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. Insta bed! I also had some peg board cut to go on the frame, under the mattress (for ventilation and firmness). 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. Perfect for storing stuff! So I purchased Rubbermaid containers, put my things in them and stored them 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’ve 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’ve 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.