Making furniture!

Here are some process photos from making a multifunctional piece of furniture. It is a bench for sitting and hanging out that someone will be able to sleep on. It’s also a big cabinet for storage. And, there’s a piano hinge on part of it so I can unfold a little table and have a place to eat and write.

Very exciting! Next I’ll finish the walls of my bedroom, then install the shower and do the plumbing.

Thanks for continuing to write me! I’m sorry I can be so slow to respond. I very much like hearing about everyone’s projects. I’ll post some of the emails I’ve gotten recently sometime soon. Feel free to contact me!

Thanks for reading, and for writing to me!

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constructing new doors and installing them!

 

 

I’m so grateful that I have friends willing to help me with the box truck. This series of photos is from a weekend of working to make new doors, then install them.  I can’t believe it! I’m very happy to be rid of the roll-up doors and now have hinge doors. I’m also very happy to have skilled and generous friends.

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the box truck lately

It’s been a while!

I’m still working on it! Here’s what’s been happening- the kitchen is beginning to take shape because there are cabinets, a countertop, and sink ready to be caulked in place. I can imagine myself cooking in this space. Very exciting.ImageThere was a point in time when I thought the insulation was done, but there was only a 1/2″ of rigid foam and that really just wouldn’t have been enough. So, I added much more. There’s a layer of foil bubble underneath an inch of rigid foam, with spray foam to fill the cracks. There’s a 1/2″ of rigid foam that runs vertical behind the rub boards and e-track, then another 1/2″ that fits horizontal in the space that’s left. Right now it’s taped in place, but the paneling that I affix to the rub board will hold it in place.

ImageImageThere used to be a wall in the box truck, making it impossible to access driving area. Now it’s open and I can get in and out that way if I want to. Later I’ll make a curtain to separate my living space from the front.

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Progress on the box truck happens really slowly, but I’m certain I’ll finish this.

What are the next steps?

  • insulate the ceiling and floor
  • frame out the bathroom
  • get solar panels, inverter, batteries and begin wiring
  • plan the storage bench that will also have a fold-out table
  • begin plumbing, get hardware
  • build cabinet for water tank
  • get skylights and install them

my goodness

Hello! I’m still working on the box truck, just very slowly. I’ll update more thoroughly soon about what little progress has happened, and explain some of the decisions I’ve made. I just wanted to say thanks for continuing to write me and offer advice and ask questions… I really appreciate it! I’m sorry if I haven’t responded! I’m very slow sometimes with emails.

Below is a video of a vandweller who is casually interviewed and it’s quite nice. I recommend it!

Thanks for writing to me!

I’ve received some interesting comments and emails lately that I’d like to share.

First, I wanted to share this picture sent to me by someone that regularly follows my blog.

photoIn his words:

I skirted it down the side, removed roll up door and added a heavy duty man door, built the back bumper, added some toolboxes. Built these alum steps that hinge into the floor.

I have been a full timer rv-er for 20 years, big fifth wheel, just my wife and I and two german shepherds now, kids are off on their own.  I have a truck repair business, where I do a lot of custom work, including building big rigs too pull big fifth wheel Rv trailers.

photo(2)Above is his truck with the “slide out Genny,  this is a loud model, you would want a Honda inverter based model.”

I like hearing about other peoples’ projects. I got another comment from someone else interested in my blog and box truck. They said:

I found your site a few months ago when first searching the idea of box truck dwellings.  We had been tossing the idea around for a while and were curious what was already out there on the subject.  Yours was the first site we encountered, and was extremely helpful for that reason alone.  My wife and I are currently shopping/searching for a truck and are planning on doing almost the exact same thing as you, so we’ve enjoyed reading everything on your site so far.  I’m especially curious what you find out from your welder.  We have been looking for a box truck with swing doors, but it limits the field by a ridiculous amount.  I talked with a guy that sells used commercial trucks and he said he wouldn’t do the roll-up door to swing door conversion, but didn’t offer any reasoning.  At the time, we thought we had found a swing door truck online that we wanted, so we didn’t push too much for his explanation.  Please let us know what you find out.  Being able to make that conversion could be huge.  We’re also planning on doing a blog and have been doing research and saving money for a while.  We hope to have a truck by the end of summer.  I look forward to talking to you more in the future.

I can’t exactly articulate why I’m sharing these things, except to say that I’m glad to hear about people’s personal experiences. It’s nice to see a completed project and have the advice that comes from experience, and it’s nice to have a conversation with someone who (like me) is at the beginning of their project and just needs to talk about it! I also recently got an email from someone who is opening a restaurant in London inside a caboose. They said:

We’re currently building our own custom made caboose, from which we’re going to sell slow-smoked barbecue and big salads with an indoor dining area in the back.
Conceptually, the inside space will have a ‘log cabin’ feel about it. The entire thing will be made out of wood (a lot of it vintage reclaimed), and the fixtures and fittings will all be of the ‘era’ and hand chosen/restored by us.
Due to its small size we’ve had to be very innovative with its design, especially seating-wise.

cabooseYou can follow the progress of the restaurant here.

 

In short- I’m glad to be in touch with all you nice people! The varied projects I hear about are really great.

Thanks for writing to me!

Why am I dancing in the box truck? (video)

Short answer: I don’t know!

But I’d be much obliged if you visited this site and considered giving me a few bucks for my project. I need help!

Thanks for your time!

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I’m still here!

I didn’t make any progress on the box truck over the long winter. Sickness, sadness, inclement weather, and too little money were constant obstacles. Despite all this lack of progress, I’m still very excited to work on this project and make this thing my home.

Here’s what I’m doing:

  • Consulting with someone who understands solar panels and batteries.
  • Getting in touch with a welder, because I want to replace the roll-up door with a hinge door; create a mounting bracket for the solar panels on the roof; secure the water tank to the frame of the truck.
  • Finalizing the measurements for the floor plan, which I did by using painter’s tape on the floor.
  • Creating an campaign with Indiegogo for my project. I do not have any money for this project and very little progress can be made until I do something about funds.
  • Making a plan for what can happen once (if) I get money for this.

 

Below is a video where I give a tour of the box truck and show off my ideas! Enjoy!

progress + snow

Here are some photos of what’s happened so far in the box truck. It’s not much but it’s still FABULOUS! I’m so very excited. In the photos you’ll see that I absent-mindedly let some snow in, because I’ve been leaving the barn door cracked open as a way to reduce condensation. Oh well. You’ll also see the platform that my bed will sit on, and the housing for the water tank, which is far from finished. You can’t tell from the photo of the insulation that it’s a layer of foil bubble and then 1/8″ polystyrene board, but it’s there.

I also included pictures of my water pump, water heater, flooring, and kitchen sink.

The next steps…

  • figure out how the roof will hold solar panels, which is necessary if I’m going to begin planning the electric
  • plan the plumbing, which means making decisions about my shower and toilet
  • weatherproof the bottom of the truck because moisture is getting in through the cracks in the floor boards from underneath the truck
  • get the loading ramp out from underneath and sell it
  • finish the area holding the water tank
  • work on the bed area
  • finalize decisions about equipment I want that will require power, so that I can calculate how many panels+batteries I will need

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sketchbook pages

Actual work on the box truck has been slow lately… I’ve been waiting for money for lumber so that I can keep building. In the mean time I wanted to share some of my sketchbook pages. I like the idea that actual ideas have come from my strange scrawlings. The details of my drawings are outdated, because I’ve changed my mind a million times about every little thing, so don’t take too much actual information from them. Sorry that this post isn’t more substantial!

The progress since my last post is this: The walls are insulated. I’m almost done with the structure that will support some of the weight of my bed and hold my fresh water tank. I got an Eccotemp L5 water heater, a water pump, a 48 gallon water tank, and I’m getting a refrigerator for free soon.

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condensation – a.k.a. science

I woke up brighteyed & bushytailed a few days ago to work on the box truck. When I opened the barn door there was water all over the ceiling and all over the floor. CONDENSATION!!! I panicked about it for a while, thinking that I was seeing the amount of water that would appear every single night, but I concluded (perhaps naively) that this can’t be true. Moisture (condensation, water leaks, rain leaks) will always be an issue for me and my box truck, but I think I can deal with it.

I was already planning to paint the top of the roof with a white elastomeric paint. This paint will help seal the roof and reflect heat. And I’ve prioritized ventilation in my planning. I wonder if I’ll have to leave windows open, or run my stove fan, all night to help with the moisture? There are tiny, one liter dehumidifiers I could look into. It’s amazing that cooking, having company over, and showering seem innocent enough, but build up moisture so quickly in a small space.

Anyway, this is just a rambling post. I’ll have pictures of my progress soon.

Thanks for reading!

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