Note / Disclaimer: It is fun to share cool products with other campers / van dwellers / RV’ers but I am not compensated for suggesting these items. If you decide to try anything recommended, please do so at your own risk.
If you are near the Dollar Tree (a.k.a. “Everything’s a Dollar” store), check out these little insulated storage containers. They contain several pieces. The storage part is approximately sixteen ounces and measures roughly 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. Fill it up and then thread the while lid on to seal it. A little plastic spoon stores into the outside top. The spoon unfolds into a full sized utensil! Then the dark colored top lid snaps over everything, keeping the spoon clean. A small insulatged food storage container with a built in spoon? That’s a van dweller’s dream… The price is right for a buck!
** Update ** I was recently told that the insulating properties are not the greatest. I plan to keep them in a cooler anyway.
The project I have been working on has been to relocate the bicycle inside the van for transport when stealth is needed. This coming weekend (there has been a delay), I will be camping close to home in an area where stealth might be needed.
You can see the bike fork clamp located on the counter top near the bed. The van is set up such that the bed runs front to back on the driver’s side of the van. The kitchen counter also runs lengthwise from the side door to the back. This little counter top joins the bed to the kitchen counter in the very back.
The sloping platform you see is for storing and using the netbook. When driving, a mini bungee cord holds the netbook down (I keep it closed). The white remote (which is sitting crooked) is for the Fantastic brand powered roof vent. The remote has two epoxied magnets which stick to a metal bracket on the “podium”. It works great! Under the sloping platform is a CPAP machine for sleep apnea. It runs from the house batteries.
The Hollywood bike clamp is mounted toward the side closest to the bed. So what keeps the bike’s gears from touching the bedspread? There is a plastic guard on the front derailleur. The back of the bike will be offset a bit to ensure the rear derailleur doesn’t contact the bedspread. This week I am going to build some kind of a bracket to hold the rear wheel in place so the bike cannot move sideways or tip. When the van and bike go out this weekend, more pictures will be taken.
The last few days have been kind of hectic. For family reasons, the trip had to be delayed a few days. I originally intended to take off on Sunday and Monday but needed to stay nearby to assist my dad. Later in the week things will be such that I can take off on Friday and Saturday for some biking and camping and possibly a little hiking, too!
A fun challenge this coming weekend will be to see what kinds of cool burgers can be made with lean ground turkey. I’ve come up with some fun ideas to experiment with. If the recipes work out, I’ll pass them along. It is always fun to share healthy camping foods.
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"