Home Building- Finale

The last video about the renovation is about the tools that were most useful. Probably best to just click through to the video as is fairly self-explanatory.

Other things to consider are fasteners like screws, nails, glues, brackets and clips; safety gear like ear defenders and safety goggles; electrical or plumbing tools you may need; and specialist tools for any special applications you have in mind.

Since the renovation a number of small changes have happened. The ramps for Piccolo were abandoned completely as he was just using the wheel arch. However, it was too slippery for him with just the vinyl tiles, so carpet was added to make it an easier access way. The ramp for outside was also replaced by a more practical step than the previous one. The original step was very slippery when wet, so I added a non-slip covering (prior to the renovation). This also proved ineffective, as it came loose and also got very dirty. The most recent evolution is a hollow step with longitudinal ribs under as small steel mesh grating. It allows water to drain, dirt to fall through and both dogs are happy using it. Winning!

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The new door step. Works well preventing muck coming inside

Silicone sealant was added between all of the vinyl tiles on the main floor area to protect the layers beneath. It works, but also unfortunately collects dirt very effectively too. The finish now looks quite messy, but it also makes for a less slippery surface and the rugs which I added later on now grip quite well on it rather than slipping around (as they would have otherwise). While we are on flooring, a little door mat was also added to take the majority of debris that comes in on shoes and also as a landing pad for the dogs, who were sliding (quite comically) across the floor on entry.

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Toasty warm floor with a couple of rugs from The Warehouse

A hose extension and shower attachment were added where the second tap outlet used to be. The idea being that it can be fed out the window and used as a shower in the (yet to be completed) curtained off area. It is the type of attachment you would see on a garden hose, so it could also serve as a general purpose hose for garden watering or other uses if desired. It won’t dispense hot water at this stage, but would be good in a pinch. Should I find a more permanent set up, I would probably invest in a solar camping shower bag and may experiment with different heating methods (e.g. fired copper coils; gas heating a pot, then filling; solar dish heating).

Added a PVC pipe around the cables leading to the LED light strips. Not pretty, but effective in protecting the line. While it is not so important in situ, it’s a major consideration during transit. The rest of the electrical system is still on hold. They will remain on hold until the bank account is a little healthier and probably until I find a semi-permanent home. At that point, I’ll get stuck in and wire in another battery, a USB port and a jack to plug in the inverter, a permanent solar panel rig (with a solar panel controller) and may also experiment with a wind turbine design idea I have based on coke cans, a basic solenoid motor and something like a roller blade wheel.

Most recently, I’ve been experimenting with ideas to solve early morning condensation issues on cold days. There have been many ideas, including: netting to capture moisture in the air and feed it into the water tank; various dehumidifier options; sleeping with my head under the sheets (the idea being that the moisture would collect in the bedding instead of the air- surprisingly effective); and bubble wrap.

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“The Bubble Wrap Experiment” It actually seems to be working pretty well. If I was to do it again, I’d back myself and put some double-sided tape in a few spots throughout the span to hold it up better

Bubble wrap on the ceiling is the current experiment and it seems to be working pretty well. I put it off for ages because of visions of water pooling between the ceiling and bubble wrap, only to fall down in a wet mess on my face. On further research and thinking though, I gained confidence in the idea. Condensation forms when a cold surface meets moisture in the air. As long as the moist air is effectively excluded from the ceiling space, (currently using duct tape and have a couple of desiccant sacks up in each cavity) it shouldn’t form even if the roof is cold. Gravity is the main challenge here, as the bubble wrap weight tends to slowly work at the duct tape holding it up. I am very open to suggestions you may have on the condensation issue, as caravan forums mostly talk about fully airtight caravans/motor homes, not a pop-up camper with gaps between panels.

Should bubble wrap fail me, I may try a duvet inner on top of the roof, with either a tarp or the caravan cover fixed on top. Again, this is a less portable solution, but should prevent the fibreglass of the roof from getting cold enough to allow condensation… in theory.

Next plan is water catchment. I plan to rig a basic gutter/spouting system. It will likely drain into a bucket or barrel and be manually emptied into the on-board water tank. Won’t be fancy, but hopefully will be effective.

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