March ’19: Crawling

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As the old proverb says, “You have to learn to crawl before you can walk”. Well, let me tell you, March has been a month of crawling. There is a lot of research that goes into a van build. Of course, some folks rush out of the gates in a full speed run and get it done, but that’s not our style. We’re more of the —if you’re going to do something, do it right— SLOTH variety. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Research

I have to give Eric a lot of credit in this department as he has been the primary researcher. He has invested a lot of time into making sure our van isn’t going to catch on fire all while offering us adequate off-grid capabilities, functional lighting, and all the bells and whistles needed for life on the road.

I’ve taken on the role of workaholic (pretty much back to working full-time) and I’ve been having fun dreaming up designs that will maximize our living space as well as creating plans for functional, multi-purpose furniture with ample storage capabilities.

So far the entire process, while time consuming, has been a lot of fun for both Eric and I. Seeing our ideas and creations come to life is something we’re both looking forward to.

Now the trick is dealing with our enemies—Weather and Time.

Progress

Flooring

While we do have a long way to go, we’re making consistent progress considering the above mentioned obstacles of cold, rain, and lack of daylight hours. We still have goals to be finished in the next couple of months, which I think is realistic. The slowest part is the hunting and gathering phase which primarily is buying everything we needed and solidifying the plan. That is finally done (for the most part). So next month we should have a TON of updates. For now, here are some photos from our progress this month.

Photographed to the left is the bare base of the van after removing the composite wood floor. Those black circular pucks as seen in the photo were straight from the depths of hell! Thankfully Eric is a strong guy because I could barely pull up 3-4 of them even with the use of a heat gun and pliers. He said it took him a solid couple of hours to do the job! I believe it. When I got home from work we knocked it out together. I heated, Eric pulled.

The 3 layer sub floor.

  1. Poly Iso Board
  2. 1/2 inch Plywood
  3. Composite flooring (came with van)

Ventilation

Eric is getting good at sawing out holes in the roof of the van! This month we installed the Maxx Fan and a smaller vent fan towards the front to help draw out moisture when cooking and draw out the smell when…um, you know! Hey, like Morgan Freeman says, “Everybody Poops!”.

Dream= World Travel.

Reality= Eric cracking the whip, “Get busy girl! Day Dream Over.

Insulation

Ok, ok. By now, I’m sure you’re all wondering why Eric is doing all the work. Well, it’s because he’s awesome like that. But, in all fairness, I’ve been putting in some tedious, time consuming work insulating the van! Little did I know when I initially started, measuring and cutting would be the EASY part. Gluing the pieces in has turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare—A major test in my patience for sure!

After measuring all 24 panels (YES, TWENTY-FOUR), I cut them as perfectly to size as possible. Next step, stuffing Reflectix into the multiple bulkheads throughout. Then, gluing the panels into place! Due to the curvature of the van and the stiffness of the insulation, I ended up making several more cuts to help in the ‘bend factor’ so that the panels could stick to the van properly. It was so much fun!

What’s Next?

In regards to the van, only time will tell. Our goal is to have the van done as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest level of craftsmanship possible. Ultimately, we have to finish up the insulation in the ceiling and tape all the seams with Frost King (duct insulation). Installing the solar panels is next on our list. Then, we’ll start with running the electrical, finish up the floating bed, and build the bathroom area. So, stay tuned…April is going to be a BUSY month! I’m just looking forward to getting all of the stuff cluttering up the house INTO the van for good!

Keto

I’m not going to lie. I pretty much failed this past month in the diet department. I’ve been extremely inconsistent and I am in dire need of getting back on track. I did however manage to lose another 2.5 pounds this month. All in all, progress is progress, right? I have a feeling that April is going to be a better month. Eventually it will quit raining and the days will be longer so that I can get out and do more adventuring!

I did make up a wonderful recipe for keto-friendly stuffed peppers using cauliflower, turkey burger, Italian spices, and topped with fresh Parmesan cheese. Yum.

I would give you all the recipe, but I sort of just made it up—My own personal concoction.

For Fun

Fun? What’s that? Oh yes, that thing that people do when they have a lot of free time! I had almost forgotten. Yes, I did actually get to have a wee bit of fun this month. Every year, one of my colleagues gets a group of people (PTs, OTs, Techs, etc) together and we sign up for the annual Chair-Hoops Basketball Tournament put on by the Boise Parks & Recreation Adaptive Sports Program. I’m proud to say that we won 1 of 4 games this year in the competitive league. Go team! Seriously, the guys/gals in the adaptive sports programs are amazing athletes. It’s fun just to hang out and watch all of the games!

Team Elks Rehab 2019—Back row: Kent, Kyle, Abby, Brian. Front Row: Keaton, ME, and Mallory

Wrap Up

While it wasn’t the most adventurous month, it was definitely a busy one. I hope you are all enjoying a first hand look at the van build. I don’t know about you all, but I’m looking forward to spring time, warmer weather, and lots of outdoor activities.

What are some of your summertime plans? I’d love to hear about them! I enjoy reading your comments below. Feel free to share any upcoming adventures, spring/summer goals, dreams about carbs (for you keto folks), or just pop in to say hello!

Until next time….

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