MB 1120 Coming to America!

That looks to be a nice setup, their box might be a bit larger than ours as they are sleeping fore/aft which takes more length (for us it is 80" x 60"). We can not afford to lose 20" (our interior is 16.5'). The other problem I would run into is I am placing our washer on the wall under the bed, so no room for inset steps. I guess all these designs are a trade off and I am by no means an interior designer (and I am sure I will miss things). Really love the overhead skylight though, if I could have afforded it I would have had one made and shipped to us.
We have a solid hatch above our bed and love it. We use it all the time, especially at night when we can lock it parially open. We have however met several travellers who have fitted marine glass hatches and regretted it as it created condensation at night and drips on them, so be selective, ie no thermal bridges or metal frames etc

It has a full fly screen that is essential


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We have a solid hatch above our bed and love it. We use it all the time, especially at night when we can lock it parially open. We have however met several travellers who have fitted marine glass hatches and regretted it as it created condensation at night and drips on them, so be selective, ie no thermal bridges or metal frames etc

It has a full fly screen that is essential


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Loving the look of that! Looks sooooo comfortable!! Very valid point about the thermal bridge. I was naturally thinking about buying two KCT or G&C Systems glass sky lights, but I'd have the condensation issue straight away. They also don't lend themselves to opening enough for roof access... Yours looks like it does, and when locked is probably almost as secure as a sealed roof panel with no access! It'll save me some money too as I can make it not buy it! More time of course!! Is your hinge on 'truck left' side? We plan to sleep with our heads at the rear and feet facing the cab so I'd have to have the hinge at the rear and make sure the front latches were very good!
Been working on the bed platform and under bed cabinet. On the right of the cabinet will be the washing machine. To the left will be a small hanging locker. The face is maple and will be varnished. The removable bed slats are varnished ash and the framework (poplar) will be painted white once I am finished with it. You can also see the fiberglass 45 degree panels are being painted with gray Interlux Perfection. The plan is to have a powered fan vent the refrigerator compressor into the under bed storage area, and with the bed sitting on the slats condensation will hopefully be kept to a minimum. Plus the water heater will be placed in the far right corner, adding some more warmth. The sides of the cabinet are "baltic birch" plywood. If you are looking for some good quality plywood this stuff seems pretty nice with no voids and high ply count. We will paint these with Rustoleum enamel (the only oil based enamel we could find close by at Lowes).

The galley has stalled a bit. We are having rather low satisfaction with shipping the last week. The 2 (there are other issues) biggest issues is our new Dometic CU-434 range arrived and looked like it had fallen off the delivery truck at speed (another one is supposed to arrive Tuesday). Then the solid surface for the countertop arrived with a 14" crack, so a replacement is also on the way. Not a huge delay as I have lots to do, but we are trying to get all the equipment in hand so I can pull measurements directly.

So tomorrow we will work a bit more on the under bed cabinet, then likely need to take a day off as the temps are supposed to dip into the teens (Fahrenheit), luckily the temps will be back up the next day.
Looking very smart and clean! Frustrating when stuff turns up damaged though. Sounds like you are like me... You want everything there so you can position, measure, move and see how it'll all work! :)

You may want to consider heating the under bed storage compartment. It will make a huge difference to stay warm in bed.
Thanks Andreas, I have a ThermoTop Hydronic furnace that I am installing. The heating lines will run through the "garage" and I will likely put in a small inline passive radiator. If you have a minute I sort of have a Total Composites question, I am currently planning on reusing the FRP skins off the cutouts for facing of some of the cabinet doors. What I had hoped to do is bond the skin to some plywood. In the past I have used contact cement for counter top laminates and have not been totally impressed. I have also used a thickened epoxy and it held great, just slow and a bit messy. I thought about using adhesive but that is pretty slow and requires a long cure time. Any thoughts?
I think Epoxy will be your best bet. Do you have enough FRP to laminate both sides (front and back)? The changes that the piece will "cup" or warp are fairly high if you only laminate one site.
Or many visit a local cabinet shop and ask for some white formica laminate cut offs for the back side.
Thanks Andreas, I doubt I have enough to do the backs of the doors. If I would have been able to think ahead I have a piece of white formica sitting in my shed in Vermont. I'll ask around and see what I can come up with. Of course the epoxying both sides really adds to the time, might have to rethink this plan.


Chateau spotter
Been following along. Really like the package you are putting together. Great job.
Questions about the bed, are the vertical plywood pieces supporting the front to back poplar blocking?
Even if they are, then the poplar above them probably should have been run continuous front to back with the other as the blocking.
I don't have a lot of confidence in the strength of the bed frame, maybe its hard to judge from a pic.
Did you make the slats? were they fabricated with a bow?
Hey Brian, the fore/aft poplar "beams" have a rabbeted slot that accepts the plywood wall below. The plywood is currently bonded/rabbeted in top/bottom/front (and the next few days will be back with a beam to floor post). There will be another full height plywood panel right behind the center vertical maple style, the same as the others. Then there will be a back plywood panel made to tie them all together with a poplar beam tying the top of the panel to the 2 fore/aft beams. The fore/aft beams are mortised (one piece) into the port/starboard one that the slats rest on (and mortised into the wall supports). Sort of all fits together like an interlocking puzzle with all the joints being glued/adhesived together. Actually the only fasteners are the screws I used to hold the poplar to the walls in order to compress and hold the wood until the adhesive cures. From memory (not at the truck right now) the longest unsupported span is about 3'.

I made up the ash slats, they are 13/16"x2". I chose ash for its strength (I figured if they work for baseball bats and axe handles then it should hopefully work for this). There is no bow in them, figured most platforms are just flat plywood (have slept on a plywood platform for the last 20 years on our boat). I put all my weight on a single slat and it did deflect a bit, but I think laying on them as a unit they will not really deflect much. I am still giving the adhesive time to cure (and to complete the frame) for a real test, our temps here are at the bottom of the temp range and even though we run a small heater during the day the wall bonds are pretty important that they are 100%. Really my biggest concern is the strength along the walls (might have been smarter to use oak). If this does not work out I can try a different approach but I think it will.

I am sure that since this is my first (and likely only) build I will make a few mistakes along the way. My only hope is that any mistakes are not too serious :).
Work has continued. We received the replacement range so I went ahead and finished the front framework of the galley cabinets. You will also see that Heather has been busy painting and varnishing. Can't see it in the photo but we also have finished building the water heater shelf which is to the far back right hand side under the bed. Heather should have the final coat of paint on it tomorrow, so the following day I will bolt it down. Tomorrow I will likely put down the slats on the top of the galley cabinets for the solid surface to be bonded to. Then will continue work on the washing machine cabinet. If we get time we might even test fit the refrigerator.

So the range will be the farther aft hole, then a bank of drawers, and closest opening will be for the sink.
Great build guys, probably bit late, but next time get a pneumatic gun for the Sikiflex, best thing I did on our build :) Look for the marine style catches for you cupboards, and drawers, something with a positive blade - we had to replace all of the heavy boxes/slide out catches with these:
The compression type catches on heavy food drawer failed on our first trip, and the clothes and shoes drawer on the last trip.

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We spent a fair bit of money on the woodwork, but 6 years later it still looks great and we have put it through some extreme conditions and temperatures from -10C to +50C
2018-12-01 13.39.19.jpg Unlike most European builds, we went with a lot of windows, could not fit any more it we tried :)

If you are fitting solar, then make sure you have some protection bars for the trees, your will be quite tall, and we have used ours a lot when driving on some of the more remote tracks.

We also made some screens for the windows to protect from the branches - has saved our windows on numerous occasions. I made them form heavy canvas and fixed sail track either side of the window, just slide them in when you need them, and they roll up and pack away when you don't

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Ours is a little camper compared to yours, our camper box is internally only 3.4m(L) x 2.0m(W) x 1.9m(H) The whole truck is only 6.7m x 2.2m x 3.3m (H) so it fits in a normal car park.

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We have lived in it for 9 months, and it works great for us. We have everything we need, all the normal things like toilet, shower, fridge, freezer, sink, , and some luxuries including a Nespresso coffee machine, breadmaker, and a slow cooker and even a sewing machine :) It is the little luxury things than make the difference when living on the road for a long time, I also carry enough tools and spares to fix basically anything short of a major mechanical issue. Seals, hoses, air tube, belts and fittings don;t take up much space and make the difference between taking the road less travelled to remote areas without worrying. We also have all the tyre repair tools a workshop has, and a tyre monitoring system to keep an eye on the pressures and heat in the tyres. A slow leak can kill a tyre easily due to overheating, whilst a simple patch would have saved it.
Thanks Iain for all the suggestions, I would respond to each but pretty much what you say is spot on and our tastes in our homes is pretty similar. Love your interior, especially the woodwork. Our background is from sailing and our boat is filled with teak. The attention/skill of the carpenters is pretty amazing. Our truck will be way simpler but hopefully nice.

Here are the latches we plan on using on all doors and drawers.

I will fit 4 200 watt bifacial panels to the roof (have them already), but am waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer before I go back to outside jobs (solar panels, A/C, and MaxxFan). Plus I really need to get up to speed in welding, not one of the skills I currently have. I really have started to think about some sort of roof rails to protect the rooftop equipment. Acela trucks fit a Total Composites box on one of their trucks and has a great looking roof rack/rail setup. Can't find a picture right now though.

I really like your window protectors. First I have seen of those. Will have to think about that. Also really like how you did your under habitat storage boxes. If I can figure out welding I will give doing something like you did a shot. Or we might just head to Central America earlier and have a bunch of welding done there. We did that with the sailboat and if you are lucky/careful you can get some high quality work done at a very reasonable price.

Interesting thing about our truck and parking. If the parking spot allows overhang (like a grassy area passed the blacktop) we can fit in a normal car spot (well at least in the USA where parking spaces are pretty large), by backing in. Have done this several times, just have to look for a spot on the edges of the lot out of the way.

Now a short update we test fit the oven yesterday and it fit nicely. Just needed a small cabinet change on the lower rail in the front to hide a gap which I did yesterday right before we left.