Monday, February 13, 2012

Possible Upgrade/Ideas?

As much as I love DD, I'm thinking that her layout could use a little tweaking if I'm going to keep her. I've been racking my brain trying to determine what I could do with her, and then it dawned on me... What not use some ideas from the masters of campervans?

In comes the RoadTrek layout. Here's basically what I am thinking of. Now, not everything is going to be like this. After all, I don't have all that nifty storage space under the van. I am thinking about relocating the bed to the back though, getting a larger fridge, two captains chairs, and maybe rather than an extra closet, I may put a third chair away from the door. The chair where it is here doesn't have a big sliding door to contend with.


Small update

While not a full blown comeback, I have a little update on the van.

As I mentioned a while back, a friend's life came crumbling down around him, and he's been living in the van now for a long time. As such, he's discovering some of the same things I did about insulation and battery life.

The furnace now works properly! My friend pulled it apart, and cleaned everything, and now it pumps out heat and lets the pilot light stay lit. This found him a new problem though, the battery he's using isn't very good. This means that it dies out in just a couple hours when running the furnace only. He's lokoing at some new batteries from WalMart, and saving up for them.

He also found a friend who is willing to insulate the van properly, and as the battery wasn't lasting through the night, he jumped to the next task at hand... the shore power, or lack thereof. It came down to a damaged wire inside the plug itself. He swapped out the plug, and now can connect to steady power, and run the furnace and everything else he wants, all night long.

Not that it's been really cold here, most of our winter has been unusually warm, and hardly dipping below 0C/32F for more than a couple days at a time. Still, that's a temperature still worthy of having the furnace running.

He has also asked if he can replace the carpet that is in there currently, in order to insulate the floor a bit better. He's looking at actually doing laminate, and having a carpet that can be removed for better cleaning laid over top.

Great deal, all of this. Not too bad. I didn't expect anything from him, but he says that since he can't really afford to pay some sort of rent for it, he's happy to make some of the modification that I wanted to do.

A friend in need, is a friend indeed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter seems to show the slow down of blogging

I just went through the list of blogs I follow, and I have only about four that have posted in the past month, and then others that have not posted in five months or more, and two that, while still being listed, no longer exist.

It got me thinking, someone posted anonymously something along the lines of, "Another blog bites the dust." a few weeks back, but only thought about looking into it now. My blog, gentle readers will not be biting the dust anytime soon, just slower posts because I am not in the van, but I do hope to get it upgraded soon... or buy a RoadTrek. Honestly, reading Glenn's Blog, and also seeing the RoadTrek vans really make me want to think everything over, and plan properly, and wait.

The van as it is now, is in use, but I kinda want it back so I can do a little winter camping with the family, and go out to the mountains. Eventually. My friend should (hopefully) be able to get into city housing December 1st, but as of right now, he is mobile.

Curiosity strikes me, those who read this that are blogging about similar things, do you slow down in the winter because you find a stick built for the winter, or do you slow down because you're out being a snowbird somewhere and don't have access to the Internet? Or are you giving up on the dream? Or maybe like me, and bideing your time to upgrade?

Monday, November 7, 2011

First report back from my friend

So, I mentioned earlier that a friend is currently living in the van. Just to give you an idea, it is currently -3°C / 27°F here in Calgary at 9am, and obviously cooler at night. It's not even winter yet. Due to living in the house, and all that, I just have not had the time or the money to do my updates to the van. Besides, I'm saving my pennies for a downpayment on a RoadTrek 210-Versatile, or whatever comes out that's better by the time I have the cash. While living vicariously through Glenn's blog over at To Simplify... So without further adeau.... (My friend never wrote this out, so I am giving you what he has told me, and writing it as he said it.)

Well, first off, thank you so much for letting me use the van Arathi! (No, he didn't call me Arathi, but that's how you know me.) I chaged out the starter battery for one I have that has 800 Cold Cranking Amps since the other was getting weak, and you can keep it as a thanks for letting me use the van. I got the furnace running, but it's annoying right now because there is something wrong with it, and the pilot light won't stay lit after it shuts off, but it'll run all night in this weather. I did find that the furnace will drain the house battery completely if running all night, so I might wire in a second one that I have in storage, just to get that extra power, and also find a place to park at night where I can plug in.

I'm learning that I need to pay more attention to how I drive in it, otherwise things fall off the counter. Everything except where that mesh is. (I had removed some to use in the house) It's like driving a limo, you turn to make sure you're not spilling the persons glass of wine. I'm liking that I basically have no rent, and I can cook a meal in the parking lot of Tim Horton's if I want. hahaha!

I hooked up a new stereo so I have tunes. (Mine burnt out last trip for some reason...) but I'm so busy, I don't spend more than travel and sleep in the van for the most part. You should get the van back soon, as I have a job lined up working on the railway up north, which should give me some good money, and being out in camp will keep me from spending it all as well.

And there you have it, he was short and sweet with what he told me, I did remove the more personal stuff that we had spoken about as well, it's person strife for him, and the reason he's living in my van right now. Unlike me, and many of us vehicle dwellers out there, he fell on very hard times, and is in the van because it's better than a shelter. I chose to be in the van, he had little choice. It's just a good thing I never chose to sell the van.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I may not be in the van but a friend is

So, I've been super busy as of late with the new family, and new home. The van has sat patiently waiting for me to do the few things I need to it, and we have not been able to get out for some camping at all. I am currently working several diffeent contracts and it keeps me busy every day of the week.

A few days ago, a friend asked if he could borrow the van as he has recently come across hard times, and is homeless. He's in the van, and taking care of business so to speak. lol I'm going to try to get him to give me updates on how eveything is going so I can post here. It's November, and that means cold. Very cold. He got the furnace running I believe, but I am not too sure right now. Poor guy just found out that the stereo is broken, so no tunes while he's in there.

Hopefully I can get everything fixed, and running in there soon, it would be nice for him, but maybe I'll buy the reflectix and get him to install it.

Anyways, that's my short update on the van :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Been AFK... Sorry!

Hey there folks,

For my faithful followers, I apologize! I have been very AFK for some time, and I haven't been posting, nor doing any work to the van.

Lots has occurred in the past while, and it all has me settled even firmer into my life in a stick built. My son is back, and I need to provide the best, most stable environment for him in order to make sure that his neglectful mother doesn't end up with him again. Okay, bear with me, I know this will have nothing to do with this blog, but....

My kids mother is awful. She dropped him off on my doorstep two years ago, and has talked to him in total about 12 times in two years. Usually, every few months, she will send me a Facebook message telling me how she wants to talk to him, and how she never gets to, etc. I (yet again) tell her the number he can be reached at, and the best times to call. Then... nothing...

The last time here was August 28th. She asks what a good number to call is. Well, she has my cell, and as we were moving, there was no other number, but I suggest to her that she can use Skype if she is concerned about the cost of talking to her own son, but that we would have a new number on the first. She responds with, "I don't have Skype." I reply back with, "It's a free download."

We haven't heard from her since. I have told my son that he can call her if he wants, he says, "I know", and never does. He's ten.

What kind of mother does that?

Anyways, DD is happily parked on our front pad, and ready for winter. I never did get the chance to check out the furnance this summer, but I'll be looking into it perhaps next spring. I still want to use this for other things. Hunting with it would be good. Not needing to be chilly, and actually cook some food. Oh yeah. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Terminology around the world

I was just googling "campervan living", and I was surprised to see that almost every link was for places outside North America. If you google "vandweller", mostly links in North America.

As I was reading, I noticed a couple other things, such as how we say "boondocking", or "dry camping", they say "wild camping".

There is so much information out there all over the world that can help people out, but it's all in how the writer words it. Strange honestly. It kinda makes me want to create a resource. I've seen several sites that have some information, but I have yet to locate a site dedicated to a Canadian (I'm Canadian, so I would like some Canadian content!). I would love to find out just how many of the mobile masses are really living up in Canada. I know of a couple people, but nothing in a high number like in the states. The tips and tricks a person can learn are amazing...

Thinking about it right now, there's another forum that I used to read quite a bit. I think you, my fellow readers might get a kick out of it. It's about this hisband and wife who are trying to get their Canadian citizenship (They're American), and actually live in a floathouse. Yes, a house that is floating on a lake.

Check it out! While not quite like what we do, it's still pretty amazing.

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