Tag Archives: 814 4×4 Camper Build

When Symbols Come to Life

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Winter Butterfly, a symbol coming to life

Waking up today to a blanket of snow was nice: it was hard to get out of bed, but a little flutter reminded me it is time. It just so happened that it was a winter butterfly, reminding me I need to make yet another pair of  felt boots, the nicest ones yet.

As they are to be a surprise to an illustrative breeze, you can’t have a look at them yet, but that butterfly sure reminded me of her, this is why –

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The summer butterfly

Last summer saw the breeze and I in Cornish Tipi Holidays where she Illustrated to her heart’s desires (and beyond some of the heart desires).

So after a little bout with our 4×4 down to thepost office, I decided that seeing it was that kind of day, it is time to insulate Thor the 4×4 truck, which is now being turned over to our overland camper. To keep us warm in the flutter of symbolic (and real) wings.

So with the help of my sabre tooth tiger saw I quickly lay the panels in between the chassis runners.

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The Sabre tooth tiger of Spirits Intent

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chalk lines

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New Thaw by Thor panels quickly laid to rest

professional essay writing

Yellow is the colour…

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When the Goddess of the rain turns her head away for a moment, we quietly (well usually not so quietly) start cleaning, preparing and taping the truck for spraying.

If we are really in her favour, we can yellow (golden, not daffodil or banana) a bit, before the next drops fall from the sky.

Only tightrope walkers spray paint vehicles outside, and only the blind ones do it in Wales.

814 4×4 Winch Bumper or Pink Oxide

We have had some time to move on the 814 4×4 conversion. This truck started its life as an electricity board truck with a crew cab and we then chopped the cab and created a bespoke flexible chassis mount system.

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814 4×4 fixed luton box

We then put a box on the chassis, now welded to the cab which is the reason for the flexible chassis mounting system, to allow the chassis’ off-road torsion to be taken away from pulling on the box.

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Mercedes vario cab welded to box

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814 4×4 luton welded to cab

Converting one’s own truck can be fun. The fact is some people enjoy it: welding galvanised sheeting to the thin cab metal is their cup of tea. I find it a full assault on the senses: you can’t breath it, you can’t look at it and grinding the welds in small spaces is the noisiest thing one can imagine.

The nice thing is that you can do what ever you like, you can commit vehicular atrocities and get away with it, after all its all just large scale mechano.

I decided to give this truck a back winch, that lives in between the chassis rails. I’m sure its a big no no in some Mercedes body building manual (those do exist and they are kind of German in spec).

But to get to the point: the other day I decided to give this truck a back Winch bumper, one that will be welded on to the box, rather than to the chassis (I am afraid to think what the Mercedes manual will say to that notion)

It will look nice. a mercedes 814 4×4 winch bumper-

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The big winch in chassis rails

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Pink back winch bumper
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Box under side ready for winch bumper

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Winch Bumper in position

The Winch Bumper does not only look mean, the angles on it will allow for some movement, so the lights don’t crash into the box, not that there will be SO much travel.

But the real glory is that I like Red Oxide paint , you can paint it with a brush and leave a good enough finish, it does not need to be sprayed on and this lot of primer is even better because it PINK, and I LOVE pink oxide!!!.

Flexible Chassis for mercedes 814 4×4

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Mercedes 814 4×4 Chasis

We have been working to make a luton over the cab for our new truck project, as the big one is being sold.

We got our Inspiration from Ian C., Who got his partly from these guys. Maybe you got the impression by now that we love everything nomadic, that is true!!! SOmehow along the way we became in love with 4×4 trucks.

The current creation is basically having the cab fixed to the box, which puts quite a bit of strain on the join, unless the chassis uses springs, so instead of having fixed brackets under the box, we have springs alowing the chassis twist to be taken away from the box and the cab joint.

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Chassis brackets

Because we understand that every new build has its own version of this method, and we are following in the footsteps of two builds, we copied what we thought worked. Ian was really helpful with the brackets and other stuff.

We cut the rails to follow the curve of the chassis and embedded the Ramsey Winch into it as it was too good to lose from the old electricity back. We are going to use it as a back Winch for this winter”s snow challenge, so this truck does not embarrass itself like it did last year.

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Mercedes 814 4×4 Chassis

Snakes and Ladders and the Making of an Overland Camper

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Snakes and Ladders

I was walking behind the trucks yesterday, seeing the upraised cranes on both trucks and the ladder on the box. The image of the game snakes and ladders kept coming to mind, feeling like I was going up and down in  the game, and in retrospect, work has been like this for the last month, up and down the ladders and cranes.

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Mercedes 814DA 4×4 Chassis Extension with Belly Winch at back

It started after we took the original electricity board body off Thor, the 4×4, or Thorx4  or, as the North Wind calls it – thawxthor. (Remember?). I bravely cut the crew cab in half, and welded the back up so it is now a single cab, so we could get more body on to it later on. We dropped the Ramsey winch into the chassis to create a belly winch.20130920_100951

We were now looking for a body to turn this truck into an overland camper truck.

We had the Scholar around for a while, and in order to get him trained in truck lore, we ended up going up North in the big truck, to get an 18 ft box we were going to cut down to create a luton (the bit that sits over the cab).  It seemed a good idea at the time.

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18ft box body on the big truck

If you have been reading this regularly you may remember the white horse theme from the  Mari Lwyd yurt or from here .

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Horsey presence

I guess a horsey presence was with us on that drive.

I always I keep my eyes open for omens,  so it was funny that after I agreed to buy the box and we went to another yard to load it on to the truck bed, that in the field behind the yard a perfectly white horse was walking about and I noticed that it had blinkers on. It seemed like it was telling me something.

I took it to be that the spirit of the white horse is telling me that I’m not looking very well and that the box was shot. I turned to the guy and said I dont want it anymore (it being up in the air at the moment). He said it is a good box, so I decided that, as we are there already, we might as well buy it even if we end up selling it…. and that we did, 2 days later.

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The Blinkered White Horse

So the story goes, we ended up going South to deliver it with the big truck. It was pouring with rain but we had fun anyway.

I ended up getting another box that had a luton already, brought it back, and craned it on to the 814 4×4 chassis that had been extended.Mercedes camper

The box was overhanging by too much at the back, as one is only allowed 60% of the wheel base, so I was at a loss for a little white until the Angel suggested I should move the door back a bit (there was a side shutter door, at the front of the box, not in the picture). Being southerly, she is also attributed to being a door herself, I mean the Angel not the box.

After a little structuring and modelling with a little guy inside my head , (he does the work as I cant think), I realised that that is exactly the story: “move the door”. We spent a few days of extra intense work, where I moved both the Angel and the box door. At its height she ended up sleeping the night out and having communications from the ally.

Now the box was cut to size and has a bigger bed space above the cab, the door is moved and the game of snakes and ladders of taking boxes off and on, jumping from truck bed to truck bed, up the ladder and down the crane can cease.

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814 4×4 overland camper in progress