Drovers 14.44.3

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
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#1
First post here, I aquired my 14ft Expanda last November, we were coming back from Warbirds at temora with our off road camper when we discovered this 2009 14ft expanda which had never been used, I kid you not it didn't have a mark on it, gear was still sealed in the bags, no scuff marks in draws and the toilet was still in the plastic bag so to speak, the stove had no marks, still with tape over some bits.
We bought it and towed it to QLD, 400km all went good but due to a problem with the Jeep we never got to go camping until Jan so I had plenty of time to sort things out, beside it was too damn hot.



The rear of the fridge wasn't finished off (as usual it seems) the bench top got bloody hot as and the fridge just didn't want to cool down until I added some more insulation on top and paneled the rear up so the heat was directed straight out the top vent, works damn fine now. It had never been used on gas, sure does stink for awhile.
Found my TV plugs worked sometimes, pulled them out, found they were not done up and the 12V connections were dodgy, I then decided to go over every electrical connection I could find 12V and 240V, tested them all 240 thankfully had no faults or potential shorts, 12V needed a few connectors replaced, fitted by a 12 yr old I think.
Extractor fan over stove, vented into an empty space then vented via a small hole to the cavity behind the clock which then vented to outside, crap idea, made a fitting to fit the vent on fan then used a pipe to run to the outside vent, far better for things.
The plumbing under the van looked like a dogs breakfast so tidied it up and fitted chaff pads where the hoses ran thru the body and clamps, wouldn't have been long before things would wear a hole. Some hoses just had zip ties holding them, in process of replacing them with better fastenings.
Since the arse end was dragged getting into my place, steep rural driveway, just a bit rugged have to use low range actually, I rolled the axle which gives it plenty of clearance and tows behind better than before, much easier to get underneath also. Nice workshop makes life easier.
Fitted a battery and wired up so I can plug my solar panels in via an anderson plug outside, checked the power output and all is good and shouldn't fry the van set up.
Big pain transfering rego from NSW to QLD but luckily in Toowoomba there is a fella who does the all the paperwork Gas, Compliance, roadworthy etc, so no stuffing around, just have to fit my Trigg hitch and thats should do it for awhile.
So it's a great little van, really brand new as I have all the new van problems but I get them fixed properly, by me instead of some apprentice. Folks at Temora had said to us " Jayco is the A Mart of the Van World " and I think I agree, look great but their attention to detail is wanting.
 

relgate

Superstar
Staff member
Feb 2, 2012
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#2
Hi @Drover
Great intro!
Sounds like you scored a nice van!
Most of what you described seems common. They are built to a price but I still reckon they are as good as any of the other 'expensive' vans. You just need to be a little handy!
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#3
The missus reckons I pull apart everything we get, now that I'm retired the fun has really started. It's getting into the nit and gritty, I know all about my van now, dug out 2 computer fans which I will wire up for the fridge, soon as I get to Jaycar for a thermal switch and ute type tyre rack for the rear on the cards so I can turn the rack on the front into a storage locker and have to wire something up so I can mount a 3G yagi antennae which I built for my mobile and internet but that can wait, soon to head off to the beach for a week now that everybody has gone back to work.
Want to fit led's inside but wow, a lot of $$$.
 
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Drover

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#5
If you think you had trouble with your exhaust fan, mine blew into an empty chamber & made noise only. Fixed with duct tube to proper outside vent. A bit slack really.
jvp
Exactly !!! mine made all the right sounds but couldn't figure out where it went until I pulled things apart, now you feel a good draught of air coming from the external vent, a bit of pool vacuum hose and silastic, works magic. Just a little bit of care and thought needed.
 
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chartrock

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Sep 26, 2010
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#6
G'day @Drover, love the 14 footers. You mention the toilet still in plastic, is this in an en-suite with shower or does it just have a porta-potti? The reason I ask is, if it is an en-suite, then the van is a 14-44-3 the same as our van. I believe the 14-44-4 has bunks with the bed out the front.
 

Pace

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Sep 16, 2011
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#9
You have allready gotten in touch with your van, why not pull it apart and back together. Helps when issues arise when travelling with it.
Look forward to hearing of your updates and travels. Pace.
 
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Drover

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#10
It has the ensuite set up so it must be a 14-44-3, which is good to know, just hadn't found anything with it stamped on it. I really am having a ball checking and sorting things out, glad I've finished work as it would drive me nuts having only have one day a week to spend on it. Will add some pics when I get the fridge fans sorted out, looked at the Dometic fans and they are just a computer fan with a $6 thermo switch which means my mod will cost me $6, that I like.
 

chartrock

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#11
@Drover have a look here and here for my version of your plan. I did not use a thermo switch, just an on/off switch mounted above the fridge. Works for me. :D

We have the 14-44-3 as well, and find it is ideal for the two of us. We lived in it fro 3 months while touring WA and will be in it for another 2 months when we head for Tassie next week. Have enjoyed doing lots of mods, another advantage of being retired. Enjoy your van.:clap2:
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#12
Another day of fun, fitted 2 fans to the fridge and what a change they make, after about 1.5hr the freezer was showing 0.5c, 17.5c inside, outside temp was 28c, 3hrs later I have -12 in freezer and 11c inside with 4c just below the fins, outside temp is 26c, got it set on 7.Using a temp probe that I used for work so it's calibrated, have left it running for the night to see how it goes. Put the thermo switch on the fins but using a 70c unit took ages before it kicked in so moved it to the pipe that runs across, it's damn hot and fans kick in and produced the goods.
switch02.JPG


Used a S/S spring clip to attach the switch that way I can move it if needed.

fan02.JPG


Fans running just before I fixed them in place, if fans craps out can be replaced without dismantling everything, glad I thought of that, nearly stuffed it. Used a bit of conduit left over from an A/C fit out works a treat, did it the Jayco way, couple of screws and heaps of silastic and a couple of zip ties.
 
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Drover

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#13
24 hrs later, fridge ran during the day at position 3 and this arvo I had freezer at -11 and inside was 3.5 so thats pretty good, outside temp was only about 28c, fans seem to cycle but the air flow is whats needed to make these fridges work, that and proper fitting of baffles.
Cost of mod $5.75 for switch, fans sourced from old computers.
Got some LED's for the rest of my inside lights and we have a fridge that works and decent lights.
Next up replace the spare tyre with a storage rack and chuck the spare under the back, time to go hunting for bits.
 

Drover

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#15
Thanks for the link, very interesting, I thought access to the winder would be a problem, my initial thought was to set the winch off to the side and lift wheelon a wire via a pulley, on the drawing board for now as Jeep gets back from hail damage repair next week and we will hit the road for a few weeks.
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#16
downlight.jpg.jpg So while I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for the Jeeperific to return, I fitted a couple of house type downlights, which I had in the shed, under the cupboards above the table as reading lights, got rid of the balum and halogen globes and replaced with LED M16's, turned out very nice actually but did find that the roof lights are wired up battery/light/switch/earth now that is really dumb in my books as I tapped into the main roof light switch for power and of course turn on reading light, the roof light comes on, so draw power from the outside light now and all seems to be cool. Will have to do some wiring checks when I have it out of the shed and can lift the roof so I can get into the cupboard with the battery as I think it feeds from there somehow. No rush, it works so will be put on the "To Do List".
Missus said when we got our Off Road Camper I pulled it all apart and now the van is getting the same thing, which is good as my camper never let me down, just getting things sorted and having a great time.
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
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#17
It will be another week they said till I get my jeep back from the panel beaters.:(:( So back out to the shed and fitted a stone guard similar to what I mounted on my old camper. Used a post off a trampoline bolted to a bracket I welded off the tyre rack, then sewed up some shade cloth, fitted some eyelets and using some 6mm bungy cord laced it thru some S/S eye plates I had screwed onto the van. Has deflective angles and light tension, if as good as the previous model will take a Roo hit and survive. UPDATE: This mod was not a success in the long term, tension was a problem. V4 ended up being a success.
 

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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
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#18
Latest mods compliments of a Grain Truck in NSW, luckily just skimmed the side lost lights, vents damaged, big gouge and sundry tyre marks and trim damage. No injuries and still mobile with a bit of damage to Jeep.
vanside2.jpg

Now heading back to TWB for repairs. Might even be able to make the meet at Lake Dyer.
vanside.jpg


Post script: Police were amazed that I got out of it without more damage, I explained that I went to full noise 90 to 110 in micro-seconds and headed for the table drain, as an ex truckie I did everything before I even knew what was happening. The bastard didn't stop though, mongrel.
 

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Drover

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#20
Still waiting for the repair quote, not happy. But the rig is still a goer, went to the Lake Dyer gathering and with some new gaffer tape she might be at Noosa Nth Shore Campground next week, weather being kind. Suppose I better add some new clearance lights before I attract attention.