Building a home in a Van: Road Trip through AMERICA
What makes humans thrive and become alive is different for each one of us. Its OUR decisions to create a life built around what we love to do. To us, adventure, new experiences, nature and FREEDOM is our dose of aliveness,. Nothing like getting in a Van with no solid destination, appointments or to do lists, just going and letting life take us to where it needs, was it.
So here it is, our, new journey, buying a Van, building a bed in it, selling and then packing all of our things and traveling cross country to see AMERICA. We understand, its not going to be easy, probably the hardest part personally will be finding a place to shower & get dressed , and somehow keeping the Van organized and clean; but all of the experiences ( good and bad) were well worth it to us...
Sipping that coffee while looking out to nature with no wifi or phone calls is worth every penny actually....
So here it is:
Part I : Buying a Van
Make: Chevy ASTRO
Name: Freedom Van
Where we bought: Craigslist
PART TWO: The Plan
Price to build the bed : 65$
Needed: 1 large piece Plywood, 9 pieces of 2"4's, dry wall screws and a saw.
Where we bought: Luckily, our neighbors had the tools we needed and all the materials bought at home depot .
The Plan: Build about 18 inches high , making room for storage underneath and the length and width of exact measurements to fit a full size bed.
PART 3: Get Building
This bed was completely designed and built by a talented woman, Allison who has a passion for building and designing things and of course a couple of assistants. She used the 2'4s to make a platform to make sure the bed was sterdy in place, leaving room to pull things in and out of the van if needed and also making alot of room for storage underneath.
HOW LONG IT TOOK US TO BUILD: Well us ladies like our beer every now and then , so this bed platform took us a good day and half to build. First Allison started with the base platform, you can see in the third picture below. Consisted of 2 large pieces, 2 medium, and 4 smaller piece cut into triangles to keep it nice and sturdy in place. After making the base we were ready to put the legs of the bed on. We had 8 pieces of 18" inch cut (2'4's); which makes two 16 inch pieces on each corner facing up. We measured 18 inches because that landed right on top of where there is the old ridges sticking out from where the seats used to lay. Also, we wanted it high enough that we could keep our storage underneath, but not too high so we still had some room on top for the mattresse then added the frame around the top, so that it was extra sturdy in place, and also so that nothing would slide off. This was again, 2 large pieces, 2 medium and 4 smaller cut triangles. In other words, we made another " base" on top of the legs, FOR EXTRA STURDINESS. After that we were ready for the Plywood. We had the Plywood pre-cut at Home depot, for the exact same measurements of a full size bed. All's we had to do was simply drill it on top of the second level base, and VIOLA! This Bed Frame was planned for a perfect fit so that it cut slide right into the Van, and eventually, be taken out.
Ladies don't know how to build?
Sure they do!!
Part 4: Buy a mattress and decorate
Price to decorate: $90 and below .
Where we bought: Luckily, the week we decided we were going to do this, was during the beautiful fall season which also means GARAGE SALE HEAVEN. All things used to decorate this van we bought at garage sales and vintage shops.
List of things to bought: Futon Matress, curtains, pillows, blankets, a rug, portable grill, pots & pans, utensils, plates, cups, sandwich maker (xtra) , portable lamp, outlet charger, bins & crates to organize, umbrella, 2 small chairs and table.
And She's done!
Her name giving us shivers,
her smile warming us inside,
flushed hot and cold we searched for the name that could make her ours..
her name we asked,
"Freedom," she replied
Interested in learning more about how we got our name for the Van " Freedom?" Check out our next blog post and we entailed it all!