Refurbing the Rhino ;-)

Self builds and DIY projects

Refurbing the Rhino ;-)

Postby saDgit » 12 May 2017 16:07

So, even though it's only a year since I finished building my pop-top camper, now I've been out and bought an old hardside demountable project as well. What's that all about?! :shock: Well, Clare and I knew that the biggest shortcoming of my pop-top design (and the thing we'd struggle with most) was the lack of a permanent bed. And we were right. The pop-top has loads of virtues and works well and, for a couple of weeks or so, making up the bed each night is perfectly OK. But, much longer than a fortnight and the novelty wears seriously thin and so I had started to wonder about building another camper - but a hardside with a conventional over-cab bed. Just as I did with the pop-top, I took to SketchUp to begin with and started playing around with ideas for the shape and construction of the shell.

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But, at the same time, I was looking around at what was on the second-hand market to see if anything came up which would provide me with the basis of a new build. I checked out a couple that came up for sale but, in each case, the negatives outweighed the positives but then Wilco Lensen (http://www.cellulepickup.fr) got in an elderly Dutch-built Rhino Safari Xtra which seemed to us to offer some of what we were looking for.

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First and foremost it's a good size. With a floor length of just 215cms it sits and rides very well on our double-cab pickup but, just as important, without the wrap-around rear wall favoured in many newer campers, it would fit and ride even better on an extended cab model. That potential is a definite plus for us because we would certainly choose to go back to an extended cab if and when we need to change the pickup. It's also pretty light. I haven't got round to weighing it yet (and I shall certainly be adding weight to it as I increase its battery, water and gas capacities) but, in its present state, you can see that it has a negligible impact on the pickup's standard rear suspension. It stands perfectly level and on the 500kms drive back from Wilco's place I was hardly aware of the camper being there.

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The other good thing about the size is that I think 215cms must be about the shortest floor length that will accommodate a dedicated toilet/washroom. Bizarrely in this one it was either never fitted or it's been removed so it's really just a big empty cupboard! :? Incidentally that square-section tube running up in the corner of the washroom is matched by one in each of the other corners of the camper.

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The jacks disappear up into them once the camper's on the pickup - a nice touch.

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When I get cracking on the rebuilding of it it's my intention to change the layout substantially but, as it stands, it has a fairly conventional forward dinette/side kitchen floorplan.

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But, rather like the empty washroom, previous owner/s have made some very odd choices and modifications. The underfloor storage, which originally sat between the dinette seats, has been removed - the blue area of vinyl floor covers where it was. Didn't go to a lot of trouble to match the existing flooring, did they?! I guess they must have been very tall or something but for normal size people it means the seats are now a little high and less comfortable than they would otherwise have been. Other modifications seem to have involved drilling lots of holes, in the walls and the furniture, that no longer serve any purpose. There are thirteen in this small area of wall at the end of the bed for example - can't imagine what they were all for; the mind boggles!

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They also have taken a somewhat 'liberal' approach to the wiring. This for example is just asking for trouble! :roll:

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And there seem to be wires all over the shop, heading in all sorts of different directions, none of them clipped properly and mostly unidentified. This includes wiring to no less than seven (!) 230v sockets, two of them outside. So I've spent a day tracking down what goes where and taking out stuff that was dodgy or unnecessary or both but I'm really looking forward to ripping all of that out and starting over. :)
Martin
http://truckcamperbuilder.com

Previous demountables: Island Plastics 'Suntrekker' on P100, S.Karosser 'EC8L' on Ranger supercab
Current demountables: Rhino 'Safari' hardside and self-built pop-top on Ranger double cab
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Re: Refurbing the Rhino ;-)

Postby zildjian » 12 May 2017 21:52

Was that one had the complicated electronic console fitted
(and can I have it)?
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Re: Refurbing the Rhino ;-)

Postby saDgit » 13 May 2017 10:44

zildjian wrote:Was that one had the complicated electronic console fitted
(and can I have it)?


No, that's in an old Beka with mirrored ceiling,etc. I suspect Wilco will be lumbered with that for quite a long time :lol:
Martin
http://truckcamperbuilder.com

Previous demountables: Island Plastics 'Suntrekker' on P100, S.Karosser 'EC8L' on Ranger supercab
Current demountables: Rhino 'Safari' hardside and self-built pop-top on Ranger double cab
User avatar
saDgit
 
Posts: 311
Joined: 24 Aug 2014 13:17
Location: Aups, France (most of the time)
Vehicle: Ranger DC/self-built


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