What would we do differently?
Now that we are two months into our travels, there are many things we learned along the way.
Most importantly know right off the bat that you will be making alterations as you go. Also your needs will change the more time spent of the road.
Our biggest issue was that we did not design the van with the needs of our two large dogs.
The other redesign will be of our shower!
As much as we thought we needed to have an indoor shower, there are plenty of places along the way to shower.
The list is endless, from Planet fitness to YMCA’s, truck stops and campgrounds.
When it’s really cold outside you don’t really want to take a quick shower inside a small van. When it’s summer and warm outside then an outdoor shower is the best way to go.
We also thought we were going to be limited in storage space inside the van. When actually we have plenty of additional space for storing the smaller things. The biggest issue is that we brought way to many things with us that we thought we needed.
Take a week long trip prior to a major expedition, which will give you an idea of what you use and if you really need it.
We found anything that we were missing we could purchase along the way.
The biggest items like kayaks, bikes, ski’s, backpacking gear could all be rented where ever we were. This would create so much free space and make it easier to travel with less fear of having things stolen.
The only outdoor gear we have used almost everyday is our bicycles.
There is no sacrifice to replace our biking.
Originally we wanted to sit on our couch looking out into the wilderness.
Which we thought was a great idea, until we started traveling.
We are either in the van or out of the van. This is based on the weather and it changes daily. So the expensive couch I designed that folds into a bed will no longer be used. We instead will go back to our original design of a rear high mounted bed.
This bed will give us many more options for the van.
If we wanted to take passengers we could drop in the factory bench seat.
IF we wanted to mount a single swivel reclining seat we could.
This design creates more space for the dogs to hang out.
We can now expand our battery area to be able to add two addition batteries.
We don’t have to disturb each other in the middle of the night to pee
The dogs have a larger space to sleep at night
One person can be up late or early while the other is still sleeping.
Create more storage space under the bed and possibly remove storage off of the roof and create more space for additional solar panels.
Once we put the bed in the back we will now move everything forward and also have a little less counter top, which we didn’t use anyway.
We don’t store anything on the counter tops due to falling while driving.
Our goal is to get home in Mid-May for a few weeks to do the conversion and head back out on the road.
It turns out we will be adding rear window flares which will allow us to keep our bed perpendicular to the van.
Which means it will only take up 54 inches and still allow someone 6'4 to sleep across the back.
The bonus in all of this is adding two double insulated tilt out windows in the sleeping area.