Resurrecting Claude

Claude was written off, not because he was damaged beyond repair, but because the amount of labour that was involved in resurrecting him required more funds than what he was insured for. So, the deal with Shayne at Donegan’s Services has been that we do whatever grunt work we can (under his supervision!) to keep costs down, while his team does the specialised labour.

Although we’ve had a few setbacks, slowly but surely, Claude is beginning to resemble his former glorious self. You can have a look at the progress we’ve made below.

1-road-side-caravan-no-wheels

At the scene

xxx

Surveying the damage from the outside

Where the mattress sits

Things don’t look too bad from the inside but a lot of the cabinetry has been damaged. It’s time to deconstruct the bed

The bed frame and draws needed to be removed

Removing the bed frame and drawers

Decommissioning the hot water system and bed frame

Decommissioning the hot water system (we think it might still work!)

Ripping up the old floorboard

Ripping up the old floorboard

Stoked to get the floor board out of the van

Stoked to get the floor board out of the van

No more floor board

Claude’s feeling pretty exposed

Jono on the jigsaw and cutting out the new 12mm floor board

Jono on the jigsaw cutting out the new 12mm floor board

Half of the new floor board

It fits!

Jono drilling some holes

Hole drilling

Laura's freshly jigsawed piece of ply which is destined to be a cleat piece

Laura’s freshly jigsawed piece of ply which is destined to be a cleat piece

Sikaflex and screwing in a cleat to join to reinforce the second half of the floor board

Making a cleat to reinforce the floor. Sikaflex and screws required

Luke starts putting the jigsaw puzzle back together with the bits and pieces that we picked up from the side of the road after the accident

Luke playing jigsaw with bits and pieces of fibre glass collected from the side of the road after the accident

Bog and clamping Claude back together again

Bogging and clamping Claude back together again

The rear corner of the van with some fresh fibre glass

The rear corner of the van with some fresh fibre glass covering the hole

Same rear corner as above from the outside

… and from the outside

inside the cupboard looking at the damaged wheel arch

The damaged wheel arch

Luke putting resin over the fibre glass to create our new wheel arch

The damaged wheel arch cleared up and a massive hole

The damaged wheel arch pre-bogging and fibre glassing

Looking inside the cupboard at freshly fibre glassed wheel arch

The wheel arch post-bogging and fibre glassing

The hole in claude is miraculously dissapearing

The hole is miraculously disappearing

More grinding and sanding back the fibre glass

Grinding and sanding the fibre glass

Second floor board screwed and bogged in. A sheet of fibre glass is placed along the edges of the new floor board and wall of the van

Second floor board screwed and bogged in. A sheet of fibre glass is placed along the edges of the new floor board and wall of the van

Nice and leveled floor board

Nice, level floor board

More bog and sanding and shapeing

More bog and sanding

Taking shape

Taking shape

Brand new hatch is screwed in and finally Claude doesn't have a huge gaping hole any more

The replacement hatch is screwed in and Claude doesn’t have a gaping hole any more

Shane spraying on the undercoat

Shayne spraying on the undercoat

Absolute champions

Absolute champions

Since the incident happened we have been on the receiving end of so much kindness – and from complete strangers! It’s been so humbling and inspiring that we even wrote a blog about it. You can check the post out here and we suggest you do because reading it is the internet equivalent of wrapping yourself in a warm, fluffy towel … and who doesn’t like that?!

Leave a comment: