van life

Creature Comforts and Other Van-Warming Items by Ray Phung

During this first trip we had a house (van-house anyway), but we did not yet have a home.  While perfectly functional, it felt like we were missing a few things here and there.  A weeklong trip to climb in the desert was a great test what else is needed to make the van more comfy and figure out what worked and didn't work.  

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Total Costs and Items Used by Ray Phung

After cruising in the van for almost a year now, one of the most common questions I get is "how much money did you put into it??"  Since most of the work was done by me and McKinley, the only real costs was in the materials themselves.  I dug through my Amazon account, as well as my credit card statement to figure out the total costs of it.  I always preface this by saying that the total includes a lot of big ticket items, like the fridge, solar panels, and batteries.  And, well, here it is! 

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Plumbing by Ray Phung

I was not super stoked on figuring out the plumbing.  If you've ever done a plumbing project, you know it always takes a million trips to the hardware store to get all the right fittings.  So I waited until the end to get it done.  But having running water and a working sink is important, and in all reality, it wasn't super difficult. 

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Kitchen by Ray Phung

Building out the kitchen turned out to be easier than the storage shelves.  The kitchen cabinets have shorter sides (less warping!) and are smaller in general.  I felt like it was easier to ensure everything was perpendicular and square.  Also, I chose to overlay the cabinets doors which I feel better hides imperfections. 

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Storage Shelving by Ray Phung

Next to wiring the electricity, building cabinets was something I was really nervous about.  I have not done a lot of wood-working, and cabinets require a lot of precise skills.  The last thing I want are lop-sided cabinets with wonky shelves that don't stay closed.  In reality, the cabinets only took a couple weeks to do, and for the most part, turned out pretty well. 

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Electricity by Ray Phung

Electricity was a topic that came up early in the planning phases.  We had a lot of hypothetical discussions of the type of amenities we would like to have and whether we would realistically use them. This is quite a large topic, but I will go over installing solar power, hooking the batteries up to the van's alternator, installing the fan, and other wiring and fusing issues.  

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