Category Archives: July

240v water heater connections

Having finished fitting the crankup I moved onto the 240v connection to the water heater. We are going to start lining the bathroom with plastic this week so the wiring needed to be done. All went well and after switching on 20 minutes later piping hot water was available, this time from electric heating rather than gas

working with the British weather

In my wisdom I decided this morning that I would fit a maxview crankup to the van. After building the van in January and February on the driveway in the ice, wind, rain and freezing weather I welcomed the prospect of working in the sun.

That is until at the top of the ladder under the sweltering sun, reflected nicely back into my face by the silver of the van I decided too much sun was just as bad as too little. At least I was not up there too long since the mastic and glue was setting within seconds so there was no chance to work slowly    :roll:  :roll:  :roll:

Now sat with a nice cup of tea  😀  😀


Its looking good

Decided not to take any pics even though I would really like to show you some. The maple is starting to go in and its looks just stunning. Norm has almost finished a work of art disguised as the kitchen, it truly looks magnificent. Each day at the moment is long, we start at 9am and finish at 6pm. The weather is getting warmer, I even started to leave a layer of clothing off, I am now down to three shirts lol.

I think it will all just come together now. All the hard work has been done and now its a case of putting it all together, build stage 1 is in our sights.

Norm sent home two bits of the maple we cut out. One was for a socket and the other the propex heater vent outlet. One was rectangle and the other round. I gave them to Jessica and within seconds she had stuck them together. I asked her what she had made and she said they were a tree again, think about what she said………………

First window fitted

Yesterday we fitted our first window, it was a fantastic feeling to see it in place. When we did the insulation we left the spaces we knew we wanted the windows to go free. We bought the windows second hand. Even so they were still quite expensive, cost after some fierce negotiations £425. One of the advantages of being second hand was that the breaker we got them from simply cut them out of the doner van leaving part of the wall intact. This meant that we had a template for cutting the hole in our van.

Removing the window from the old framework

At first we thought this might be quite tricky but the aluminum sheet of the old doner van simply peeled off. As I disgarded it I pondered how at some, or many points in history that piece of now disgarded material had been part of someones bride and joy. We then pulled away all of the of the insulation, not high density foam like we have used but flimsy stuff from a time when caravans were for summer only. We now had just the wooden frame, ideal. Before we did this we had taken the actual window frame out of this wooden frame. It had been held on by 10 metal angle metals and screws. The actual plastic of this window had been sold to us out of the frame and later on in the day, after we had bonded the frame to the van I remarked to Norm how we had failed to make sure it fitted. Would this prove a mistake? You will find out later.

So this is what we started with

And this is what we finished with at the end of the day, complete also with the 240 volt inlet

Fitting the window

We carefully worked out where we wanted to fit the window. Its inportant to visualise the job the whole way through. You need to ensure that everything is going to work and fit. We offered the wooden frame to the inside of the van and then drilled some small holes through the metal. Then on th eoutside we positioned the frame to these holes, making sure we liked the position, which we did. We want the windows high, this is so they correspond to the seating on the inside. Then Norm drew around the inside of the frame which was our cut lines. I then drilled four holes in the corner and Norm started with the jigsaw. I noticed the saw was marking the van so we replaced the tape on the bottom of its plate. I held the metal from the other side to stop it bouncing as it was cut.

Once out we made sure everything fitted. We had a “moment” when we thought we had cut the hole too big but it was simply due to the window frame having different levels and it actually fitted like a glove..phew.

I then gave the wooden frame a good bead of sikaflex and offered it back up to the van wall. Norm screwed it into place from the other side. I then used the bedding mastic placing it to the van side on the outside. I discovered that if I carefully took it off the white backing paper before positioning it contoured to the aperture a lot easier. We had first cleaned the van and heated it. You could use any heat device I guess but we used a heat gun, the type for removing paint, so be careful with it.

The window frame frame was then put in and clamped allowing us to then use the metal angle and screws to hold it. We spent quite a while adding pressure and then more pressure to these clamps until the window frame was as tight to the van as we felt it would go. This then left us with bedding mastic squirting out and so needed to be tidied. We tried different ways but the best was scribing carefully with a stanley knife and then peeling away.

Starting the actual work

Our first part a week ago was to strip out all the boarding that came with the van. We wanted to see what was underneath. We are glad we did that because there was a lot of space behind the boards for insulation. We then started building a frame work for the insulation starting with the floor. Its great to actually see it start

The Van Conversion

We have begun the conversion. Wall boards have been purchased, new from a company called Magnums of Grimsby. We are leaning towards buying second hand gas units. So far a 3 way fridge has been purchased for £90 compared to £500 for a new one. We are looking at carver heaters and wall mounted instant water heaters.

Yesterday we stripped out all the wall boards that were there already so we could get to know what was underneath. Insulation is the first job

The cost of a house

We are really getting cheesed off at the cost of running a house. We were never actually cold in the RV but the cottage takes so much energy to get it pleasant. After elec for the underfloor heating, wood pellets for the central heating and then logs and kindling for the log burner we are running at over £200 per month, which is one heck of a lot. The lure of a return to fulltiming is strong at the moment………


The whole country is gripped and grounded by snow. We have been stopped in our tracks and can hardly leave the valley. Yesterday I got into town to shoot some portraits but got stuck in 3 foot snow drifts on the way back, Shane came out and towed me out. Fortunately it was only 200 yards from his house


wow, its 2010, a new year. We did not post on fulltiming for over a year. Life has got so complex again. We have expanded our business. We now have a studio next to where we are living plus a studio at an indoor market in the town centre, we have had people working for us and suffered when they suffer.

Jessica is doing really well and attends pre school, writes her name, is a fantastic little artist and counts to 20+. She is an excellent story teller and sits there going through a book making a story that fits the pictures.

Shona decided the other day that we were going to become motorhomes again and a deal has been done on a long wheelbas, high top Citroen relay van, now for the conversion. Great, not sure we have a clue what we are doing lol. but we will keep the blog informed

Long time no post

Its been over 2 months since we last posted – why, because we are not fulltiming at the moment. We got kidnapped. Some people we know fancied setting up a campsite and asked us to help. We visted the intended site and the owner offered us a cottage and we took it.

So in the last two months our lives have changed quite a bit. Jessica has started a local pre-school and is really enjoying it and Shona has kind of got used to living in a building. I have got used to having fast broadband again.

Not really sure if we are as happy as we were when fulltiming though and I can imagaine a return will be on the cards in the near future, secretly I hope so