Van 2 Build

The day after  I returned from Africa, I got right to work building the new van into a camper.  I wanted to get on the road, out of Queenstown and into surf asap.  My friends Ed and Steph in Arrowtown (the ones I stayed with before the winter season started) allowed me to stay again and use there yard as a work shop.  Their landlord is a very nice guy and also allowed me to use his driveway and extension cord.  I rented a few tools, spent hours calculating, then recalculating, then going to the lumber yard, then back to recalculate, then finally back to buy the wood.

I had already designed the floor and bed on paper, so I now needed to put the plans into reality.

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Cutting MDF with a rented circular saw, using the lawn as a shop, and chairs as saw horses.

It rained off and on.  What I had planned to take 3 days, ended up taking about a week and a half.  I can’t do anything fast.

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The Van in its raw state

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Van in it's raw state

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Lawn workshop

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I had to build a frame for the floor, as there are 2 welded in metal beams on the floor from a wheel chair lift that was previously installed. Here the floor is in, after I framed the bottom and cut the MDF to fit the wall contours. I used a jig saw I bought for $20 NZD / $16 USD. This took me 2 days.

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Overcast rainy day on the lawn shop

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It took me another 3 days to frame out and figure out the structure for the bed. I assembled it inside because of rain, then spent a day getting it to be almost perfectly square....why, because apparently I have come down with a case of building A.C.D.

Another view of the bed frame.  In the bottom right corner, I have made a hinged floor door to access the battery compartment

Another view of the bed frame. In the bottom right corner, I have made a hinged floor door to access the battery compartment

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Ed and Steph enjoying Ed's English breakfast on when of the rare nice mornings. They sat and watched me in bewilderment as I fumbled around taking forever to build this thing.

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Finally almost ready to attach and fit everything. At this point I had installed lino flooring tiles for easy cleaning....they where cheap, and self adhering. Cheap and self anything is an oxymoron.

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Finally, bed is fitted and attached, floor is in with tiles peeling up in the sun. I used some pre-made shelving boxes and left over MDF for lids, and some random hinges to create storage compartments.

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Another View

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Pretty much done. I spent another day fixing all the little electrical things in the cock pit. I even got the 20 year old digital clock to work. I love this old van, there is hardly anything electrical to it, and everything is as easy as replacing a fuse, or a bulb.

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All done building! I hooked up the electrical converter, figured out how to change the oil and off I went to load up my stuff.

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3 responses to “Van 2 Build

  1. hot new ride phil!
    I have finally caught up on your adventures- fantastic tales and photos

    erin m.

  2. Phil, you are so rad!

  3. soooo cool!
    I like this better than my apartment right now!

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