Remodel of the Van?

Van Remodel

The top is toward the front of the van… The bed (grey) is by the rear doors.


Hello and welcome to the blog.  First, a note about Jennifer.  After a visit to Dr. Lisa, Jen is making a terrific recovery from whatever had made her so ill.  She’s a sturdy little girl.  Thanks for the kind messages!

Christmas Border2a

It’s been almost five years since buying the 2007 Chevy Express and converting it.  I’ve been contemplating some exciting changes this year.  The living and leisure wants and needs have changed as a result of life events such as moving into a homebase.  The last few days have been spent re-assessing what is needed / desired in the “home away from home” and here are some ideas I’m tossing around for the sleeping area.  All cold item storage will be up front (as it is now) in coolers.

Kitchette II

The kitchenette – pretty much unused – is no longer needed. The TV will move all the way to the left, replacing the paper towel holder.  All that will be left of the counter you see is an 18″ mini desk / food serving area.


Here are the highlights of the planned changes.

  1.  The longitudinally-mounted bed will change.  It will become transverse-mounted at the back of the van.  The bed will still be a regular width twin mattress though I must shorten the length of the mattress a bit.
  2. The kitchenette is going away!  While it looks pretty cool, it’s never used any more and the cupboards are too shallow and awkward.
  3. The blu-ray player (stored in a kitchen cupboard) is going in the house.  I will just use a laptop for movies!
  4. The televison will remain on the wall but will be moved to where you now see the towel rack.  There will still be a little counter top/desk directly below the TV set to allow for the laptop to sit there when charging and/or for a meal to be consumed.  There may be a tiny cupboard below the counter for plates and silverwear.
  5. A small nightstand (very simple and secured to the bed frame) will be located next to the head of the bed (across from the TV).  It will hold the CPAP machine and provide a place to organize medicine.
  6. All exisiting open wiring will be housed.
  7. The bed platform will be paneled off to keep curious kitties from getting into things which might harm them.
  8. Gone will be the 2500 watt inverter (or at least relocated).  Back in late 2014 I started using a smaller pure sine unit which is more efficient.
  9. There will be storage under the bed, most of it being accessible through the back doors.
  10. The microwave will be moved under the bed, accessible from inside the van and only energized by shore power.
  11. There will be a REAL chair in the van.  This will make it far more enjoyable to sit and crochet, watch movies, enjoy a drink, etc.  (It’s not easy drinking Diet Coke while horizontal!)  I’m planning to make a seatcover to match the color of the walls.
  12. New flooring…  Once the van is stripped down, I intend to recover the entire floor with linoleum.  It will make cleaning so much easier!
  13. The cats’ litter space can be cleaned and used for storage when they are not along.  Note the small space allocated for the food and water by the bed.
  14. I’m thinking about also putting a shelf above the litter pan to hold the crockpot and the “hotpot” hot water heater…
Jesse and Serena

This chair is going to reside in the van. It sits pretty low.


I’m pretty excited about the upcoming changes to the Express van.  I’ve tested the transverse bed idea by stretching out on the current bed and putting my feet across to the counter top on the other side.  It looks like it will work.

The first phases of work will involve removing a lot of stuff from the camping van including the bed frame, mattress, microwave cabinet etc. Thankfully, there will be very few costs involved along the way.  Much is being downsized and/ or recycled, saving bucks.  If all goes as planned, I hope to have it all together as the weather warms up later in March.

Stay tuned for more details!

Thanks for visiting!

Brad, Jesse, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa


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