Progress over perfection

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Vanlife Bandit UK

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Hey all, just joined.
A year ago I had been watching YT vids on vanlife and I started to dream about the possibility of vanlife. So, I folded my business and started converting my work van. I've been working on it on and off for a year now, still not entirely done but progress over perfection :) Based in the UK, no conversion experience/skills so had to do the leg work (YT vids) All my own work which I'm proud of. I've spent plenty of time in the van on some 'dry runs' as it were, in various stages of completion. I'm glad I fully insulated it! Currently converting a vintage chest of drawers into a sink unit.
Van details:
SWB medium high top Ford Transit (2011)
400W solar
2000W inverter
240AH battery bank.
Gaming PC with 2 screens,
Laptop, pull out desk
60L Fridge/freezer Alpicool
Maxx fan
Little 1 stove Butane cooker
Instant Pot (Electric pressure cooker)
Air Fryer 5.5L (needs another battery to work off grid (350AH), but fine on camp sites when plugged in)
Spent last month in the van full time. Currently living in it part time atm, parked on a drive by a lodge whilst I work on it. I have no house or flat now (houseless not homeless) but can stay at lodge whenever.
Sink not plumbed in, bed is on the floor atm, no toilet/shower and I'm loving it! :D
Gonna be living in it full time soon!
Looks like a building site atm but it does brush up nicely :)
View attachment 20220922_115350.mp4 van.png 20220916_125523.jpg
 

Bev

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Reading your post I can sense your excitement! I had help with my build. But I watched every step! I can only imagine your pride in how your new home is coming together. Keep us posted on your progress!
 

maki2

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Working on a build out in a vehicle while living in it does tend to create a lot of chaos. Not much can be done about that because as soon as you clean up your realize you just put away the tools you need for the next task so it gets to the point you often just leave them out unless you have to pack up for a move.
 

Vanlife Bandit UK

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Reading your post I can sense your excitement! I had help with my build. But I watched every step! I can only imagine your pride in how your new home is coming together. Keep us posted on your progress!
Hi Bev, just chipping away at it atm. Here's a pic of the desk top that I've just done to add a bit of colour... :)
 

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Vanlife Bandit UK

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Working on a build out in a vehicle while living in it does tend to create a lot of chaos. Not much can be done about that because as soon as you clean up your realize you just put away the tools you need for the next task so it gets to the point you often just leave them out unless you have to pack up for a move.
Yeah I get that. Fortunately I have the option of crashing in the lodge if needed. I prefer to stay in the van though but if it gets just too chaotic what with all the tools, wood, products etc then I just go and mooch in the lodge for a bit. No biggy. Plenty of work to do but I'm super ready just to hit the road and GO! :)
 

CosmickGold

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You made a great decision to join us! It feels so peaceful being away from pointless responsibilities. Your stuff in the front looks like MY van; the drill on the floor, even the same extension ladder. I also have 400W solar and 2000W inverter. I was forced out of my apartment because a new owner decided to remodel everything right when I began my build, so I also was "houseless" while doing my build (which made it difficult, having to keep everything inside the van even when totally in the way, like bracing my mattress up against the opposite wall with a 2X2 while I struggled to work around it).

Image 4.jpg
Don't buy this crazy thing above, it's a monster in sheep's clothing! A girl building her own van lost control of her little circular saw and was in a wheelchair for months while her leg grew back. It's vicious! Therefore, I would NEVER want a circular saw! I have done everything with a saber saw like the one shown below. It's slower cutting, but my gosh, 1,000 times safer!

Image 3.jpg

Also, you gotta take a shower once in a while! People who install a walled-off shower come to regret that monstrosity taking up a lot of space all the time. My solution was to get a collapsible dog bathtub, I stretch it out on the floor, and then tuck it away when done. My "shower head" is also my sink faucet, placed on a long rubber hose, connected to a little 12v water pump. I then drain the water out the side door.
Image 9.jpg

For my poop bucket and pee jug, I pour in 1/2 inch of white vinegar first. Vinegar does wonders; totally kills bad smells, and prevents germ growth. It's also cheap. I "never leave home without it".

Don't feel bad about making mistakes. When I started, I didn't even know there was such a thing as "sheet metal screws". I'd drill a hole and hope a screw would fit. Too often, the screw broke because the hole was too small, or slipped back out because the hole was too large. Sheet metal screws are truly a miracle! Use your drill with this bit and they'll go through anything (it seems), and really hold tight.
selftappinghex.jpg

Heh, I also have a clothes washer/spin dryer, and 60 hooks on the ceiling to let the exhaust fan dry my laundry, but that's another story.
 

Southbound

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Will you give yourself a softer driving seat? And good luck on fixing the van to fit you just right.
 

Vanlife Bandit UK

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Will you give yourself a softer driving seat? And good luck on fixing the van to fit you just right.
Nope not looking to alter the seat as it's compfy enough. Thanks v much for the support, I shall be installing the DC/DC charger and an extra 120Ah battery (my 240Ah battery bank is only 3 months old so it's fine to add a new on at this early stage).
 

Vanlife Bandit UK

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My solution was to get a collapsible dog bathtub, I stretch it out on the floor, and then tuck it away when done. My "shower head" is also my sink faucet, placed on a long rubber hose, connected to a little 12v water pump. I then drain the water out the side door.
I'm defo doing this! :)
 

CosmickGold

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I'm defo doing this! :)
Here's the "bathtub" URL. It comes in four sizes from 31 inches across th 63 inches across. I put Castle Soap on my head, then repeatedly rub a brush around on my scalp to make suds, each time using the brush on a different part of my body. No need for a shower curtain, just be careful where you spray. A little does spray out, so I use a towel afterwords to mop that off the floor.
 

WanderingRose

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Or, you can use a collapsible bin like this one, which I have used for years.

This one is at Kohls, there are slightly cheaper ones at Amazon, also larger ones online.

It is very compact for storage, and can be used for lots of things.

Mine is a little tricky to stand in but I can do it. 😅
 

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VanFan

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I have a dog bath, too, and it works quite well, although I've rarely used it. I have very limited floor space inside, but can make it work in a pinch. The dog bath does not have to be expanded to its full diameter, which is helpful. A gray Sterlite tote has been fine for washing my hair and sponging off.

My set up uses a marine bilge pump, but the concept is the same. I got tired of replacing the purpose-made 12 volt submersible pumps. A thirsty marine sponge is great for wiping out the dog bath or tub.
 

CosmickGold

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Or, you can use a collapsible bin like this one, which I have used for years.
This one is at Kohls, there are slightly cheaper ones at Amazon, also larger ones online.
It is very compact for storage, and can be used for lots of things.
Mine is a little tricky to stand in but I can do it. 😅
That looks exactly like the one I use as my "kitchen sink". :)
 

Vanlife Bandit UK

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Here's the "bathtub" URL. It comes in four sizes from 31 inches across th 63 inches across. I put Castle Soap on my head, then repeatedly rub a brush around on my scalp to make suds, each time using the brush on a different part of my body. No need for a shower curtain, just be careful where you spray. A little does spray out, so I use a towel afterwords to mop that off the floor.
Thanks for taking the time to share the URL. I'll defo give it a go at some point. Currently working on electrics and starting the plumbing soon whilst sleeping in it. Fortunately I eat at the lodge so it makes it loads easier while I'm doing the work on the van.
 

Vanlife Bandit UK

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Or, you can use a collapsible bin like this one, which I have used for years.

This one is at Kohls, there are slightly cheaper ones at Amazon, also larger ones online.

It is very compact for storage, and can be used for lots of things.

Mine is a little tricky to stand in but I can do it. 😅
Exellent! I do have one of these but never in a million years would I have considered having a shower in it! lol That's pretty good. I might try it :D
 
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