I love my beautiful van now, it works (always good), looks beautiful and is very easy to live in, but it hasn’t always been that way. We bought it in August ’14 from a dealership that I would never recommend.The dealers didn’t know very much about the van, but seeing as it says ‘POTS 72p Kg’ on the inside, I’m gonna say it was a fruit and veg van. When we finally got it home, which actually look a very long time seeing as it was only an hours drive away, after they had put a new gear box in, we started work on it.
The walls were paneled already, which was a great time saver, but they were also filthy and full of drawing pins. First things first, we took the floor out. Underneath, we found the source of the gross smell that had been lingering around. Someone had spilled oil, a very long time ago and had just never cleaned it up. Congealed is a word. Cleaning that out actually look half a day. The panels all come off and while I went off to sand and paint them, Gabe started on insulation. The whole of the van is insulated with the foil bubble wrap blanket stuff (technical term), with 50mm Kingspan insulation board on all the walls and 25mm for the floor and ceiling. Getting the van properly insulated was really important to us and even though expensive, I would recommend doing it properly, especially since we are planning on taking the van to both very hot and very cold regions. With winter approaching, we wanted to retain all the warmth we could.
Next the panels went back on, a laminate floor went down and the bed frame was made. Sounds very quick but it was actually a very stressful week of hard work.
Next up, we loaded up the van and headed down to Cornwall, where we bought the boat and lived for a while. As we were pretty busy/short of cash, work on the van was mostly put on hold, although Gabe did work very hard to make a counter out of the bottom of an old Welsh dresser given to us by my mum, fit a sink & hob, a gift from dad, gas and water systems.
From here on, the van was in a livable, but not ideal state. We were in a marina, so had an electric hook up and electric heater, but were a little short of light as we only have a little window. A testament to the insulation was feeling warm at -8 °C, the coldest we have had so far.
It wasn’t until January ’15 that Gabe fit our beautiful little wood burning stove and solar panel and finished of the under bed storage that made the van perfect. Now we have lights, you can charge a phone & laptop, water, gas, storage, everything we need.
What we don’t have is a toilet, but even if the van was bigger, I wouldn’t put one in because ewww, gross, but really, it’s not much of an inconvenience.