Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Slow Progress

I’ve been making slow progress with the camper trailer modifications.  Partially because I want to get it right and partially because of the temperature in the last few days.  The metal on the trailer has been reaching a temperature that will burn me!

The battery box has been constructed from 12mm plywood.  It’s large enough to hold the 150ah AGM battery with some spare room for air circulation.




The battery box will fit inside the former aluminium water tank shield.  I’ve fitted a battery isolation switch to the exterior of the box and will have to made some type of shield to go around the exterior of the switch to prevent stone damage. 

The red arrow points to the first of two 6mm holes where the pos & neg cables will exit the battery box.  The timber has been sealed and is now waiting on a couple of coats of bituminous paint.  I need to make a hole for the cabling to exit the aluminium shield and I’ll also have to buy some sheet aluminium to cover the top in an effort to ensure the entire compartment is watertight.

I’ve also fitted the larger of our two Engel fridges into the front compartment on the trailer drawbar.  This front compartment has a lid with gas struts and is rather large.


I’ve recycled some ‘meccano’ style vertical shelving supports and made a couple of anchor brackets that will bolt to the floor of the box.  I’ll then use straps to secure the fridge to the anchor brackets.

It seemed an easy task but with my luck it didn’t turn out that way.  I couldn’t get the bracket I’d made for the front to sit level.  The was something underneath it and the compartment has carpet lining.  Eventually I cut out a piece of carpet exactly the same shape as the anchor bracket.  This revealed two short metal ‘stubs’ protruding from the base.



Of course each ‘stub’ happened to be exactly beside the holes I’d drilled to secure the anchor bracket.  The Aldi angle grinder removed them.


A bit of spray primer paint to cover the bare metal and then I could fit the bracket.  Unfortunately it didn’t work like that.  The holes I’d drilled had gone through the base of the box and then through the trailer frame.  I needed long bolts and I didn’t have any!  Eventually I managed to recycle a couple of long masonry anchor bolts.  But not before I had to get out the Tap & Die set to lengthen the threads.


Fortunately the other anchor went in slightly easier.  However I did have to call for assistance from Jan as my arms weren’t sufficiently long to simultaneously hold the head of the bolt inside the box whilst tightening the nut underneath the trailer.

The fridge was then secured with four cargo straps


The are air vents and with filters either side of the box [B] and you can see the front anchor straps at [C].  The 12V plug and socket at [A].  This fridge is actually going to be the freezer.  I need to fit some type of sheet insulation to the underside of the lid in an effort to prevent the temperature inside getting too hot.  Whilst I need to ensure there is plenty of room for air to circulate, I think I can also make a small sub-compartment at the rear of the freezer for small items; probably trailer spare parts.


Mike Griffin said...


Prog on Beeb 1 TV to-night as several people (some handicapped) take on the Australian Outback (Kimberley Region) to mark the opening of the Invictus Games,


Tom and Jan said...

Hi Mike

Hope they don't get taken by a croc or bitten by a snake :-)

Catherine VK4GH said...

Do leave the recommended gap between the batteries. We had similar style batteries, with only about 5mm gap between them, and managed to overheat them. Motoring from Darwin to Kupang (on a boat), no wind and hot, after 24 hours a very strange smell, but we kept going, and found when we arrived that the plastic casings had all buckled, only the outside ones of the row were salvageable. Think the gap should be around 25mm from memory. Lesson learnt.

Mike Griffin said...


Interesting programme, featuring 5 soldiers (2 Aussies and 3 Brits), who have been injured during Army training and duties, one has lost both legs and is partially sighted. They leave an Army camp at Broome and are travelling 1000 miles along the Gibbs Ridge Road? to Parnalulu? in two Landrovers (not Defenders), wild camping along the way.Road conditions look fair, but they are deflating tyres on the corrugated sections.
All goods carried on the vehicle roof racks, no trailers.

Tom and Jan said...

Plenty of room left in the box Catherine. How much load had you placed on the batteries?

Tom and Jan said...

I didn't drive the Gibb River Road (lack of time on the trip) but my brother has. Apparently it can be done in a 2 wheel driver vehicle at the right time of the year. However when they did it the trailer on the other vehicle in the party snapped its axle.