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Boxanne

WhitewaterWoman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have encountered this kind of advice frequently. It is usually well meant.

How long do you expect to use Boxanne? It could be after three years you have ideas for improvements or other ways to live.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Bodyshop rang me and we discussed a few things. The primary one being the extent of the damage behind the windscreen. The previous owner has just filled in the rot with some kind of sealant.

The big reveal, with a rather fitting song:


333894436_936933584005271_5158940175982202486_n.jpg


Ed
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have encountered this kind of advice frequently. It is usually well meant.

How long do you expect to use Boxanne? It could be after three years you have ideas for improvements or other ways to live.
I intend to live in the van for the forseeable. I'd like a good few years use. It'll be May 2024 before she's paid off. Then I can start saving rapidly. Which means any future repairs can be handled and done professionally.

I'm happy to keep the money flowing in the van's direction. I want to see any faults rectified good as new. After all, I know the van will be able to keep me going for many years to come.

Ed
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
It's My Birthday!
He said due to the age of the box (18 years) the plastic they use becomes brittle and starts to crack.
I know it's a climate thing, but I have never heard of a plastic box on a van, here they're all sheet metal. There's no way you'd get 18 years out of a plastic box here, you'd be lucky to get more than 2 years.

Can you not get a metal box?
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Given the pattern of corrosion it looks like a classic example of a prior windshield incorrectly installed.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I know it's a climate thing, but I have never heard of a plastic box on a van, here they're all sheet metal. There's no way you'd get 18 years out of a plastic box here, you'd be lucky to get more than 2 years.

Can you not get a metal box?
It's plywood and GRP. He said the front panel above the overhang was soaked and rotten. That was going to be replaced anyway, so I'm not too upset about that. The top rails aren't made/sold anymore. So he's going to straighten it up as best he can.

It'd be too costly to replace them with metal. He said similarly with GRP. Replace both walls and I wouldn't see much change from £7000.

Come summer I will have spare money again, and can set aside bits for future projects. After all, one of his plans was to fix the GRP panel then tiger seal and bolt an ally outer sheet to the exterior. That's always an option later down the line to ensure futher longevity of Boxanne. Plus makes her slightly more robust and zombie proof.

Ed
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Given the pattern of corrosion it looks like a classic example of a prior windshield incorrectly installed.
I used a local windscreen place who this body shop know. He said they're good. So hopefully all will be well.

Either way - whatever needs fixing, I will do. I want this to be my home, and so I'll do what it takes to ensure it's liveable and structurely sound.

Ed
 

maycontainthunder

May also contain missing cakes.
V.I.P Member
With some vehicles they always go in the same place. The sheer number of Sprinter vans I see with rot in the bottom corner of the rear doors shows that the rust protection missed a spot.
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
It's My Birthday!
One of the best cars I ever owned was a beat up 1988 Toyota Camry wagon. I was living in the bush so I got away with it, but the windscreen was cracked and I couldn't replace it because the rot around it was far worse than poor old Boxanne. And the whole chasis used to flex as you carefully went over speed bumps. Eventually the handle on the back hatch broke so I had a piece of venetian blind cord hanging out the back as a door release.

It always started first time every time, even just reaching through the window and turning the key, and I averaged about 13 Km/liter. She was such a lovely old beast.
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
It's My Birthday!
Possibly interesting side note, the poor old camry's speedo died. But in Aussie spec with most of these little 5 speed buzz boxes you would normally change gear at 3000 rpm. I had no speedo but I had a rev counter. The different gears worked out very nicely, at 3000 rpm the gears work out as:

1st gear - 20 Km/h
2nd gear - 40 Km/h
3rd gear - 60 Km/h
4th gear - 80 Km/h
5th gear - 100 Km/h

That's Aussie speed limits according to the rev counter, never got a ticket in that car. Admittedly I wouldn't have got a ticket anyway, the bloke it was last registered to was dead, but I knew exactly how fast I was going.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Well bums.

Wall damage found on the van. My 12k budget could end up being on bodywork alone. Scary.

If I pull out of this van I lose over 3k, and could I really hope to make back my original purchase price on a van needing a minimum of £3000 repairs of bodywork done? Which means I could be out nearly 6k.

Drastic times. I notified my therapist I'm cancelling EMDR and will reconnect with her later in the year. Cut my yoga sessions in half too. Basically I need to pour every single available penny into the van.

Now I can repay £1250 a month on the van. So even if (when) the budget goes over, I can get around 50-60% of the entire project paid off by summer.

Truth is, a lot would say give up. In fact, a lot already have. But I'm tenacious, as well as a little foolhardy. This is my project, and my van. Besides, I can't just throw away 3-6k by throwing in the towel now and buying another van.

It's easy to say I was sold a lemon - but now it's time to make some friggin' lemonade.

2tart4u.

Ed
 

WhitewaterWoman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Making a decision and acting on it! Excellent. Good follow through.

Sometimes being engrossed in an important project does way more for one’s mental health than therapy.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Found a motorhome solar panel fitter in the old town I used to live in. They can do custom setups, which is handy as their kits went up to 120W, and I was looking at around a 300W setup.

I'll get a booking to inbetween the completion of the second round of body shop work, and before the carpenter begins on insulation, battens and plywood boards.

Ed
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
It's My Birthday!
Found a motorhome solar panel fitter in the old town I used to live in. They can do custom setups, which is handy as their kits went up to 120W, and I was looking at around a 300W setup.
With a box that size you could fit full sized panels and save a lot of mucking around, possibly save a couple of quid as well.

 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Emailed the motorhome solar panel place with my power usage and to find out if they can do the frame or if the body shop would need to fabricate it. Along with asking if they can do the rest of the electrics - battery, inverter, fuses, wiring etc.

This, like the body shop would need 2 visits. One to do the solar and feed the wiring in. The second will be after the carpenter has done the preliminary woodwork, so there's space laid out for where the battery and all the other bits will sit, along with the kitchen units so wiring can be fed to the fridge freezer and cooker.

Ed
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
With a box that size you could fit full sized panels and save a lot of mucking around, possibly save a couple of quid as well.

I'm looking at Victron 360W panels. They're high end. With 2 of them, I can charge a 200Ah gel battery in approx. 5 hours of daylight.

Consumption is as follows, I asked the solar place if they think 200Ah is enough:

Laptop charging (67W for 2 hours) several times a week. I'd charge this at work but on the weekend I might need to charge it once or twice.
Interior 12V LED lighting.
x2 12v fans (ventilation fan + one for extraction for composting toilet).
30 second daily usage of a 600W blender.
Fridge - energy consumption (DC@5/25°C) 0.26784 kWh per 24 hours
Ignition for a gas hob (Thetford Ignition Topline 922)

Ed
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
It's My Birthday!
It sounds like you've done your research, and they sound like decent panels too.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Wish I could afford lithium batteries, but I can't justify 2k on a battery compared to around £500 on a gel.

Ed
 
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