Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Self builds and DIY projects

Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby Phoenixsp1 » 10 Apr 2015 14:11

I thought I'd start a build thread for the work I'm undertaking on the Suntrekker, hopefully this will help to gee me up to get moving. I'm by no means an expert at any of this but try and do things to the best of my ability, which is not alot. ;)


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This is how its currently looking externally, my plan is to repaint the unit once all the work is complete using Topac boat paint or similar.

These are a few jobs I've completed on the outside:

Extended the jacks by about 3 inches as they weren't wide enough to clear the bed.

I've raised the Luton floor by about 150mm and trimmed the skirt to follow the T4 roof contour. I've still got a bit more fibreglassing to do in that area and tidying up.

The Luton window has been fitted with a new seal as it leaked and I've blanked the window with black vinyl, it will be insulated and boarded over on the inside.

I've cut out and fitted some panels made from 3mm chequer plate to square off the sides, this is all held together with rivnuts and bolted to the body so is reversible. I have some more chequer plate infills to make and I also need to find some suitable locker door frames, I still need to add a plywood floor inside the lockers and finish some bits off.

Image

The inside is a bit of a shambles at the moment, but I've bonded and screwed some 12mm battening to the roof and bonded some 4mm silver foil bubble wrap between the battening, I intend to add a layer of 8mm army roll matt before adding a new roof panel made from birch ply.

I've made a panel to blank off the bulkhead window, this is also insulated with silver foil bubble wrap and roll matt. I've added a 5 inch shelf which spans the camper (where the clip holding the carpet is in the photo) this is the floor of a small locker I'm adding which will contain a stereo and speakers plus any other switches / gauges and some small cubby holes.

Image

I'm currently reinforcing above the windows with 18mm ply so I can attach ali cargo tracking. I've attached 4 pronged tee nuts to the back of the ply before bonding it to the outer skin, the tracking is bolted to the ply using M8 countersunk stainless bolts. I'm currently fibreglassing the plywood in place as I had to cut out the inner skin and foam, I then will be carpetting over the top so it looks original. The tracking will be used to hang bags etc. and support the pull out bed with a cable or chain as I couldn't use the original metal cups under the windows as I'm fitting roller blinds which have a top and a bottom.

I've hung on that tie down ring and I weigh 90kg and it didn't creak or groan at all, so hopefully it will be strong enough? It only has to take a quarter of the weight of the persons in the bed but I think I always be a bit wary climbing into bed until its proven itself.

Image

Thats about it for the moment but I'll try and update this as I go along.
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Re: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby zildjian » 10 Apr 2015 16:17

I'm not an expert at that level DIY either but to me it looks a great starting point, I especially like the track you've installed and think that a great idea, Keith owned one of these, (or a tandy anyway) which looks similar in construction,
the lockers are an obvious addition given the VW shape and when it's finished the same colour together with the re-modelling already done it should be good
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Re: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby saDgit » 10 Apr 2015 17:05

Good move on the luton window. We had one of these for a few years and if the window wasn't leaking it was soaking the bedding with condensation. A real pain in the neck and a crappy bit of design. When Island Plastics first introduced this model of Suntrekker the seats in the back could be converted to forward-facing and the rationale behind the luton window was that it improved the travel experience for passengers in those seats (illegal now I believe). The lockers look great - flatbeds and demountables are such a good combination, so much more storage.
Here's a pic of rig I met in France a few years ago. The owners had done a similar thing with their Ranger and Landrover. Image
Good luck with the project. It's looking good.

Z"Hey Martin,
wanna buy a landy" :D :D
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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: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby keeflester » 10 Apr 2015 20:38

Hiya, from K33F, I had the Tandy Pony version of your pod. I did a couple of mods, the most useful of which was to convert the bed from slide-out to fold-up. We had a space in front of ours so I made a gas and water locker and boxed it all in with upvc building panels. I could either carry two 10kg gas bottles and one 25l water or vice versa. We converted from butane to propane after a cold trip in the limousin one winter when the gas froze. It was also easier to light the fridge on propane and it seemed to stay colder. Mounting and demounting was a nightmare. The plastic body was not suitable for fixing legs so we used a crossbar made from 2x6 timbers and lifted it with high screw jacks. It was quite light and easy to drive, without adding airbags and took us all over Europe, summer and winter snug but a bit Spartan, no loo except courtesy of a small shovel in the woods. Lol. I shall enjoy watching your build as you make progress.
2003 Ford Ranger 2.5 TD 109 Supercab, sold to Simon
Tandy Pony, sold
Northstar 750, sold
K33F-built Penthouse Pee Pod, sold to Simon with the Ranger
Built the lozenge for my wee sister, its now finished and in regular use
Now converting a blue Tranny.
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Re: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby Phoenixsp1 » 13 Apr 2015 23:11

saDgit wrote:Good move on the luton window. We had one of these for a few years and if the window wasn't leaking it was soaking the bedding with condensation.

Good luck with the project. It's looking good.


I saw your website where you'd fitted the Suntrekker on a Ford Ranger. I don't suppose you ever weighed your suntrekker, was interested to know what they weigh without the legs but everything else.

keeflester wrote:... I shall enjoy watching your build as you make progress.
Cheers

I made a little bit of progress, I filled the gaps around the plywood where the ali load rail attaches with expanding foam. I then got it glassed in. Its as solid as a rock now and I tried the pullout bed with 3 persons sat on it.

Image

I also removed one of the side windows to have a look what the camper would look like with a Seitz S4 window instead, opinions and do people think its worth changing? It is more modern looking.

I picked this window up for 20 quid from a breakers including a sprinter sliding door, it was a bit of a pig to remove as they'd stuck it in using Sikaflex but managed to get it out in one piece and its in reasonably good condition. It measures 1200 x 500 mm, the one in the Suntrekker is 1200 x 550 but seems bigger as the glass measures more like 1250 x 600 so I'll have to make the window slightly smaller if I use it. I'll also have to try and get hold of another one but I doubt I'll ever get one so cheap. The one disadvantage with this window is that it is quite a bit heavier than the frame less window that is in.

Image
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Re: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby zildjian » 14 Apr 2015 11:10

Off hand I can only think of one other report on one of these being modified it was back a couple of years on Expeditian portal I'll see if i can turn it up again, there might be something relevant on the windows maybe,

edit http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... roject!-UK


what do the neighbours think now its progressing?
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Re: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby saDgit » 14 Apr 2015 11:46

Phoenixsp1 wrote:I saw your website where you'd fitted the Suntrekker on a Ford Ranger. I don't suppose you ever weighed your suntrekker, was interested to know what they weigh without the legs but everything else.


No, sorry, I never did bother weighing it. Curiously, when they were sold new, they were always sold with the base vehicle and, in the handbook that came with them, dimensions and weights were for the combination rather than just the camper. In the case of the Suntrekker on a Ford P100 1.8td for example the handbook quotes "GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT: 2440kg, UNLADEN WEIGHT: 1930kg, LOAD CAPACITY: 510kg". Unfortunately unless you can find out the unladen weight of just the P100, which I haven't done, that info doesn't get you very far.

Incidentally if you want a copy of the spectacularly uninformative, 2-page Suntrekker handbook I have it in .pdf format.
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: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby Phoenixsp1 » 15 Apr 2015 01:30

saDgit wrote:Incidentally if you want a copy of the spectacularly uninformative, 2-page Suntrekker handbook I have it in .pdf format.


I have a photo copy of the handbook but whether its the same information as you have, I'd be interested to see. I remember looking for the weight of an unladen P100 but google failed on this occasion. So the unladen weight of 1930kg is with the suntrekker on the back?

The guy who sold me the suntrekker had it on a Landrover and it has jacks that go up very high(3ft ish plus) and don't seem to have been modified, so I'm guessing they wouldn't have bothered producing jacks that high to go on a P100? So is likely my suntrekker was bought with a landrover, the paperwork I have mentions P100 I think so I don't know?

zildjian wrote:Off hand I can only think of one other report on one of these being modified it was back a couple of years on Expeditian portal I'll see if i can turn it up again, there might be something relevant on the windows maybe,

edit http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... roject!-UK


what do the neighbours think now its progressing?


Yes, I remember seeing that for sale on eBay, I remember thinking it seemed expensive? It would be be really useful if you could find that information.

I have a good idea how to go about making the hole in the window smaller and I have some white gel coat / top coat, I think it will be easier for me as I plan to repaint the body. It is more whether to bother?

I think it definitely looks a bit better and probably more modern with the S4 window and it would be an advantage as the window is smaller so I can have it 50mm plus the frame higher on the inside. The back cushions in the Suntrekker are also quite low and this would allow me to add some extra cushioning attached to the wall above the normal back cushions.

The downside of swapping to S4 windows is the extra work and since I only have one window that I imagine I'll have to pay 200 pounds for a second one or around 350 for a new one for the other side? I've also purchased some brand new NRF blinds with mozi nets to fit the current windows which owe me about 130 pounds but I haven't used them so I could sell them on.

Decisions decisions :?
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Re: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby saDgit » 15 Apr 2015 11:46

saDgit wrote:Incidentally if you want a copy of the spectacularly uninformative, 2-page Suntrekker handbook I have it in .pdf format.

Sorry, I thought it was .pdf file but it's a Word .doc - it's at http://www.wiltshire.eu.com/Suntrekker_handbook.doc

I've had no joy trying to find the P100 weight either but if the GVW was 2440kg and it was a 1-tonne pickup presumably the maximum it could have been unladen would be 1440? And if there was a free payload of 510kg then the weight of the Suntrekker must have been around 490kg unpacked. I reckon that's probably about right but you perhaps want something more precise than that.

Apart from the length of the legs, I think the only other change between the various vehicle models was the hollow 'skirt' under the luton. Yours looks as though that was cut around a Landrover cab or did you do that in order to fit the T4? I had to remove most of it to make it fit the Ranger.
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: Suntrekker on T4 Double Cab project

Postby Phoenixsp1 » 15 Apr 2015 17:22

Thanks for the handbook Martin, like you said not much information.

saDgit wrote:
saDgit wrote:Apart from the length of the legs, I think the only other change between the various vehicle models was the hollow 'skirt' under the luton. Yours looks as though that was cut around a Landrover cab or did you do that in order to fit the T4? I had to remove most of it to make it fit the Ranger.


I've cut it quite drastically as I also cut the plywood floor out of the Luton and raised it 5 or 6 inches, I think I could have gone up another inch and wish I had now. This is what it looked like originally and the Suntrekker was stood on a 10 inch high metal frame to clear the cab. :shock: Not sure what the centre of gravity was like but when I follow the guy with it on his Landrover it seemed a bit wobbly.

Image
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