Van Build Update: Week 1

Despite the initial setback of having an ant infestation, the first week of construction proved uplifting and productive.
After calling local exterminators to eradicate what they claimed was “the most ants they’ve ever seen in such a small space”, the project finally took off.
Chalk Block cleaned up nicely
With the help of a couple of friends (Thanks, Shiro and Brett!) , I got the back of the van fully cleaned out the day after the exterminators came by. The next day was spent putting up a large amount of Reflectix and (an attempt at) removing the front seats. Thanks to a lot of wiring and the concern of setting off the air bags, I opted to just vacuum under the seats and wipe the front floor cover down with Clorox wipes.
The days since have involved spraying a ridiculous amount of foam insulation (11 cans worth) into the hollow cavities of the walls’ support structure and packing the more accessible sections with R-19 insulation,
which is now covered by more Reflectix.


After the past month of waiting and searching for the right van, this week has raised my spirits substantially. The amount of interest and encouragement people have shown for the project has helped to curb any anxieties I had about it, and the extent of the progress I’ve already made has given me a new feeling of self sufficiency.
Sure, there have been some negative moments (three hours total of driving to and from the nearest Lowe’s, working in a literal metal box in 80+ degree weather and having a hardware store employee refer to me as my father’s “helper” because 1) apparently I look like I’m 12 and 2) why would a woman ever be there willingly?).
Despite my normally cynical nature, those aspects haven’t bothered me…much. I’m currently waiting for the cargo partition to arrive before I can finish insulating the ceiling and floor, and I’m taking an involuntary break from the project to go to Nashville for my Green Building Design course this weekend.
Thanks again to everyone for all of the encouragement and support for the project. You can expect another blog post next week, but in the mean time, check out for more pictures and updates

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