Friday, February 19, 2016

Operation Giant Van: The Preparation

I have to turn a passenger van into a rolling home, and that's the first step. I have to sell or destroy everything that's not coming along, and that's step two. Kristin has to burn or destroy thousands of pounds of clothing. To my regular flabbergastation, many items have appeared in the bathroom and kitchen over the past twelve months. We need to disappear many shits. All this has to happen while still sort of trying to make a little bit of money with what I'm calling our "job."

Progress to report: I've designed and built the bed platform. We have a memory foam mattress already. It's 58" wide by 78" long. That's too big, even for this huge van. I'm cutting ten inches off the width, and six inches off the length. Then I'm cutting it into two pieces. That will leave a 48" square for the top part, and the rest will be a foot part to support our legs below the hip-zone, maybe mid-thigh and down. Continuous support in two sections. A platform will go across the back for the main part of the bed, plus storage on the curb side. The lower bed-part will be supported by a table at a level height with the main platform.

This is already too many words. Basically, I'm splitting the bed up so we can toss the bottom mattress section onto the top section and save a lot of space without sacrificing comfort during sleeptime. The table that supports the bottom mattress section can double as a work table, cooking table, desk or ottoman. I am very proud of this.

Bed platform parts. Back section needs legs.

In my previous vandwelling times, my only amenities were a sleep area and a chair, and I never had complaints. I relished it. It's cold outside, and I don't want to waste a bunch of time and effort fooling around with piddly details before we get the fuck outta here. Time to go. Whatever I get done - great.

So I spent some time building the bed parts, and that's pretty much done. I have the basis of some storage over the bed inside the huge hi-top fiberglass area. I put down new plywood on the floor.

Storage in the hi-top. Needs some 1/2" ply.
The rear door is letting some water in, so I'm chasing potential leak areas around and trying to find a product that can be applied when it's cold outside. Most of this sloppy junk isn't supposed to be squirted anywhere in temperatures below 50 degrees. Geez guys. I have a life to try and run here. Anyway, the plywood on the floor was rotten toward the back from water leaking in. So I ripped all that out. That was something to deal with.

All this shit is gone... outta here.
All I can say about bolts is that I had to grind the heads off a lot of them and pound the threaded sections out through the floor. I wore down a cutting wheel until it was about the size of a quarter. Vestigial wheelchair lift parts be gone! Chopped, scraped, swept, and primed. The floor is ready for business.

I don't know how to run a normal life. Asked and answered. Cannot do. My operating instructions are soaked, burned, and demolished. I'm pushing my life forward by slamming my head on mountains until they budge. I accept this because it's the path I'm on, and I have faith that a fresh dose of vandwelling is an escape hatch and salvation is on the other side.

This van is huge.
Daisy. One out of three ladies who I live with.


Anonymous said...

Daisy looks ready to roll. You still planning on key West? I've been watching some you tubers saying how cops are being Dicks.about van dwelling/parking.

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

Once we eventually get out of here (Philly), we are headed to Key West, and probably spending a couple weeks.

I've always heard some talk about cops being dicks about Key West vandwelling, but I've never personally had trouble. There are some spots where you're definitely left alone. If you park near old town, you're asking for it a little bit, but I've had good luck with some pretty sweet spots as long as I rotate and don't set up camp. The new van is a beast though, so it might not blend in as well in spots that used to be low key. No matter what, I'll definitely find a place.

Do you have any links to those YouTube vids?

Anonymous said...

Tim Joe Comstock said...

key west is, after all, the lowest of keys. but i have in fact heard that the smathers beach scene is now off limits, but never will i believe it 'till i am rousted my ownself. I always had good luck stealth-vanning up by where the houseboats were, by the airport. but that was twenty years ago. how did i get so old? whatever the case, let us know. damn.


Anonymous said...

I have read and scanned many many blogs but your style of writing is what keeps me coming back. true thoughts meeting the keyboard. Whether it be riding a bicycle from bar to bar or cooking on a camp stove heating a can of chili you make it sound interesting. Ray

Anonymous said...

Are you mobile in the giant van?