Archive for April, 2014

Where to Start?

There is sooo much to think about when one desires to turn their minivan into a home/office! And thankfully there is a ton of ideas to be found about this conversion process on this thing called the world wide web. After bombarding myself with all the neat ideas online, it proved way to difficult for me to come up with a plan layout all at once. So I thought, I’ll just put a floor down and see if that provides some inspiration!

So I took out the back seat and put it on the berm out back, and lo…within 40 minutes it was gone. I haven’t done that to the two middle seats yet (though Clay would like his garage back!). I took out all the plastic guides for the chairs that were on the floor.

Next, once Trinka came down from Michigan to visit, we created a template of the back of my van using 2 pieces of long butcher paper and a compass (not the directional kind, but the kind that you can poke your eye out with if your not careful!).

That template was then used to cut the subfloor and flooring and to help with van layout of my office/bed! It looks soooo much smaller when surrounded by a big garage…I feel like I take up the whole space by just lying on my back. I hope I’m not over estimating the doability of all this!!

Anyway, here is the beginning of my flooring project. Thanks be to God, and to Eric at Home Depot for giving me the extra slats I needed to have enough to cover the whole back! I take it as God’s smiling providence on this whole adventure. Not to say that things don’t get tough when we are doing things His way, but when Eric said “ah just take them up front and let the cashier know I told them you could have them”….I couldn’t help but shake my head and think “God, are you serious? You know I’m going to take these kind of events as winks of Your go-ahead.” Well, I consider Him warned anyway!
The beginning of laying floor in my van

The beginning of laying the floor down in my new “home”!

Pilgrimage

I don’t suspect that restlessness equates to “a call” per se, but an idea has popped into my about the same time that 2014 entered into my life! Here’s the backdrop to the idea…

Being the last of five children, I’ve had my share of hand me downs. Not that I’m complaining…I’m kind of nostalgic really about these kind of things. I’ve a broken watch band (umpteenth time this fossil band has broken) that I just can’t part with. Why? Well, because my sister-in-law has sewn it fixed a number of times. No other band will do now because it’s kind of like a hand-me-down from her!

 

2001 Minivan

No Credit Needed…afterall…it was a gift…free of charge!

Well, the last bonafide hand-me-down I got, I was not at first all that excited about. It was a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with a broken radiator, busted water pump, leaky heater core and a seized air conditioning compressor with 190,000 miles on it! As a matter of fact, I once heard the previous owner say while it was his (my “generous” brother, Clay), “I should go park that thing on a field and use it as a golfing practice target!”

My brother is indeed generous though. He gave this bullseye to me. And not only that…he bought me a radiator. Plus upper and lower hoses. Plus a new thermostat. Plus 2 gallons of antifreeze. All for Christmas!

The short of it is…I’m very excited to report all the above mentioned problems have been dealt with (well, except for the a/c) thanks to O’Reilly’s Auto Part store and many youtube instructional videos (and Erika’s helpful get-er-done attitude!). The patriot blue minivan is running like a champ now. And it calling me to my next year’s adventure!

Cooling System diagram

Learned more than I wanted to know about the cooling system!

 

The idea for the next adventure is….

Converting the van into a minicamper/office and traveling all 48 states in a year (and see all 48 contintental National Parks plus other NPS sites)!

Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods

Bill Bryson’s AT hike fell apart, and people still read his attempt!

I’m very much in the planning stages now regarding the van’s conversion and health. But I thought I’d start this blog from the very get go just to let people know how the process is going. Now, I suspect it is true, that the whole thing could fall apart at any time, but hey, Bill Bryson wrote a best seller about his incomplete attempt to hike the Appalachian Trails (of course, he could write the yellow pages and it would be funny!) so I’ll do the same thing and see how it all turns out!

Kept by the power of God,

Deb