Mercedes 1222A.. The beginning!

Sitec

Adventurer
If you plan on going where you feel like and are willing to push through a branch or two when necessary, get something tough.

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Hi Ian. Thanks re Heki. I had a feeling that was the case. I still like the idea of the MaxxAir 7500 but want to see one in the flesh first before I spend. That Vetus Marine hatch (assume that's the one in the pic)... Is it single skin Alli? Could it be skinned with insulation inside? Cheers.
 

VerMonsterRV

Traveler
Hey Sitec, coming from a sailing background I have never seen a double pane hatch. One of the big differences in them is the frame. Some are an extrusion (the less expensive ones) and some are cast (yup, the more expensive ones). The 2 boats I have owned have both had cast ones. I can even stand on the lens to take care of the sails. Pretty bomb proof but will scratch. Some of the cast hatches also have bars across the lens to guard against waves caving them in. http://pompanettellc.com/product-category/hatches/
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hey Sitec, coming from a sailing background I have never seen a double pane hatch. One of the big differences in them is the frame. Some are an extrusion (the less expensive ones) and some are cast (yup, the more expensive ones). The 2 boats I have owned have both had cast ones. I can even stand on the lens to take care of the sails. Pretty bomb proof but will scratch. Some of the cast hatches also have bars across the lens to guard against waves caving them in. http://pompanettellc.com/product-category/hatches/
Hi VerMonsterRv. The double glazed units I looked at were for overland trucks, but the price is prohibitive, so I'm looking at other options. I have to take into account where we are headed in the truck, and the center of Australia regularly gets to 48 deg, so I've either got to have a very dark tint, or just ventilation. I've decided to build the two large hatches myself, and have them 50mm thick, so the only 'warm' areas will be around the join. I'm still leaning to the MaxxAir setup (which I know is plastic) but it gives us a reversible ventilation option. Ian made a good point though re stuff scratching over the top, so my rub bars will have to have a drop in protector if I go this way. It's all food for thought!
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Time for another update. The rear is now stripped to framework, and the bulk of the AC system is removed form the front of the body. Just the internal units to remove (and poss relocate). The big question is, do I refit the large engine driven system (that we can't really utilise when parked), or do I sell it all and fit a small reverse cycle air conditioner like is used in a Mine Donga... that our on board genset will then run... (if we have no neighbors!)


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Sitec

Adventurer
Decision made. The engine driven air con is not going back in. I'm selling it to fund a small split system which we'll use when parked if needed. So I'm at the point of chopping the body lengthways. With that in mind I needed a plan, a more acurate plan than the rough one that was in my head. Sooo, pen met paper and I now have a scale drawing of the body on the truck. It gives me accurate external dimensions and allows me to see the finished truck for the first time.


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Sitec

Adventurer
This weekend was a productive one. With the air conditioning and all its associated pipework stripped out I was able to size up the 'split'. I spent a few hours chopping out the floor spars that used to hold the seats etc and then set up a couple more stands and some safety straps for the 'just in case' moment. I then found, marked and partially cut all the spars at the center point. I then added 4 pre made expandable links (50 x 50mm RHS with 40 x 40mm RHS inside, with a lock bolt on each), and welded them in situ, along with a few additional supports tacked in. These were marked with a line at the original width and a line for the new width. I was into the land of guesswork with how these would work. The theory was good.

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Sitec

Adventurer
Well, I shouldn't have worried. Apart from one loud 'twang' as 2mm of steel broke where I hadn't quite cut through one spar properly, the split worked well. With the body RH side sat on stands, I used a trolley jack and moved the left side out at approx 30mm increments, shifting the LH stands as I went. Front then back then repeat! Within half an hour, I'd found my outer marks on the RHS, and locked the bolts for the last time. Suddenly the 6m body that's been looking and feeling long and skinny inside now looks and feels short and fat!! Who'd have thought 340mm (13.5") would make such a difference. The next week will be spent welding it back together. The time now has finally come to finish those jobs with the crane and tray on the truck as I now need to fabricate a new body floor, building the 4 point mount as I go. Once the floor is made (knowing it fits the truck), I can then fit it to the base of the body and then cut the original floor out! Certainly a thought provoking project!

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Sitec

Adventurer
Another productive weekend. More welding and cutting!! The two piece body is now back as one, but at the right width and length! Just the depth to sort now!!

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Sitec

Adventurer
Talking of depth, I have been working around removing the side sheets, but the more I tried, the more annoyed I got. So a snap decision made after lunch, I removed all the LH sheets this afternoon, and instantly knew it was the right decision, as I can now freely build the rear locker frames in where they need to be, I can relocate the access door, build and recess an awning box, and also form the new lower edge of the body. I did have a "why the hell did I buy a body to then rip it apart" moment, but after a bit of pondering, the labour I've saved by doing it this way, the design I have, the glass I have (lots), the doors I have etc are still worth the money! So, here's the project as it stands tonight! Next job is to loose the original wheel arch and finalise the new height of 2250mm.

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Sitec

Adventurer
Last night I finally started to weld new RHS in place. Seems to have been a lot of time chopping stuff out, so it's good to see stuff going back in!! Roll on Saturday. There will be some decent progress!! So, I have the outer frame in for the rear LH locker. I plan to chop the remaining half of the old wheel arch out tonight and start to form the new one. Hope my scale plan is accurate!!

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Sitec

Adventurer
More crashing and ashing this weekend!! I attacked the right side on Saturday. Here's a pic with a large opening where the right rear locker will be. I've had to think every time I make a cut as to what might move etc... With a few additional supports tacked in places and a few more blocks holding the body up, nothing seems to have moved. 518465
 

Sitec

Adventurer
By lunch time today (Sun), I had both locker frames in place, and the rear twin spare wheel cutout tacked in place. From there, I'm working forwards, putting each new cross member in and then removing the old one from above it (in the hopes that nothing moves). Once the basic RHS framing is done, then I can start to think about internal walls/supports etc. I also have to think ahead and make provision for shower water supply, sink supply, rear upper tail light feeds etc, internal light and sound feeds, compost toilet venting etc. I've managed to allow room for a 100mm tall passage/opening from the base of each rear locker which will pass under the shower (LHS) and toilet (RHS) and come out under the kitchen cabinets. Should be handy for water and electric feed, and ventilation between the cabin and rear lockers. With the water tank being mounted in between the chassis rails just behind the rear axle, the top of the tank, fill point and pump will be in the void between the two lockers so should all be frost proof.

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