Saturday, June 12, 2010

pretty much done.

The van is pretty much done as of today. The only thing left to do is the curtains. This rig is sweet. Lets take a look....

As you get closer to the interior of the rig you'll probably be thinking, "Damn, that is sweet". It's OK, that is usually my first thought as well. One of the first things that strikes me is the laminate tile flooring that perfectly complements the faux granite countertops. Let's take a closer look shall we.

In this photo you can easily see how sweet the interior of the van is. The three cabinets in the back are for clothes storage, jackets, and 'entertainment center' as we will see momentarily. The three open compartments above the counter are great for stashing extra goods. the left one is for guidebooks to all the sweet places we'll be going. Just beneath the guidebooks is a thermometer so you know just how cool it is inside this rig. Underneath the very left edge of the counter is an open compartment that is exactly the size of a full 24 pack of beer. One of my favorite additions.

This is looking straight back at the love nest. The bed is rigged up so that we sleep sideways with our feet underneath the clothes cabinet. This is....adequate. 5'8" is not very much room to stretch. I've got some plans to make a pull-out bed so that we can sleep longways if we are ever going to take a long trip. Beneath the bed are three compartments that face the interior. Heater on the left. The slot in the middle is cut to fit a cooler. the slot on the right is Lilah's custom dog cave. Padded floor in addition to her dog bed plus her favorite luxury....carpeted walls.

This is another view of basically the same stuff but this time you can see the fan mounted above the bed. Very low amp draw. It could run for probably weeks without dying. 0.2 amps an hour. It has three speeds. Low, medium, and GALE FORCE. It says this on the box it came in but I find it too be more of a gentle breeze. This view also shows how the bed is cut at an angle. This lets us sleep slightly 'crooked' to get a little more leg room out of it. It also angles perfectly so that when you're sitting on the edge of the bed it is comfy to cut veggies on the countertop.

Here we have the 'entertainment center'. Basically just a laptop on a pull out shelf. You can sit in bed, pull out the shelf and watch a movie or you can sit cross-legged and type away like it's on a little desk. Pretty nice.

Note also the little bouquet of flowers. This is ridiculous. Every time I go to an RV website and see pictures of RV interiors there are a bunch of flowers on the countertop. Every time. Seriously. Does anyone do this? You know as soon as you come around a turn or hit the brakes they're going to spill all over the place and the vase will break into pieces on the floor. Whatever, I guess you just put it there before you take pictures.

Looking forward you'll see that the passenger seat swivels. The install kit for this was ghetto. But it is in aftermuch manhandling and ghetto rigging and perfectly functional. The van has a tape deck. Yes, Dodge manufactured a 2005 van with a tape deck. Could you even still buy tapes in '05? Doesn't matter though cause I got the Ipod adapter and can rock Megadeth or Lamb of God for days. And I do. Behind the driver's seat I have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible from the kitchen or the driver's seat. This is mostly to minimize the danger of MELTING MY FACE OFF from listening to so much heavy metal. There is also a small trashcan that I use to dispose of Dave Mathews Cd's and any other sorority girl garbage music that may find it's way into the rig. I mean, seriously, I pick up mad chicas in this rig and they leave all kinds of stuff behind so that they can call me and be like "Oh, I'm so sorry. I left my Dave Mathew's live album in your rig. Can you come pick me up and maybe we could go for a drive up to the makeout point or something." And I'm all like. "Ha, forget it girl. You're last weeks news. I got like ten college girls in here right now and I already threw your crappy CD away." And she's all like. "Oh, you joker. Come get me. I'm not wearing any....." And I've already hung up cause my favorite Megadeth song just came on and that bitch was distracting me and I'm only like 2 hours from the Motherlode and all I can think about is crushing rigs!

This is the view looking into the back. I've got two water jugs on the left. The square one is a 6 gallon tank that feeds the sink and when it runs out I've got another 5 gallon one to refill it. For 2 people a week long trip is usually doable with that amount of water but I can easily take the tank out to fill it at any spigot. I actually like this method better than the old Westy. You had to run a hose to the fixed tank meaning you had to get up close to the spigot. Not always easy at backwoods climbing areas. Propane is on the right. The small 5 pound tank is definitely inadequate for a winter trip. This tank has a splitter on it and feeds the stove and the heater. I will buy a 20 pound tank soon to replace it and just use this small one for summer trips. It will power just the stove for weeks but the heater eats fuel. The blue bin is for extra climbing gear: trad rack, extra ropes, shoes, etc. Plenty of room for one more though and still enough room for two climbing packs. And there you have it. The ultimate rig. Last step is curtains. Elissa is in charge of sewing those duders up so hopefully we'll have em in by the end of the summer. We'll have 2 over the back windows, one over the sliding door, and a big curtain that separates the cockpit from the living quarters. This one will have enough slack to get draped behind the swiveled seat. It will also be helpful to close it up for heating or cooling the cockpit quickly. Eventually I'd also like to get some bug screen for the summer. Probably just sew some magnets on them so I can put one over the sliding door and one over the back. We should get plenty of ventilation if the fan is set to GALE FORCE.
To my 5 loyal blog 'followers'. Sorry I've been slack about the updates but we'll be in Ceuse in 2 weeks and I plan to update more often from France. I'll get some pics up and talk about how snobby everyone is and how I crushed all their rigs right in their smug mustached faces.


Anita said...

Sweet indeed, and very cool! Personally, I like the vase of flowers -- this is why doG invented Glue Dots; get some. The dog cave is exemplary and proves your truly a dog-worthy human, Woof! You've thought of everything; very impressive. Post pics when Elissa gets the curtains up!

NM said...

Thanks for the inspiration man!

Tyler Willcutt said...

That bitch with the Dave Matthew's CD's. . . I know her too.


Pete Baertsch said...

Hahaha you sound like Daniel Tosh in that second to last section... Way jelous of the van too.

t-nut said...

Nice job Mike! I will send you a note when I have finished with mine. Have a great time in Ceuse! Tony

The Biz said...

Not a follower per se, definitely an RSS subscriber.

Oh yeah...the rig. It's sick and I hate you because of it.

kuan said...

Nice van, dude.

I noticed a comment from a guy named T-nut. Dude, your climbing shoes are at Midnight Surf as of three days ago sitting close to the base of Cell Block. Go get them as they look pretty new.

Anonymous said...

Man, love this rig. Would love to build one myself for road tripping. I'm more of a backpacker, but this plus a solar show bag would be the shit at trailheads. Would be great for an extended road trip west!

SprinterVT said...

Thanks for posting this for everyone to see. I am in the process of brainstorming the best way to be able to transform my Sprinter from carpentry work van during the week to a camping rig on the weekends. Thanks for the ideas.