The stages of building a van...

I have always dreamed of traveling. When the pandemic hit, it ruined my plans to move to Europe for the second time. I had saved every dime I could so that I could move and travel Europe. I thought for months about what I could do to live the van life. At the same time, my everyday car started experiencing problems so I began searching for alternatives. I looked at school buses, old church buses, discarded mail delivery trucks, larger SUVs, etc. It came down to a few things:

  1. Convenience

  2. No need to get a CDL

  3. More spacious than an SUV

  4. Not as much ground to cover compared to a bus

  5. Reliability

  6. Easier to change a tire on a small van than on a school bus...

  7. Easy to park and drive up mountain roads

  8. Money

  9. Gas

  10. renovations

  11. Repairs/Maintenance

These were all things that led to my decision to get a van rather than every other option I considered. One day I hope to get a bigger van but this is a great learning experience for now.




Starting the reno


First thing we did was rip the van apart. We gutted the floor which was actually disgusting and soaked with water. This raised a bigger concern because we knew we had a leak somewhere but out main focus was getting everything out at the beginning.


I will back track on other posts so I can go into more detail about certain parts of the build, but as far as the inside goes...


After everything was gutted and cleaned out, we started taking measurements and talking insulation. I'll create a whole other post on our insulation nightmare because that is an entire story of its own. We measured our original frames and started fastening them to the walls of the van with screws and caulk.


We ran into some trouble with our original frames because the fridge we bought was 6in taller than what we had planned for. So some adjustments on our frame and a smaller fridge later, we had to work with what we had. We did not account for the height of the insulation and flooring and how this would affect our measurements. This was definitely a rookie mistake and now we won't be able to sit comfortably in the back of our van on the designated "couch." We figured we won't be doing much sitting back there anyways as this is going to be out vacation van and we aren't living in it full time so we will make due.


After our frames, we began building the actual bench and counter tops and installed the electrical. The next steps are finalizing the electrical, hooking up our plumbing, making a few changes on our tables and doors, and well... the list goes on. There is a lot to do. I am excited to continue sharing this journey with you all so thank you for following along!




#vanlife


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