After five months on the road and living in van I thought I owed you an update on how van life is going. We love it, we’ve loved it since the day we brought Buddy. Our only advice is don’t build a van while being on the move, all those beautiful vanlife images you see on Instagram, well first of all I’m sure they have access to a variety of tools and lots of power. Our best advise would be to find a base to fit out the van!
This is going to be part one of three ‘van life updates’ I feel this is only fair as we have lived in this van in three states. First phase of living in Buddy – a fucking building site that lasted longer than either of us imagined. As a builders partner I am sure I will have to endure this happening to our house on a number of occasions.
Prior to arriving in Whistler we had spent almost a day in IKEA. Our biggest debate on the trip at this point was whether or not we should buy a queen size bed or double and whether it should be the cheaper harder version or not. We ended up compromising on this decision and going with the soft double bed. We managed to buy all our bedding, pots, pans and cutlery for less than $500. To date we have only broken one wine glass and a fry pan handle after five months on the road.
Planning which way your bed goes in your van is the million-dollar decision. Will you sleep length or width ways? Most people you see on Instagram appear to sleep width ways; I’m still trying to figure out how they do it. I am short and well Jake is 5.9 or 5.11 depending on the day. I fit perfectly width ways there is no room at my head or feet, I’m 5’4 so god knows why anybody would want to sleep curled up in a double bed together for a whole year. Our van is no sprinter but nor is Buddy narrow but for us this was a no brainer we were 100% planning on our bed going length ways.
After our Starbucks planning session the design of Buddy hasn’t really changed, we decided on the kitchen going under the window so we would be able to access the drivers and passenger seat easily.
Making a bed for a builder shouldn’t be to hard right? Well it was like going back to the stone ages. Jake had to build it with a hand saw and screw driver as our drill ran out of power and we had no way of charging it. It was a ‘team effort’ with us taking turns on the screwdriver; I think Jakes hands ended up more blistered then before he left New Zealand.
Thanks to our friend Jack who was building at the time he came around to Whistler car park number four with plenty of battery powered tools and helped lay the floors down. It is such a strange feeling how these two things for Jake and I made Buddy feel like home.
Below are the steps of Buddy’s Build and a few snaps of this process:
Step 1 – Demolition of the interior walls so we could panel them at a later date
Step 2 – Cleaning the left over oil spill from the previous owners
Step 3 – Trip to the local Refuse Centre, conveniently around the corner from IKEA!
Step 4 – Laying the floor insulation and installing wall insulation.
Step 5 – Making our bed frame
Step 6 – Laying the flooring
Step 7 – Living in Buddy in this state for another month.