The 11th International Portafold & Ansfold Gathering (i.e. 2019)

Following the huge success of the 10th International Gathering we'll be at Retrofestival again. It's a massive show now and is popular with everyone.

It's held at the Newbury Showground, Priors Court, Hermitage, Thatcham, West Berkshire, RG18 9QZ; on the weekend of the 9th, 10th & 11th of August 2019.

Don't book with the organisers, just contact me to get your pitch saved.

Hinges - body sides.

Any questions about maintenance or the restoration of your Portafold or Ansfold.
Ian
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Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Mon, 29 Jun 2009, 4:00 pm

Hi Matt,

The hinges are the dog's dangly-bits - they look to be indentical to the originals :)

However, do not use 4mm countersunk rivets (which is the size of t'oles in the 'Longhorn' hinges) cos they are too small for the holes in the panels :oops: Second time round I used 5mm x 12mm(ish) and drilled out the hinge. Following Steve's suggestion I dipped the rivet in a fluorescent green Zinc -Chromate paste to minimise the chance of catalytic corrosion between the dissimilar metals (luckily, I happened to have some cos it is not cheap :shock:)

You'll probably notice that I said "hinge"(no 's') because I took the easy way out and did the one that was needed on the end panels - nice and easy to get at when the Portafold is folded. Haven't had a chance to do the 7 needed on the sides, yet. :(

Good luck

Ian

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Admin
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Post by Admin » Mon, 29 Jun 2009, 4:49 pm

Ian,

Thanks for that, your advice is gratefully received. Although in my case it's only the side panels that are in need of attention. When I first got mine back in 2002 I had a few of the hinges broken and seized so I handed the whole thing over to a guy I knew who did repairs on Reliants. He replaced all the side hinges with cut down brass hinges from B&Q. Problem is though he didn't quite line them all up correctly when he redrilled for the new hinges. Consequently it's creaked and groaned everytime I've put it up and down ever since, until I got back from Wroughton last year. The day after the show I put it up again to air it (as Wroughton was a little damp...) but one side refused point blank to go verticle. Major problem.

What with moving house and everything else it's got left till now and I've got over 20 Portafold owners expecting me to be at Wroughton in less than 5 weeks! :oops:

Steve, have you got any tips when it comes to the hinges that you haven't already mentioned? Before I jump in with both feet then find I can't reach the bottom.

Many thanks again Ian
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Tue, 30 Jun 2009, 12:20 pm

Matt, I think that puts you in a similar position to me in that my one attempt at putting this damn Portafold up was something of a failure because 70% of the hinges were/are broken :x - previous owners have a lot to answer for! I'm waiting for a calm evening to have another go (and the lack of breeze on the opportune evening will let the midges run riot, of course :roll: )

So, there is an image for you to conjure with - a cursing eejit wrestling with a folding fibre-glass box while trying to swat some invisible foe - its the sort of scene which characterised the 'Carry-on' films, but I'll have to be wearing baggy kharki shorts and probably a pith helmet for the complete effect :lol:

Ian

txfsealord
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Pith helmet time again!

Post by txfsealord » Tue, 30 Jun 2009, 6:31 pm

Don't stop you two, I'm enjoying your candour! When I get something wrong, I sneak off & think it out before coming back to my keyboard, generally, I think that makes both of you more large-minded than I am.

Side-panel hinges; the alignment is obviously the most critical thing, as you've realized already. I recommend getting an 8' length of STRAIGHT timber or preferably metal. If timber, I'd suggest something like 2" x 3/4": if ally or steel then 1" x 1/8" should do. It wants something a little floppy in one plane, so you can lay it along the hinges & have 'em lined up in plan-view without having to fret about sagging hulls, etc. The side-panels can actually cope with a surprising amount of hull-sag, I found on mine; I suspect the company knew buddy-well this would occur & made sure there was some compliance in the bottom faces of the sides. It just isn't feasible to expect our hulls to stay straight for any length of time.

The side panels will not cope with lateral misalignments of their their hinges, as Matt has said. (I mean the caravan's "lateral" in this case). The max. tolerance is perhaps 1/8", so we aren't really talking about accuracy here. It's like having to drill holes in your house walls, though; one thing to line the hinges up on their mounts but quite another to make the holes in suitable places when there are misaligned holes half-a-pitch out! Where this applies, the only thing is to move the hinge along a bit, having first cut it thinner, & drill more holes. It's why I chose hinges with holes in completely different places on mine. In several places on mine, I had no real attachment-plate left at all, there'd been so many love trumpet-ups down the years. These were always on the hull where there was a moulded-in stiffener under the plate, so I cut a slot in the stiffener & let-in another plate which I'd first drilled & tapped to match my new hinge. I can recommend working upside-down in an Ansfold's lockers - it does make you realize when you're well off! When the plate's missing from the folding side-panel, it's not too hard to slit the edge with a hacksaw-blade & slide the plate into the void thus opened.

Honestly fellas, I do hope this is helpful. I wouldn't want you to think I was trying to take the pith........!

Steve

Ian
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Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Wed, 01 Jul 2009, 12:12 pm

Steve,

Large minded? who? me? In view of my recent efforts I think a little dense would be more appropriate; and anyway, buying one of these buddy things brings the whole sanity question to the fore :wink:

Ian

txfsealord
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Sanity?

Post by txfsealord » Wed, 01 Jul 2009, 5:55 pm

Sanity, oh yeah, I've read about it somewhere. You don't want too much of that though, nasty dangerous stuff. To me, these things of ours are like a little folding world - a constant exercise in practical geometry which is weirdly satisfying & has to be experienced to be understood, it cannot be explained to the innocent bystander!

Whether that makes me completely sane or quite the opposite I'll leave to my pshrink; I have to go now as I can't find the paperchain I was cutting out.........

Steve

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Admin
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Post by Admin » Thu, 02 Jul 2009, 6:42 pm

OK, hinges ordered and paid for, waiting for delivery now. They were out of stock... someone must have bought a load recently... :roll:


Now to the rivets:

Where's the best place to get them from? And to make sure, shall I get some 4mm and some 5mm?
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Tue, 07 Jul 2009, 12:21 pm

Hi Matt,

Sorry for the delay - been away to Dublin for a little R&R, a lot of cider and to see the 'Eagles'....

I wouldn't bother with 4mm rivets as all the old fixings I found on mine were 4.5mm or 5 mm; and 5mm ones have a nice big head which fills out the countersunk hole in the drilled-out hinge nicely.

Got my rivets from 'Car Builder Solutions' (www.cbsonline.co.uk) - ordered by fax (to stress the use of snail mail rather than a expensive courier to an offshore island) and they arrived the next day - reasonable postage too. They also have an interesting catalogue with lots of other anoraky stuff - not that I would be tempted by that sort of thing....... :roll:

Ian

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Post by bigbird » Wed, 08 Jul 2009, 6:20 pm

Pardon my ignorance, I'm not very mechanically minded but I do try and have a go...Could I not just replace the hinge pins? or is this too wishful? Another portafanatic from a fair Isle.....lol :lol:

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Thu, 09 Jul 2009, 11:48 am

Hi Bigbird,

I'm sure you could just renew the hinge pins (if you have access to some workshop equipment and the right diamenter rod) and I think I recall someone in one of the other threads (Steve maybe) mentioning that they did do that. Replacement hinges are available at only some £3.50 or so each, so it hardly seems worth the effort.

I happen to have access to a workshop but I didn't bother :roll:

I know, I should have made the effort and recycled them :oops:

Ian (ont t'other island)

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