Build Stage 13 : Rear Cupboards, Doors and Insulated Window Shutters

Once the bedframe was built we knew how much space we had at the back for the cupboards. This was already somewhat pre-defined as the two heaters on the roof were already installed and was one of the main reasons we had opted for the rear cupboards. We have an Eberspacher Diesel water-to-air heater installed on the bus, but unfortunately it isn’t working. After toying with the idea of stripping it all out, we decided that one day we might have enough money to pay the exorbitant repair fees, so decided to box them into the top of the rear cupboards and get them fixed one freezing, desperate, winter’s day.

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So, the frames we cut to size from 1’’ by 1.5’’. Made the supports for the shelfs and walls, and then spent several hours/days cutting out shelves and walls over and over again to make them fit. No matter what we used, tracing paper, cardboard templates, with so many different angles from the uneven floor, roof 45degree angels and bedframe, this posed somewhat of an annoyance and challenge. We did get there eventually though!

Once cut correctly, we routered the walls and set about making the shutter effect doors. We did this my insetting ply into a thin frame, and glueing slats on top of the ply. This was to make the doors slightly heavier and sturdier, so as not to be flimsy 4mm ply, and to make them match the window shutters at the end of the bed we were just starting.

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We decided that we wanted to add an outdoor shower to the cupboard on the same side as the water tank, so that we can rinse off sand after being at the beach / mud in winter. So we plumbed in some hose to the back cupboard and added an extendable hose pipe in there and used the remainder of our shower wall board to make the base of the cupboard water tight. We added some hooks on the walls so this is our wet jackets/boots/beach stuff cupboard, and works fantastically from keeping half the beach out of the bus. We made it so that this tall cupboard opens to the outside, and then one above opens from within the bus, so that we can access the top cupboard from the bed whilst the back doors are closed.

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After living in a previous bus conversion through a long and bitterly cold winter, simple curtains and no insulation had been far too cold to handle. Therefore, high levels of insulation were of paramount importance this time. We decided that we wanted to keep a decent sized window in the bedroom for enjoying our surroundings, but knew the larger the size, the poorer the insulation and colder/hotter it would be in the bedroom area. So, we opted to make some insulated shutter-styled windows. We made a simple timber frame, cut in grooves around all the framing pieces and slide in 4mm pieces either side with a 25mm gap in between. We then inserted celotex/recitil into the gap, and cut thin 4mm rectangular pieces to dress the front of them and make them look like old French / Beach Style shutters. We were really pleased with the outcome and after some chiselling here and there, managed to get a really nice fit and tight seal around the edges. (Might be worth mentioning here that we masking taped and sprayed a few cm black border on all the windows, so that when the blinds/shutters are closed there is not light escaping from the edges. A good idea – and one that worked to good effect here!)

 

Dave

We also added a ply window blind box to the back door. This took ages to build as very fiddley, especially getting the blind into it and painting it. The idea was that it would create a totally blacked out window at the back of the bus, which looked really good

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