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Project Rhocaravan


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Never one to shy away from a winter project, I'm about to embark on the next one which should see me spending the dark Winter evenings in the garage.


Neither myself nor Jackie are particular fans of camping, something that was reinforced by 2 nights under canvas at Hoodstock this year. I quite fancied a challenge and so I've decided to build a caravan, mainly just because I think I can but also so we can use it occasionally.


Jackie is dead keen on the idea and wants to help so a few months ago we bought a trailer tent so I can use the chassis as a caravan base. I did think of building from scratch, but going the trailer tent route means I get a galvanised, braked chassis that's rated at 900KG, more that enough for what I need.


A couple of weeks searching on Ebay turned this up this 1990 Conway Challenger in Rhyl which we bought for £350. It had been stood for 12 months but all the lights worked and I towed it back without any mishaps.








We bought it without seeing it erected but it was all there and came with a whole host of extra goodies, some of which may be of use. A day of light cleaning brought it up a treat, so good in fact that we decided to test it out at the EOSB and save ourselves the cost of proper overnight accommodation.


For those of you who weren't there, (shame on you), here it is in all it's glory





Edited by richyb66
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I'm not a fan of teardrops, having a pointed end is wasteful of space and I'd rather not stand outside to cook. So the challenge is to make the most effective use use of a 2.4m long x 1.5m wide x 1.2m high space.


The plan is to make something that looks like a caravan, only smaller. As space is going to be at a premium, I've knocked up a CAD model which has enabled us to position manikins inside and see how the space works out.


Here's the basic layout




which is visually similar to this 1960's Carlight Casetta. I'm not looking to build a scale replica, just something with the visual cues.




here's the CAD model with the manikins inside, they represent a 5'9" bloke and 5'7 woman - the same as us but clearly not as good looking




You can see that the trailer wheels are set under the floor, which means there's a wheel arch box above the floor level. This prevents us from sleeping directly on the floor but it does mean that by boxing the wheels in and continuing it along the sides, we can have bench areas to sit on. Essentially, once you're inside, you're sitting down, with your knees higher than normal if your legs aren't stretched out.


I bedtime mode, the table will store in the gap by the door, the under table area will have a pull-out board and the central footway area will be filled with removable bed slats.


Of the 2.4m length inside, the front 0.35m will be taken up by the kitchen area and the remaining 2.05m will be available for sleeping.

Edited by richyb66
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We did consider the pop top but I really like the lantern style roof with the small windows and I'm hoping that not being able to stand up won't be too much of an inconvenience. We managed a weekend in the trailer tent and were mostly seated so I guess we can get used to it.


The seating areas will have base cushions and back cushions and the plan is that the back cushions will fill in the centre floor area, table area and door. We've not checked exactly yet but we may need a couple of extra fill in pieces, in which case we make these a bit thicker and shaped so they can be used as pillows.


An inside toilet would be nice but it won't package in the space available. The easiest solution would be to make the whole think bigger but then anyone could put a Rover V8 in a Lincoln Continental. By setting the overall sizes as we have, it will force us to come up with clever ideas that package in footprint and height of an average teardrop.

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