Let the work begin

With it home nearly without any problems, the dash was occasionally not giving any readings ( I will get to this later ) and the loud drumming noise of a panel van, I was happy.

So first thought’s were I was going to put a pop top on to gain a double bed up top and give me a bit more freedom in the van as I required seatbelts in the back, which meant I would probably have gone for some combi fold down rear seats and built them into some extra seating to make another bed.

As any process goes I did a lot of research and pretty much decided on westdubs which then came down to the choice of a side opening (cheaper) or a front opening (in my view better looking, still good price). So researching further into these roofs, I was dubious on whether it would give me the room I wanted uptop and It’s a lot of money for basically a tent on the roof. Not having seen one in person I left that idea there knowing that I could come back to it at a future date.

So before getting anywhere and plans already changing I thought I’d be best going for a rock’n’roll bed which would give me the seatbelts I was looking for and give me a double bed, again let the research begin. In my view a lot seem very over priced I don’t know if this is the VW Tax coming into play or if they are just that much better quality. But digging around I found a local manufacturer close to me and made arrangements to give Auto trim solutions a visit.

I had a good look around their workshop and all manufacturing, and upholstery was done in house. The bed they have come up with is a good system only one thing I would change being that the slider works based on a smaller square tube sliding in a larger square tube, so not the smoothest but with a helping of grease it works fine for the few times it will be used. I can highly recommend and they also do an M1 tested version which I could not see the value in paying the extra money for just a slightly beefier version.

So trotted off to get some cash, biscuits and cakes so I could pay my deposit and treat the staff who looked like they were doing a good job. I choose to go with inca upholstery to match my front seats which are in good condition and just had to wait a week before I could pick it up.

With the bed ordered I now had a plan that I had to stick to the default layout of a run of cupboards down one side which I’m not a fan off but could not think of a better way to make use of the space in the swb. So the next on the shopping list was 50mm lowering springs, which could not be any easier to fit, also helped that I had previously freed off the nuts.

Now with a bed soon to be picked up I needed to get the interior ready for it as I had nowhere else to put the bed, so at B&Q I purchased flashing tape, recycled bottle insulation and silver foil insulation. I flash banded all the bare metalwork a layer of recycled insulation with silver foil over the top to keep it in. This was a nice treat to then be able to drive around in a much quieter van.

On to the next task I wanted two rear windows so ordered these from eBay and went for the factory tinted versions as I have previously gone for the cheaper clear VW ones in the past and tinted myself but in general wear and tear I would always get a rip or tear and it would ruin the whole window. Also as part of this task I was going to need to carpet the metal work right up to the hole I cut for the window, so 10m of veltrim was ordered from ebay.

Cutting holesWith a tight schedule I ended up having to cut out the metalwork between rain showers, I then bent back the outside panel to meet the inner and bonded them together. While these were drying I did the carpeting so I could trim it neatly before the window went in.

CarpetingAfter bonding the windows in it was just left to finish carpeting the metal work. This then left me needing another trip to B&Q to pick up some wood to make the panels, this took a fair while as I had to scribe these in with no templates, but once done I used the hidden panel clips from Mega Van Mats before carpeting to give a very tidy finish.

Carpet and FlooringI then laid some silver foil on the floor followed by some wood bonded to the floor to save sticking screws through. And as luck would have it picked up a scrap of vinyl in the colour I was looking for although it was not quite wide enough I new the join I had to make was going to be hidden so couldn’t turn down the bargain price.

This left me at a point where I still had some carpeting to do but enough was done so I could get the bed in the back.


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