Paps has the keyboard for a post. Here’s an update on the build/inside of the van. We’ve ultimately had three rather different interiors. We’ve spent probably close to 60 nights in the van in 10 months, so we’ve spent a lot of time already tweaking things, trying new configurations and pulled everything out but the bed frame on multiple occasions. The nice thing about this whole project is that it all builds onto a previous piece. In other words, the structure isn’t mounted to the van anywhere. Essentially the entire structure is somehow reliant on the main 2×4 on the drivers side; which is held off the ground by two 2x3s, and then pulled back and down to the rear cargo tie-down point with a steel cable. The bed frame/platform sandwiches between the two walls and is help up by two other 2x3s on the passenger side. A combination of the overall weight, the steel cable anchor, and the wedging between the walls and insulation…the whole thing stays pretty secured. We could have the the entire structure out of the van in about an hour.
One thing that always helps me focus at 9 PM…a pound of bacon. The only problem: keeping it away from Desiree’.
Let’s get back to rebuilding the van.
First Build – We built most of this in the garage before we even had the van. A few minor tweaks and it actually fit. We had nice matching HomeDepot cabinets with a 1-1/2″ thick butcher block counter, dreams of a gator-skin couch built onto the water tank and the entire rear floor of the van sliding out on 60″ sliders to carry a tandem bike, skis and a whole lot of fun. Those cabinets got demolished when Mitch (Paps’ Pap) came to visit…we actually roasted our hotdogs on the beach using the wood from the cabinets. Why? Because Desiree’ wanted a puppy… On to build #2.
This was our first change after getting TrangoPup. We ripped the cabinets out, tied the shelf thing to the side support to hold some clothes and lived more out of totes on the floor. Not enough time between trips to build anything new so we “dealt” for a couple trips. The vertical shelf was built to be mounted on each side of the bed, up at the ceiling, for overhead storage. We eventually mounted this to the actual bed frame beside the mattress (perfect fit!) and we store guide books, towels, and other items in there. This same box is what we eventually mounted the potable water spigot into. Quite the multipurpose box!
Second version – We needed a place to house the dog and more (better) storage. We also had to keep in mind that our 10 lb fluff ball would be an 85 lb shed ball by next year. We got rid of the cabinets and I built these ghetto shelves above the water tank. I wasn’t smart enough to flip them over to use their down turned lip as a stop…I wasted time and 1×2″ lumber to make the wooden stops you see in the pictures. At some point I figured I would try them upside down and they work like a charm. We put the dog crate under the bed on the slide-out-floor and rearranged things every time the music stopped…trying to find the best place for each piece of the puzzle. I’ll add captions to the pictures to explain each notable point.
Third – And pretty close to final. We removed the slide out floor all together, pseudo secured the dog crate to the rear driver’s side of the van and secured the water tank to the rear passenger side. One of the best outcomes of Mod-3 is that we got the water running (the day before we left for 2 weeks in Colorado!). We now have a water spigot (like you’d install on your kitchen sink with a water filter or heater add-on) and an extendable hose connected to a spray nozzle (like you pull up out of your kitchen sink to spray the food of your dishes) that will reach out of the van for gear/dog washing and showers. We installed the spigot inside the storage box alongside our mattress so that it’s protected from dirt, damage, and dog but we can still access it without opening the lid or too much effort. We also installed 5 LED lights that run off of the house battery system. Unfortunately, we bought a POS storage chest from HomeDepot that can barely support the weight of our snacks and cookware…but it works. Pictures below:
Storage bin lids double as a nice bedside table and movie watching platform.
The main thing that we have to do yet is install the ceiling. We were close to finishing it before we left for CO but I had the wrong size screws and didn’t have the time to get it back in place to secure before we left.
We’ve also been trying to socialize Trango to sleeping in a tent so that she’ll be used to sleeping with us. Our plan is to have her sleep with us on the bed this winter while ice climbing and skiing. She’s great…for most of the night.
Catch us next time…we might need to borrow some tools.