Oh, my aching back!

A few days ago, I took out the rear bed platform and trimmed the mattress to fit the front platform. I’ll be sleeping sideways, and the mattress is about eight inches shorter than I am. It’s wide, though, and since I’m a side sleeper who curls up, I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Before I did this, I marked off the size of the new platform on my bed and stayed in that space for an entire night. It works.

Since that was done, I decided to build a cabinet for the rear of the van. I need some shelves and some countertop space. I need some sort of a night stand for my phone, tablet, water, lights, etc. I need some floor space, too. I sketched out plans for a little cabinet that would give me everything I need.

I’m cheap–plus this whole experience has been designed to travel as inexpensively as possible. I had some plywood left over from the bed platform, and I had some odd pieces of wood, like the top of a buffet that got broken during our last move. I decided to use only materials I already had, no matter how ugly.

The plywood is really rough. I thought about painting it, but it’s just too splintery. Then I remembered some self-stick linoleum tiles I had left over from a project, and I decided to cover the outside of the cabinet and the shelf with that. Of course, it doesn’t stick very well to rough wood, so I got some finish nails and tacked it down with those. It isn’t pretty, that’s for sure, but at least the tiles won’t fall off and I won’t get splinters when I rub up against the cabinet. 🙂

I put a towel bar on one end, and I screwed a bamboo serving tray to the top. This is where I’m going to keep my stove so it won’t slide around. I attached a couple of little baskets at the ends of the shelf and screwed on the fire extinguisher bracket.

I’m going to use some picture wire to create a barrier in front of the shelf and down near the floor so things can’t slide out when I’m moving. And then I’m going to cover the front with a curtain to hide my potty bucket.

I’m pretty happy with the results, even though it’s not very attractive, and the fact that I did the entire thing myself. The only thing I’m not happy about is the state of my back. I broke this project into two days to pace myself and had to stop every 30 minutes or so so I could sit down until the pain let up. I took a bunch of kratom yesterday, which usually helps my pain. But it didn’t do a damned thing. Today, I took a Norco before I even started, but by the time I finished I was in so much pain I could barely move. I’m going to pay the price for this tomorrow. This is the last building project I’m ever going to attempt. I just can’t do these things any longer. But I’m glad I got this one last thing done.

Here are a few pictures of the almost-finished project. I’m glad I got it built and in the van so I could get the car back in the garage before it snows. Hard to believe that we’re in for the mother of all storms this next week. It was 75 degrees today!

I’m going to get a soft, fuzzy throw rug to put on the floor.
It’ll look much better when I have the curtain on the front.
Because the bed is so high, it’s hard to get onto it from the sides of the van, as Alan and I discovered on our trip. I’ll enter from the back. There’s a strap I can use to pull the door closed once I’m inside. I

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