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The original plan was to buy a van, throw a mattress in the back along side a few supplies, maybe a heater, and take off. With that simple (some might say naïve) plan in mind, the completed product may come as somewhat of a surprise. Having worked at tech startups for many years, I am no stranger to feature creep, but this was a bit extreme.
It therefore probably does not come as a surprise that the three week build period (yes, we originally allocated two weeks for the build, but feature creep respects no timelines) was a path of exploration. There were a number of ideas that seemed so promising, but never got off the ground.
Having said all that, it is rather surpassing how much we were able to accomplish in three weeks. I think the game-time decision (they were all game-time decisions) which had the biggest impact on the build was to use T-Slot (an extruded aluminum system that can best be described as an industrial strength Erector Set) instead of wood for the frame. We could therefore support the bed/storage platform with a minimal amount of framing which allowed us to put in a sizable cabinet and large rear storage area. Besides the added strength of the metal, the frame is easy to modify (it can be taken completely apart with a 6mm hex wrench) and has infinite attachment points and accessories. I have to thank my cousin Peter for suggesting T-Slots.
After the frame and cabinets were up, we thought we were 95% done and our minds were beginning to fill with thoughts of the open road. Unfortunately, those images of endless tarmac and dirt roads were quickly replaced with such pesky concerns as sound deadening, insulation, electrical, comfort, and interior design. We may have been a bit optimistic with that 95% estimate. One by one we tackled each task. Here is were planning has its benefits. It would have been a lot easier to do the sound deadening and insulation before the cabinets went up. On the plus side, my arms and hands are a lot more flexible now than they were before the insulation project.
Now we can get back to those thoughts of the open road. All that is left is to pack our provisions and hit the road. The plan is to head out this Sunday morning. The first stop after a visit with An’s family is Yosemite followed by a sweep of the Pacific North West before heading South.