Portafold Caravan Restoration.
Part 8 of the restoration to a classic fibreglass folding 'van.
The shelf across the front is made of Ďfiberlamí, which is amazingly strong and light. Itís used on aircraft interiors and was made for me soon after I acquired it in 1993 by a nice man working for a company working with this material manufactured in the USA. Its basically thin fibreglass and impregnated corrugated cardboard!
I have thicker 15mm Ďtilesí of this material used to sit in between the bunk sides to support the mattresses. It is strong enough for me to stand on and I am 12 stone. Anyone that sees me at a rally is invited to ask me to demonstrate and witness for themselves this fantastic material. Before anyone asks, I cannot get anymore of this as the man has retired and the company closed down.
With this done some other bits and pieces like the window rubbers were reglued, catches moved a bit, paint touched up and scrapped off here and there to finish off.
In order to make it easy to power 12-volt items such as the small television/radio receiver and electric cool box, I installed a twin socket cigarette lighter unit under the front left hand side cupboard area accessible by lifting the top cover board. This picks up the main wiring to the car towing socket. I didnít bother with a dedicated power socket, I only need power for florescent lights, TV/radio and cool box now and again. A test run seemed to confirm that current consumption would not be too high but I am not sure how long the car battery will last out. At least the Austin A40 has a starting handle if I take too much juice!
So, now itís just about done after 3 months of concentrated effort apart from the curtain making. So itís out with the sewing machine and some nice period material bought at a car boot sale some months ago. Along with some joint effort with my wife we really should finish the van ready for the rally seasons ahead!
George and Angela Windsor
Article sent in to Classic Wheels in 2004 by George Windsor, thanks again! (Rick - Site Ed.)
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