slowly but surely
It's been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks. The van is our primary focus these days and we spend almost all our waking hours in the shop trying to make progress on the build.
It seems painfully slow and I can't help wonder what this would have been like if our plan actually worked and we had others doing the work for us...but we trudge on and will be happy with whatever is done by the holidays when we begin our trip (finished or not).
We have had some successes... the largest of which has to be finishing the insulation and adding a heater (which means theres a good chance jen will join me on this winter road trip). We went with the espar D2 which is thermostatically controlled, fits under the passenger seat and feeds directly off the factory diesel tank.
We also have been working on welding up the prototypes for the skeletal structure of our cabinets, piece by piece. Bed frame and surfboard rack are complete, kitchen is in place and the bedside cabinets are ready...still working on the rest.
It's a slow road, but things are taking shape little by little. These frames, once dialed in will be recreated in aluminum and then fitted with bamboo infill panels (or so we currently think).
I also drilled out every factory hole in the sprinter frame and inserted rivnets, which will allow us to safely bolt all the cabinets to the van, but also be able to remove them as needed for large zenbox projects or if we decide to change anything out over time.
We also upgraded tires from the factory tires to a winter tire for our trip. Not only will they give us far better traction in both snow and offroad...they also look far better on the van.
Im not sure why mercedes decided to make the 4x4 and still put tiny tires that seem to disappear inside giant wheel wells, but these slightly larger tires make everything look like it should and will keep us on the road in bad conditions.
When not at the shop we are researching the next steps, finding components and trying to source everything we need for our solar/electrical setup. We spend most nights in the van but do occasionally hop between our places when they aren't booked. As always, its a bit weird to be in town but know someone else is sleeping in your bed, but those bookings are also helping to pay for the build- so we'll take it!