Good morning… I’ve been meaning to post something but ran into a couple of delays… Okay, the fish were biting, too. 🙂
There are a couple new changes coming to the van.
1) The other night a new 2 quart crock pot was purchased at Target for $11.00 (plus or minus a few pennies). It’s a little larger than the last one (which was one quart) but still small enough to be very efficient on the LOW setting. Last night I cooked roasted pork with veggies. The night before it was beef and veggies stew. Yum! There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of cooking food! For one or two people, it’s a perfect size. My beloved tomcat, Mister Jesse, gave his approval to the pork and beef dishes of the last two days.
Though small in size, this slow cooker has a high and low setting as well as a removable crock insert, making it extra easy to clean at the campground. Add some crock pot liner bags and it would be perfect – no cleaning needed! It will definitely get used for fishing trips and other outings. As much as I love cooking in a dutch oven, charcoal is getting expensive and the crock pot offers almost “free cooking”.
2) Last week I ordered a Haier Black and Decker portable air conditioner (10,000 BTUs) to place in the bulkhead doorway. It’s going to be installed this weekend or early next week depending on when it arrives. The Amazon-endorsed vendor didn’t send tracking information so every day I stalk the UPS guy… Pictures of the installation will be coming soon… The A/C offers real air conditioning (freon, not just a fan and ice) and some space savings for seasonal use. More details to come.
3) There is now a bookcase headboard in the van. The pillow had fallen between the bed and back door one too many times so I made a redneck bookcase headboard. Envision a wooden box fastened to the edge of the bed. The rear bottom is held up with shelf brackets and the darn thing is actually quite sturdy. The new headboard adds a LOT of space and there’s still room under it to slip in an propane tank (for heating) if I wish… The bottom is a 1×8 while the top is actually a 1×10… I added the little “overbite” style top in order to keep the boombox up there. Another idea was adding a little 1×2 board for a lip to keep stuff smaller stuff from sliding out when driving… The color is kind of off-white but I’m thinking about painting it darker. Any suggestions?
Other progress is being made. The exercise has been increased to at least an hour each day and varies between walking, weightlifting, and biking. A “rest day” still has a thirty minute walk. Though the scale is lagging behind the progress being made, the clothes are falling off. I had to order two new pairs of slacks the other day – 4 inches had melted off the waist since Christmas.
My sister’s challenge (ten dollars per pound lost) is still in force and it’s going to pay for the air conditioner AND much of the solar system. It’s should be a fun spring and summer with lots of progress made on all fronts.
I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie.
Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget.
Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"