Construction Details Vanabode Interior
The following pictures and details are to be used in conjunction with the Vanabode - happily camp, travel, and live forever on $20 a day book. You need the book in order to understand this page.
The Bed is a super high quality pillow top mattress purchased from a normal retail store and then mounted on two sheets of 3/4" plywood supported by 2"4" studs sitting atop 2 commercial gray storage cabinets. The van is 6 feet wide on the inside as long as you do not install interior sidewalls. The pegboard shown here did not work well and took up more space inside. I removed it. The bare metal is roomier and simpler.
If you like you can purchase your preferred thickness memory foam mattress from discount big box stores like Sams or Walmart and trim to fit: OR do what we did as described in more detail in the Vanabode book. We bought standard sized house bed mattress, slit the mattress open on one end, pulled out 3-4 rows of springs, tucked the padding back inside, and my wife hand stitched it back shut. Then we folded the mattress in half in order to get it inside the side door and it fits perfectly side to side.
Since our rv ready pet bunny died after 7 years and thousands of miles of travel we no longer had to carry his cage so some room for extra storage became available. The picture above shows how we incorporated a larger cooler to use as a bathtub in conjunction with the propane powered hot water heating shower device (in the black case.) How this is done is all explained and shown in detail in the book. We also store more drinking and bathing water here now as well as some dry goods like dry food and dishes. Don't worry Vanaboding does not require you to bath in a cooler. It is just one of 6 ways you could bathe. We use this method as a backup only. There are 5 easier ways to take a bath while traveling shown in the Vanabode book but when these are not available occasionally (less than 5% of the time) we use this cooler.
I have began incorporating more detailed construction notes and pictures and drawings in the next release of Vanabode. Those of you who purchased the book are entitled to free updates for life so look out for the email with the updated book attached soon. Don't make a bigger deal out of the interior layout of the van than you have to. It is just for getting out of bad weather, sleeping and using the toilet. You will not be spending your daylight hours holed up inside unless you are driving to your next destination.
The picture above shows our simple uncluttered layout which makes traveling long term both fun and hassle free. My wife's clothes are in the plastic shelves behind the drivers seat, the white cooler in the foreground is the wheeled device described in the book in more detail for storing cold food and ice, the blue cooler is dry storage and a bathtub, towels and wash clothes hang to dry on bungee cords along with easy to get to toilet paper and paper towels. Under the bed you can see one of 3 plastic tubs containing my clothes and shoes. We also store tools, the toilet, extra sleeping bags and bedding, tire jack, dry foods, and dishes under the bed in plastic containers.
Note the simple white curtain next to my wife's coat. When pulled across it allows you the privacy to get dressed or use the toilet without putting up the windshield cover. The track and hardware for making one can be purchased from the camping suppliers page. Many trips we opt to hang many of our clothes right where her coat is hanging and they run all the way back to the bed hanging over the blue cooler.
Against our better judgement we installed carpet over the nice durable black rubber floor that comes standard with this vehicle as seen in the above pictures. We removed the carpet after 6 months. Carpet in a Vanabode camping vehicle is not a good idea. It gets dirty, stinky, wet, and stores allergens, dirt and dust from every place you visit.
Optional vanabode interior layout with desk and drawer cabinet mounted on a shelf. Above picture shows a new interior I am testing out. There is MUCH more detail in the Vanabode book. Screw simple white angle brackets sold at hardware stores to hold up the shelf to the vertical framing of the van sidewall. Attach plywood to the brackets. Screw the lightweight plastic drawers used for clothes storage to the plywood. This gives us room for the massive blue cooler used for everything from bathing to storage of dry foods and bedding and towels. Everything is designed for maximum flexibility. I can replace it all in 10 minutes if I chose to.
Latest layout used and perfected during our 2015 Western States Trip follows:
Above image shows the construction details for the plastic storage drawer system I installed and use in our Vanabode. Notice how the small baseboard wood forces the board and drawers above it to lean BACK to the side of the van. This is important and helps the drawers stay SHUT during motion. I also installed some screws just in the front of each drawer to keep them shut. The screw goes into the plastic drawer cabinet but NOT into the drawer itself. The head of the screw sticks down just far enough to keep the drawer from opening- see picture. The complete inventory is explained in Vanabode; what to carry, why to carry it, and how to carry it.