Van Diaries 1 – The Van and The Fan

Time was running out, and the van was far from ready…

I’m not sure how we waited until June to start working on this van conversion.
Actually… I do know; we were really freakin’ busy with projects, occupying our time and minds; plus the inevitable business trip deadline looming ever closer and drawing our focus away from the task at hand.

We purchased the van during winter from a coworker/family friend  🙂
They had used it previously for camping, and it was a good thing too.

The van came pre-equipped with a cushioned rubber flooring, a large side window, a ceiling exhaust vent, a second marine battery… and the dreaded motorized door step (more on that one later).


Day 1 (of dedicated real van work…)

The Exhaust fan…
We started with the installation of a new ceiling exhaust.
The old one was okay… it just didn’t have much to it. We really wanted something that moved air, and were having a hard time deciding between a simple fan, or something with some actual AC.
We decided because of our power limitations to go with one of the better fan-only exhaust vents we could find… maybe someday we’ll upgrade to an actual AC unit.
The new one we choose is equipped with variable speed, reversible direction, and a temperature sensor.

Since the hole in the ceiling was already cut, the process was pretty simple really;
Out with the old…

And in with the new…

To avoid leaks we added sealant around the top edge; and for power we tapped right into the lighting circuit.

With the new fan spinning, we came to…

The next order of business…
That pesky broken motorized step!

When we bought the van, it came with a motorized step that would extent and retract each time the door was opened/closed.

The problem was…. It was broken!
So really, it was just more of a shin kicker than anything…

At first it would retract…. sometimes.
Sometimes it would hang, sticking out, positioned to plunge to the passing highway below (probably sending a shower of sparks with it).

It had to go.

But boy was it difficult to remove…  Bolts had rusted to the point of no longer being bolts. Several violently broke off while trying to remove them; those were the easy ones… A few we had no access on top to grip the head… this meant we had to cut.

What followed next may have been the holding power tools at very awkward angles, above… and inches from your face (I stick to the claim that all the proper safety gear was worn ;)).


With some help from Frankie, and after several breaks from frustration and feelings of utter hopelessness…


Not bad for a first day…

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