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My expedition truck, part 4 : the shell building

Texte en Français dans l’article suivant

Below, please find some pictures of the construction of the rear cell :

Chassis

Pic 1 : Chassis

Rear cab installation

Pic 2 : Rear cab installation

A specific chassis was built for the rear cabin, and is placed on the chassis of the truck. This independent structure provides the flexibility of the chassis of the truck (which is required for off road driving), while maintaining the rigidity of the cabin (which would explode if it was fixed directly on the truck !).

There are several techniques for fixing the chassis – essentially the three points and four points fixing, each having it’s advantages and disadvantages.

The tires on these pictures are temporary – they will be replaced soon by the final tires, 365/80 R20 Michelins XZL, wider, and sculpted for rough terrain.

Pic 3 : One of the roof lifting cylinders

Pic 3 : One of the roof lifting cylinders

Pic 4 : Fitting the roof

Pic 4 : Fitting the roof

The aft cabin is equipped with a sliding roof, mounted on four cylinders each provided with an independent motor. These lifting devices are controlled and synchronized by a specific controller, so as to avoid tension in the body during lifting. The technical equipment was provided by a German company specializing in positioning systems.

The roof fits onto the cell a bit like the lid of a shoebox. The roof is made of 7 cm thick GFK panels. The walls of the top (where the roof fits) are also 7 cm thick, the walls of the bottom are 14 cm thick. So no worries for the insulation ! This roof system has three shortcomings:
– should it get stuck, it would be a real problem – though we can drive with the roof raised ;
– the cost ;
– the additional height (count + – 30 cm more than a ‘conventional’ roof).

However, the benefits are very important:
– saving a lot of space (in the length) : the truck should have been +- 2 m longer had we not had this roof — very bad for off-road capabilities ;
– Security: is an excellent anti-theft : when down, the roof covers the main door, and prevents to open it ! ;
– In addition, when down (driving position), the roof covering all windows and protects them (scratches, …);
– Finally, “upstairs” is like a separate room, so we can ‘spread’ over more space, which is a blessing when there’s 4 of us 🙂 ;

Pic 5 : Water Supply and Heating

Pic 5 : Water Supply and Heating

Water is indispensable if you want to have a certain autonomy. You can either count on refilling water at +- spaced intervals (–> you must have large reservoirs of water), or embed a mini water treatment plant to convert ‘dirty’ water from a lake or a river into drinkable water. We chose this second option, because in some regions it is very difficult to be sure of the quality of the supplied water (Africa, …). So we have a frost-free tank of 310 liters (black box on the photo), and three different filters for cleaning and purifying the water. For countries where it does not freeze, and where water may be scarce, we can fix an additional tank under the chassis if necessary.

Heating is provided by a diesel ‘boiler’ because it is both the best system, and one for which the fuel supply does not pose any problems (unlike gas).

Pic 6 : Electricity 'room'

Pic 6 : Electricity

Finally, here is part of the electrical system: the power is provided by:
– Solar panels (4 panels of 215 Watt crest, connected to a Solara regulator );
– The alternator from the truck;
– The external socket, if one has access to the network
– I20 portable Honda generator.

Everything is stored in 6 12V gel batteries of 120 Ah each.

Pic 7 : Control center

Pic 7 : Control center

All this energy is then distributed either as 24V DC (3 sets of 2 batteries in parallel series) (sockets, fridge, lighting, …) or as 230 V AC current, after being transformed by a Studer 3.5kW inverter – a leading brands providing the cleanest signal, which allows the use of PCs without problem.

1 comment to My expedition truck, part 4 : the shell building

  • hamoir

    hello cedric ,

    j’ai un réservoir à diesel , de réserve ici que je peux te donner /.
    c’etait celui d’origine .

    Bien à toi

    didier Hamoir.

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