Basic Van Build: Third of Three

Started the galley frame by doweling these two rectangles together.

Started the galley frame by doweling these two rectangles together.

December 3 – December 13.

It was starting to get cold and rainy in NC. Every project we undertook took at least twice as long as we thought it should. We were itching to travel. We decided to delay building storage cabinets. We just needed to complete the galley enough to hit the road.

We already had most of the hardware. We’d use the travel fridge from our boat. We’d also use our back-up water pump from Blue Wing. We already had a camp stove. And we had ordered a sink, propane tank, and water tank online. We just had to build a platform to put it all together.

You may have noticed that we are trying to do our build as cheaply as possible. We are using wood because we can work with it. We discovered early on that the van drives better with a load than it does empty, so we’re not too concerned about weight. So we basically used the same framing approach as we did for the bed supports. We picked up a wide 3/4 inch laminated board for our counter top. It’s soft pine, but hopefully the cutting board will take most of the normal kitchen abuse.

We’re calling these posts ‘basic van build’ because we also need to add more storage compartments and a composting toilet. Those projects can be done on the road, though. It’s time to ROLL!

Disclaimer: This was our van build. Please do not consider this as advice on how to do yours. LPG, and hydrogen emitted by flooded batteries are flammable. Bad wiring connections can electrocute you. Research the risks for yourself.

Here is a piece of butcher block salvaged from Cabbagetown. I trimmed it to size and sanded it.

Here is a piece of butcher block salvaged from Cabbagetown. I trimmed it to size and sanded it.

Here is part of the frame. It's upside down, doweled together, and clamped in place while the glue dries.

Here is part of the frame. It’s upside down, doweled together, and clamped in place while the glue dries.

Framing for the galley.

Framing for the galley.

Here's the box for our propane tank. It's vented to the outside. It rests on the wheel well and is attached to the rest of the frame. The board on top of it will support the stove.

Here’s the box for our propane tank. It’s vented to the outside. It rests on the wheel well and is attached to the rest of the frame. The board on top of it will support the stove.

Here is the sink we found online and the spigot we picked up in NC. The spigot will stretch out the side door if we want to rinse something off outside.

Here is the sink we found online and the spigot we picked up in NC. The spigot will stretch out the side door if we want to rinse something off outside.

Sink hole has been measured and cut. Sanding the opening before applying stain and polyurethane. It's cold out today.

Sink hole has been measured and cut. Sanding the opening before applying stain and polyurethane. It’s cold out today.

Installing the sink under the countertop. First apply silicone caulk.

Installing the sink under the countertop. First apply silicone caulk.

Carefully put the sink in place.

Carefully put the sink in place.

Clamp the sink down once it is lined up correctly. Wipe away excess caulk.

Clamp the sink down once it is lined up correctly. Wipe away excess caulk.

Screw-on clips came with the sink. They take too much space. I am securing the sink with plywood instead. Drilling holes and screwing it down.

Screw-on clips came with the sink. They take too much space. I am securing the sink with plywood instead. Drilling holes and screwing it down.

Fitting the countertop on now. The closed camp stove is in the foreground. No lid over it at this point.

Fitting the countertop on now. The closed camp stove is in the foreground. No lid over it at this point.

Adding stove lid, which was cut from the same piece as the rest of the countertop.

Adding stove lid, which was cut from the same piece as the rest of the countertop.

Countertop with closed lid over stove, and butcher block at lower right.

Countertop with closed lid over stove, and butcher block at lower right.

Galley with stove open and ready for use.

Galley with stove open and ready for use.

Here is the galley. The 20 gallon water tank is under the sink. The water pump is hidden behind the water tank. After this pic we added a gray water tank for the sink to drain into. It can be removed and emptied. We put a trash can beside that tank, so (like real Americans) we can put our trash under the sink. Our plan is to cover the areas between all the legs with curtains. We already have some material from Goodwill for this.

Here is the galley. The 20 gallon water tank is under the sink. The water pump is hidden behind the water tank. After this pic we added a gray water tank for the sink to drain into. It can be removed and emptied. We put a trash can beside that tank, so (like real Americans) we can put our trash under the sink. Our plan is to cover the areas between all the legs with curtains. We already have some material from Goodwill for this.

Here's the van loaded and ready to go. Utensils are in the sink. We'll have hammocks hanging until we can build some overhead cabinets. Pillow in the right foreground is one of the old futon pillows. They will be replaced, but for now they are stuffed with blankets for cold nights. Bottom right is the top of our travel fridge.

Here’s the van loaded and ready to go. Utensils are in the sink. We’ll have hammocks hanging until we can build some overhead cabinets. Pillow in the right foreground is one of the old futon pillows. They will be replaced, but for now they are stuffed with blankets for cold nights. Bottom right is the top of our travel fridge.

4 thoughts on “Basic Van Build: Third of Three

    • Jo said:

      Looks very good. Hope you are enjoying it!

  1. Perry & Dossie said:

    Proud of you both. I know how hard you worked. We wish you safe traveling and much joy in interesting discoveries! Mom and Pop

  2. Debbie Knebel said:

    I LOVE what you guys are doing together!!! Thanks for sharing with all your friends and the world!!! It is inspirational. The level of craftsmanship is wonderful and I’m always impressed. Continue having fun on your journey of life! Miss you both!

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