Please Be Seated

The new chair and storage box and my buddy Eugene.

I’ve been wanting a chair in the van for some time.  A comfortable seat adds a lot of enjoyment and makes it feel more like home.  It means I can eat dinner, read a book, blog, crochet, watch TV… all in comfort…. and without bonking my head on the roof while sitting on the bed.  Clothes can be piled or draped over the back.  The kitty can even sleep on the chair, too.  The best part is that the little seat is going to occupy a previously wasted piece of space in front of the cooking appliances.  The key was figuring out how not to block the microwave should it need to be opened.

When the microwave or toaster oven needs to used, the chair (a $12, molded Walmart boat seat) can be tilted out of the way.  There is spacious storage box underneath which is accessible when the seat is tipped forward toward the van side doors.  (By the way, a little hook keeps the chair and lid from flopping when going around a corner.)

The platform for the chair is a simple rectangle measuring 18″ x 21″, made out of a ten dollar 2″x12″ board from Home Depot.  Since I used to work at “big orange”, a buddy cut the boards without charging the extra cut fees.  I also had him fashion a nice heavy plywood lid.  Voila!  The new storage is handy for important things like pots and pans, plastic food containers, plates / silverwear, and a collection of small, medicinal, “one shot” bottles – perfect for camping. 

The chair’s “upholstery” is going to be a cheap car seat cover from Menards.  They were on sale for 2 / $11.  You can’t go wrong with a deal like that.  I plan to cut some furniture grade foam rubber to put under the seat cover for added comfort.  I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the chair is already without having to add any padding.  (Just a side note – the new McDonalds in Cedar Rapids is using molded plastic chairs so I figured.. why not?)

The cost for materials (not including the seat covers) was about $45.


In other news, a custom diamond plate tool box for the back of the van was ordered this week.  It is 36″ left to right, 23.5″ front-to-back, and 19″ tall.  The box will be modified for use with the Honda generator and the Mr. Heater hot water heater.   It will be about a month until everything is finished and pics will follow.

That’s about it for now.  Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Bradford the “Van Trekker”

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About VanTrekker

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"

6 Responses to Please Be Seated

  1. tinycamper says:

    Ah! A comfortable place to sit. That’s got to be a nice change! 🙂

    • Brad says:

      It sure makes a difference. Since getting the van, I’ve always had to lie down on the bed to type or rub the head on the roof while sitting up. It was so nice to sit up, have a cold one (Diet Coke) after work, and peck away on the computer while watching TV. There is life without a high top roof. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:


    “There is life without a high top roof”
    Like That!!!


  3. Mick says:

    what company is making the box for you? I need one too, bigger though…