Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fordson E86W campervan

The Fordson E86W, also known as Thames in some markets, was a light commercial vehicle from Ford UK between 1938 and 1957. At one time it was a ubiquitous van in Malaysia, available in various forms from pickups to vans. I am not sure how many of its type survives here today, but this campervan variant must be one of the rarest type, probably the only one of its kind in Malaysia today.The body looks like it is factory built with full standing room and full length rear door. The rear bumper is clearly made for camper, with a nice stepping plate incorporated. I would love to know the full history of this camper. Who brought it into this country? Who owned it and travelled with it? What are the places it has visited?

Although campervan is not a common sight on Malaysian roads, the registration plate of this particular unit shows that campervan existed here long time ago, albeit in very small numbers.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Standard van conversion with extensible sleeping berth

Campervan converted from a standard mid-engined van will usually face the challenge of internal space. Most of the conversion forces owner to choose between day configuration where you have place to sit and do other things or night configuration where all of the interior space is taken up by sleeping berth. It would be nice if one can have both, sleeping berth and sitting/living space. Unless you have a full size long wheel base van, you just can't have it both way at the same time.

However there is one ingenious design from a DIY project that shows that you can have your cake and eat it too with a standard mid-engined van, in this example it is Mitsubishi L300 4WD. The design creates extra space by having a slide-out sleeping berth to provide extra length to accommodate the sleeper while freeing room for the sitter, stove and sink for use. The slide out sleeping berth is constructed as a box so that when it is fully deployed it remains as fully enclose space for security and privacy.

The basic layout plan of the camper.

The van with it's stripped out interior

Supports for the slider.

The slider support need to be anchored to the van body structure for strength
The slide out box taking shape

Heavy duty sliders attached to the slide out box

Rear view of the slide out box. The heavy duty sliders may be hard to get here in Malaysia, but I think 2 sets of sliders from racked mounted computer should be a viable option.

How the slider box look from inside out

Note how the rearward facing bench seat is usable regardless of the position of the sleeping berth deployment

Since the sleep berth slides out, it does not take up any internal space

The slide-out box with its own windows

In fully deployed position

Another view of the fully deployed slide out sleeping berth

The bottom of the slide-out box is lockable so that it is secure even when the tail gate ti opened for deploying the sleeping berth.

The living space with bench seat

The sleeping berth fully deployed, ready to be used.

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