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The van - 2. The transformation part 1

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We have to name our van however we cannot think of a name to suit it. James is adamant that all cars/vans are female and so it needs a female name. We can not however think of anything. Suggestions are welcome.

The first purchase we made for the van was a little alien from toy story for the dash! Ooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Such big kids! It cost $17 - yes expensive!

We were looking online to see how other people had converted their vans into a liveable space. Our first thought was to put some lino down on the floor to make it a bit cleaner.  Then I saw a website where an Australian guy had documented the whole transformation of the same van. He had screwed sections of plywood to the floor to make it a nice even surface (as the floor has ridges in it) and to secure further items to. we decided we would do the same. The only tricky part would be to make the cuts around the wheel arches and a coupld of other areas to get the would to fit nicely. This is where Neil said he'd help us as he'd worked on a few projects involving wood.

The second purchase we made was was the wood and the screws. We bought 9mm ply wood and the screws took a few trips to Bunnings (a really good warehouse like MFI or homebase just bigger and better) to finally get the right ones. This set us back around $95.

Me and James cleaned out the van from top to bottom - we chose a really hot day to do this - bad mistake it was hard work and we were sweating buckets. The following day James and Neil prepared the wood using a jigsaw and screwed it in.



Th next task was to build a bed and buy a mattress to put on top. We headed back to Bunnings and picked up some assorted pine to make the legs and the frame. John (farm owner) put aside some scrap wood he had to make the slats. we spent about $20 on wood for the bed. It was going to be my job to do most of the bed making. In the meantime we had also been looking at futons that were for sale on gumtree as an alternative. The bonus of having a futon would be that it could be folded up to make more space when not sleeping. We had found a variety of futons for sale but were unsure whether the base would be high enough the clear the wheel arches. Then one day out of curiosity I looked through the freebies section of gumtree and there was a futon for free that just needed picking up. It had its length and height but no other dimensions and no picture. James thought that as it was free there was no harm in going to take a look. We phoned the advertiser and arranged to pick it up later that day.

When we picked up the futon it fitted nicely into the back of the van and bonus it cleared the wheel arches. On the way back from picking it up we stopped at a car parts shop like halfords and picked up some degreaser and a cover for the steering wheel (its a bit worn), and a bucket which cost in total around $20. We took back the wood we had purchased to make the bed.

When Jenny left she also left us a 30 litre storage container. They're pretty expensive for what they are. So we were glad we got one for free.

The plan for the van is to repaint the inside to make it look cleaner and more pleasant. We will also sand the joins in the ply floor and varnish it. Then we will need to do something with the rusted side panel. James was contacting wreckers to see if they had anything but he couldn't find anything. I think the plan for the side panel is to fill it for now and if a panel comes up at a wreckers go and buy that and fit it. We still have to decide which end of the van we will put the bed. The transformation continues.

Total spent so far $1981





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Canoelands, Australia