The transformation of Scarlet...
... from lowly fleet vehicle to glorious home built mini-camper will unfold here. Lots of before and after pix, design thoughts, post-build field reports, etc.
I have a general sense of what I would like to have happen with the interior of the van, but there are a few constraints driving the design that make it necessary to hold back on a complete, permanent conversion to camper van right now. Constraints and considerations being made as the project evolves include:
- My general preference that the design incorporates modular or transforming components and features; surfaces and spaces that can be converted for different uses and needs. I like things that have more than one use, and often repurpose items I have around the house when there is a function to be served and I don't want to go out and buy another thing to do that.
- Our finances. I don't have a lot of money to use expensive materials or components. I find that point where spending some money to achieve a level of comfort or convenience that makes using the van for adventures appealing, because if skimping means we are not as inclined to use the van, then it's a waste of money all around.
- We need to be able to put back at least 2 of the 3 bench seats we have to transport our kids on trips. The original intent when I bought the van was to take a road trip to Washington with the whole family; me, my wife, our 3 year old, my 13 year old, and my wife's 6' 3" 15 year old. We have a trailer that we were going to tow. While this particular trip didn't happen, the intention is still there to take a trip next summer if things line up.
What this means is that I need to design and build something that is either easily removed entirely, in parts, or can be transformed in place using folding sections... not exactly sure how this will manifest, but the thoughts are brewing. Some solution will reveal itself.
So for now, at the end of 2017, I am taking a phased approach to work with what I have and what I want to do in the short term.
With one trip and one configuration tested, it's time to see how I can re-arrange things so the second bench seat can be put back in the van for the kids to ride in, without having to remove the entire frame I've installed already.
In the mean time, I am going to work on ...
- window blackout/insulation follow the plans published by Darren over on Odyssey Camper
- toddler bed for camping with a 3 year old
- incorporating E Track and beam sockets to redo the bed platform and make it more easily modified when a second bench seat needs to be re-installed, possibly using aluminum square tubing
- look at ways to incorporate other e track accessories (fixed shelf track brackets,