The Big Hole (installing a fan) and the Counter / Bed Platform

The Big Hole (installing a fan) and the Counter / Bed Platform

Well we knew we needed a fan, and chose to place it near the back of the van to improve air flow and leave room for future solar panels.
This is what we chose:

We measured inside. Measured outside, measured again and again…but drilling a hole, and cutting a huge square out of the roof of a perfectly good van was sort of stressful. The measurements from the inside were most critical so we could avoid hitting the support struts. It fit perfectly (if a bit tight), in between the last and second to last support struts.

Marker on the inside told us where the corners needed to be., then we taped the opening to catch the metal filings and keep the metal from falling in, adding tape as we went.
Drilling the corners
Using a jig saw to cut down between the drilled corners. A plastic bag was taped up to catch the metal bits.
Daylight. We primed the edges to avoid any rust.
Tape and weight and wait.
Inside. It would be a while before we actually got the electric hooked up, and even longer before we would finish the roof and trim around it…but it was in and didn’t leak.
Open from the top.
We had the most miserable night in the van the night before this. We traveled to Southern Illinois to see the solar eclipse. We spent the night in the driveway of a friends house because we had to stay with the dogs. It was very hot (upper 80’s all night) and we had not installed the electric for the fan yet. We also had only half of the bed platform done at this point and I tried to sleep cramped on the bench while Mike was on the half of the bed platform that was ready. There really is not enough room between the bench and the platform to even have your legs under it. Between that and the heat we were both pretty tired the next day, but really enjoyed the eclipse. Because of the heat though, we drove home that night instead of camping after the eclipse. It was a long trip home.
Time for a better floor. Wood was left overs from a friends house. We worked around the rails for the bench seat and made removable covers for them.
Installed floor with cover.. You can also see part of the cabinet which had been completed before putting in the fan.
Another view of the cabinet work, as well as the raised center aisle. The center area stores longer things like camp chairs and a broom. The front frame has been installed on the angled cabinet as well.
The bed platform is finished. Bench side flipped down and supports seated.
Counter slid out.
Back piece is flipped to lock and next section is slid out.
Counter slides back and seat support folds up and is held back with a bungee.
Mattresses are put back in place, and the bungee is used to hold it in place. Counter is pulled forward to use as table. The mattress covers have been sewn to size now and a second cover made out of sheets was sewn as a slip cover.
The wood can be flipped to lock it in place and make a larger work surface.

Up next…The Kitchen Sink….