Since our last post in October (yikes!), Jeff has been out and about on some whirlwind dream jobs and traveling the world! In November, as he enjoyed an award-winning vacation to Papua New Guinea with his friend, Jeff Molder (aka: Skinny Jeff), he found out he was a finalist for the World Shootout. Come January, we had tickets to fly into the BOOT show in Dusseldorf, Germany to accept an award!
Jeff won Best in show – and another trip to Papua New Guinea (this time for TWO!) and we are planning that trip as we write! Also since October, I have ran myself almost crazy organizing a trip to Isla Guadalupe and Cabo San Lucas for some epic shark encounters with the Nautilus Explorer fleet, (October and November 2018). Not to mention Jeff has been onboard the NOAA research vessel for 2 months this year (after a 5 month delay) going to all the remote islands to the south of us here!
Which brings me to this main subject of my post today – We were planning on breaking the road trip up into two parts, September 2018 and then May 2019 – but due to our added events (and some mandatory family time next month!) we will be doing our ENTIRE road trip in one, huge, epic trip!
May 2019 starts our road trip across America! Starting in California and working our way up and over, we will be hitting EVERY STATE by August!
Stay tuned for our updated trip map on our next post! Thanks to everyone for following us thus far – and we hope to see you *ALL* on our road trip next year!
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Jeff’s using the best leftover plywood for our cabinets! (haha!)
We are fortunate enough to have rusted rail systems that will NOT budge on the bottom of our van – so we figured we should use them! They have been used as mounting brackets for our bed frame, and now our cabinet! Bolted down on the bottom shelf, this cabinet will also be bolted to the bed frame, to maintain structure and keep everything together. We are hoping for very little rattling! (We’ll see how that works out…)
The top will be a nice wood tabletop with edges to prevent rolling items, and will have some under lighting and room for organizational storage.
After looking at the bed frame, and realizing that my numbers were off, I decided to create a blueprint with a little more detail. I used 1in for every 1ft in the diagram so I can try and measure out spacing and see what goes where. Underbed storage was an easy answer – wet, salty and heavy items down below (where the rust holes make convenient draining options!) and cabinets up front, that double as the headboard.
Jeff is particular about his bed space – he can’t spend his daytime or non-sleep time in the bedroom – so he needed to make sure the bed space was separated from the “living space.” A headboard and some curtains will do the job, and plans for a bean-bag chair, and some outdoor chairs will work fine when it’s not raining.
The odd part I’m finding with this van build, is that I think I won’t have enough room – but then I find that I keep finding MORE room! Like the van is growing, and we find more new ways to add touches and create those storage pockets.
Jeff and I faced our first major challenge on this build – formulating our thoughts into designs, and then somehow coming to agreements on how things should be made. I had been thinking about how this can be done for some time, since purchasing this van, but I don’t have the background in building to understand some foundational ideas, like how and where to bolt, support and structure and making sure the bed frame doesn’t cave in. So when it came to answering structural questions, it sounded like I was “winging it” which, I’m sure, was quite frustrating for Jeff as he was putting a lot of effort into building said frame.
This conversation became a frustrating one – as I had an idea, and Jeff also had his own. I drew mine out on paper after paper, but he wasn’t so sure it would be secure, sturdy or would fit properly for our van. We eventually came to a simple frame like this, with a big 3/4″ plywood sheet over the top, and screwed down. We bolted the legs to the seat tracks on the floor – and we looked good to go! We were worried it wouldn’t be strong enough to hold our weight, a mattress and a big hunk o plywood, but it looks good so far! We’ll see – stay tuned!
We wire brushed the inside with anti-rust remover, washed it all away, scrubbed again and now it was time to add some spray-can paint. We used a Rustoleum texturized spray paint, because of cost, and partly because we expect the flood to still flake up on us anyway. 😛
Aloha new followers! We have been waiting to release information about our website and our modifications until our social media sites were added. It’s just Jeff and I (Sarah) adding these blogs, renovating the van, and tweeting, IGing and blogging – so stay tuned as we add more info about our happenings!
We have created a twitter and an Instagram, and signed up for gmail account, so hopefully that will help us! We will be posting up pictures at those sites so stay tuned! (Hopefully I do these IG and Twitter things correctly – new terrain for Sarah!)
We got our van! My dive company I work for was upgrading their old vans, and had this one for sale! I knew it was meticulously maintained and had been through countless drivers, scuba tanks and salty wetsuits – I knew it would do the job. For the right price, and some creative inspiration, this will be our project for the next 18 (or so) months: outfitting, perfecting, building and decorating our perfect van.