It has been quite a while since I began work on the Mobile Lab, and truth be told for a few months little happened with the carvan.
However over the last couple of weeks some major progress has been made.
I completed stripping out the interior of the caravan, of all the unnecessary items- which included the shower and toilet unit, which turns out was completely rotten anyway.
Two weeks ago I traced back the source of the damp walls to some badly deteriorated panel seal on the outside. The repairs entailed digging out as best as possible the old flexible putty, and replacing with new flexible sealant. While doing this I found that the seal where the old TV aerial was fixed was also rotten and this was another thing to be removed. The van is now with any luck rain proof.
The next stage was to sort out the painting of the exterior in the customised camouflage paint job. To do this we commissioned spray specialists Malarky and Goldpeg to design and produce the work. I removed the windows of the van, most of them will be replaced with slit panels for bird watching and they would have only got in the way of the paintwork.
Following an afternoons hard graft the paintwork was complete and personally I think all caravans should sport similar paint jobs. The last remaining part of the painting will be to add the Birder's Paradise logo to the van walls.
While the painting was happening I got on with beginning the refit of the interior, the floor which was previously covered with slightly grubby brown carpet, is now a hardwearing OSB board. The walls which weren't going to be changed much originally are now going to be covered in ply which will be functional for activities, and provide reinforcement in areas where the original wall panels have literally disintegrated from the effects of damp.
That's it for now, the next stages will be to construct the window panels, re commission the electrical and gas connections then add the book shelves, feeders and other items which will make it into a functioning bird hide and activity space. Oh and repair the two jack legs which will keep the van steady when its on site.