New creaks, pops, cracks, and squeaks are the last thing I want to hear while road testing a new addition to Gidget. We’re still early on in the conversion so any new noise we introduce is pretty noticeable and infuriating. When we added the bed a couple weeks back we wrote:
We are happy with how it turned out except when driving. Every little bump in the road results in a squeak. It kind of sounds like the metal is flexing where the wood attaches. Maybe we should have put something like felt in between the metal walls and the 2×6 wood? Or maybe we need to take some of the load off of the van walls with a support in the middle of the platform? We’re going to do some experiments to see if we can get the noise down.
After driving it around for a couple of weeks the squeaks reduced somewhat as everything settled but it was still pretty loud. After much debate we stopped being lazy and decided to disassemble the bed and do something about the noise.
When planning out our van build we knew we didn’t want to have to make the bed every night. We also wanted plenty of storage space under the bed and in overhead cabinets. A platform bed was really the only option.
To save space we decided to install it width wise in the back of the van. In the side cutouts of the van, there was exactly enough room to install a full size mattress.
We spent a couple days replacing the soft stock floor mat with a plywood and vinyl floor. The stock mat is not the best foundation to build a bed and cabinets on top of. And it doesn’t give you that cozy home feeling. Instead it gives off a work van vibe, not the killer adventure van feeling we want.
We went with a rather thin floor with minimal insulation so that the D-ring bolt holes are still usable.
Surprisingly the Ford Transit doesn’t come with a cabin air filter even though there is a place for one. I’m guessing the filter was either left out due to cost or because of performance. Maybe with the filter in there the blower isn’t powerful enough ¯\(°_o)/¯ .
Sometimes a video does a much better job telling a story or explaining something than pictures and words can. So we now have a YouTube Channel and our first video is about installing a fan on Gidget’s roof. Let us know in the comments what you think of the video.
Last weekend we decided to head over to Catalina Island for the day. Neither Matt or myself have been to Catalina or any of the Channel Islands, and apparently it is one of those things that every Southern Californian needs to do. We left out of Newport Beach on the Catalina Flyer ferry in the morning.
You add insulation to a van for the same reasons you add it to a house, to reduce the transfer of thermal and sound energy. Many established methods for insulating traditional homes exist. Unfortunately most of these methods don’t apply to vans as they have metal walls, lots of single pane windows, and lack large HVAC systems.
For the #vanlife community insulation is the most debated topic. You have many options: fiberglass, rigid foam board, Reflectix, recycled denim, spray foam, 3M Thinsulate, vapor barriers, CLD sound deadening material, and many more. Each material has pros and cons and doing the necessary research can be overwhelming.
Tricia here, writing my first post! Over the weekend we tackled the daunting task of permanently modifying Gidget by installing a roof fan. Neither of us have had the pleasure of cutting a huge hole in a vehicle, so it was a little nerve-wracking.
When planning our van build we decided not to install a rooftop air conditioning unit. They tend to remove any notions of stealth, are loud, and need a lot of power to operate. But we also want some level of comfort so we settled on a roof fan. After significant research we discovered there is only 2 serious manufactures: Fan-Tastic and MaxxAir. We went with the MaxxAir MAXXFAN Deluxe 7000K fan because the lid can be open when its raining and when driving.
A swivel seat adapter allows your front factory seats to turn and face the back of the van. In such a small space being able to have one of us sit in the passenger seat and face the living area is crucial.
We bought the swivel adapter from SwivelsRus as that is the only provider in the US. These swivels are for the base level mechanical seats, not the 10-way power seats which we have. But this was the only option available so we bought it anyways with the hope we could make it work.