March 3rd Journal Looking Back at Our DIY Van Build
Looking back at our DIY van build journal and the feels come back instantly.
We were building out our Sprinter in Fleming Island, Florida at the home of some friends. Our friends were no strangers to nomadic life. They had spent over 20 years sailing the Caribbean on a sailboat, and then another few years traveling North America in an RV.
Their children were longtime skoolie friends who, just about at the same time, decided to sell their bus and do their own DIY van build as well.
So, we all decided to build our vans out at the same time, side by side.
Here is what was happening on March 3rd, 2021.
It’s been somewhat of a slow morning so far today. When we say “slow”, we really mean we haven’t started working on the van yet and it’s already 9:56 am. That is not to say we haven’t been busy and productive though.
Don was up and at ’em at 5:30 am this morning to teach some online English classes to some adorable Chinese students. When you are wanting to live in a custom-built van and travel around North America full time, you have to think outside of the box for ways to make money, unless, of course, you are already independently wealthy.
After teaching his classes, Nat and Kona rolled out of bed and Nat made a delicious pot of coffee. French press with some Peete’s decaf Major Dickenson’s with a splash of cinnamon, some coconut milk cream, and a stevia sweetener for each cup.
As Andy Griffith would say, Mmm Mmm Good!
Doing a little computer work on our website, sitting on the couch and planning out the day over that cup of yummy coffee, and snuggling with Kona bear in front of the portable heater. (We are a Florida couple who is very sensitive to frigid temperatures)
Even though we are in Florida, it is North Florida and early March. Cold enough!
Don is going to be adding some water to our fresh water tank so we can do the things people do with water.
As it goes in North Florida during the winter, we are having lots of rain, precipitation, cats and dogs, and angels pissing down on us. No matter how you describe it, t’s wet and cloudy today.
Of course, this being north Florida, yesterday was in the high 70’s and raining and of course, today, it is in the low 60s and raining.
For this Florida boy and girl, that means getting out our winter clothes because to us, it is damn chilly outside!
Our plan for today is to build the wheel well covers out of some of the plywood we have leftover from the flare/window frames we built over the weekend.
Not the most exciting or sexiest of van-build projects, but something we want to do all the same to make it easier when building our left and right side cabinets.
We can lay our vinyl wood flooring down, after the wheel well covers are built and in place. After the floor is in, we can really get going on cabinets, closets, and our bed.
Before we get too far ahead and have the entire van built out, let’s re-focus back to today’s goals of getting those wheel-well covers built.
The reason we want the wheel-wells covered, or boxed in, is so we can then put our flooring down and begin to build our closet and kitchen cabinets on top of them.
We finally got out to the van around 11 this morning. Don set up the workhorses and power tools while Nat walked Kona.
Don got all of the materials, work area, and tools set up. Now it was time to put on some jams and get to creating our ultimate DIY van conversion!
Working on the van is always so much more enjoyable when listening to some good music. Thank goodness for Spotify.
If it were up to us, we would still prefer to listen to our iPod playlist, but that just isn’t as practical these days. We do enjoy the playlists Spotify has created for us though.
Today’s music playlist was classic 70’s and 80’s Hits.
Kona spent the first full day in the van hanging out with us. He chilled and laid in his new pup bed we bought for him off Amazon. It is soft enough to where we almost wished we had one to sleep in.
Kona was much more relaxed and at home. We were a little concerned about how he would adapt to van life. He is going to end up being a great Van Life dog!
The wheel-well covers were built, painted, and installed. We were able to get a few other things to wrap up as well. Don painted the couch we built last week. He also painted most of the propane box after Nat caulked and sealed it.
Our friends, Hannah and Morgan, of the Nomadic Tortoise, got a little work done on their van as well. We have the “Dueling Van Build” competition going on. We are both building our van conversions out at the same time, parked right beside each other.
Go give their Instagram a look and a follow. They are a top-notch young couple and great friends to have!
Don went to pick up some Culvers.
Neither one of us had lunch today. We didn’t even think about eating we were on such a roll.
Seeing that it was now around 6:30, neither one felt like cooking any dinner. Having Culvers is always such an easy decision. Sometimes, it is way too easy of a decision.
If you have never eaten at Culver’s, you are missing out on some of the best “fast food” there is. We feel a little guilty calling it fast food because it really is so good.
Don finally got around to topping off the fresh water tank in the RV. It’s a great place to sleep while we complete the van conversion.
Nat did a load of laundry and a little artwork for a skoolie client she is creating a logo for.
Be sure to go and check out her artwork at Nat Silver Art.
If you ever get down to Satellite Beach, Florida, be sure to stop by the Surf Art Gallery on A1A. She has some of her artwork for sale there.
Back in the RV for the evening and a shower. An evening nightcap and some more writing here on our website were in order. It’s a little after 9:00 pm now, Netflix, our bed, and a cup of hot tea is calling our name.
It was a really good and productive day for us. Looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
That was a nice flashback! We remember that day in the life of a DIY van build as we built out our DIY van conversion. We love building out projects like this! Here in Maine, there is a solo van lifer camping where we are. She is wanting to do some upgrades to her van. I think we are going to help her out.
Stay tuned for some video of that and an accompanying blog post.