craigandteena 14.44-4 OB

#1
Hi all, I have been watching this excellent forum since September when we made the decision to upgrade our pop up camping trailer to a caravan. My wife and I spent many years tent camping until after our first child when we realised it was time to upgrade to a camping trailer. We spent 7 good years in a camping trailer and because we were living the US at the time got to see a good portion of the US seeing it in our camping trailer with our two daughters. So this year we finally succumbed to the caravan scene just to make the setup and packup easier. So we now have our new 14.44-4 OB Expanda (twin bunk version). We purchased this second hand (5mths old) and now find any opportunity we can to take it out. Since I have learn't so much from this forum I thought I would contribute back into it with the mods I have done on my expanda. See posts to follow.
IMG_20141002_144421.jpg
 
#3
Now for listing the mods. Happy to explain more about each one. I will do the big ones as a separate thread for ease of replying to if people want more information.

Installed Fiamma Bike Rack on the rear.
IMG_20141002_144405_edit (2).jpg
Installed this high to clear the aftermarket HW system mounted on the rear bumper and also to put extra strength mounts against the pop top metal frame.
 
#4
The previous owner had installed an aftermarket gas Hot water system. This works great. You will see by the pictures it is mounted within a standard house Electric Meter box. The brand of the HW system is country comfort. The previous owner only had it going to a tap mounted on the rear bar and did not have power or gas going to it. Since then I (experts done this one) have permanently installed a new gas line to the unit with its own shutoff. I ran 12v power to it that comes from the Setec unit on its own fuse to a 2 way switch in the van near the sink and then to the unit. I have also routed the HW into the mixer tap in the van. There was also a 12v pump installed but this was only for the HW system and the external tap. I have since routed from the pump to the cold side of the mixer tap. The cold water also goes to the front A frame tap as this all runs of the 12v and the van tank. I have also put shutoff valves to switch between mains and tank for the unit and also if I want to hook up an external water supply from a water jerry can that the pump can draw from. I also installed a 12v solenoid with the switch in the van to isolate the HW unit so if the kids turn the mixer tap on only wanting cold it does not fire up the gas HW and start running. See photos below and happy to explain further.
IMG_20141113_113825.jpg
HW unit on the left.
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To use the unit just open it and turn on the gas bottle and switch inside the van.
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Looking from the ground up to the underneath floor of the van. In the PVC tube is the pump which is sealed and protected from damage. Many hoses running for different hot and cold purposes for the van.
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This part allows water to be drawn from a jerry or other water source into the pump.
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The plumbing tapping into existing plumbing beneath sink all still outside the van (no joins inside to prevent leaks). Also shutoff valves.
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Two little black things in the corner are the 12v power switches to the HW unit and to the pump.
 
#6
The remaining mods I have done are as follows.
  • TV (12v Kogan one) and mounted it in the standard spot. IMG_20141113_114423.jpg
  • USB charging outlets as you can see in the picture which are shining blue light.
  • External mounts for a fold away antenna.
  • External mount for a croc bin.
  • Anti flap kit
  • Fridge switch to isolate the power from the car when not moving to not flatten car battery.
  • Additional 9kg gas bottle mount on A frame to remove and use with portable BBQ.
  • Also copied everyone else and put the table under the front bed lid.
 
Last edited:

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#9
Top stuff, I love self mods.......................didn't it have a HWS or pump stuff originally ????.... we came from a camper and will never go back...... HWS, pressure water, park, set up, sit back with a beer in under 10 mins..GR8 stuff. Run all your van stuff in the same thread though saves confusion.............we will go off topic of course but thats half the fun..........welcome to the crew.
 
Likes: bigcol
#10
Top stuff, I love self mods.......................didn't it have a HWS or pump stuff originally ????.... we came from a camper and will never go back...... HWS, pressure water, park, set up, sit back with a beer in under 10 mins..GR8 stuff. Run all your van stuff in the same thread though saves confusion.............we will go off topic of course but thats half the fun..........welcome to the crew.
Cheers Drover and all others.
Van did not have HW or Pump. Not sure why anyone would order a new one nowadays without them. I definitely love the setup ease to get that first stubbie cracked. Will keep this Thread going as I find more things to Mod.
 
#16
Welcome! Very nice......
Yours is a newer model to ours, is that a solar panel & skylight on the roof ?
Yes a 120w solar panel and skylight. I also have another 140w panel to put on but I don't think I need it. Camped for 5 days with no power just using solar and gas and was running a 50ltr Waeco portable fridge (150ltr van fridge was not big enough for the drinks)and the battery never dropped below 12.9v at any stage.
 
Likes: bigcol
#20
Added new mod this weekend. Fan for fridge vent and internal fan in fridge. Both controlled by switch and vent fan by thermostat. Stole idea from this site which was put elsewhere in another thread.
http://www.dreampod.net/boroma/fridgefan.html
Only a couple of photos as link above has the same photos. You will see in one photo it was a bit hot today finishing off the mod. Should have done it with fridge on. Total cost for both fans and wiring about $90. First photos is switch to control both fans but vent fan is thermostat regulated.
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