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Van Build: Cork Floors and Wooden Ceiling

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My parents helping me work

With the walls up, my van was almost starting to feel like a living space. The ceiling and floor was all that was left to hide the industrial cargo shell. Wood Ceiling Time: 1 day Cost: Under $100 At this stage of the project, I was still in San Diego with my parents working on the “frame” of the van. I wasn’t sure how to approach the ceiling, but my mom suggested using shiplap...

Installing Solar Panels and a Fan on a Van Roof

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With the insulation and plywood walls up, the inside of the van was starting to look good. Before I could move on to the ceiling, though, we needed to do the scariest part: cut a hole in the roof to install a fan. Layout I purchased a MaxxFan to keep the inside of the van cool in the summer and well-ventilated while cooking. It offers some great options, like the ability to turn on automatically...

How a Puppy Trained Me

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At six months old, Azuli is quick to make friends. Her innate personality played no small role, but there are a few things I did to enable her to become smart and well-behaved. Still, she taught me as much as I taught her. I suspected this might happen, but I’m still surprised what I’ve learned so far. Communication There’s an old joke amongst enigneers that goes something like...

Day 2: Installing a Passenger Swivel-Seat for Maximum Living Space

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There’s not much living space in a cargo van. A swivel-seat installed on the passenger side can help fix that. What to Know Swivel seats can rotate 180 degrees so that a seat is facing backwards. In the case of a van, this increases the effective living area by turning the cabin into more seating for the living room.   It’s hard to capture just how much of a space difference this...

Day 1: Insulating a Van for Summer & Winter Living

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The first thing I did to my new Ford Transit van was rip out all of the factory-installed cargo gear to make room for insulation. Insulation Needs I wanted to be able to park my van to the base of a ski mountain, like Tahoe, so that I could get first runs in the morning. In order to not freeze my butt off, I knew I’d need some good insulation. Heat retention in insulation is measured by its R...

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