OKA196 XT Motorhome

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12 Nov 2012 07:26 - 16 Nov 2017 11:13 #1 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret created the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
XT196 Peter & Margaret Wright

Ex tour bus, now with custom built bed-over-cab motorhome body



On the Carson Track between Home Valley Station and Oombulgurri Community in the Kimberley.

Motorhome details:
The motorhome was built in 2004-5 and is configured as a 2 berth, bed-over cab, with every convenience and amenity. It is designed for long, unassisted stays in remote locations with very high levels of comfort.

Body:
Fibreglass sandwich panel held together with Sikaflex, on a light weight steel frame.

Windows:
Wind out hoppers glazed with tinted polycarbonate, except for the bathroom which has a sliding window so that it can be left open while driving and drying the laundry. The pop-top over the bed has very large zip up fly screen areas for maximum ventilation.

Electrics:
600 watts of Kyocera solar panels feed 460 amp hours of AGM house batteries via a Plasmatronics PL60 solar controller with battery temperature compensation. A 1300W SEA sine wave inverter provides 240V power. There is sufficient power for all domestic requirements including refrigeration, lights, computer, bread maker, even electric blankets, for indefinite camping periods. We don’t carry a generator. Batteries can also be charged by the engine alternator via s 200A 2 way VSR.

Water:
The 110 litres of drinking water (in two tanks) is pressurised and filtered via twin micro and active carbon filters. There is a completely separate system for 170 litres of washing water (in two tanks), which is also filtered. All water is chlorinated as tanks are filled via a third pump. There is an inside shower and cassette toilet. A 70 litre grey water tank is fitted. All water tanks have electronic level indicators.
The 22L copper hot water SureCal calorifier can be heated via the engine, via a 750W 240V element (powered by the inverter) or by the Webasto diesel heater (circulating hot glycol) which also provides central heating and can pre heat the engine in cold weather. The shower can be separately heated and used as a cloths drying room.

Kitchen:
A SMEV stainless steel 3 burner gas stove and oven, Vitrifrigo 130 litre refrigerator (all fridge, with an extra 50mm of insulation and remote compressor), separate 25 litre deep freeze (with 150mm of insulation). Gas Leak and smoke/carbon mon-oxide alarms are installed. A separate fold down outside kitchen is fitted with pressurised drinking water on tap, 240V power plus a second gas stove with twin WOK burners.

Storage:
Lots of internal and external storage, ‘roll-out’ tool box, and a wardrobe with ‘crawl through’ to the cab.

Vehicle modifications:
Originally a tour bus on Kangaroo Island, the 1994 vehicle had completed 330,000km prior to our purchase in April 2003. The original bus body was removed for motorhome conversion in 2004-5, and a custom body fitted. There is a N-S double bed over the cab.
All mechanicals have been completely overhauled or replaced with new.
Over 520,000km currently on the odometer.
GVM 6,600kg.
GCM 9,000kg.
DIY towbar rated to 3,500kg.
Cat. 2 child seat over engine compartment.
2 approved seats with seat belts in the camper section.
Intercooled (air to air) with exhaust pyrometer.
Garret T2554 wastegated turbo & boost gauge.
Light weight aluminium front skid rails.
20mm spring hanger pins and urethane bushes.
Reversing camera.
Redarc model SBI212D 200A 2 way battery relay. Provides emergency charging for the house batteries.
Fullriver 120Ahr HGL AGM crank battery (fitted January 2010 and still performing well so far).
Custom made tow bar rated at 3.5T.
Light weight HDPE mud flaps.
Electric fan in front of the air conditioner condenser coil.
A UHF radio, HEMA HN5 GPS, Globalstar Sat ‘phone and an EPIRB in the cab, second UHF in the back.
Foot level fresh air vents (ex FJ40) for driver and passenger.
Twin front and rear shock absorbers.
35 spline outer front drive shafts and Warn free wheel hubs.
Front diff lock - ARB Airlocker.
Geared starter motor.
Rear springs have coil helper springs around the rubber ailerons and all springs have 10mm thick top leaves.
The air cleaner has been changed to a washable Unifilter with vacuum gauge fitted.
Michelin 305/70R19.5 XDE2 tubeless tyres on 8.25 inch wide single piece rims and two spare wheels mounted on the rear of the vehicle with a hoist for removal (The hoist can be driven by battery powered drill, or by hand).
Boss Big Pro, 12V air compressor and 6L accumulator.
Diesel fuel capacity is 280 litres in 3 separate tanks, electrically selectable while driving.
All rear lights are LEDs.
Warn 16.5ti (16,500 lb) winch with synthetic cable can be mounted on the front or rear tow hitches, or operated ‘remotely’.

Skills:
Designed and built the entire camper.
Made moulds for custom made rotomoulded plastic fuel and water tanks.
Interests:
Long, remote, outback trips, usually alone or with one or two other vehicles. Walking, photography, aviation, kites, FISHING.

Australian trips 1967 to 2017.


Unfortunately, all the trip slideshows that were linked here were killed off by Photobucket. Give us a call if you need specific info.
Cheers,
Peter

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214
Last Edit: 16 Nov 2017 11:13 by Peter_n_Margaret.

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09 Dec 2012 19:01 - 09 Dec 2012 19:02 #2 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
New slide shows & video clips added from 2009 and 2012.

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214
Last Edit: 09 Dec 2012 19:02 by Peter_n_Margaret.

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09 Dec 2012 20:37 #3 by Outback Jack
Outback Jack replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
Not much left to do........

What has been the biggest cost/high maintainance item you have had with the OKA????

Going back to the start, would you chose an OKA again???

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10 Dec 2012 08:49 - 10 Dec 2012 08:50 #4 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
It is a high maintainance vehicle, but not unreasonably so relative to where it goes and what it is, I reckon.
The biggest single item was the replacement of the rear axle assembly and diff early in the piece. It was bent, probably before I bought it.

I have just replaced the clutch and pressure plate, the one in there had 170,000km and was 'well worn'.
The gearbox, with a new one ('cos they are very good value and the original had done 500,000km with only some bearings about 180,000km ago). The old one was still OK and I have kept it.
Th NP205 transfer case got a full set of bearings and seals. The rear output bearing was gone. First time it had ever had any work in 500,000km as far as I know.
Total for that lot and a few other 'odds and ends' (all done by by my local mechanic) was $12,000.

Would I choose one again?
Absolutely!
Except I won't, because the one we have will see us out and is not for sale.
I don't know of another vehicle that will do what it has done for the money.
We just spent a few weeks north with friends in a brand new Earth Cruiser. Very smick, lots of power, big dollars, but the OKA is better in the rough stuff I reckon and the ridgid chassis of the OKA is the only vehicle I know that allows a body fixed to the cab with a bed-over like ours.
A major, under rated feature, in my view.

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214
Last Edit: 10 Dec 2012 08:50 by Peter_n_Margaret.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Hal Harvey

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10 Dec 2012 09:16 #5 by Outback Jack
Outback Jack replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
Hi Peter,

Thanks for your honest answer. Sounds like you have had a great run.

Most of the items listed are maintainance items to be expected at the KM`s mentioned.

Your mechanic is a top bloke and probably hates OKA`s by now. He went out of his way with 244 couple of years ago. He was also very reasonable with costs I thought. Any one in Adelaide would do well to use his business, if he can be persuaded to work on OKA`s.

I think the key to OKA`s is you treat them a little like an aircraft. Once the KM`s have been done replace the part, even if it is still OK. Given the remote place most go with them, this is cheap insurance.

Then when out bush, you will only need to go over things with a grease gun, perhaps checking U bolts once a week etc.

Given a lot of OKA`s had a hard life as tourist vehicles, it pays to give them a refresh before expecting another 10 or 15 years and another 500K km`s out of them.

Many OKA owners have brought ex tourist vehicles and really havent suffered much.

How many other 5 tonne 4wd Bus/Trucks are still around after 10 to 15 years and 500K Kms?

My old girl has worked all its life, just retiring this year. A lot of work I have done wasnt really required, a lot of was OKA factory upgrades, personal choice of upgrades etc.


Thks
OBJ

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15 Jun 2015 01:56 #6 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
Recently completed some engineering "paper work".
GVM is now 6,600kg.
GCM is now 9,000kg.
DIY tow bar is rated to 3,500kg.
Cat. 2 child seat on the engine compartment approved.
Two seats in the camper section with seat belts approved for travel use.

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214

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29 Mar 2016 16:05 #7 by oztrax
oztrax replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
Hi again Pete,
I just realised you have an XT <thick>
do you have some more detailed photos of your instrumentation and dash setup ?

Also how difficult was the process to put seat belts in camper,
and how did you end up mounting them , I know this can be bigger than ben hur from legal angle.

regards
OZ

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29 Mar 2016 17:20 #8 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
The instruments are pretty much standard except that I moved the clock way out to the left, and replaced it with the EGT and added the boost gauge underneath. The speedo/oddo is a new version one.
A few of the switches are different too, but that is minor.



The rear seat belts were 'conceived and planned for' prior to construction of the back section.
The best advise is to talk to your engineer as early as possible in the process.
My seats are sideways facing and there is a fixed cantilevered table between them, but that posed no problem.
He did want some additional protection on the forward edges.





Cheers,
Peter

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214
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30 Mar 2016 15:44 #9 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret replied the topic: OKA196 XT Motorhome
Found another pic that might be useful...
The camper body is sandwich panel glued to a lightweight steel frame (that in hind sight was mostly not required).
That frame incorporated the seat belt mounting points.
See the 2 bits of angle iron welded to the frame tube.....This is the LHS, looking rearwards, similar to the first seat pic above. The fridge sits on top of the wheel arch, immediately in front of the seat.




The other factor of consequence in the engineers deliberations of passenger safety is the "crash barrier" distance between the seating position and the outside surfaces of the body, both at the sides and the rear. This applied particularly at the rear where there is a considerable distance and strength between the seats and the rear of the vehicle as a consequence of the internal structure that was built primarily to support the 2 spare wheels.
You get an appreciation of it in this pic that shows the web beam that is under the bench top between the seats and the rear window. Add sandwich panel to all of those surfaces and the structure is immensely strong. Stronger, no doubt, than what was required.



Cheers,
Peter

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214
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