Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 7 of van life and holiday weekend

I parked on the street last night and it was weird but in a good way. Despite being 2 blocks from work I was still 15min late. I got to wear my perfectly fitting new golf pants to work on tuesday and I am convinced that polyester clothing is the way to go. I picked up these at academy sports off their clearance rack for $12, apparently thin people don't go to this sporting good store because all that they normally have are L, XL and XXL which explains why these were on the rack.

Long holiday weekends are like monkey wrenches. They remind you of how much time you are wasting at work, kinda like getting a shot glass full of retirement only the hangover is tuesday morning.

I spent the long weekend in Boerne, TX at a friend's ranch. Just relaxing, swimming in a pool/lake, shooting guns (apparently this is considered to be a form of fun?), sailing and kayaking. Lots of good food and perfect weather. I even managed to sleep in the top bunk and watch the stars.

Obviously I took the van there, instead of driving along I-10, I traveled along the barely used alt 90 highway.  It takes longer  but the quality of the drive amazing. There are no billboards or advertising, almost no cars or trucks, protected from the wind and the speed limit is more aligned to what the van is capable of doing.
Only problem I had was the speedometer system seems to have given up, I either need a new cable or a clip but for now I know what my speed is based on rpm.

Thoughts on the van.
It is awesome.

Things to do:
The cabinets and fridge need illumination. Having to use a flashlight and search for food or shirt in the dark is terrible. I've got plans to use surface mount LEDs and magnetic switches. Not sure if i want to tie directly to battery power or use 9V batteries.

Sink switch kit is coming, same for the fan unit. I also ordered a tune up kit as I was feeling  a bit of hesitation at higher rpm's but driving a few hundred miles seems to have cleaned it up, also added a can of BG fuel system cleaner before the trip.

The fridge is operating. Food is staying cool, I am actually impressed by how well it is working. I doubt I can make ice cubes. I need to figure out a way to vent the heat from the fridge outside the van, I was thinking a pair of computer fans at the window screen will be good and then use some type of fabric to channel the heat. Perhaps the insulated window covers can double as the channeling fabric.

The gas peddle is still getting hot on long trips, this time I figured out that the heat is transmitting through the metal rod to the peddle. I need to crawl around and see what I can insulate to reduce this (or drive with shoes on).

Still need to put the new vinyl letters on and install the cam screw (although I might wait till I have other things to do in the engine bay to do this)

Need to find a place to drain the grey water tanks and also start carrying around a water bottle to top off the water tank. I might drain the auxiliary tank, currently not needed and the water in there is approx 80lbs. Not taking showers in the van saves a ton of water but I still want the capacity for the extended, middle of nowhere, trips that may happen at an undetermined point in the future.

I want to velcro some commonly used items to the underside of the stove cover, kind of a pain to be digging around in bags all the time. I ordered some gotoobs for the shower bag.

Need to get rid of more stuff. I have a box for goodwill to drop off today.


  1. about your light issue... I saw these led lights with adhesive backing that stick to the wall or ceiling and you push them on and off. They come with (supposed) 5-year battery life... so something like that would save you from another super fun wiring project.

  2. and did you forget what state you're in? skinny don't just avoid academy sports... they don't live in Texas