Don’t lose your sense of wonder

A child’s mind is hard-wired to be constantly absorbing every bit of information it finds. The mind is always moving back and forth, scanning the horizon, learning everything it can – Whether such information is useful or not. The child’s mind is natural, innocent, untainted by the dictates of society. The child doesn’t understand taxes or mortgages or octane ratings. The child’s mind is not contaminated with such matters, and that is why the child is free to wonder.

He wonders about lunch. He wonders about a worm he found on the ground. He wonders how far he can climb up this tree. He wonders about where to wander next. Continue reading “Don’t lose your sense of wonder”

Building the Bed

We all need somewhere to sleep. I saw some great bed designs on the Internet, where the bed can be extended for sleep, but be retracted to save on space during the day. I decided to use this model for mine.

I chose cedar for the legs, as I’ve heard it repels some crawling insects. I chose redwood for the slats because it’s strong, and because I couldn’t find the size I wanted in cedar. Have I mentioned I’m lazy?

Every slat is screwed in with 3-4 big wood screws. Mistake: I didn’t make them a uniform width, so the bed came out slightly trapezoidal. The back is about 1.5 inches wider than the front. Continue reading “Building the Bed”

Paneling the Walls

The van needs walls. It came with walls, but they’re sheet metal, they’re not insulated by default, and any screws would go straight through to the exterior, adding safety hazards and making rain come inside. I needed to install my own.

Bob did a bit of paneling in one of his insulation videos:

He also does some wall corner work in his Roof video:

tl;dr: Here’s my video:

I found some plain white wood panels at Home Depot, and they were nice enough that I wasn’t going to bother looking very hard for a nice wood style. The white reflects more light, and the lack of texture makes it more forgiving of mistakes. As with apparently everything at Home Depot, they’re in  4×8 foot sections. I used 3 of them for the walls.

I had made a stencil of one of the ribs, on a scrap sheet of XPS insulation. Using this stencil, I was able to identify where the solid parts of the ribs were, and screwed the panels into those spots. Continue reading “Paneling the Walls”

Insulating the Walls

As you would expect, a lot of the decisions I made were based on information I’ve found on the Internet. In particular, I found Bob’s videos on van insulation particularly helpful, especially considering I bought almost exactly the same van he did.  Here are his insulation videos for context:

Rolling Earth-Ship also did a good series of videos on Insulation, and also with almost exactly the same van:

As for my own project, let’s begin with the empty template. Here’s what the inside of the cargo bay looked like before I had done anything to it:

You may notice I got the model with the extended wheelbase, so it’s slightly longer than most Savanas. I didn’t think it would be comfortable to cram two people into the short model. Continue reading “Insulating the Walls”

2017 GMC Savana 3500: My New Van

I haven’t been posting much lately because I actually picked a vehicle, started the modifications to it, and started going on camping trips to prepare for the Van Life. But I feel bad for disappearing all of a sudden, so here’s the van.

It’s only been two months, but I’ve gotten a fair amount of work done, and the wife and I have gone on a few dry camping trips. Not proper dispersed camping / boondocking, as we’ve been in campgrounds; but no hookups.  I think I may have to ease into boondocking over time; my experiences in the backroads have not been great so far. Continue reading “2017 GMC Savana 3500: My New Van”