Into the Vanscape

After a last sampling of the Fabulous Fruit of Braums before I left their stomping grounds, I finally escaped Texas!

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I washed my boots in a puddle to get the worst off before climbing into Junior and heading north!

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After a late start due to The Mud Incident, I arrived in Denver in the late evening. Stepping out into the cool temperatures after so long stuck in the brutal Texas heat for months was orgasmically refreshing!

I’m really surprised how well this even preliminary layout of the van has turned out so far. The space feels pretty spacious despite being small, preliminary, and dark. The Feng Shui of the interior flows well, feels good, and everything seems to be in The Right Place. There’s plenty of storage, and every time I drive, perform a task, or need something packed away, I improve the organization and packing.

Here’s a view from the bed, which goes side-to-side across the last 30 inches of the back, looking forward:

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On the left is hanging my clothes, and the fridge, on which lives most of the power electronics including the inverter and solar charger. Further on that side is the console with the stovetop and the sink. On the right is the large standing desk surface created by my set of two wire shelves. Directly underneath the bed is about 12 transparent plastic tubs of various sizes holding most of my tools and bedding. The tan sheet is a total giveaway that someone is sleeping in the van, which is fine at a travel stop, but tomorrow I’ll make my first stab at replacing it with a blackout curtain. My goal is to be able to cook a complete meal at night and have no sound or light visible from anywhere outside the van.

Here’s an gratuitous shot of my first field use of my composting toilet! Super exciting!

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A major goal of this whole project is to become more aware of how much I actually need of things like space, electricity, water, etc. Here I’m dumping ice melt from my cooler into my dishwashing water reservoir.

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The more I re-use, the less often I have to refill! The composting toilet uses zero water and can probably go for a few weeks before needing to be emptied. I’m using coconut coir for the absorption medium. It smells like wet dirt instead of poop. It’s just a bucket with a screw top, and a small plastic toilet seat and cover than came from a handicapped set often use for seniors.

The sink is working ok with the new pump. It definitely uses more water than with the windshield washer pump, but I haven’t done a full test run yet to find out how long it will last. I’m able to wash my hands and dishes in it, just like in the yurt. The drain setup isn’t as solid as the one in the yurt, so I had to bungie the drain into the p-trap to keep it together for now.

The fridge isn’t hooked up yet. I need to move the door to the other side, always an annoying fine-tuning exercise, then wire it, the sink, and the van into the Blue Sea fusebox I purchased. This process will bring the electrical system out of the Dark Ages and allow me to being some more thorough testing of the complete power systems. Look forward to tedious, exhaustive details!

It’s exciting to be on the road in a rolling house I built myself!

Onward!

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One Response to Into the Vanscape

  1. Karen J Mauer says:

    too much graffic information

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