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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
1,358 days a wanderin'

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Back to Walls, Back to Reality

Jan 6, 2015
by John

The first day of 2015, what do we do? We bust ass on the van walls silly rabbit. We got a great start over Christmas break and we wanted to keep the momentum going, taking Friday off for a total of four working days. We knew this schedule was a bit aggressive, rain was forecast for Sunday leaving the possibility of somewhat of a rest day before returning to our 7:30-4s on Monday. Up at 7:30 we were back to it.

It was more of an amble, not due to procrastination but rather a preventative measure. The passenger window wall had required two attempts, a mistake we preferred to not repeat. This round we used every bit of knowledge and math we could, ad nauseaum to almost a fault. As the sun was finally returning the feeling to our fingers, a few hours into this endeavor, we found our confidence and nailed it. This may not seem like a mighty achievement but we really didn't want to unload the van to make a wood run, the golden rule of having one or two extra pieces available was previously ignored. Into the warmth of the house we went to wrap it with batting and vinyl.

Give these kiddos a gold star!

Give these kiddos a gold star!

Completing this panel in 4-5 hours had us a bit discouraged but not defeated, we were determined to ride the Pony deep into the ground. Once we began the second panel on the driver's side our momentum was back to full speed. Our templates from last week really paid off, we were installing the second driver's side panel roughly two hours later. We did forget to add the wiring access port, a fifteen minute setback at most.

Padded and easily wiped, expecting those times of insanity

Padded and easily wiped, expecting those times of insanity

A couple hours of daylight remained so we figured we'd just give the final panel a good shot and finish in the morning. The two rear sides of the van are a bit different so using the passenger panel as a template was helpful but it wasn't the exact fit as we previously thought. To our amazement we were able to get it cut, trimmed and dry fitted before running out of usable daylight. In the dark, after an hour was spent covering them, we were installing the last two wall panels in the van.

Why yes, we do find bananas yummy

Why yes, we do find bananas yummy

Feels so good to have all of these completed

Feels so good to have all of these completed

Following a day of big achievement, we turned our attention to some of the nagging trim pieces. A slower pace and cool heads are required to bend around the nooks and corners of the rear doors that must have been designed by the masochistic. What was perceived as a possible half day event turned into an all day marathon. We almost started with an epic failure, Mandi's good judgement prevailed, as our template was wonky (no other word best describes it). It was a day of Mandi's genius, I was the human calculator, labor and soundboard. Her words mostly didn't make any sense, to either of us, but in the end we managed a proper translation. As the day ended we had two beautiful yellow-wrapped trim pieces to show for it.

Dem dere folks must really like yellow

Dem dere folks must really like yellow

Saturday started out s-l-o-w, it was already raining (so much for a 10% chance) and we were tired. We eventually had a leisurely breakfast with family, I don't think we've mentioned we are house sharing with Mandi's sister's family of 6, then stumbled outside all fat bellied. Our progress had already exceeded my goals for the long weekend so we could keep the slow pace and focus on some more trim.

Stepping up in difficulty, instead of how we started this entire wall project, we moved to the trim piece above the barn doors. We thought about boxing it out as the van framing here is different than anywhere else; it protrudes drastically from the wall. Another lengthy deliberation ended with angling it to meet the door jambs, a smart decision indeed. To our surprise, it was easier to accomplish than we thought. In between the bouts of rain we finished it up and covered it in green vinyl. We used up the remaining yellow on the rear door trim the day before, a few small fragments remain just in case, so switching to green seemed the obvious choice to tie in the upper panels of the doors of course.

Kermit will grow back his skin just fine

Kermit will grow back his skin just fine

The rain on Sunday shut down any further trim progress. We would have liked to have started the pieces that will attach to the bottom of the penthouse frame, hiding all of its inner workings, probably next weekend's starting point. Several outstanding things remain before we can permanently attach the walls, such as adding insulation and finishing all of the wiring. Regardless, we are at a good place as we can work on other parts of the build while simultaneously completing the walls. The remaining trim pieces can be built whenever we feel the need or want to remind ourselves of the inconsistencies of van walls.

The day wasn't a total loss. Time was spent with our nephew and nieces, another big breakfast was had, and we both worked on other things that have been neglected. I was also able to make a few needed changes to this website and Mandi finished sewing the upper covering for the penthouse hardware (purple, for anyone who is wondering). We also came up with a way to handle the gap between the windows and wall panels so it appears our envisioned madness is finally coming together.

That'll do pig, that'll do

That'll do pig, that'll do

What a great start to our launch year. Our focus remains on completing the van, quality time with wonderful family is such a welcomed reprieve. A balance, tipped by nature, full of nurture. To everyone, known and unknown, may 2015 be as it should - overflowing with love. Cheers.


Say what? (4)
Jan 6, 2015 at 11:39 AM
Great progress guys!
I see you put some dynamat panels for noise insulation, what about heat insulation? Do you install it in the rear of the wall panels?
Keep going, it's turning out really well!
Jan 6, 2015 at 12:17 PM
Thanks Claude-Alain!

We will be adding two layers of EZ-Cool behind the panels. We have a bit more wiring to run and some loose ends to tie up before we can finish them up. We are thrilled to have gotten these made, a huge hurdle.
Jan 12, 2015 at 02:41 PM
Loving the colors! Looks like things are progressing nicely, albeit slower than hoped. But, that is the way of the road so maybe just an early lesson :)
Jan 13, 2015 at 08:08 AM
A great way to look at it Rhonda. We're a bit worried about making our deadline but we're determined.
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