What is She Building Anyway?

As I started sharing this blog with people (or thinking of sharing it with people; I don’t like the thought of other people reading my stuff; I am aware that this does not contribute to my financial well-being as a writer), I realized that not all of you live in Colorado, where I pass at least two homebuilt camper vans on my mile-long journey to the grocery store. Here’s what I mean when I say I’m building a camper van.

My van will perform eight functions:

  1. Regulate heat and moisture with a roof fan, a second wall-mounted fan, a new openable window, sunshades, wool insulation, and a portable alcohol heater.
  2. Ensure privacy with blackout curtains and sound-absorbing wool.
  3. Generate electricity with 200 watts of solar panels that power lights, outlets, and small appliances.
  4. Allow me to sleep comfortably in a twin-sized bed that folds up into a futon.
  5. Inspire me to make good food in a mini kitchen complete with fridge, stove, sink, running water, and counter space.
  6. Inspire me to poop in an emergency toilet.
  7. Provide storage for clothes, food, outdoor gear, etc.
  8. Feel homey, thanks to a mini garden, art, and natural materials like cedar.

I’m asking a lot of 135 cubic feet of cargo space, but I know it’s possible to cram all this stuff in there because I’ve seen it done.

Image credit: Randy, CheapRVLiving.com

Randy’s van was the first Connect camper I stumbled upon online, and it clearly inspired my van’s layout. I like how Randy maximized space by blocking one of his sliding doors with his kitchen unit. I also like how he built custom furniture that takes advantage of his van’s curved walls. I think Randy’s bed is too small. I’ll build a bed twice the size of Randy’s and have it fold up into a futon for daytime.

That accent. That music. I could watch this on loop. I love this van’s clean finishes, “handcrafted interior,” and functional windows. I might steal their rotating stove idea (Randy has one too). It’s too bad this van isn’t insulated everywhere. I don’t like the pop-up roof, because I think solar panels and a roof fan are more useful than a little extra headspace. Also because I’m too scared to saw off my roof and too cheap to pay someone else to do it for $5,000-$10,000.

Hey Josh Oakes! I’ve watched this guy’s videos so many times, I feel like I know him. I’ll be replicating his over-cabin shelf. Also his locking drawer latches, and his lockbox, and his beautiful wood ceiling. I don’t like the roller shades that leak light. I wish his lights were recessed and wired. His sink is sad. The fire stopper is a good idea. His “things will work out” sticker is also a good idea.

2 thoughts on “What is She Building Anyway?”

  1. It was a pleasure meeting you in the Walmart parking lot today. I’m looking forward to watching your van progress into the mini-home that I imagine you’re aiming for. Good luck with that paint job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *