Hello! I hate to let the ol' van (sometimes referred to as The Great While Buffalo) go, but I'm not quite using it to it's potential! Here's some info... The interior of this van was completely gutted about a year ago and rebuilt by me with some help from my Dad. The walls are made from pine plywood, with maple trim. And the ceiling is made from cedar. The current build is relatively simple, and is ideal for week long trips. Although by adding some storage containers under the bed, it would be ready for much longer. I built it with the goal of making it feel spacious inside, given that it is a somewhat smaller van. This vehicle has been my daily driver for almost a year now, gone across the country twice, and I have had virtually no issues with it. I had battery/ starting issues at first but those have been dealt with (check below for details). Also, about 5000 miles ago it went through a thorough VT inspection, and I change the oil regularly. About the van- Bed: - Full size frame/ mattress - About 1/3 of the bed frame can be collapsed to make a bench for sitting, and to provide a larger area by the kitchen. - It currently has a tri folding mattress, which works perfectly for the frame design. This also allows you to make a couch of sorts leaning up against the rear doors. Kitchen: - Has four drawers for storage below the countertop, enough for all kitchen supplies and food. - The end of the counter has a small table that folds up and down. This increases counterspace, and creates a table while using the bed as a bench. - Sink operated by a foot pump from a 5 gallon jug. There is no waste jug, you can simply toss the water from the sink bowl outside. This design is very simple and efficient, the one 5 gallon jug occupies a space that otherwise couldn't be used. Storage: - Storage cabinet above the driver/passenger seats. - Small shelf above the bed (near rear doors). - Small chest on the side of the bed, maximizing wheel well space that would otherwise be lost. - this also serves as a bedside table Electric: All electric runs off of solar - 3 Renogy solar panels - 2 Lead-Acid 12V 100Ah Batteries - Renogy 2000W 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter - 2 AC outlets (both have USB as well) - Battery level reader - Lighting: 3 recessed ceiling lights, 2 bright lights (one above kitchen), strand/fairy lights - Rear fog lights (from its PNW days I assume) What it is lacking: - Storage could be improved upon for longer adventures. This could easily be done by buying storage bins (as previously mentioned). - Refrigerator - there is no refrigeration system currently. So far I have used a cooler and put it in between the passenger and driver seats. I would recommend buying a "portable refrigerator" if you will be going on long adventures. This can easily be plugged into the outlet behind the drivers seat. - I opted out of putting a full minifridge in because of there power and spatial inefficiency. Mechanical: - Passed Vermont inspection a little over a year ago - Virtually rust free! Has lived on the west coast and in Montana for pretty much all of its life. - No lights on the dash - Two sets of tires. Currently has the winters on (with less than one season, they are great tires). On Dec. 2020 / 55k miles: - New battery - New starter - Front brake pads Mechanical issues: The one mechanical issue is that there is an electrical leak when the van sits. This has been dealt with by putting a small "switch" on the battery to disconnect it. While the van can go days without disconnecting the battery, I tend to disconnect it overnight or periods of time any longer than that. While this can be slightly annoying, it is nice to know you aren't sucking any power from your battery while camping far from help. Also, if this isn't your daily vehicle, you won't need to worry about a dead battery after it has been sitting for a long time. ALSO.. If you are a bit shorter you could consider a different bed design, sleeping in the width direction. This would open up quite a bit more space, but is not very realistic for taller people. Check out the last two pictures to see what the van looked like without the bedframe and kitchen put in. If you have a different vision for the interior of the van, the bed and kitchen are designed to be taken out relatively easily. (They aren't built into the walls or anything). Contact me with any questions/ for more pictures! (I'm sure I missed some things)
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