Van build: Superstructure

I decided to tear out my van bed and kitchen and more-or-less start over. The insulation and paneling are good, so I’m leaving those.

You may recall the bed I had built previously (see below left). The weight was all on one side, it wasn’t anchored very well to the van structure, and we almost never collapsed it into bench mode even when driving. Furthermore, I chose the openable bench design because I wanted a hallway to get to the back door, but I never use it, which makes it pointless. Finally, in the event of a head-on collision, not much is keeping it from flying forward.

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Fulltiming / Vandwelling Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is more important than ever, and now you have to deal with house maintenance on top of that. It’s not just oil changes and tire rotation; your vehicle’s owner’s manual has important maintenance that needs to be done after 30K miles, 50K, etc. Sometimes it seems that most vehicles don’t get this very necessary work done. Continue reading “Fulltiming / Vandwelling Maintenance”

Notes on Water

To prevent water lines from freezing:

  • Wrap water lines in aluminium foil with a strand of electrical “heat tape”. Obviously, make the heat tape easy to disconnect, or put it on a switch. Then, wrap some foam pipe insulation around the whole thing.
  • When water is not in use, turn off the water pump, and drain any excess pressurized water from the system into a bucket in the sink.  Capturing it in a bucket allows you to reuse it for some other purpose.
  • When you first turn on the shower, there is an initial moment where the hot water hasn’t come into the plumbing yet, so some water gets wasted. Collect this water in a bucket and reuse it for some other purpose. Keeping the bucket in the shower, if you have enough space, will also help you to reduce the amount of wasted runoff. This water can be used, for example, to flush your non-composting toilet.

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How to Deal with Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are bad enough in a sticks-and-bricks, but living in your vehicle adds entirely new elements to the equation.

It’s gonna happen.  You can plan your route to the tee, you can snowbird, you can follow the weather, but it’s gonna happen. One of these days, you’ll end up stuck in a flash flood, or in a blizzard, or next to a tornado. So what do you do then?

Obviously, also do your own independent research. Each of us is responsible for our own safety. What I offer here is merely the free advice of one unqualified man. Continue reading “How to Deal with Natural Disasters”