Ready As I Am Going To Be!
It has been a productive few months. In January, After a lot of disappointment and setbacks, I found my van. It was not without a few moments of panic, even after I took possession (due to some financing issues). But 17 days after taking the van home on January 26th, I finally signed the final papers and it was allll mine. (as long as I make the payments of course)
With the van now in my possession and my savings at an amount I felt comfortable with, I was ready to choose a departure date. While I was preparing to set the date to leave in April, I made a significant financial discovery. If I waited just a little while longer, I would increase my savings and emergency fund by a couple months living expenses. Obviously, I decided to wait for the money. Unfortunately, to make sure I secure that lump sum with no issues, I will be on the road for about 3 or 4 weeks before I can ‘officially’ announce I’m gone.
One of the challenges I believed would hinder the start of my journey was my inability to ‘build out’ and insulate my van. Thankfully I had a productive conversation with my eternally supportive parents. Ever the improvisers, they encouraged me to think outside the box a bit. To be open to ideas I may not have considered.
As I researched more and watched videos from my favorite nomadic YouTubers, a common theme began to emerge. I kept hearing “you have to get out on the road to truly know what is going to work for you”. I even noticed several of my favorite van dwellers rearranging and remodeling their van setups. Suddenly I began to see my van as a constant work in progress. Ever evolving. I liked the idea of the van undergoing a sort of never ending metamorphosis. So I rolled with it!
SO! This is where things stand today, my launch date rapidly approaching:
I don’t have solar installed yet. In fact, I won’t be buying it until I find someone to install it. Probably November. But I’m ready!
My Maxx fan is sitting in its box, still unopened in my van. But I’m ready!
I haven’t insulated the van and I haven’t installed a level floor. But I’m ready!
I don’t have cabinets, shelves, or drawers built. But I have Rubbermaid containers, so I’m ready!
Here is what I DO have ready:
I found a 4 leg steel twin frame. I bought a memory foam mattress that fits it perfectly. I had some peg board cut to go on the frame, under the mattress (for ventilation and firmness). Insta bed! It’s kind of big (75 x 39) so it takes up a lot of space and securing it right now consists of several bungee cords, but it’s comfy and it works.
The bed has 14.4 inches of height clearance underneath so I have Rubbermaid containers with my things in them stored under the bed.
I have picked out and will be purchasing a foldable table to cook on and use as a desk for my laptop.
I purchased, and will soon install, a blackout curtain on tension shower rod behind front seats for privacy to the back.
I tinted my windows and will soon be installing a double layer of sheer panels around the back van windows. I did a rudimentary test of the setup and I believe it is going to be great at blocking any remaining visibility to the inside. Plus it looks pretty. I still plan to cut Reflectix to fit in the windows for added privacy and to deflect the sun during the day.
I have purchased a 5-gallon bucket and a pipe insulating foam thing and will be making a toilet much like the one Bob Wells has done videos on. If it works, fantastic. If not, I have picked out a camp toilet am confident will suit my needs.
I have other things, like the camp stove and Mr. Heater Buddy my folks bought me, a 5-gallon water jug (I need to get another one or two of those), a small 400-watt inverter, a Luci light, a rod to hang clothes across the back, and etc. I am definitely well supplied as I have been buying things, here and there, over the past 2 years. All in all, I feel good about my setup as it is, and for what it is.
So yeah. I’m ready. And I’m counting down.