Friday, 18 November 2016

DIY motorhome (Part 6?): Odd bits, & the interesting door

In the last blog post I explained how, after stripping the bus out, we started at the top and installed the solar panels and awning. Next we moved onto quite a few jobs that won't need so much explaining (but please ask if you want more details of something I don't cover).

We increased the support in the floor and put down 2 layers of 16mm flooring. We made new fibreglass panels to replace the back windscreen and for the new door and the new section beside it, and patched up where there had been an emergency exit long window on the drivers side rear. And we built a holding area with hatch doors for our battery and gas bottles.

Our new door took quite a lot of planning, a lot of building and gets a lot of remarks! We had decided at the start that the previous bi-fold door had to go: it was unnecessarily wide, took up too much space,  and didn't seal well. So, it needed to be replaced, probably by a swinging door, but how? It also needed a step, as our floor is now approximately 75cm from the ground. And the step was a problem, as it needed to be automatic, have some mechanics on it, or at least be able to be operated from inside or outside the bus as this would be our only door.

Frankly, every step we looked at looked too flimsy to last. Some were slightly better than others, but it can be hard to tell in a picture and the best looking needed importing. Finally one evening I came up with an idea (actually idea number 7 probably), and as I am incapable of explaining things to the Belgian and having him understand and agree, I drew a sketch. "You're brilliant!" exclaimed H. (Finally he noticed!, I thought).

Blu's new door is heavy, and Yes, it does lock into the outer position (so it doesn't suddenly move when one steps on it). And, everyday it seems easier to use, or I'm getting stronger!

For one thing, it's great to have steps that are there whenever you need them. In Blac (the old motorhome) you had to pull the steps down and up (not easy from inside), or go through one of the front doors. And so, being that it wasn't easy in Blac, I tended to shortcut and use the spare tyre to heave myself up, or go down half twisting on the way. Now, there is no need to shortcut in Blu as when you open the door the step is there, attached to the door.

The original door space we made into 2 parts:
the left side became additional wall and the right became the swinging door.

Welding the door onto the step:
Our step became the structural integrity of the door, rather
than a step built onto a door this is a door built onto a step.

Like everything else, we insulated the motorhome door too!

Our motorhome step with door.

The door from outside (excuse the photography... it does the job!)

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