Van Update – 10,000 miles in!

9/29/20 Well, it’s been almost 4 months since I’ve been on the road and I can’t believe that I’ve come this far. My initial fears have diminished and I am just more aware and selective of my surroundings. The trip mileage just topped 10,000! I am not sure that this is accurate, but it does show that I’ve come a long way since I left Chicago. Tim, my RV service man, mentioned that I will know what kind of changes to make to the van as I am on the road and I have a long list.
– Storage! I don’t have enough and really need to make some changes if I want to continue this lifestyle. There was a lot of culling of stuff, but more needs to be done. The bottom line is that I won’t separate from the new items and will need to put things in storage. The other is that I really need to create more storage space, either in the form of additional cubbies or mobile storage. I am thinking about putting a rack on top of the van and adding a ladder. I can put clothes and unused items there and can access it more easily without lugging a small trailer, which is the other option. I also want to install a trailer hitch with a back rack that moves out of the way and I can put my utilities on it, like the generator and propane, and extra water. Between those two, I should be able to free up enough room and make my space more livable.
– Water is the key to making this work. Right now I have 2 – 6 gal jugs and a foot pump that I am not fond of. My “gray” tank fills up quickly, but I’ve been able to change it out pretty easily. I want to get a 5 gal jug for drinking water because I keep tripping on the 1 gal containers and they take up a lot of space. The water jugs are also very heavy, so I need to come up with a way to transport them into the van. I’m also washing dishes outside when I can so I don’t clog up the gray tank. So far, it’s working pretty well.
– The Whynter fridge is great and I love it! It’s big enough to hold my perishables and keep some drinks cold. However, the wheels on the platform do not cooperate and it is really hard to move the fridge to access the top. I am thinking of switching the wheels out and using heavy duty sliders instead. I’ll discuss this with Tim when I get home.
– The little pull out table is awesome and that is where I spend most of my time eating or on the laptop. The only thing is that the sliders catch on my clothes and are putting holes in them. Got to fix that.
– Believe it or not, the dry toilet is functional and working as expected. I removed the funnel that was supposed to divert the liquid because it was too short and I was missing it. So it’s just the bucket and 2 bags for now. I don’t use it for #2 at this point; just for midnight emergencies. That being said, the van is not equipped for dispersed camping, and I have to use campgrounds or truck stops with facilities. This will have to change in the future if I truly want to go boon docking.
– Finally, I want to install a step by the side door of the van. I hate the new step stool as it takes up too much space and is a pain to bring in and out all of the time.

I found a truck wash in Fargo, ND and my baby looks like new (except for the dent)! I’ve been keeping the cab clean and using Amorall to keep it shiny. It’s looking good!

If you have experience with converted vans and have great ideas/solutions to the changes I need, please drop me a line or post in the comment section.

Have a great day!

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