A little introduction - I'm Jonathan, 27 years old, husband to a beautiful wife and papa to our little boy.
In two years we plan to take a year out, traveling around the UK, before leaving and heading across Europe, through Pakistan, and then possibly on to China. A van seemed a good way to get us there so I'm taking driving lessons, have bought a van and now begin the somewhat daunting task of creating what will be our home for at least the next few years!
I've trawled through thousands of posts the last few months, read almost every blog going on van conversion, and feel like I'm already part of the hippy family! Thanks to all who have taken the time to post and give advice here, the result is an incredible catalog of shared knowledge and ideas with plenty of banter to move things along.
I tend to over research things which isn't always helpful, there is far too much choice! From how to treat/paint the chassis to what type of toilet to use, from insulation and heating to electricity and refrigeration, the list is somewhat exhausting!
Here's a list of what I've planned so far:
Insulation = Kingspan (or equivalent) 50mm walls & roof / 25mm floor. Ebay for seconds? Foil bubble layer over the top.
Paneling = 5mm ply or 8mm T&G (I would love to try with pallet wood but it may weigh more?)
Bed = Double over cab and a single underneath
Heating = One of Julians stoves, please! thefireweaver.com
Power = Solar and possibly a tinderbox
Water = Waste tank underneath, fresh tank perhaps safer inside to prevent freezing (unless I can find a way to insulate it well?). Smaller drinking water tank inside.
Shower = A bucket to keep things simple, water heated via the stove.
Gas = Cylinder underneath, to power hob and oven.
Toilet = A cassette toilet.
Lighting = Led's from solar, plus some garden led lights stored on the roof to be brought in at night.
Refrigeration = Cold bucket of water/wet towel. We will really miss our freezer! It looks like it's pretty hard to run a fridge let alone a freezer just off solar. Marine fridges would be possible but they cost a fortune.
Chassis = Wire brush, rust eater. Then POR 15 stuff? Or red oxide and chassis black? Or engine oil?
Roof = Rubberized paint.
Exterior = Some nato desert colour paint.
Piano = I'd like to squeeze one in, or at least a keyboard!
We picked it up from Glasgow, it was sold as spotless but it's far from it! Had a mechanic look it over and he said it's fine, gears our very stiff but apparently that's usual with old vans.
There's a few tears in the alloy I'll need to patch and rivet.
I've taken all the battening down to clean the interior up. I need to get the floor up but the screws go right through into the chassis and I can't get them to budge. I tried with an impact screwdriver and hammer but it didn't touch them, any ideas? I may invest in an electric impact driver if it would do the job as it would come in useful for everything else I do.