Coming Soon

I plan to provide you with a page with all of my van life purchases so that you can have the same satisfaction and gain the same benefits from having them just as I have.

Camping in the National Forest

I am really happy with my 2020 van improvements.

  • Storage cabinet
  • More lights
  • Rewired electrical
  • Refrigerator
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Headliner
  • Kitchen light
  • Ventilation
  • Reflexit for windows
  • Fans
  • 3 way light switch
  • Over the bed entertainment
  • Awning

I decided to go camping with Ollie to try things out. This would be his first camping trip ever.

Once we parked and started setting things up I Immediately realized I didn’t consider Ollie’s needs when I built my van.

This is Ollie, my campervan buddy

Like his favorite toy, Oink Oink the pig or the blanky, his favorite blanket. I also had no place to store dog food, toys, or snacks.

Oink Oink Ollie’s favorite toy.

Other improvements:

  • It was soooooooo dark out I couldn’t see my hands in front of me. I need to purchase a L.E.D Work/Spot light for off road. One on each side of the van. I can install a switch on my control panel that would control the lights.
  • My new awning needs lighting as well. I’m thinking of LED strip lights powered using my portable inverter or 12 volt hookup to the van.
  • Extend the bed. Ollie sleeps really crazy. I got probably 4 hours of sleep with him pushing me to the edge and kicking me. So I’m gonna build a folding (suitcase type) bed extension. When not in use, it will fold and go under the bed.
  • Storage (plastic) sterilite storage bin that slides under the bed.
  • It was cold at night with the vents left open on both back windows. The reflexit worked for one window, I need to make one to cover the kitchen window.
  • When I turned my kitchen light on, little tiny bugs, not really visible to the eye got through the vent screen. It did keep the mosquitoes out and larger bugs. I guess this is a non-issue if I use reflexit to cover them at night.

Rooftop awning installation

I purchased this from Amazon for $83 on June 22, 2020. The price has increased after I posted the image on Facebook to $112.00 when I last looked.

Here are the steps I took to install it.

  • Removed the screws from one side of the roof rack.
  • Raised the roof rack bar to slide the awning hardware under it.
  • Tightened the screws
  • Mounted the awning
Unboxed awning

Remove the screws from the roof rack

I removed the 5 screws from the roof rack because the awning hardware screw could not slide into the L bracket hole.

Slide the awning hardware under the roof rack.

Slide the awning hardware under the roof rack.

Tightened the screws.

Here the screws for the L bracket is secure and the two bolts that hold the awning is ready for attachment.

Attach the awning by sliding the rail onto the bolts.

Sliding the rail unto the bolts and tightening them down.

Finished work

I went to Walmart and purchased additional straps because the two black ones are not adjustable and the case sags and sometimes get caught in the side door closing.

I cut the straps because they were 10 feet long. Adding these straps raises the case up so the door doesn’t grab it when closing.

Need relief from stiffness

My van doesn’t have a lot of space for moving around. The more I add to my van the less room I have for navigating. Some people on the Facebook group were suggesting that I get out of the van and walk. My response to them is that in Washington State during the winter months it rains a lot. Going for a walk would introduce rain into the van, and wet clothes; which isn’t good.

That means in the winter you will be spending a lot of time in the van, so when it’s time to get out of the van stiff joins might make it challenging.

So I wanted a way to solve that problem. In addition, I spend more hours than I can count on the computer writing code and doing software engineering stuff.

While trying to solve stiffness with my shoulder and neck doing exercises I decided to googled around looking for information about muscle relaxers and came across several articles on recommending muscle stimulation instead of ingesting pills. After careful reviews, watching videos and so on, I bought this one for $48.99 on Amazon and thought I’d share it with you.

It really works and helps with stiffness, gets the blood flowing around my neck and shoulders.

I’m not into selling things, but some people always ask for links and I decided to put them here to be helpful. I am a Amazon Affiliate, suggested to me by one Van Lifer. So here it is.

It’s rechargeable, and according to the reviews the battery lasts a long time.