Van Build – The End of week 2!!

I’ve not updated the blog in a while as we’ve been working long days and then too knackered to do anything on an evening. We’ve just compared a Day 1 photo to today and we’re happy with our progress so far!

Sunday 5th August marked the end of week one and we decided to get on the roof and check what was lurking up there! Luckily there wasn’t much rust but there were a few spots and the sealant round the front was on its last legs. We treated the spots of rust with Hammerite Kurust and then replaced the sealant with Sikaflex. It felt like the hottest day of the year and the sun was reflecting off the bright white roof! It was so bright we needed to dig out some sunglasses! We decided not to work on the van anymore and got on with some domestic tasks like washing our clothes and food shopping!

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Monday marked the start of week 2 and also our 2 year anniversary! We decided to have an easy day and just posted our packages (quite a big haul today) and took Alfie for a nice walk. It’s crazy to think we only met 2 years ago because it seems like forever and I definitely could not take on a project like this with anyone else!

On Tuesday we insulated the cab roof and then took a shopping trip to B&Q to buy some wood to start framing. We also needed to stock up on packaging for our ebay sales but over 200 miles from home were not sure where to get any yet! That evening we received delivery of the insulation boards which was exciting for us. We bought these from someone on Facebook who had bought them from Germany to insulate their home before they realised they needed 100mm and this was only 30mm! He managed to shift them and we got a bargain so it was a good day all round!

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By the peek of the week we smashed it and managed to get loads done! We added the sound proofing (we bought Silent Coat sheets on Ebay). We insulated the Wheel Arches and then added the Insulation Boards to the floor! The first stage to this was adding wood batons. There were a few reasons for this, to reduce movement of the boards and a frame to screw the plyboard to. Our floor is ridged so there were some awkward spots! We then used spray adhesive to add a layer of double bubble insulation and taped it all down with insulation tape. We slept well that night!

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Thursday we went to B&Q again this time for some Plywood to board the floor. Then it was back to cut to size and screw it all down! This was a big job as there were lots of shapes we were going round like the wheel arches! Sadly for us the floor is nowhere near a rectangle! As were living in the van whilst we convert it this made a big difference from walking on the cold ridged floor in the night!

Friday we built the frame in the cab that will eventually become a cupboard with a door. Then Elliot was brave and cut another hole in the van! This one was for the ceiling fan and was much easier than the window hole. This was a square so no curved lines to tackle through! Installing this has added lots of extra light which is an added bonus! We still need to fix the bottom but won’t do this until we have finished the ceiling and its cladded. As soon as we added it the sky turned grey so Elliot quickly covered it as best he could with a bin liner!

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It was cold Friday, rained all night and through Saturday so we decided to start insulating the walls. We added the insulation boards and again added wood batons and double bubble insulation, sealed with insulation tape. This was a tricky job as every part of the walls are different shapes, sizes and depths so it was a complete custom job taking it one bit at a time! We got one wall finished and decided to make a window ledge from an off cut of an old door. The door it came from was taken off a barn in France. We cut it to size, routed the edge and then sanded it down. I think it looks great!

It rained all night again but we were warm! Not sure if the temperature has risen or the bit of insulation has made a difference but either way it was good. It was nice to wake up with the light from the ceiling fan and the good news is it hasn’t leaked! So on this rainy Sunday we insulated the other wall and then decided to fix an awning we had been gifted. It belonged to Elliot’s uncle who no longer has his campervan and it’s been lurking in his mums garage for about 4 years! Bizarrely it matches our van with the same colours! It’s like it’s meant to be! It had a broken leg but we ordered a replacement part on Ebay and went to work replacing it. It wasn’t too easy and we needed a trip to Tool Station to buy a Rivet Gun to finish installing the new fixture. Then was the task of adding it to the van and opening her up! Success!! This will be perfect for us to shade from the sun and also rain! We then installed some conduit which will house the electric cables etc!

The day didn’t end there, we had made good progress and decided to make a drawer for the side of the van! We built out over the step when installing the floor so there was more room to house our cooker. This left a space under the step perfect for a drawer and as space will be precious we decided to make the most of it. Again this was a complete custom build and we just worked out how to do it along the way. We used the top of a medal display cabinet and cut it to size. The joinery on this was old school but were not sure exactly when it was made. I fell in love with the design as soon as I saw it and knew we had to use it for something. We will eventually sand it all down and paint it but for now we are happy.

At the end of week 2 we are really enjoying the project and this new way of life. Everything is just so chilled, we wake up with no alarm and just take each day as it comes.

KLF

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