Playing Dress Up
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It may surprise you to hear that our favorite weekend of our van build was spent dressing up our van to look like….our future van.

This is one of THE top things we recommend to people when they are building. Paper and CAD drawings are great, but they will not fully prepare you for what your living space will actually look like. 

Nothing really can…. But spending a weekend mocking up our van interior according to our dimensions was the best decision we ever made. It both confirmed some of the ideas we’d planned, and changed others. 

For example, we realized we were really happy with our anticipated counter height and our desk length. We also realized having upper cabinets running the length of both sides of the van made us feel claustrophobic. 

Before: the cabinet blocked too much of the view through the back doors
Subtle, but it makes all the difference in the world

Having one of our kitchen cabinets stretch the whole width of the counter blocked a significant chunk of our view, again making us feel claustrophobic. We got a realistic understanding of what having a raised bed platform would feel like, in terms of our ability to sit on it (me, sort of, Stephen, never) and how much space it genuinely took up. And although others do it differently, we were willing to give up a (comfy with table) daytime seating arrangement for our particular van needs. We also figured out exactly how wide we wanted our upper cabinets to be so we could have the most storage with the least chance of head injury. Ain’t nobody got time for stitches in a van.

But mostly, after much cutting and taping and measuring and re-arranging and cutting and taping some more, we were able to sit back in our swivel seats, beers in hand, and get our first glimpse of our future (cardboard) home on wheels. And that, was priceless. I can still remember the smiles and the excitement, and how good that beer tasted.

Pro Tip:

  • Many large chunks of our cardboard mockup were from our CRL window boxes. Save your big boxes folks; they will come in handy for MANY purposes.

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