone .....

Parked up off-grid from Saturday for a couple of days at a meet in Scotland. Rubbish weather (so no solar) and no hookup meant batteries down to 52% after 2 days.
Left meet around lunchtime Monday and by the time I got to Haydock by Liverpool (refuel at Costco) the 40A Battery-to-Battery charger and some decent solar (finally!) got my batteries back up to nearly 90% in around 4 hours. Pretty good considering have 400Ah worth T:

Stayed at a small site in Solihull Monday night ready to go to NEC Show in Tuesday. Had hookup so switched to Electric heaters (used the diesel one virtually non-stop at Scotland meet) which was good. Also put the 240V water heater on. Great for on-tap (literally) hot water and definitely beats heating water on the hob repeatedly. It is a big draw on the batteries (pulls ~200A when off-grid) which is doable with my battery bank, but better when on mains power A:

Did motorhome show on Tuesday and then Tues and Weds nights driveway surfing down in Berkshire. No hookup so used combo of diesel heater and electric blanket. (Electric blanket is great! Uses around 50W (4Ah) an hour but makes the bed super-toasty).

Tonight (Thurs) in a pub carpark in East Yorkshire that I selected from the Britstop book that I bought on Tuesday at the show. Been thinking of getting the Britstop book for ages and decided to get the one just released that day. Well presented and first stop used seems excellent so very happy with that investment.

So it looks like all is in pretty good shape and working well :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Sound like a nice little trip mate, no photos???

Oh a "meet in Scotland " where, when and why didn't I know about this?
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #432
This last week I have been carrying out some testing of Split-Charging systems,
Been dropping my 380Ah battery bank to 50% SOC, then using a charger to recharge again. Then dropping back to 50% SOC and trying out a different charger.
Using a Victron Multiplus as a pseudo-alternator, this is the results of the various chargers against time:

BT - Summary SOC
by David, on Flickr
Turns out for MY Camperbus with the big battery bank, just using a VSR is the best option of the ones I have. The others are current limited.
Apart from the Multiplus test as an control test, the ones I tried were:
Redarc 40A Battery to Battery Charger. Good but seemed to go to float a little early
Ablemail 30A Battery to Battery Charger. Actually put out a bit more than the spec and a super-clean output, which is an indication of a very good power regulator. Goes to float early as well.
On the float thing, this was a continuous test. In real life driving you would stop before 4 hours for a break I am sure so the counter would 'reset', which means this is likely not a actual real situation.
500W Inverter driving a 20A Mains Charger. I tested this briefly before and it seemed to work ok, so this was a full test - 12 hours of continuous running and results looked good. If the mains charger was bigger (and the Inverter was say a 1000W) it would be good on a bigger bank. at 500W + 20A charger, it is good for a 100Ah battery.
And the VSR of course. No charging profile as such, but the good output makes up for it, at least on my test :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
just spent 10 minutes looking through your post and this is seriously looking awesome! can't wait to see what you do with the interior haha my brain was swimming with ideas. Seen lots of double decker bus conversions in the past and this has so much potential, can't wait to see more images!!
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #434
MOT due middle of next month, so had booked the old fella in for today to get it out the way and give me time to do anything that cropped up.
Always do the walkaround and check the basics beforehand to avoid silly failures but also always forget stuff I: (my T4 failed its MOT once on number plate bulbs :()

This time I forgot to check the wiper blades and the sidelight markers that you get on the LWB vehicles. And guess what? Yup. Wiper blade and a side marker bulb was gone. Fortunately the garage must have had a quick check over the basics before the test started so they replaced those first and so avoided an intial fail :D

I also did a bit of an "Italian Tuneup" yesterday, getting the Revs up to give the exhaust a bit of a blast-though. Seemed to work as the smoke test went down from last years pretty decent 0.47 to todays 0.26, so well chuffed with that as well. While I was doing my run I also rode the brakes a bit to clean off any surface corrosions (a constant issue around my area with all cars as there is so little traffic so even when the vehicle gets used, the brakes don't!)

So another years MOT with a straight (-ish :cool:) pass and no Advisories T:

Just £17.50 for bulb and blade and no charge to fit, and a £40 MOT charge. I'm a happy camper
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #437
Went to "Camp Quirky" Festival last weekend. Had a look around some interesting conversions, but TBH overall I found the event poor value :(
The 'Music" was dreadful - one act only, doing a very weird set (we decided you had to be on the magic mushrooms to find it enjoyable) and then the next night, the exact same set! :*
We were going to stay until Monday but left on Sunday afternoon to avoid a 3rd night of pants entertainment :bhd
Roll On Volksfling in a weeks time ... half the price (even with a trade stand!) and ok, it will be 'Sweet Home Alabama' again no doubt but at least there will be some variety over the weekend


While there I did collect some kit to update the Camperbus and a post will follow on that shortly :cool:


And being an Overland Camperbus on Safari, I guess I must have attracted the wrong type of passengers .....

On Safari
by David, on Flickr
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #438
When I fitted out Clarence the LT Camperbus, I built a battery box to suit 4 x 110Ah AGM Batteries, specifically from Leoch.

I had the opportunity in the last month to get some bigger batteries at a good price, so bit the bullet and picked them up last weekend and fitted them this week T:

These were the batteries I was running and took out - the Xtreme XR-1750 model (these are now for sale BTW and are in excellent condition)

Xtreme XR-1750 Batteries
by David, on Flickr

And the battery box I built for them

1. Old Batteries Out
by David, on Flickr


These are the new Batteries

2. New Batteries to be fitted
by David, on Flickr
Annoyingly, the width of these batteries side by side is around 23mm wider then the battery box, so I have to modify the box


I cut the outer side off to make the extra room

3. Battery Box Side Removed
by David, on Flickr
Having the side off is actually quite handy as well as it allows me to manhandle the batteries into the box without having to lift up and over a side panel, which would be very tricky as the bed slats are above the batteries and so had to get good leverage, plus these batteries are rather heavy at around 11 Stone each :eek:


So the new batteries are now in place and I have a strap keeping them together

4. New Batteries in Place
by David, on Flickr


Made up a new side panel with little filler to provide the neccessary offset and added some silver bubblefoil to keep everything from moving within the box. Also a short panel the other side waas added.

5. Replacement Side Fitted
by David, on Flickr


Fitted some top covers to enclose the batteries for protection. I used separate pieces to use up spare plywood I had and also allowed me to have the terminals availabl. to secure cables.

6. New Top Cover Panels Fitted
by David, on Flickr
The new layout allowed me to resposition the Master On/Off Switch in a neater location and I also fitted a Victron Battery Protect module. To be honest, I don't really need this but I thought it would be interesting to run one, especially as I have some very high current devices.


Cables installed. I'm using 50mm Cables here for minimal voltage drop (If I were doing this as a brand new install I would probably have made some 70mm cables, but I could reuse the 50mm from the old install and 50mm is definately well within spec anyway)

7. Power Cables Fitted
by David, on Flickr
On the previous battery installation I fitted battery interconnect cables, arranged to balance the loads equally across all the batteries. On this installation I decided to have the batteries individually cabled and running to common busbars to then feed to the system



And the cables heading to those busbars and also to the Battery Protect

8. Cables routed to Lynx Management
by David, on Flickr



The Busbars were actually within a Victron Lynx Distribution Box.

9. Fuses Fitted
by David, on Flickr
At the bottom of the Unit is the GROUND Busbar and where all the Battery Grounds were secured. This unit was slightly modified on the +12V Busbar upper level to allow each Battery to be individually fused (I used 125A Megafuses) and then the output (to the left) goes out (via a 500A Megafuse) to the Battery Protect unit.
The Ground outlet heads to the 500A Victron BMV Shint and then to the Ground distribition post.
As mentioned, the Battery cables into the Lynx Busbar are 50mm, but the cables out to the system are all 70mm cables in order to cope with currents hitting 200A


And all covers fitted

10. All Complete
by David, on Flickr
The little fusebox on the right are for low power system monitoring supplies which I don't want to go off if I turn the master On/Off switch to off. These are the power to the BMV Monitor, the Raspberry Pi, Smart Battery Sense power and Multiplus Battery Voltage input, plus the Garage Space lights so I can see what it happening if I need to work on the system at night time.


Also installed is an uprated VSR. I had previously upgraded the Split-Charge cable from 16mm to 35mm in readiness and I could just swap out the old 140A basic VSR for a 230A Victron Cyric Combiner.

11. Cyrix-CT 230A
by David, on Flickr



These new batteries have a total capacity of 630Ah (at the C20 rating) compared to the original banks 380Ah (at C20) so a fair increase.
I carefully went through the spec sheets of the batteries to check the charging levels and setup the Charger accordingly.
These Northstar NSB batteries have a lower charge voltage then the typical battery at just 14.1V, with a float of 13.62V

MP3000-Charger
by David, on Flickr
I also changed the MPPT Controller parameters to suit as well

These should give me a useful off-grid capacity :)
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #439
First trip away since fitting the battery was to the Volksfling VW Show at Biggar this weekend.

The weekend had awful weather - raining most of the time and very very windy and I just gave up on Sunday :(
Usually (this is my 8th time doing the show) we are just about the last to leave on the Sunday evening, but this time round I was packed up and home in time for the Monaco GP start at 2pm!

But it was interesting what kind of power availability I have from the battery ;)

Started off on Friday with totally full batteries until quite late in the evening; but had the diesel heater on over night and most of Saturday, plus I used the electric blanket.
As well as the 240V Fridge, the Tea making and some food made using Induction Hob, plus external (240V LED) lighting and charging an external battery from my battery bank meant the battery was 185Ah down from full by the time I left on Sunday and the SOC was down to 72%

Volksfling May19 SOC
by David, on Flickr

Now bearing in mind the typical 110Ah Battery will provide 55Ah which will take it down to 50% SOC, I used the equivalent of over 3 and a half 150Ah batteries worth of power in 42 Hours (less than 2 full days!). That's quite a bit :cool:
Oh, and in that time, despite the weather I did manage to harvest another 146Ah of Solar (that is 1.9kWh @ 12.6V average).

So total power consumption over the weekend was around 330Ah of battery power, which at the average battery voltage of 12.6V is over 4kWh of power.
Now I deliberately made no real attempt at any energy conservation just to see what the result would be. And this weekend, my original 4 x 110Ah battery bank would have coped but would have been close. the new 635Ah Leisure Bank had no problems keeping up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Great result on the set up Hoovie, really poor with the weather mate!

I was over in Storoway for a few days so couldn't make the show. Defo next year!
 
421 - 440 of 446 Posts
Top