Remodeling

 | August 5, 2007 5:20 pm

I did some remodeling of the van while I was down in San Diego last week. I had three main concerns. 1) Taking out the back seat to make more room and putting in a drawer for clothes. 2) The bed tilted downward towards the back of the van. 3) Generally just sorting though the van and taking out the things I don’t need while I’m in LA.

Before pictures:
(With stuff in it)

The shockingly bright white blob on the right is my pillow. The shockingly bright right blob on the left is a box of various travel-related articles I’ve been collecting, but have yet to go through. (It’s on the to-do list for next weekend.) It’s hard to tell, but there’s clothes hanging from hooks on both sides of the van. It works, but not as well as I thought it would. The hooks come out so far that the clothes seem to take up more room than they should.

Same view, emptied out:

The “bed” (more on this later) rests on the back seat and a board attached to it. Here’s a picture from the left back door:


That thing blocking your view of the bottom of the legs is the most annoying thing about this van since it blocks access to most of the space under the bed from the inside. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to take it out easily.

The first step now was to get the back seat out. Or rather half of it. Without the backseat that the bed is part of I’d have to build something else to let the bed rest on. It’d be possible, but not enough of a gain in storage space to worry about it right now. The bottom of the van comes up there so it’s not actually a huge improvement. So just half came out.



A break was taken in the remodeling process at this point for lunch, cleaning the van, and a trip to Target for a new plastic drawer.



The bottom is screwed into the fabric on the floor and I made two latches to keep it from flying around while I’m driving. I am very pleased with the drawer. Ridiculously pleased. It fits into the space just perfectly.

Now onto the bed.

The big problem with the bed was that it tilted down towards the back. Ok if I park on a hill, but it’s easier not to have to insist on a hill. Originally, I was going to fix this by taking out the back seats and building a whole new bed. Instead, I found a quicker and easier solution in the garage.

Dad bought a new piece of foam for the back of the Prius so he can lie down in there. Luckily for me there was a piece left over that I could use for the downhill half of the bed. Another piece dad cut (with a crazy big straight edge razor) tapered to transition from foam to the board.


Next the foam the stretches the full length, (that’s my camping chair underneath it), and then the sheepskin. Very comfy and (now) quite flat.

The third thing on the list was to take out all the stuff I’m not using. No campgrounds, so no camping gear. So that is all sitting in a box in my parents’ garage waiting for when I get out of LA. Between that and the new drawer I’ve got most of the stuff that was floating around the van put away.




No more clothes hanging from the hooks. The first night I slept back in the van the space seemed so huge. :) So strange to have nothing hanging there.

Of course, I could also leave out a bunch of stuff because I’ll be back down to San Diego in just three weeks for jury duty. So really it’s just a short trip back up to LA. But in three months I go out on my own and can’t be leaving stuff down at my parents’ anymore. Well, nothing I might need anyway. I’ve already got lots of stuff that will stay there while I’m traveling. But I’m hoping to sort though the stuff down there and getting rid of even more in the next three months. I’m enjoying getting rid of stuff.

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3 Responses to “Remodeling”

Tara wrote a comment on August 9, 2007

I’m so jealous of all your space! I wish we could have a big van-dweller get together and look at eachothers setups in person.

Jessica wrote a comment on August 10, 2007

I know that I will soon enough be jealous of all the space I have now too.

The van is actually pretty small, I’m not sure what it’s going to look like once I’ve packed it up for leaving town.

It will certainly not look this empty, that’s for sure. I’m enjoying the space while I’ve got it.

Cheap Beds Link Request wrote a comment on May 13, 2010

Hello there, I could not find any way to email you, and so I really hope that you read this comment. I have a website covering beds, and wondered if you might like to exchange links with me. I have entered my contact address if you would like to get in contact. Thanks.

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