Ursula Sadiq

"Hey, how did I get here?", asks the once and future geek. "Each step made sense along the way, didn't it?" Didn't it?

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I got the licence plate and it's now registered all legal like in Delaware. Hurray.

But of course it is getting a vanity tag, so this tag is just temporary. I put it on anyway, because I may need to get a Christmas Tree in it this weekend.

I called the local RV store about installing shore power for me. I know I *could* do it myself, but this (and the ceiling vent) I'm quite happy to pay a professional. .. they haven't called me back.

I started removing the inside fluff, err, wall panels. So far no rust! Yay. I'm thinking I may reuse the panels after I put insulation in the walls. I wonder if I can paint/stencil them. ... I don't really want plain black walls.

I ordered insulation. I'm going with Haverlock Wool for the walls/ceiling because reasons. It should get here in 4-6 weeks. Although I'm going with polyiso insulation for the floor, covered probably with 1/4" plywood. Also because reasons. I'll doubtlessly go into the reasons at some point, but this is pretty much the case for wool

The resources out there are staggering. Quite the subculture, it's easy to get sucked into "research" for hours on end. MUST RESIST. . . this GreenRV site sucked me in today on my insulation and flooring research. And will likely do so again in the future.

Current effort:

Step NOW: Continue to remove interior fluff and unneeded stuff

Step NEXT: Drag in my camping cots to see how/if they'd fit (I have 3). And the trifold mattresses (I have 2). Nag the RV store on shore power/vent fan installation.

Step AFTER Next: Get moving on the floor.

Pending: Electrical design -beyond Shore Power hookup (Alternator Power Hookup). 

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12/4 '20 2 Comments
I would agree with paying pros for certain elements (including the ones you mention). My philosophy is that things like water and electric can damage other elements pretty easily, so (where reasonable) I shove money at those problems. If it's about making it look good, or functional in any way that _doesn't_ put other aspects at risk, I'm good enough and smart enough to figure it out.

That's actually my life in general, honestly.
This is exciting! After I bought an old school bus in 2002, already minimally converted by some NASCAR yahoos, I discovered the "skoolie" subculture, but I never did put in the time and energy to make major changes. I get the impression that DIY RVers are a good bunch.
Chris Herdt 12/7 '20
 

I got a Medium Top Used 150-Ford Transit 2015 Cargo Van. Bought it in Connecticut, picked it up last weekend, getting it tagged at the Delaware DMV today (God willing and the creek don't rise.)

It currently has shelves and a bulkhead divider in it. Which I need to take out. I posted the shelves/bulkhead on FB marketplace and craigslist, no takers yet.

I do NOT plan to live in this van full time. I do plan to take it to parks for a few nights (the type of parks that have bathhouses). I plan to sleep in it at rest stops. I don't expect to be spending more than 5 nights in a row in it. 

I expect it will be just me sleeping in the van 50% of the time; 25% of the time to have my kid with me, 25% of the time to have another adult with me.

My first scheduled trip is to the Delaware Seashore state park (Indian River Inlet) for 3 nights in early April, most likely with my 10yr old. The second trip will be 2 weeks of hiking in Utah with my brother. We'll sleep in the van on the drive out and back, but will be in tents/hotels for the hike. These are guided hikes where the outfitters take care of sleeping accommodations.

So I have 3-1/2 months to get this van into "sleep for 3 nights" in 40degree weather condition. Also to get myself into "hike for 2 weeks" condition.

I've been thinking and dreaming on how to proceed. The blank canvas is a bit daunting, but also exciting. So breaking the build down into smaller and smaller pieces so I can attack them one at a time. 

Step NOW: Get it tagged

Step NEXT: Remove the Shelving & bulkhead (and other interior fluff), which I could use an extra set of hands for. Which I don't have, so it'll be interesting. In non-Covid time I'd get a neighbor to help - in particular the young dad from across the street who is always very helpful when you, say, need a half dead mouse dispatched from under your sink or need help changing a flat. Or I'd throw a deconstruction party of sorts. Stupid plague. Just going to have to figure out how to muddle through from within my bubble.

Step AFTER Next: Figure out Vent Fan installation. Figure out heat and AC (?) options.

Pending: Electrical design - Shore Power hookup, Alternator Power Hookup; Insulation choices;  Sound deadening

Ok, it's apparently to me now that I need a step 0: Start a document to get all my thoughts together. Doing that now.

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12/3 '20 15 Comments
For some reason I thought you would turn it into a mobile crafter/makerspace, but a camper van is also awesome! Congrats on your movable tree house!
Sean M Puckett 12/3 '20
I still might turn it into a mobile makerspace. ... with a bed for those overnight crafting adventures.
Ursula Sadiq 12/3 '20
It occurs to me that the two are not mutually exclusive. Especially if you're thinking about it from the beginning. :)
OMG, DON'T TELL MICHELE!
Rob 12/3 '20
This sounds SO exciting.
Offer to help stands. Wearing of masks, and good ventilation (van doors open etc) would obviously be a requirement, and I _100%_ understand if that's still too bubble breaking for you.

Also, if I'm honest, I'd probably be really annoying to work with since I've watched so many #vanlife videos. I'd have so many solutions that it might lead to Option Paralysis which does no one any good. :P

Moral of the story: psyched for you!
I may take you up on that. Lets see how January looks. I ordered insulation today, which has a 4-6 week lead-time.

I'm pretty good at not letting the perfect become the enemy of the good, so I'm not SO worried about option paralysis.
Ursula Sadiq 12/4 '20
Sweet! I'll enjoy following along until then. :)
Wow, so cool!
Anne Mollo 12/3 '20
Have you named it? Is "Beethoven" too obvious?

I'm confident you are waaaay more than capable to handle this project yourself, but if you want to bounce an idea off three pals of mine who have lived / toured / camped in said vans, my friends are really lovely humans and I'm sure they'd love to chat with you.

One set of humans is a couple: the folk duo from Newark known as The Honey Badgers. They toured the US making music for over a year living in said van. They did all the modifications themselves. They even had a doggo with them.

My other pal James is a writer, and he got himself a sprinter van after the 2016 election so he could travel the US and talk to random people about things so he could try and wrap his head around how a Cheeto could get elected. Anyway, I don't believe he ever traveled with any guests.

I'm so excited for your adventures!


I have NOT named it. The moniker "the white whale" was floated, but I'm scared of whales, so that got nixed immediately.

I've spent enough time in RVs to pretty much know what I want. And I'm not in it full time, so it doesn't really need stuff like plumbing (though I might add some anyway) But yes, I may need some advice once I get going on the wiring plans.
Ursula Sadiq 12/4 '20
Can't believe I forgot that James did that whole thing! Good gods those brothers are just awesome.
SWEET. This, this is what money is for.
Thomas Boutell 12/4 '20
Indeed! Until the Money is no more!!
Ursula Sadiq 12/4 '20
nice.
CM Adams 12/6 '20