Rob Gray :: ontheroad :: wothahellizat :: wot1 :: diaries :: issue-022


20 Dec 1999

Just as an aside from motor homes, any bushwalkers among you may have spotted the handsome devil on the cover of this month's WILD magazine. That's right folks, it's me, doing what I do best (nothing) in one of the places I love best (Kosciuszko National Park).

And speaking of doing nothing, here's a shot of Chris in training for our new lifestyle.

The seat beside her is normally occupied by myself when I'm in training.

24 Dec 1999

I thought you might like to see the pop top in action. It's not finished yet but you can get the idea from the photo below. Move your mouse over the photo to raise the roof, the first time will take a few seconds to load the photo but after that the roof should raise and lower as you move the mouse on/off the pic.

I used tailgate-style springs to assist in the lifting of the pop top. The photo below shows one of them.

Note the use of threaded rods to pre-tension the spring. Unfortunately the two springs are not enough to take the load off the roof. It works quite well now but the pop top is not finished and will get heavier. Hence my decision to add hydraulics to the rig.

The addition of this pop top has made the bedroom/office a very roomy place indeed, no scrambling into a rooftop coffin here.

One of the design criteria for the bed area was that it be usable even if the pop top is not raised, for example when grabbing a few hours sleep in a rest area. With the roof in the down position there is about 600mm head room above the mattress and 1100mm above the floor. A little tight but no worse than many bed-over designs and it only has to be tolerated occasionally.

4 Jan 2000

Well here we are in the new millennium, sometimes I feel that I'll still be building this motor home in the next one, oh well. We've been away floating down the Murray for a while so obviously haven't done much on the rig.

7 Jan 2000

I will need a compressor while on the road for tools and tyres so I decided to just take the one I've got. It's a little big I suppose but what the heck. I've mounted it behind the drivers side of the cab on rubber isolation mounts.

Before long I'll run some air lines to the front and rear so I can just plug in at each and of the vehicle. As you can see some of the flooring has been done here as well.

I've spent the majority of the last week or so working on the steps. Why so long? Well as you know I never do things the easy way. The entrance to the living room is actually two metres off the ground, this requires about eight steps. The whole contraption has to lift up under the body and I want the steps to collapse when they're stowed and stay horizontal as they are lowered.

At the time I'm writing this I have just about finished but have no recent photos so here's a shot taken early in the process, I'll add some new ones soon.