Hank progress and late fall plans…

Good evening! I am both thrown off by and enjoying the time change today. I am here to update on the progress we have made on our van.

We came up with the plan to buy a van spontaneously last weekend, brought Hank home Thursday and that night, Friday and Saturday while working all I did was anticipate layout, decor and getting in that van and doing some work. 

After the wedding party I worked Saturday I immediately came home and dragged B to Home Depot to pick up some supplies. Other than the few things we got there everything else is in transit via Amazon. Here is a Polyvore board I made of the decor and theme the interior will have! I wanted to keep with natural elements and masculine enough for B.

So, before I get into the work we put in this weekend, I want to clarify that this isn’t a full blown, stripped bare conversion. It is merely…a half conversion! Platform bed, storage, and a unit with countertop and space for a cooler. The one thing we do plan to do that will probably benefit us is to eventually insulate the ceiling of the van and finish with reclaimed wood. 

We plan to use this van mostly for OFF season, cold weather camping and impromptu weekend road tripping to state parks or campgrounds. While we are not planning on running electric within the van, we do plan to have a few luxuries (TV with DVD player, phone chargers, string lights, coffee maker, space heater) that we will simply use with a power strip inside, connected to an extension cord running out of a cracked window to the provided power source at electric sites. Probably not ideal for most nor is it exceptionally aesthetically pleasing but it will work for us! That being said, our handful of cross country travels next year will unfortunately not be driven, we will be flying. Hank will be a Midwest dweller. Probably 5 hours max distance. We also want to decorate the exterior with fun memoirs of places we have been, bands we love and quirky bumper stickers.

Want we wanted out of this is a place to sleep off of the ground if it’s too cold  when we aren’t backpacking or camping during warmer months. All in all it will be much warmer than enduring a breeze through the thin walls of a tent and lying on the cold forest floor. This pretty much means a very simple conversion; no real insulating, no water or electric. Just walls protecting us from the elements; a warmish sleeping and hang out space big enough for me, B and the dogs with the convenience of being attached to a vehicle. 

Our version of a camper van may be a joke to some of the hardcore Vanlifers or RVers but again, it will work for what we need. One day we will upgrade to something to drive further and longer, but for now Hank is the product of our combined excitement, hard work and  imagination that we are super proud of. 

We are having so much fun together working on this project that ties greatly into our interests while giving us a different kind of creative outlet. We work hard during the week so we can do what we love on the weekends. We are so fortunate to be able to travel freely and live a fulfilling outdoor(ish) lifestyle.

Here’s what we did yesterday! We put in 5 hours of cleaning, painting and beginning to lay the peel and stick floor. We had beautiful weather.

I said in a previous post that Hank was a city water company van for 20 years before we obtained it. There was a lot of buildup of dust, dirt, paint splatter and unknown debris. 

Before cleaning and painting.

For the interior and exterior, we taped off and sprayed gray or black Plasti Dip (a rubber coating) on everything we could. Even the two back side windows. Tonight I rolled chalkboard paint over the windows we Plasti-Dipped! 

Don’t mind our dent!

I love that everything dries matte! And here’s the day’s results!

We still have a ways to go but I am more than pleased with everything we’ve done thus far. Our next full day will be Sunday. We will pick up a mattress, hang curtains and finish the floor.

I have a tent camping weekend planned the weekend before Thanksgiving with M and K, while B is taking Hank on a test run for a weekend at deer camp with some of his guy friends. 

I am hoping for continued mild and warmer weather! After that it’s holidays and parties, a friend’s wedding on New Years Eve and then begins our year of fun travel!

Thanks for following!


IG: @pottsiepackin


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