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Carry on Combi camping


Dobloseven
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As posted on another thread, I've aquired a Combi camp trailer tent to pull behind the Renault 25 to do a retro road trip. Went to pick it up today with mixed success. Looked at it last week and agreed to buy it. The rear prop stands were stuck down, the locking knobs unable to turn due to rust. Surprisingly the front one was fine, despite being more exposed. Seller had agreed to WD40 them, but they still wouldn't turn. Eventually we realised the props weren't actually being gripped very tightly and we managed to push one up and pull the other one out. We then hitched it up and tested the lights. All good apart from one indicator. I'd tested the Renault on my trailer which has all new electrics, so I knew that was ok. Seller removed the light cover and found the connector had become unriveted. Did a temporary fix with a cable tie, with mixed success as the live wire touched earth at one point, blowing the indicator  fuse in the car. Finall got it sorted, to find the battery was flat in the car. Seller asked a few friends but no one had any jump leads. Wife wasn't picking up her phone, she's got a brand new set in her Korando. Got through to my son who I knew had some because I'd given him ours. Came down ond soon got it started. Warren, the seller followed me home in case of any problems and all was well.It tows very well and you really forget it's there. He's sold it along with a car and other items on behalf of his father who has rapid onset dementia and had his licence taken away. All proceeds are going to a Dementia charity and so far he's raised £3000.Got it down the side of the house. Before I could open it up, I needed to sort the steady props. Managed to undo one with mole grips on the bit of exposed thread, but the other needed heat from a hot air gun, which started to melt the plastic handwheel. Wire brushed the threads and cleaned them out with an M12 tap. Back together with some grease and all good. Now we could flip the top over and get inside. It really does go up quickly single handedly. Found some small damage to the canvas but it all unzips from the frame so should be an easy repair at a local place I've used in the past for a caravan awning repair. We've washed the mattress cover and everything else seems pretty good. There's some unused curtains, an awning, inner tent, groundsheet,spare wheel, 3 locks, a front storage box full of bits and pieces and a cover. All in all pretty pleased with it and it'll make a bit of a project. No idea how old it is, think it's a Sport model. IMG_20211010_174930.thumb.jpg.0517cbb574a292f9e5550695b074477d.jpgIMG_20211010_174430.thumb.jpg.bd32f1a50f13cb2f93f6f3d71d1cfe49.jpgAnybody had anything similar? IMG_20211010_123242.thumb.jpg.4de34f5286a959b09a25e852f0e67789.jpgIMG_20211010_123242.thumb.jpg.4de34f5286a959b09a25e852f0e67789.jpgIMG_20211010_174408.thumb.jpg.87287a1549be2d101974f349325a6368.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

IMG_20211114_151348.thumb.jpg.4ad9f2858640c318cc4d92dd331049f7.jpgIMG_20211114_151348.thumb.jpg.4ad9f2858640c318cc4d92dd331049f7.jpgIMG_20211114_145405.thumb.jpg.cf3c6fe0e3dc90c882715b336d63b98d.jpgBeen doing a few bits on this lately. Took the canvas out and took it to a repair place a few weeks ago. He rang up on Friday to say it was done. Was going to put it back today, Opened the top up and the entire hinge snapped! Thought something didn't seem quite right when I've opened it before and now realise the hinge had seized up and the metal had been flexing. Hmm.... Not much use as it is, so thought there's nothing to lose, lets see what it's made of. Drilled the rivets out and took the rear plastic panel off, disconnecting the lights. The panel is quite badly cracked in places, where it's pushed against the frame due to the faulty hinge. It seems to be vacumn formed, any tips on repairing it very welcome. The hinge is welded to both the lid and the body. So far I've ground the welds away and removed the remains from the lid. Next I'm going to open the lid, which is still joined to the body with a continuous rubber seal I don't want to damage, so several pairs of hands and much care needed. Hopefully I can then remove the other part of the hinge which is  unhelpfully welded to the inside of the trailer body.Think I shall have to cut the bed base away a bit for access, or drill the rivets out and remove it completely. I've ordered a new hinge from a place on the internet. Probably going to bolt it on with contersunk headed screws and nuts, rather than welding. I've also made some new feet for the propstands, which were missing or worn. The originals were plastic. I've got some bits of aluminium alloy stuff and made them on my lathe. Secured into the tubes with grub screws,after a coat of black paint left over from the Renault body repairs. IMG_20211114_144607.thumb.jpg.4a0a3569e543dc3080f97bffe97e3120.jpgIMG_20211114_144633.thumb.jpg.9b811aed3cd045a6ca62b2b4bf85422c.jpgIMG_20211114_151340.thumb.jpg.72439098dcf993c236a5f2f15dfc8b4f.jpg

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Hinge arrived this morning, which I think is pretty good, asI didn't order it till Sunday night. It's sturdier than the original, made of 3mm steel which will allow me to use countersunk screws to keep it flat. Have cut the hinge off the trailer body, leaving the flat part, as it's thin metal and the new hinge can sit on top of it. Painted the exposed bare metal. Next job is to drll and countersink the hinge and paint the bits that'll be hidden prior to fitting. The hinge is covered on the inside by a strip of pvc material which I shall have to cut to gain access.Canvas repair man has some I can have. Just need to make a support for the lid to rest it on while I'm working on the inside. Am going to ask a couple of questions on the Ask a shiter forum. 

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On 11/17/2021 at 9:56 AM, barefoot said:

Lowered springs & uprated dampers?

I think now, it's actually an Easy model, which is slightly narrower than a Sport. Got quite a lot done today.Hinge cut to length drilled and countersunk. Gave it a few coats of very expensive Rustoleum aerosol and left it to dry. I'm using 14 6mm screws and nuts on each side. Original was welded for short lengths at 7 points, so should be ok. Made up a support frame to hold the lid upright without straining the rubber seal which is the only thing joining the top and bottom. Can't believe the CLS timber is now over a fiver a length now. Used to be under 3 quid a yeat or so ago. Also picked up the pvc material from the canvas repair people. Got everything lined up ready for drilling and screwing together,hopefully tomorrow. There'll still be a lot of pop riveting to do putting everything back together and the plastic rear panel needs a lot of repairing, but if I can get the hinge done, I'll be well pleased. IMG_20211119_105819.thumb.jpg.4dbd23a31f454804df238dce14c780f6.jpgIMG_20211119_155856.thumb.jpg.aae680f7e9648cce26d2882521a526df.jpg

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Got quite a bit done yesterday. Hinge fitted, support frame I made was a godsend. Enabled me to work single handed without the risk of the lid falling on my head. Wasn't sure how to fix hinge to the lid. Drilled right though the box section and used a screw and nut initially, but not really satisfactory as rear needed to be flush to allow refitting of closing panel. Oldest son turned up and suggested using rivnuts. He just happened to have a family sized pack of them, and the gun plus a step drill to open the holes out.Used his screws as well. Job was soon done. Have partially fixed hinge to the flange on the trailer body with screws and nuts, to make sure it opens and closes properly. Will finish job of with correct length screws and locking nuts. They'll do fine as there's plenty of clearance and they're hidden from view. Just need to get some rivets then to refit all the trims and panels. Seem to be expensive and come in large quantities. There's a shop in Leicester called All Screwed Up that sells such things in small quantities, but it's the other side of town and isn't open a lot. The rack on top was removed to make repairs easier. The hinge blocks were riveted and I drilled the out on one side. Decided to refit with screws so it can be easily removed if need be. Made a steel plate and drilled and tapped it for the screws to go in to. 

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Got the hinge finished off last night. Fixed it to the body with stainless screws and nyloc nuts. Had to cut the bed baseboard back about 10mm,to allow the new hinge to sit on top of the remains of the old one which went under the board slightly. The new hinge is 3mm steel against the 1.5mm of the original. So far, the repair has cost  about 80 quid, not including the rivet gun and the wood for the support frame I've made. I ended up buying a big assortment box of flange rivets from Screwfix, though. Another project that's gone over budget. I suppose, though, the Combi camp and the Renault 25, which I've gone about as far as I can with, now, stand usIMG_20211122_202637.thumb.jpg.c87fa71996bc5a7c59a1984ec6440190.jpg in at about 1500 pounds. Mrs. Doblo, who is quite looking forward to trying it out, pointed out that an elderly VW camper would cost vastly more. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quite a fruitful day today despite the cold and damp. The cracked plastic rear panel was a bit of a hold up. I'd asked for advice on the Ask a Shiter forum and had some good suggestions. Ended up "stitching" the cracks from behind with a soldering iron followed by a coat of Araldite.Left to dry overnight, then front rubbed down and the cracks filled again with Araldite. Excess adhesive removed when dry and job done. The indicator bulb holder that had come loose was re riveted and the number plate lamps and spade connectors which were corroded and broken were cleaned up and replaced. Refitted the panel today. It had to bend quite a bit to suit the thicker hinge, but no sign of the cracks opening up, so all good. Reconnected the electrics and put bulbs in the amber side marker lamps which were missing. Just need to fit the pvc hinge covering and hardboard closing panel after testing the electrics, and we're back where we started three weeks ago. Have dowsed the new hinge in WD40 followed by some oil which will hopefully follow it into the joints. Will wipe excess off and give it a coating of waterproof grease. IMG_20211203_152023.thumb.jpg.a0a65a2648824bfebcbaa8c53a4a3c9f.jpgIMG_20211203_152034.thumb.jpg.91ec8c8160df11b0472ef67fb1e290d1.jpgSecond picture is worst bit. 

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I'll have to dig out my pictures. I didn't realise we did trailer/camping shite. I've got a lot of previous. You have a much later "Easy" (Is it not the Easy II or something?) as it's the updated colours. Ours was 70s chocolate brown and beige. Similar to this

FOR SALE - Combi Camp Trailer Tent (Sold) | The Late Bay

Matching awning like this

image.jpeg.ea1047dddaf8f66aaff895efe82d3e7f.jpeg

When me and the Missus got together, we bought a Combi Camp Easy. Didn't have the kitchen. What it did have was a completely rotten floor. So I took the floor up, re-laid it and then glued down some B&Q value veneer wooden flooring. Took a proper camping RCD unit and fitted it properly at the end of the bed.

We had the complete awning for ours too. The hinge also went, although it wasn't the actual hinge, but where it was fixed.

We absolutely loved it. The main benefit was that if we didn't have the kids (I'm divorced), we could literally rock up to a site, and have it ready to sleep in minutes. When we did have the kids, we were properly organised. What you'll realise is that the metal cage comes in really useful if you don't use the cover (and you don't really need it when you're going on holiday). We had everything arranged in large plastic storage boxes. One had food, one had accessories, one had cooking equipment, one with clothes and so on. We then strapped them to the cage and covered them with a tarp. When you arrive on site, even if it's absolutely pissing down, you can throw the boxes in the main bedroom whilst you sort yourself out. The bed and bedroom was so utterly huge, we could sleep us and the 2 kids in if we needed to. The normal state of events was to put the awning up and we had what's called a "universal awning extension" (which is basically a 2/3 man tent that hangs out of the side).

 

We've been through loads of tents and seen lots of trailer tents, but never found anything with the absolute simplicity. Quite honestly, if they made a trailer tent this simple today, we'd buy one!

We bought it for £200. Sold it for £400. Replaced it with a Sprite Pop-up Caravan. Had that for a year, completely renovated and sold that too.

I must dig out some pictures. I was going to recommend the combicamp forum,  but I notice that it closed in 2016 due to lack of interest.

 

Aww fuck. I'm off to buy a combi camper again. I was trying so hard to think of a reason to put a tow bar on the merc too......

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This is a bit of silliness for us, really. We've a caravan(7 years old), bought new and used as often as we can(41 nights this year)and a  decent modern(6 year old) towcar. Plan is to relive 1989, when we had a NR Nimrod trailer tent, with a trip with the Renault 25 which just happened to have a towbar fitted. Really impressed with the simplicity of it, just a pity about the hinge, but hopefully it's sorted now. Might be sleeping in it over Christmas if everyone turns up. Not as horrific as it sounds. It'll be next to the back door at the side of the house with a mains hook up unit. An oil filled radiator should soon warm us up. The original cushions have been replaced by a 4ft 6" memory foam matress as well. Lovely to hear from a former owner. Hope you get another. 

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Though I'd try the lights today. Had to take some old appliances to the scrapyard before I could get near enough to the Renault to plug in. One side marker and one tail light out. Cleaning contacts cured side marker, but tail light needed a terminal re riveting. Bit fiddly in the cold and wind, but got it done despite dropping the terminal spring down the gap between the slabs on the drive.Not the best time of year for working outside. All this showed up several rear lights not working on the Renault as well, one rear light, one brake and one fog. New bulbs sorted them, so a worthwhile exercise. Checked the tyre pressures as well including the spare. All needed much air. That's about it before the rain started. 

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Well, got the hinge repair finished off today. Another cold miserable day, but not a lot to do, so went for it between watching wifes band play and a carvery meal in a local eatery. Greased the hinge up and fitted the pvc cover strip with the plastic strips rivetted down. Lazy tong rivet gun makes light work of big pop rivets. Refitted closing panel with new trim fasteners, checked for correct opening and closing, retested lighting and job jobbed. Just got to refit repaired canvas which is stored in the Renault boot and put the mattress back in, which is in the summerhouse out of harms way. Next job is to empty the front removable storage box. All sorts of bits and pieces left by last owner. Box is plastic and fine, but rivetted to a metal frame which is very rusty and needs either cleaning up and repainting, or re making. IMG_20211205_135737.thumb.jpg.bac93a41d6f2d6c33bb49a3a3449beaa.jpgIMG_20211205_152139.thumb.jpg.0eb13b8da15ae807a0a5710366d27efa.jpgIMG_20211205_152139.thumb.jpg.0eb13b8da15ae807a0a5710366d27efa.jpgI oIMG_20211205_155107.thumb.jpg.d988e980180282c5aa1807b1602aee44.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did a bit of engineering. The frame for the canvas is in three  pieces. Each has a plastic corner bracket with a plastic bush that the hooked end of the awning poles locate in. Two of these were missing, leaving big holes. A  quick search of the Internet came up with nothing, so ordered a bit of white nylon and made a couple on my lathe and milling machine. Quite pleased with the results.I suppose a 3d printer would make light work of the job, but I haven't got one. IMG_20211219_132803.thumb.jpg.79bee559340f6f93662959afa5f8b68e.jpgIMG_20211219_132838.thumb.jpg.4ffe4a7ed98166c5120dd0732269895b.jpgIMG_20211219_133550.thumb.jpg.48a5c8fcc2d267dcc3fa046ee458dd62.jpgIMG_20211219_132434.thumb.jpg.9e1f6c23673ec55f3e79a9c6584fccc8.jpg

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