Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I believe "frantic" is the operative term...

This past week propelled me into outer space.  First, I received a phone call from a work acquaintance, during which he offered me a job that would take me out of the country for several months.  Basically it was an offer I couldn't refuse.  So, I'm off to see the wizard, as of October 21st.

At the same time, another work project, previously on the back burner, has now suddenly risen up from the grave, demanding a portion of what remains as my time left here at home.  I really don't want to leave the van parked in storage for so long.  I'd rather my girl took it out for a spin and enjoyed herself while camping with her young ones.

So, the goal is to finish this thing in three weeks.  Yikes!  I'm not sure it's possible.  But, I'm sure as heck going to try.  I've been working on it every day since last Monday, from sun up till I can't see straight.

First, I must give a thousand "Thanks" to Les, who pointed out the potential problems with my choice for mounting the propane tank.  Sure enough, after a fair amount of research, I found out that the tank would be impossible to fill in the orientation I had placed it.

This is the way it was.

I obviously have zero experience with propane tanks, because when I saw the nozzle that one must use to attach the filling hose, my jaw dropped.  I made a gross assumption about how that all works.  

But, due to the early catch, I have remedied the situation and will just have to cut a small hole to place a little access door for filling.  

Here's the new orientation.



Luckily, a friend of mine came both for a visit and to see what all this business of living in a van is all about.  He offered his assistance, which I greatly appreciated.  Thanks, to my friend, Steve. 

On a lighter note...

I framed out my music console. 

The Iport slips into the top rectangle, while the stereo / CD player will slide into the bottom receptacle. 

The sink basin sits completely flush with the counter top so that the bed mechanism will be able slide out, unencumbered. 

And, the faucet will swing out of the way to accommodate the expanded bed frame.

My ridiculously expensive faucet.

But, worth every penny.  It solves a host of problems by swinging that way so tight to the wall.

Here's the stove.  A half inch cover / cutting board rests on top, flush with the counter's surface.

I still have to add some cosmetic metal all around the interior of the recess. 

Insulating the van has proven to be a very labor intensive process.

And, that's just the one layer.  I added electrical junction boxes which will be followed by another layer of insulation, stretched taught between those studs to form an air gap.

And, finally, the shower valve.

There may be hope, yet.  Fingers crossed!   



  1. Looking good! You can tell your plans are paying off to complete so much so quickly - look forward to seeing what the next weeks bring!

  2. So glad you were able to make the changes while it's still (realatively) easy.

    And my oh my...what great things are happening inside! Makes me tired just reading about it but you're doing a wonderful job and I love all the ideas (answers to challenges).

    I'm hanging right here with all the others with anticipation for the next installement!

    All the best,


  3. Hey Mark,

    Sometimes I feel as if I just can't get ahead. I wish I were faster at this!


    Thanks again for the kind words and the pointer. I thought I'd be out of luck with my water tank, given the new position of the propane, but after paying a visit to the plastics place, it looks like I'll still be able to carry the quantity that I want to. Whew!

  4. Looking good! I may have missed it but have you decided on the final wall covering? A major problem with living in a small space like a van is condensation from cooking ,showering and breathing. If you don't have a vapor barrier as your outer surface (special paint , vinyl covering , polyurethane ) the moisture that migrates into the walls and becomes trapped will eventually rot the wood. I'd hate to see that happen after all of your hard work.
    Karen (fulltimer)

  5. Hey Karen,

    Thanks for the cautionary words. I've got two layers of waterproof insulation with two air gaps between them. From what I've read and also heard from the insulation company's rep, it's the absolute best way to go, in order to prevent condensation. I think that'll do alright. The inside skin will be a thin wooden veneer.