The last day of march
What happed to the Month of March? Today is March 31st. It is the last day of the month and where are we on our van build?
Well, I can tell you, we are not finished, but we are closer than we were a couple of weeks ago. Let us catch you up on what we have accomplished since we last touched base on our Journal here.
First and foremost, OUR CEILING IS COMPLETE!
Our Starry Starry Night 2.0 looks so awesome! We love it! We used over 700 strands of fiber optic wire and are using a different light engine than the one we used in our Skoolie, Caroline. For comparison, we only used approximately 440 strands of fiber optic lights in the bus. The area in the van is smaller, so the concentration of lights is more dense this time. Also, all of the lights in the bus were random, save for a couple of constellations and the big dipper.
Our design this time is more of a Galaxy swirl with a few hundred out lying stars. The light engine we are using is brighter and also has some really cool features the old one lacked. One thing we can do now that we couldn’t do with our old light engine is control the all of the light functions with an app on our phone. With an RGBW color wheel, we have the ability to create over 16 million colors and it has a “twinkle star” light effect.
As cool as the pics look, seeing it in person just makes you want to lay back and star gaze.
We are steadily working on our upper cabinets for storage. We have the first section, that will sit up above our sofa built, sanded and stained. We decided to build the cabinets out of Birch wood and stain them to keep the natural beauty of the grain. Birch is one of the easiest hard woods to get at the local Home Depot and we like it better than the soft Pine and Polar woods.
For the upper cabinets, we decided to use Golden Pecan stain. It is light and allows the natural wood hues and grains to be accented. With our ceiling and kitchen counter being a darker shade, we figured the lighter cabinets would be a good balance.
Kitchen Counter cabinet
We built the kitchen countrer cabinet out of sanded pine. This cabinet will sit on the right side of the van and come out a little over halfway of our sliding door opening. We will end up painting the front and covering the backside with tongue and groove something.
The kitchen counter cabinet will house our grey water tanks, some storage and one of our shower heads. We will have a flip up counter on the end for additional counter space as well as a flip up counter to use while we are cooking or lounging outside under our canopy.
Stove and oven cabinet
We have just about finished building the stove/oven cabinet that will rest on the right side of the van. It will house our 3 burner gas top and oven. The last thing we have to do before it’s completion is to paint, install the concrete boards and the thermo-guard insulation.
Once we hook up the gas-lines, we will be cooking with gas….literally.
When you are building a van, sometimes it is like putting a jig-saw puzzle together. You have several different sections or projects going at the same time. Before you can finish or sometimes even start one project, you have to start or finish another project so that everything pieces in and fits together.
The headliner shelf is one of those projects. Before we are able to install the upper cabinets above our sofa, we have to get the headliner built. Otherwise, we would not be able to fit the wood shelf into it’s spot.
We finished the carpentry of the shelf and then needed to buy fabric that would finish it off. We initially decided that we wanted a grey fabric that would match the OEM fabric in the driver and passenger cockpit.
We headed off to Joanne’s Fabrics to pic out something that would blend well with the other grey fabric the van was built with. While shopping for something we could see in our minds already, we just weren’t seeing the fabric we wanted to cover that headliner shelf.
Nat came up with a great idea of covering it with something other than just “grey”. She had a more creative and flashy idea. We looked up and down the aisles of hundreds upon hundreds of different fabric textures, designs and colors.
We stumbled upon a black and grey fabric with a pretty cool design that seemed to be created just for our van build. We knew instantly this was the fabric we wanted to cover our headliner.
What do you think?a
so much more to do, but we are getting there
No doubt, we have lots of build to complete. We could be making this build as simople and generic as they come. But, we do not do anything simple and generic. We are building this van out like it is the Taj Mahal of van life vans. We have no idea how long we will live and travel in it, but we are building it like it is our forever home van.
A sneak peek of what lies ahead in our build
There seems to be such a long list of items that need to be completed before we roll out of here to begin our next adventure and destination.
What we have planned for the next week or so is this:
Get our slider windows installed in the flares. Yes, they FINALLY came in. Florespace is still trying to fill orders for their slider windows from July 2020. I have no idea what is happening with those windows, but for us it has been one broken promise after another from Flarespace..
We want to finish the upper cabinets and closet. This will allow us to permantly install our solar generator in it’s spot that will allow us to start connect things to it.
We want to finish installing our solar panal electronics as well as our light bars on the roof.
Get the sofa, kitchen counter cabinet and stove/oven cabinet attached and installed.
There are a million other things to do still, but getting these tasks completed in the next week will get us that much closer to being road ready.
If you have any questions for us, you can contact us through our Instagram page, NatnDonintheWild. We look forward to hearing and connecting with you!