Sunday, January 10, 2016

Van to RV conversion; First Steps

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This post will go into the Construction sub-series of the off-the-grid main series of posts.  These posts can be accessed from a table of contents and watched individually or in series from beginning to end.

While convalescing ( in a manner of speaking, I'm not that badly off ), I thought that I would do something to start preparing for the conversion of the van.

From earlier posts, it may be seen that I'm considering using some of my furniture inside the van.  Yep, to tear apart the pieces and put them back again so that they will fit into the van's sidewall.  I've done the measuring and so forth.  The freezer can go up against the cargo cage thingy, and there would be enough clearance for the roll-away bed to deploy.  Next to the freezer, would be a place for the microwave.  I can make that out of parts from the computer desk.  The clearance is just right  I can set the top part of the computer desk on top of the microwave, which in turn, sits on top of part of the computer desk that detaches from it at an angle.

I'll have to cut up the desk.  To use the part I'm cutting off, I'll split the desk part into two, and then recombine them into clothes storage space that will fit along the side of the van.  I have a lot of ideas here.  Once I get done, I'll have the two computer desks chopped up and spread along the walls of the van, so to speak.

To make this work, make three cuts of wood that connects the computer desk with the upper part.  The upper part has a storage place with doors to open and close- I want to keep that intact.  After cutting it off the top of the desk, I will re-attach it to the part that is already attached and at an angle.  This angled part is held to the desk with screws.  Those have been detached for a long time, by the way.  When all of this is completed, there will be shelving above and below the microwave.  I can store stuff for the kitchen and "bathroom" in there.

In order to take a shower, I have a washtub.  Yes, you can stop laughing.  This place won't have running water, so I will have to take a "shower" in the washtub, and it will have to done while sitting down.  I've worked these details out already, so it won't be a big deal.  I can literally "shave, shower, and what have you" ( you know what I mean)- in the van.  Sleep too, as I will have the roll-away bed in there as well.

Not all of this stuff is wanted in the cargo department.  For that, an overhead storage thingy is to be built.  I've worked those details out, too.  Haven't bought the rack and so forth, so that project is down the road a bit, if you pardon the pun.

Some of my stuff will be up there.  Like the washtub.  The big chair I got will be up there, too.  It folds up, and the washtub should fit up there too.

Oh, yeah.  I was thinking of having the dresser in the van.  No, that will be in the trailer, if I ever build it.

If I fix up the trailer, then I won't need the overhead.  If I have the trailer, though, I won't be able to take the car with me everywhere.

I got an idea to add a luggage rack on top of the car while I tow it, but that is a thought for another time.

If I don't tow the car, I will have to drive it more.

There's a lot of decisions to be made about how to do all this.

For now, I'll just dry run everything before I start making cuts.  Once you start on this, there's no turning back.


The dry run was to cut a piece with the hand saw.  I made a more handy pedestal for the tablet.  I am using the tablet for the update.  After some consideration, I decided to wait and make myself more familiar with the power saw.  Better to be safe than sorry.


Put the desk into proper orientation for the safest cut with power saw.  Made measurements.  But no cutting yet.  Still puzzling out how this will all work out.  No need to rush.  This will be last update on this.  If I don't get it done right, or if it falls apart, or something else goes wrong, you'll probably not hear about this again.  However, if everything works out, I'll probably refer to it in the future.


It wasn't this last update, after all.  Did all the cutting on it, looks like I will be able to use virtually all the wood and drawers in the desk.  All in all, I'm pretty happy with it.

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