Hi Mel I am very pleased to see the progress that you have made restoring this unique caravan. It is obvious from your photos that you are taking a thorough approach to the task. A note from my experience registering a caravan with a wooden chassis. The construction of the chassis/drawbar on `Grandads Van' was the same as your van. i.e. metal drawbar and springs bolted to a wood main chassis. I had concerns as to the integrity of this construction method and whether it would be acceptable for registration so did the following. Fitted 50 X 50mm steel angle over the original wood chassis from the front of the van extending to the area of the rear spring attachment point. I then constructed a new drawbar which extended back to the front spring attachment point. I had a discussion with the senior inspector when I presented the van for its registration inspection and his comment was that he saw it as a trailer which just happened to have a caravan mounted on it. So in the ACT it fitted into the category of a home built trailer. I am not aware of the registration requirements which you will need to comply with in Tasmania but maybe you can learn something from my experience. My guess is that your van will weigh approx. 1850kg when you are finished Please keep us updated on your progress.
Hi Koala, Thanks for telling me about your chassis/drawbar. I have had a few conversations with various people about it, but so far we have been unable to decide what to do with it. Like you we are concerned with the integrity of the construction and can't find any information about registration requirements.
No worries Mel. Sometimes it pays to not ask too many questions at government departments as your success or failure at rego can come down to interpretation of the rules and the mood of the inspector. Generally if it looks right and is safe you will probably be OK. Before I present a van for inspection I always do a few little things which I know the inspectors look for. Working brakes. You may get away with brakes on one axle but I would do both axles on a van the size of yours. Clearance lights up high at each end of the van (on the sides) Amber at the front and red at the rear. White reflectors on the front of the van, red on rear. Amber reflector half way along the side just above the wheel. Fire extinguisher and smoke detector. You must have proof of ownership particularly if the van has been unregistered for a long time. e.g. Copies of any advertising, purchase receipt, photos before and during registration, receipts for major items during registration. If you have these then you can avoid a lot of awkward questions. Good luck with it. A further note regards the chassis. I used about 8 X 3/8" high tensile bolts with large hard washers which were fitted through holes drilled right through from inside the van. I made the new chassis up separate to the van including spring attachment points and pre drilled the mounting holes then jacked it up into place, lots of measuring to square it then bolted it into place. Fortunately I had a tame welder neighbour so the universal fee of a slab of beer had it all done in a couple of hours.
The frame pics show a neat and straight frame, but the skinned side of the Van just look fantastic, so do the other pics, something really good in the naked ply look. Cant wait for the finale all painted up and sporting a plate.
I needed three new windows and had always planned to employ someone to make them for me. But as the restoration has progressed and my woodworking skills have improved, I decided to have a go at making them myself. I used a router to make the half lap joint, attached the ply, them took them out to Dads shed where we trimmed off the ply and cut out the openings.