Monday 17th September and week 7 since we started the van build! We’ve lost about 4 weeks whilst the van was in the garages and we were unable to work on it which has held up back, but we’re ploughing on…
We did one of the jobs we had been dreading… installing a porthole window! It was hard enough cutting a slight curve so a full circle we thought would be a real challenge. It was either easier or Elliot’s just a pro now because it was easy going. The next part was harder, we bought a cheap model and it’s not designed very well so there was a bit of extra work required to get it in. But like with everything else we made it work.
Elliot’s mum picked us up some lino off cuts on gumtree so Elliot went to work lining the garage under the bed. Seeing flooring down seems like real progress.
My amazing friend Honor sent us rolls of Microtrim carpet which is used on the ceiling and walls of coaches. I was over the moon as this can be quite expensive! I interviewed Honor for a job in 2012 and I instantly knew we would get along. It’s safe to say she was hired and became my right hand woman and a fantastic friend. It’s not often you meet genuine people with a heart of gold but Honor is one of a few. Thanks again Honor you have helped get Wavy wandering and we are super grateful!
I went to work adding the carpet around the edges of the doors which was quite tricky. Our van is full of irregular shapes which makes everything difficult. Luckily there was lots of stretch in the carpet so it wraps quite well. I used spray adhesive to glue it on but even that stuff is a nightmare to use. The nossle ends up clogged and then it sprays everywhere and ends up all over your fingers. A few times without realising I pressed the carpet down and ended up getting glue on the front! But I got there eventually.
We added boards up on the side panels of what will be our garage, under the bed. We boarded off behind the drivers seat and I learned more new skills. Just watching Elliot work is like an apprenticeship, he explains what he’s doing and shows me how all the tools work and then I get to have a go. My favourite tool so far is the jigsaw!
We added insulation and vapour barrier around the porthole and carpeted the edges of the back doors. The next stage here is cladding.
Our design is in our heads and each day we start with no plan and just decide what to do when we wake. It’s kind of magical to watch it all coming to life around us. You can never determine an accurate timescale with a van build because there is always one challenge to face. It’s less stressful to take each day as it comes.
We have quite a large storage space above the cab so we lined this with caret which will be great for extra insulation and sound proofing. We will eventually add some kind of doors to this.
Then it was time for our kitchen to start taking shape. We made a worktop from and old cupboard, sanded it and stained with Danish Oil. Elliot finished the sink and added a push closure. Even this was a work of art by the time he had finished. We’re using an old copper jam pan so there was bound to be some modifications required. Then the taps went in and we are super happy with the one we bought, it even matches the pan handles.
Because the push button sat higher than the pan base there would’ve water sitting at the bottom so we added a layer of resin to the bottom. so it will drain out.
It rained all day Sunday so we had a lazy day!
The start of the next week marked 8 weeks since we left home. We started framing out the bathroom which allows us to see how much space we will have now and it’s more than I thought.
We are using Saniclad for a wet room finish so we cant screw into it. We decided to use silicone and add one wall at a time. We used whatever we could find to wedge in and hold it in place overnight.
We have been dreaming of “Van Life” for a while and used to watch loads of videos on YouTube. Every time we saw a good space saving tip we made a note and one of those things was a spice rack built into the wall. We finally created our own and it made me so happy. It’s pretty much all made from off cuts of wood, we filled the screw holes with a saw dust and PVA glue mix and then sanded it down. Then we added a few coats of Danish oil.
The Saniclad held and we were able to add the ceiling. Again we used what we could find to prop it up, the carpet rolls came in handy for this! Doing one wall at a time makes it a slow process but I’d rather it was done right and not rushed. We had a trip to B&Q for more plywood and we also bought some cladding. When we got back we added ply to the outsides after adding layers of carpet in between for sound proofing.
Then was the time to take the door off. It was so heavy it was tough going but we managed it ok. We first had to insulate and add a vapor barrier. This will help a lot as there has been some condensation on a morning on this door as it was just metal. We used cladding clips so there is no visible screw holes but due to the shape of the door it was hard to get them to stay in place. It took all day but it was a big relief once finished. We just need to finished round the window and the edges but it looks good. It was such a long day we forgot to take a finished photo before we put it back on.
We added some shelves under the kitchen sink an then it was time for a rest day!