Last Touches

I just finished the last little job on the van: attaching the fire extinguisher mount to one of the bed legs. Now I know exactly where it is in case I need it.

I still have quite a bit more space under the bed, which we’ll use for dry goods.

I also brought up the little, inexpensive electric cooler I got on a whim at Walmart a while back because it was on sale for next to nothing. We have a bigger one, but it’s way too big for this van. I didn’t think this one would fit (I knew it wouldn’t fit under the bed). But it does fit–just barely–at the end of the bed platform. Fortunately, there’s a 12V outlet in the back on the driver’s side, and the cord is plenty long enough to reach it. I used this cooler on my last trip. It only runs when the engine is running, but since I spend a lot of time time driving, it’s enough to keep the ice I also use from melting quite so fast. I put my ice in jumbo-sized ziplock bags to keep water from getting all over my food. So far this system seems to work pretty good.

I also organized all my bins. Now I have the fuel for my stove in its own little bin, also the washing/shampooing/grooming stuff. I have blankets and towels in another one. There’s a big one for our clothes. Another for cooking utensils, dishes, etc. And a separate small bin for the aeropress and a couple of plastic quart jars of coffee I grind at home before a trip.

That little black “suitcase” is my duel-fuel one-burner stove.
Blankets, towels and clothes.

I have a luggable loo, which I really like, but I didn’t like having to use a five-gallon bucket for it. I’ve been looking for a shorter version of the paint bucket (the lip has to be exactly the same for the luggable loo seat to snap onto it). I finally found one the other day, and I’m thrilled.

Plenty of room for all the luggable loo supplies, plus extra water.

There’s space under the bed between the front seats to store my Jackery portable power station and my backpack. It’s important to keep that area clear so I can get from the bed to the driver’s seat without any trouble.

The bed is really comfortable. I got some new pillows. And I cut down and hemmed the curtains that go behind the seats. I can’t think of anything else to do now but go on a trip. I’m waiting for Alan to decide exactly where he wants to go, but it looks like we’ll spend a few days in the San Juans before heading to Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest National Park. We’ll probably stop in Taos and Santa Fe as well.

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