I’ve shared that John and I are in the process of researching and converting one of his work vans into a vehicle we can more easily Travel with. It all started because we wanted to bring our dogs, Kylie and Gidget on vacation this fall. I’m still shaking my head in amazement at how this has opened a whole new world to us – a world of people who travel in this way, taking vans and converting them.
Many of you expressed interest that you wanted to follow our journey with this, so I’m starting what I’m dubbing, “Have Van Will Travel Journal.” As we make steps to convert the van I’ll share with you here.
There is only so much research you can do before you realize you best start implementing some steps or come later this fall we won’t have a van to travel in!
We do have to keep reminding ourselves that this year the van will just be a place for us to sleep one night down to Tennessee and one night back home. When we arrive at our destination we will be staying in a cabin we’ve rented.
But John is a planner and wants to have everything in place so we can easily add as we go along (it’s good to have a planner – I’m not complaining). Today he began pulling out all the shelves and taking down the partition that separates the front from the back. We thought next year we would add swivel seats to give us more room in a sense with a place to sit when not riding. But we were very excited to discover you don’t have to buy brand new seats, but rather they make brackets to convert the seats already in the van. So it looks like that will be included in phase one of our conversion.
The van is roughly 84 square feet and phase one will also likely include the following (we still have to price it all out):
- Solar panels for top of van so we can have electricity even when not hooked up to electrical
- A/C unit which mounts to the top of the van (a must for this gal here who is in menopause!)
- Installing electrical plugs so we can plug in at campgrounds
- Bunk beds that will run horizontal along the back of the van (this will allow for more space)
- Storage units that will go behind the bunk beds. Our beds in the back by the double doors that open out. Having the storage units behind the beds will make for easy access for things we need.
- A small refrigerator
I might be missing a thing or two here, so I’ll check with the boss and update you next time.
Phase two we hope to have in place to travel out west sometime in 2017 and we are looking into adding the following (we will likely stay at campgrounds for this whole trip):
- A screen tent that will attach to the side of the van. A place where we can stretch our legs, cook, and hang out.
- Two burner stove/small sink and wee little kitchen area.
- Some type of small window or two because the van has no windows on the sides.
- Possibly a compost toilet
- And as research continues and we learn more, and we will likely meet folks in campgrounds, I’m sure new ideas will come to light!
My job will be to make it feel homey and cozy without making it too girly. haha! So steps are taking place now toward this adventure that we really never had on our bucket list, but now something we are both very excited about.
Well, I must run as Prince Charming (my friend Marie calls John this) says all this hard work this morning means we will have to go for a little bite to eat and an adult beverage, which likely also means another van planning session too. I’m in!
Stay tuned for the next installment of Have Van Will Travel Journal!
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