Monday, April 28, 2014

Van Remodel - Part 3

As many who've gone through home renovations probably know, nothing ever goes as planned and preparation is more important than the actual construction part. Our van remodel is one of those cases. To be fair, things have been mostly successful because of the 老公's diligent planning: it's just all taken a very long time because our van's many curves & angles are one heck of a building-challenge! We spent a good amount of time trying to develop a way to build window frames with curved corners and things were going well (we learned all about kerfing wood), except that it was just taking wayyyy too much time and energy to get everything precise &, well, we wanted to move things along! We ultimately decided to cover up the non-opening part and frame up the vent/opening part in a simple box frame, which we admit is much more practical given that we never really "need" to look out the windows and that they're really just a big hole in our insulation efforts.

With that said, we've come a long way and I think we're on the home stretch to finishing this thing!

7 months ago:


What the 老公 has done:
- insulated the floors, walls, ceiling, wheel wells
- installed sound deadener in doors
- installed framing for the subfloor, walls, ceiling
- caulk the windows to waterproof (we learned this the hard way after a rain storm & discovering wet-subfloor that had to be taken out, dried, & re-insulated!)
- welded & painted the bed frame (partly installed here)
- made new door cover panels & upholstered them
- installed vent fan, solar panel, amp & speakers, winch to raise/lower half the bed, secondary battery
- re-wired the van for all the above plus lighting, fridge, water pump, accessory outlet
- recarpeted the front
- built & upholstered the header storage above the front seats
- installed floating vinyl plank flooring


Many months were spent just plotting out the wiring and researching materials. And I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting many other little things, but as you can see: it's been a big undertaking! Minus a bathroom, this has basically been a smaller-scale whole-house renovation.

What is left to do:
- finish insulating & installing the walls
- install the remaining door panels & handles
- install the fridge frame & water tank & pump
- build & install cabinets under the bed & for the sink/fridge
- install lights
- install floor edging at the doors
- sew cushion covers for the bed
- sew curtains for the front & windows on the doors
- re-install the driver & passenger seats
- possibly cover the wall/ceiling panels in fabric? We'll see how we feel about the bare plywood first before taking on more work

Evidently the left-to-do list is almost as long as the what's-been-done list, but the bulk of the work was planning so I feel we're in good shape to see this completed in the next month =) Not that we have much choice given our City of Rocks plan for June...

This has obviously been the 老公's project but I did help out a little! I helped with the sound deadener, wall & ceiling insulation & installation, picking out flooring, & general input on the planning process :D Yup. I'm that helpful. The sewn pieces are my task as well so I'm not completely useless in all this.

老公 says he's learned a lot for when we need to convert another van, but the biggest lesson would be to start with a van with straight sides!