We didn’t want too much weight up high, but needed more storage. I really like Peter Masson’s implementation of soft-sided upper cabinets using simple duffel bags, so we copied it.
One of our key priorities for the van was more light and more airflow. We liked the awning window idea, and the best option we found for behind the driver was Eurovision windows.
I got the bulk of our insulation completed before New Years, but some insulation and sound deadening dragged on. Today I made a bit of progress on the sliding door and rear wheel wells.
I’ve ordered a toilet and a window for behind the driver, but haven’t decided how to lay out the rest of the van yet. CAD to the rescue!
I’m so accustomed to the lack of rain here in California that I didn’t bother to check the forecast earlier in the week before taking the van to work. I had only half-completed the roof vent install, leaving the final waterproofing. One torrential downpour later I discovered that the waterproofing was needed!
Back when I thought I would have access to an adequate machine shop with my TechShop membership, I decided to build bed and cabinets from 80-20 T-strut extrusions. I’ve never used aluminum extrusions before - most of my experience is with wood, so this would let me learn something new.
This is a temporary floor, so I’m using cheap 1⁄4” maple plywood, mainly to see how well it stands up. We decided to paint it with remaindered house paint, again since it’s temporary.
Between track saw and jigsaw, I’ve cut the 1⁄4” maple ply to fit, and test fit in the van. A good Thanksgiving project. I’m quite pleased with the tracksaw, although the Makita instructions are pretty brief and limited. I’m not convinced I’m getting the precision that it’s capable of, but it’s good enough for this project.
Rather than deciding on a final floor for the van, I decided on some cheap 1⁄4” Maple plywood from Lowes and remaindered paint. That will let me build a template floor and test it out before deciding on a final floor.
My plan for the floor is to build something completely removable. Many people will glue down their floor to ensure it’s secure, but I’ve decided to anchor the floor only at the 8 lashing points. Simple and easy to change out later if needed.
Now that we have our van, the process of conversion seems pretty overwhelming. It feels like a huge cavern, filled with options and possibilities. I’ve been reading and researching for a couple of years now, so now everything gets real.
After 14 weeks of waiting, our van finally arrived at the dealer. Longer than we had hoped, but it’s here, and in one piece. 31 miles on the odometer is pretty new. We took it for a test drive and got mildly spooked by the acrid burning smell coming from the engine compartment.