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Thread: Camper fitout

  1. #1
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    Default Camper fitout

    G'day All

    Just contemplating a camper fitout.
    We have a van that is a good size for a camper. But not sure of the best material for lining.
    Roof and wall. It needs to be thinish and flexible while strong as well. And prefinished would be ideal.
    Anyone have experience with this type of thing? Not really wanting to do timber lining boards. Need more of a plywood? sort of product. There must be stuff out there, I am just not familiar with the options.
    Any advice appreciated.
    Brian

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  3. #2
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    Default

    We did a camper van in 2016. We put stic-on bitumen on aluminium paper into the wall cavities for insulation and sound deadening and then lined the inside with plywood (3mm ish) with a laminate white finish. all attached with the standard push-in white plastic studs into the already existing holes. The best tip we got was from the guy who did our pop-top who told us "heat, dust and vibration are what you have to deal with". The actual cabinet work was all done in 17mm light ply with the white laminate finish and that was anchored back to the metal with white Sikkaflex boat building glue and aluminium angle and screws. Done about 130k klms and so far nothing is falling apart.

  4. #3
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    I can tell you how i did it, but it depends on how you plan your furniture.

    I used 3.2mm ply for weight savings over 5mm ply, i also had a 4mm reflective closed cell foam on the rear of the panel, and the panel was lined with Autex Flex stretch carpet

    All the van metal panels are lined with sound deadener and another 10mm layer of closed cell foam is applied on top of the sound deadener

    The panels were mounted to the factory panel hole, that i adapted to insert M6 rivnuts, as i wanted to secure my furniture to the chassis of the van.

    I used M6 Joint connector bolts to secure the panels and cabinets, i painted them black to hide in the carpet.

    I'm not a fan of using metal screws into a van to hold furniture, and i want to be able to use a oxide paint on the raw metal before installing rivnuts.

    IMG_1145.jpgIMG_1119.jpgIMG_1335.jpgIMG_2449.jpg

    I went for a soft lining finish, as it absorbs a fair bit of noise in the rear of the van, noise will bounce of hard surfaces.

    If you do want a hard surface, you could look at getting a 3.2mm plywood lined with the laminate of your choice, and using that, although i would make a template out of 3mm MDF before getting it made, easy to make a cheap template first than stuffing up a laminated panel.

    Also look at your furniture cabinet material options, lightweight ply panels are available, i ended up getting 15mm Falcata ply that was 5.5kg m2, as normal ply is around 9-12kg m2 and you can save weight, so you keep within your GVM.

    I laminated it myself, white liner on the inside and i used a textured laminex Zebreno on the outside.

    You will be surprised how easy the weight adds up when building cabinets.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #4
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    Default Camper linings

    Thank Bryn and Len

    Both helpful with your input.
    Anyone else got experienced to share?
    What not to do / use will also be good.
    Brian

  6. #5
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    Well, i can offer a few more pieces of advice.

    Plan your wiring, Working out the mm2 gauge required for the load to reduce voltage drop and cable locations are important.

    It is a complete pain to try and chase extra wiring within the chassis and walls once you have installed the panelling.

    Hafele do a good range of Loox lighting, light strips, downlights, switches, dimmers and wiring connectors.

    IMG_1485.jpgIMG_1487.jpg

    It can be a frustrating to build out a campervan, but rewarding when you get to use it.

    hoping to do another lap of Aus next year, we are just waiting to see what restrictions are in place come next march when it starts to cool down again.

  7. #6
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    Default Regulations in the nanny state of Oz??

    I'm interested in any experience or real knowledge that people may have on the regulatory requirements for fitting out a van. I know it probably varies a little from one state/territory to another, but most of the vehicle regs have been harmonised I think.

    Anecdotally, I have heard that:

    1. Any change of vehicle from one purpose to another requires a change of registration & CTP insurance classification for the vehicle to be considered roadworthy & properly registered. e.g from goods carrying vehicle to motor home.
    2. Any permanent modifications to a vehicle, including bolted-in interior fittings, but be designed & approved to meet Oz vehicle design standards, be inspected by an approved engineer & have a certification issued by the engineer.

    Again, anecdotally I have hard that failure to do this can result in significant penalties, fines for driving unroadworthy vehicle and potential dramatic costs should the vehicle be involved in a crash - particularly if that results in any personal injury. One example that was relayed to me was a bloke who fitted plywood pull-out drawers in his 4x4, had a crash & was hit for all the costs of the other party, including medical bills for an injured person. This due to insurance underwriters refusing to pay out on both CTP & comprehensive policies. It could be apocryphal, but if even an element of truth it would be good to know the facts on requirements for any DIY mods.

  8. #7
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    It does depend on what state you are in when it comes to the regs.

    I have engineering mod plates for my swivel seats and my RIB seat/bed (it is certified to carry another 2 people)

    230/240 volt has to be signed off by a licensed sparky.

    You can choose not to register it as a camper, as if you don't have a fixed cooking appliance then it doesn't meet the requirements. "this may depend on what state u are in"


    As for the bolted in fixtures, requiring engineer approval and then by requiring a mod plates, seems a little off the mark, as that would mean every almost every sparky van with interior racking and storage and same goes for a normal working trade van in general would be illegal.

    The big manufacturers such as Trakka and Frontline and others are classed as second stage manufacturer, so they don't need mod plates other than their manufacture plate, this enables it to be registered as a camper in all states.

    As for the DIY'er, a QLD mod plate isn't valid in NSW if you want to change rego, you will have to get a NSW mod plate

    It is a bit of mine field, but the documents are out there, and most commercial vehicles have a Bodybuilder manual for the vehicle for modifications which will show you what can be done to the chassis and what can't be done.


    End of the day, as long as the cabinets are securely fitted, as in bolted, bonded with a bonding agent, such as Sika 252. then you will be safe as can be in an accident.

  9. #8
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    Default

    Thanks Bryn,

    I understand that the name brand shelving bolt-ins (along with their fixing methods) for tradie vans are certified as compliant to Oz vehicle standards. As are the name brand 4x4 bolt-ons such as bull bars etc. Also Sparky vans are not changing the primary use of the vehicle - its still a goods van.

    Its the DIY stuff I'm concerned about - as you say it seems to be a real mine-field. Its not helped by all the YouTube vids from US & UK where it seems they don't have the same nanny regulations we have here (as an unrelated example, but illustrative of more lenient regulatory environment elsewhere, its legal in US & UK to DIY electrical & plumbing, but not in Oz).

    I agree, if you use solid fixing methods it will minimise things flying about in a crash (and way better than having loose boxes in the back of a van or station wagon), but common sense doesn't always (usually??) apply with the bureaucrats who dream up regulations. And its the regulations that may impact us financially & legally if things go pear-shaped.

  10. #9
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    Default Interior fitting

    Thank for your input Bryn and Len.
    Anyone else got something to offer on materials to use?
    That was my original question. Do not really need to get into the legallities etc.
    Bryn some details on your seat swivels would be helpful.
    Photos and supplier too.
    Brian

  11. #10
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    Sorry about getting off track

    The swivel seat on my camper are from these guys Transport Seating Technology which was recommended by my engineer at the time.

    I feel that there are better euro swivel options out there, but these do the job.

    Allow for a 25mm-30mm increase of ride height and also if you have a handbrake next to the seat, it can cause issues, mainly having to leave it off to swivel the drivers seat.

    Depending on the camper chassis, there are lower handbrake relocation kits, i ended up getting E-Brake and removing the hand brake.

    I only went this route as both front seats are swivel, most people just fit the passenger side, as it allows you to fit furniture straight up to the back of the drivers seat.

    I can only find one pic of the swivel units fitted on my computer while i was test fitting the seat frame rear covers, the vent under the drivers seat is the diesel heater outlet and the nickel bolts were just temporary until i fitted black versions

    These swivels weight about 15-20kg each.

    IMG_2418.jpg

  12. #11
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    Default Camper materials

    Just pushing this back to the front.
    Interested in the materials people have used for the linings. to walls and ceilings.
    There must be more who have done one of these.
    Brian

  13. #12
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    We did look at using the aluminium sandwich panels for lining and fittings but it turns out to be very fragile wherever it has been bent and even around screw holes etc. I'm pretty sure it would disintergrate on the road. Our van was originally an ambulance/patient transport and was fitted with 3mm solid aluminium sheet cupboards. Unfortunately they didn't suit our purpose but I reckon that that would be the gold standard - light, tough,corrosion proof and easy to fabricate but way too heavy duty for a camper van.
    We also had to get an engineers certificate before the vehicle could be registered. The engineer told me that any vehicle that you are going to live in has to be compliant with household regulations like smoke detector and easy-to-access fire extinguisher, gas has to be certified and 240 volt has to be certified by an electrician.The upside of all this is that the camper van is much cheaper to insure than a regular van.

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