The Dreamer and the Realist


The mega ultimate, high roof, 4×4 diesel van.  A DIY masterpiece, with reclaimed wood cabinets, a fully modular bed that converts to a couch unit for quick access and multipurpose functionality, and of course, at least one wall mounted succulent. Truly a van to make any Instagram #vanlifer wanna-be swoon.


A van costing less than 8k with the largest possible bed and a few plastic bins of gear. 


Committed to the adventure by whatever means necessary, accepting of the realist approach, but ever determined to add a little flare.IMG_0306


Chèvre,  affectionately named.  Translation “goat cheese” or “a 2009 Chevrolet passenger van,  a smooth and slightly lumpy ride when left out adventuring for extended time will likely carry a strong scent of sweat and stoke.”


We signed on the line and made this dark blue pre-loved van our new future home (it was a little more than 8k).  A nice looking van on the inside and we were overwhelmed with excitement to rip down to the shell and start building. We were now driving a van designed to seat 12, and would soon sleep 2.

IMG_0314Bench seats adios (check)

Carpet gone (check)

Plastic trim out (check)

Rear seat belts snipped (check)

Rear A/C unit (hmmm, come back to that)

Headliner (errrr)

Steel Beams welded to the floor (uuugh)


The first of many debates began.  I wanted them gone, hoping gain even the slightest more head room advantage. The realist had decided not to mess with the A/C and ceiling which could come in handy on a really hot day.  But those security beams had to go. 

Why?  They would likely cause more issues down the build-out path.

More likely reason: I am stubborn and wanted one decision to go my way.


One beam had come out with relative ease as the bolts were accessible from the underside,  however the second refused to budge and access from below was blocked by the heat shield and various other lines and tanks and well things that make the van go.


Hours of struggle and scouring the internet for advice, a craigslist call for a machinist, and finally to a shop who took a plasma cutter to the thing for $400.  It was out!

I win, sort of.

…to be continued


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