Retro Trailer Rebuild: Part 9

Retro Trailer Rebuild: Part 9

As you might remember from the first camper trailer rebuild blog post, the beds and cushions in here were a mix and match of dirty burnt yellow tones, and dark blue cushions commemorating the time when Australia II won the America’s cup. Which I’m pretty sure happened before I was even born.

We could possibly just cover the old cushions in new fabric, but who knows what crimes against god and nature have been committed in there over the last 40 or so years! So John and Wendy went out and chose all new foam to be cut to size at Future Foams in Jandakot (www.futurefoams.com.au). Not all the same foam was chosen. The beds are thicker than the seats at 90mm, and the beds and seat bases are also higher density than the seat backs, so as your bones don’t sink through to the wood underneath. The seat foam is also covered with dacron, a thin and soft wadding which gives the cushions softened edges and a bull nose effect.

Wendy setting to work in the sewing room

While waiting on the order, fabric to cover the foam was chosen from Textile Traders. Straight off the sales table, it cost only 5 bucks a metre! It’s actually blockout curtain fabric which is pretty thick and tough, and the blockout backing should stop the majority of moisture going through to the foam.

Wrestling the new cover over the bed foam

Once all of this came together, shit got real in the sewing room. Each cushion cover has a continuous zipper on it which curves slightly around the edges for easy removal when the red dust gets into everything. A flap over the zipper protects it from damage and dirt getting in; because stuck zippers suck!

With all of them done, we took it in turns to wrestle the covers onto the seats and beds. They fit tight, but that’s good because there’s no loose spots – they look awesome! After this, Wendy got all creative like with interior decorations – crafting little cushions out of John’s favourite suits, and pinching some of his ties to use as curtain tie backs.

Notice the cushions made out of old business suits!

A view from the other direction. What a vastly different camper!

Our interior is now complete, and the camper is just about ready to be called finished. There’s just a few little things to tie off now, like I haven’t yet got to mounting the solar panel and I’m unsure how my system to switch it from vehicle to solar charge will work. I also managed to tear the body of the camper away from the cabinet that supports it when I sat on the brand new cushion the first time! The bed ends refuse to stay put and need a bit of thought put in, and I also managed to blow up the volt/ammeter. At this rate the camper won’t last a week in my hands!

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  1. RyanInTassie
    February 03, 06:28 Reply
    Great writeup Alex! Regarding your solar, as ive just been through this myself, I would highly recommend getting the EPSolar Tracer MPPT controller with the MT50 remote unit. Approx $160 complete and is a TRUE MPPT smart controller unlike the cheaper $30-60 units that claim to be MPPT but are actually older and less efficient PWM type. Ive wasted money on the cheaper units and theres absolutely no comparison. Ebay has them if you do a search. Any questions just ask. Keep up the great work!!!
  2. Harrycantfish
    February 06, 11:20 Reply
    That looks awesome mate! Huge improvement on the old stuff! The wiring for solar and alternator current is a bit of fiddling but not t the end of the world - you just need to buy a relay kit for it. This is the system: https://www.redarc.com.au/wiring-diagrams/bcdc1220-and-bcdc1225-12v-and-solar-setup One small issue is your controller - isn't yours a BCDC 1220? I don't think they are a solar regulator, I think you need the 1225 for that.
  3. Harrycantfish
    February 06, 11:36 Reply
    I forgot that you're all over that already and you're getting the solar controller as well. It says on the Redarc website that you can't have the Redarc and the solar controller charging the battery at the same time, but I did it for over a year and it worked perfectly. If you want to be super careful, a relay that detects when the BCDC starts charging and cuts your solar power is probably the way to go. If you use the Redarc wiring diagram it means you need to run an ignition wire from the bonnet of the tow car to the BCDC, which is a lot of screwing around and means only one car can tow it.
  4. Px ranger
    February 13, 18:03 Reply
    love the old shirts for cushion covers as that's original as you get Well done but is your ride capable of pulling it or you borrowing someone's ?

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