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#1 2020-10-02 16:23:03

AB_70
Member
From: Whalley, East Lancashire
Registered: 2020-04-28
Posts: 40

Lockdown Project

Hi folks, just before lockdown I bought my 2004 Dispatch 1.9 hd to throw the mountain bikes in.  Then, being furloughed, I had a bit of time on my hands and thought I'd see what I could do as a low level conversion.  Nothing hardcore, just something we could overnight in, or even take to festivals.  Here's the story:

Initially I was just going to have two benches, with a gap in the centre.  Then I realised we'd be better served with a side door being utilised, so I went with that setout:

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Next task was to make up the frames for the benches, used 38x38mm softwood for that, then clad with 18mm MDF.  Next time I'll drop that back to 12mm MDF, the 18mm is overkill.  We'd worked out what we'd need to take on a typical trip, and this would give us enough storage.

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After getting them in I thought they were a smidge big, so out they all came, and I cut them down to give a bit more footwell. 

The van had been a plasterer's van, so needed a deep clean.  That took some time! But at least it was fully ply lined.  Took all the panels off to be carpeted, so next task was to stick on some dead mats.  The dead mats were money well spent, the improvement is instantly noticable. 

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I also ran wiring for USB chargers to both sides, reading lights over the back doors, downllights to the roof, a voltmeter, 12v outlet and some super bright LED lights (just in case)  Had to cut a bit of the steel away in places, but nothing too drastic.

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For flooring, I installed two layers of 3mm foam underlay, then one layer of 5mm fibre underlay over the ply floor, then laid laminate.  Probably would use vinyl next time.  I had a leak on a recent trip and had to lift the lot!

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Next stage was the insulation.  I decided to use two layers of foil backed sound deadening underlay.  It was really nice to work with, and appears to have worked well.  There's two layers under the ply floor, although I'd expect that's been reduced to a couple on mm!! At this stage I carpeted any of the white steel body that would be visible once the ply had been reinstated.

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As a quick aside, I installed some leather, electric seats from an XF Jaguar, new gerknob and boot, and a new blue tooth streo and a reverse camera.  I  used the existing seat frames, but cut down, then bolted / welded unistrut for the new support.  The wiring was pretty simple, just two live feeds to each seat.

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For switch back plates I used some thin ply, and carpeted. 

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The storage / seat boxes got a covering with smoke carpet, wish I'd gone for anthracite here.  It marks easily!

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I wanted to carpet the roof, so needed a single panel.  For this I made a template from cardboard, then marked and cut a sheet of 6mm ply.  Tricky one, but worked out well.

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Covered that in anthracite to have a break from all the light grey.

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I had a bit of anthracite carpet left over, so I pulled out the front headliner and give it a birthday treat.  Gave me the opportunity to fix some dead mats on the roof too.

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I rescued some 18mm ply from a skip and used it for the table, here it is after the first coat of stain

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Getting all the electrics in was fun, it's always nice when these things work!

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Next was time to make the cushions, which I wasn't exactly looking foward to! My step daughter had just finished Uni, so I took a bread knife to the matress! Below is a first fit picture.  I thought it was too high, so I cut them all down.

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For the covers I just bought some fabric off eBay.  I'm no upholsterer, so I cut ply 20mm smaller than the foam, then wrapped like a birthday present. Plenty of staples later, and that's what you see.

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The table support was 25 quid on eBay, and does the job nicely.  I used some pine dowell for a curtain pole, and some £7 curtains from ebay. Put it all together and it looks like this (note wife input with soft furnishings! big_smile )

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The extra cushions you need for the bed make the seat cusions stick out, but you don't notice when you're sitting on there.  Since finishing, the better half and I have toured the north of Scotland, Northumberland, and had a long weekend in the Peak District.  The seat boxes have ample room for all our dry food, drinks, clothes, bedding, gas bottle, camping kit etc. all that worked really well.  Owing me a meagre £1500 for purchase and conversion, I'd say it's paid for itself already! Happy Days!  big_smile  big_smile  big_smile

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Last edited by AB_70 (2020-10-02 16:28:50)


2004 Citroen Dispatch 1.9  cool

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#2 2020-10-02 19:18:46

dRoyd
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 18

Re: Lockdown Project

Well for a “low level” conversion I think you’ve done a great job! Maybe I should be aiming a little higher ...

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#3 2020-10-03 11:06:02

AB_70
Member
From: Whalley, East Lancashire
Registered: 2020-04-28
Posts: 40

Re: Lockdown Project

Cheers dRoyd! By 'low level, I was meaning no cooking or cabinets, no liesure battery etc.  But yep, I 'm happy with the results  big_smile

What are you planning?

Last edited by AB_70 (2020-10-03 11:06:25)


2004 Citroen Dispatch 1.9  cool

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#4 2020-10-03 11:40:59

JohnDragonMan
Member
From: Derby, East Midlands, UK
Registered: 2020-06-02
Posts: 105
Website

Re: Lockdown Project

i had the same plans pre-lockdown. heh i just spent all of the time fixing all the faults and making the van perfect!

now i am back at work i do not really get the time to do things on the van gahh!


- JohnDragonMan
Notice: I have the tendency to void warranties, blow fuses, cause fires, and other fun stuff.
Words of wisdom: There's always user serviceable parts inside. Molten metal "hot". In my defence, i was left unsupervised. "Oh that shouldn't have happened".
My Crazy Mk2 2005 Dispatch Camper Project big_smile

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#5 2020-10-03 11:58:30

AB_70
Member
From: Whalley, East Lancashire
Registered: 2020-04-28
Posts: 40

Re: Lockdown Project

JohnDragonMan wrote:

i had the same plans pre-lockdown. heh i just spent all of the time fixing all the faults and making the van perfect!

now i am back at work i do not really get the time to do things on the van gahh!

Haha, furlough was great for that.  Once thing I will say, it took waaaaayyy longer than I would have thought.  Pre-start I thought I'd have it done in a few days, not so!


2004 Citroen Dispatch 1.9  cool

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#6 2020-10-03 12:56:16

tee_cee
Member
Registered: 2016-03-18
Posts: 313

Re: Lockdown Project

Well done, looks really good. Goes to show that simple does not have to be a lash up.

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#7 2020-10-03 14:42:25

dRoyd
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 18

Re: Lockdown Project

AB_70 wrote:

Cheers dRoyd! By 'low level, I was meaning no cooking or cabinets, no liesure battery etc.  But yep, I 'm happy with the results  big_smile

What are you planning?

I’ve spent a little time making a couple of awning rails on either side which I’ve yet to use. Damned lockdown was when I had my holiday weeks booked! I managed to get a couple of front swivel seats off eBay. They make quite a difference as far as room in the back goes. Also made ‘blinds’ for the windows of which I have far too many. That’s about it really. Not much left of this year. Hoping to get much more use out of the van next year (fingers crossed)!

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#8 2020-10-05 11:37:56

AB_70
Member
From: Whalley, East Lancashire
Registered: 2020-04-28
Posts: 40

Re: Lockdown Project

tee_cee wrote:

Well done, looks really good. Goes to show that simple does not have to be a lash up.

Yep, exactly!  big_smile


2004 Citroen Dispatch 1.9  cool

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#9 2020-10-05 11:40:24

AB_70
Member
From: Whalley, East Lancashire
Registered: 2020-04-28
Posts: 40

Re: Lockdown Project

dRoyd wrote:
AB_70 wrote:

Cheers dRoyd! By 'low level, I was meaning no cooking or cabinets, no liesure battery etc.  But yep, I 'm happy with the results  big_smile

What are you planning?

I’ve spent a little time making a couple of awning rails on either side which I’ve yet to use. Damned lockdown was when I had my holiday weeks booked! I managed to get a couple of front swivel seats off eBay. They make quite a difference as far as room in the back goes. Also made ‘blinds’ for the windows of which I have far too many. That’s about it really. Not much left of this year. Hoping to get much more use out of the van next year (fingers crossed)!

Ah, there's two things I'd change next time! I didn't add windows, but I wish I did.  Sitting up in Scottland with amazing views, but not being able to see them wasn't the best! 

And the swivel seats would certainly improve the observed size of the van.  That would give you a bit more scope in terms of setout.  cool


2004 Citroen Dispatch 1.9  cool

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