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Van Build Early Discussions and planning with affiliate links

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Let me start by saying I was a Girl Scout and grew up in the country. My family went to KOA's for summer vacation when I was a kid. That said, let me be very clear here, I like the comforts of home and I love being out with Mother Nature. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Thanks.

So my husband and I started discussing "camping" years ago... Mind you he grew up very differently than me. We went so far as to go 'shopping' for RV's. We looked at short ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones but never bought one. A few times over the years he would tell me about a converted van for sale or a Sportmobile or a 4x4 van or this or that and my interest level was ZERO.

After overhearing him and his friend talking about a Sprinter van, I 'googled' it and my interest sparked like a match in lighter fluid. However, when discussing it with him I was ready with my deal-breaker list. First and foremost it had to have a bathroom! I'm talking toilet, shower and sink. He actually agreed to this!

Now my mother instilled in me the art of planning, some people may call it plotting, so the planning stage began and before I knew it we were the proud owners of a fully converted Sprinter Van... on paper! Actually it was a computer rendering but you get the idea. Now mind you, the research was intense, I used Youtube and Pinterest more during this time than I had ever before in my life. Here is one version of the rendering:

I was pretty stoked with it, next came buying the things we need to make this a reality. We had been placed on a waitlist for a van, that's right, a waitlist for a CARGO van. Finally we found one that met our needs, which were high roof and 4x4. As soon as the van was in our driveway I started shopping for some necessities such as the Nature's Head composting toilet and Fatmat rattle-trap. What?!? What are those things you may ask, well they were necessities. That toilet and the rattle-trap were not something that my husband was very excited about at all, he said a 5 gallon bucket with a cheap toilet seat would do just fine. Oh My God! Didn't we have a deal-breaker list? Didn't we discuss this? Didn't I try to get you engaged in the planning stage of all that we would need!? Needless to say, I soon realized that I had an uphill battle on my hands. The funny thing is I haven't even begun to discuss the electrical system and solar panels with him yet! This was going to be very interesting moving forward. We had two totally different visions, he wanted a 1960's hippie van and I wanted a 21st century Tiny Home on wheels!

How in the world am I to convince him that we need these things? Youtube! That should do it, I'll show him videos on Youtube! That worked, to a certain degree, coupled with my drawings and my excitement of us building out the van together. Now it's time to get back to shopping for more necessities, right?

I love Amazon! Denim insulation and reflectix was next on my list, of course we have to have an electricity source, a 12v fridge, a Maxxair Fan, 12v water pump for the sink and a coffee bar with a French Press, Goose neck kettle, espresso machine and a bean grinder. The denim insulation actually came from Home Depot and our mattresses were custom ordered from Tochta. Here are comparable mattresses from Amazon. These things were must haves, Darin spoke to a master carpenter and got the advice for using Baltic Birch for our actual build and I researched the solar setup and we decided to go with the Inergy solar generator for our power supply.

Now all we had to do was put it all together and hit the road. Stay tuned for my follow up post for more details and photos. Details will include why we chose these things and well, what the heck is rattle trap anyway?...

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