Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Insulation, Change of Plans, and Cabinets

Not bad for $17

The plan was to do foam board insulation, which was going to be great and cost about 15-20 bucks to do the van.  Well on closer inspection, the panels were actually beveled, meaning they are wedge shaped in thickness.  Unfortunately the thickest ends were just too thick to fit.  So I went with plan B, which is refectix.  They had huge spools of it there, and while they are only 9 inches in width, its only 17 dollars for the roll you see above.  I don't know how long the roll is, but it fills the van from wheel to wheel.  The plan is now to insulate the inside of panels with this.  I am more worried about heat in the summer than cold in the winter, so foil is going to be facing the shell of the van.  This is counter to just about everyone I seen, who put the reflectix on the can shell itself, to reflect heat inward.  I might do that too if it looks like I have enough after doing the first panel.

Only thing i am worried about is the dead space in between the shell and the reflectix, could this rust out the inside of the van?  I'm thinking it will be ok, as the moisture is inside the panels and reflectix acts as a vapor barrier.  It isnt a huge deal anyway, nothing can stop the rust on this van, which is turning out worse than expected anyway.

Cabinet Doors $3 each
 We also looked at all the cabinets they had there, and started really thinking about my options.  I think we have a decent plan.  We decided to go with custom cabinets (read: plywood), with new facing and doors.  Each of the facings (with working doors) is 3 bucks a piece.  They are very nice looking.  They had bigger ones with drawer slots etc, basically the facing to a whole kitchen cabinet for 5$ each.  They sold other complete cabinet sets for like 70 dollars and massive sets for like 300, but it will be much cheaper to do plywood with facing.

The people at the outreach were very help volunteers.   God Bless them...I can't help but be thankful to the Lord for just the ministry i need, at just the place and time I need it.

The guy even helped carry stuff out to the van to tinker around with ideas and what would fit.  I wish I could teleport this stuff to other vandweller friends online.  :)

I was hoping to put up the foam today since its a crazy 70+ outside, but I have to wait for the panels.  I decided to go with actual plywood for them, just directly screwed to ribs. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad.   I usually only heat my bedroom and sometimes my bathroom.  Unfortunately this isn't good for the 12 pack of sodas I had sitting in the kitchen on the counter....one of them exploded.  At least the mess was somewhat contained by the pack.

I have tried to heat the rest of the house just to see what kind of bill difference it made.  The previous bill was 16 bucks or so.  The bill with the heat on some of the days ran it up to 115!  Wow, what a difference.  So...i moved the cans into my bedroom and dripped the faucet to avoid more accidents.  Now if my can goods start popping their lids I'll cave in and heat it a little each day.

Looking forward to ditching all these bills and living in the van.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Updating The Blog Pages

Just a quick note for all my fans following this blog (all 2 of them :P), I finally updated the vandwelling page to include my rig and conversion plans for it.  I plan to keep a running tally of my progress and plans on that page.  I also added some cool links to the resource page, and plan to be updating more frequently.  Enjoy!

Van Insulation, and A Busted Chomper

I started to feeling lately that I haven't been working toward any of my goals, either long term financial ones or short term plans of converting my van into a living space.  So I finally snagged Sam (my uber handy brother in law) and went down to the outreach center.  I wasn't going for spiritual guidance, but to look at insulation for my van.  In a peculiar but seemingly effective idea for a charity mission, a local church created an outreach that "takes donations" (read: sells) home building materials for practically nothing.  All they ask is to sign up as a member, listen to a little preaching when you sign up, and volunteer some time unloading the truck or something.

I'm not a member but Sam is, so bonus.  When I say they sell the stuff cheap, i mean it.  Sam snagged a sink there for like 14 dollars for my van.  It probably retails for 50-80 bucks for something similar.  The insulation I am interested in are 4 foot by 4 foot foam squares of various thickness.  They take 'donations' of $1.50 per inch of thickness.  Since I only need about an inch in a van or maybe even 3/4", we guess 15 bucks or so to insulate the entire van (plus maybe some adhesive).   That is pretty awesome. 

Unfortunately temperatures have dropped to the teens and in the negatives with wind chill, so we put grabbing them and starting conversion work until it warms up some.

I think I swallowed the Red Part :(

Tragedy strikes!  I was eating a burrito from a local haunt, and it had some rice in there that was hard and dried out.  Gross but manageable.  Except that a piece shattered my tooth (an upper 'fang') and left me very worried about it.  It basically split the entire length, sheering off a quarter of the tooth, and I need to get it pulled before it breaks at the gum line.  I already have one that did that and the broken tooth is laying in wait under my gums to get infected and kill me.   I just can't afford to have it taken out, because it requires surgery which is expensive. 

Having this new broken tooth removed will be cheaper and doable, but it won't be cheap.  With the cold making the electric bills skyrocket I can feel my goals getting yet further away.