This week has been somewhat of a race against bad weather. With colder temperatures and snow forecast here in the UK, we started Monday faced with the daunting task of removing the hightop. When fitting the hightop on a warm spring day back in 2013, I never thought I would ever be taking it back off. It seems drastic but it had to come off as part of the refurb work to the chassis and body.
It was a tricky task - cutting through the 50mm deep bead of body sealant that held the fiberglass shell to the rest of the van. Once the seal was broken the complete roof lifted off and we were left with a truly bare shell.
Now safely in the farm workshop. Thankfully this is right next door to our small studio space, which puts our nerves at rest a little. Our friend and mechanic Shane will be completing the serious welding, replacing body panels and giving the van a fresh lick of paint. He specialises in vintage Porsches so we know The Rolling Home is in good hands. Being right next door means we can pop in and lend a hand easily, as well as checking progress. Our timeframe is now quite tight, we are moving out of our static caravan on the farm at the end of February, this gives us 6 weeks to complete all work before we move back in to our beloved van.
The replacement body panels arrived on Wednesday from JustKampers (Thank you for the great service as always!) From left to right these are- Offside/nearside front wings, offside/nearside inner wheel arches, windscreen scuttle panel, offside/nearside inside steps, sliding door lower repair panel, offside/nearside rear wheel arches and rear middle bumper section. All but the bumper are weld on panels, meaning we have to cut out the old/rusted parts and replace with the aftermarket panels. We will be documenting fitting in detail, I have some basic welding knowledge but hopefully this will be a fantastic learning experience.
As the weekend approached we were able to finish stripping the van completely, now with all doors removed, and the front wings. All that is remaining before work can start is the windscreen.
Today we woke to snow! Not a huge amount but enough to turn the farm and the surrounding fields into a wonderland. The temperatures have dropped and we have to keep the taps in the caravan dripping at night to stop the pipes from freezing. We are spending our evenings dreaming of spring back in mainland Europe, warm lazy mornings and evenings that keep the darkness at bay. Our 20 year old Rolling Home back together again, taking us down dusty roads that end at the sea...
C & L