Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Vanstead

What do you think of this one for a vanstead?

In other posts, I've mentioned returning to Port Angeles in the spring and starting work on the vanstead.  My old van (Charlie) was to be transformed.  He would become a project van complete with wood floors, a pantry, and a wood stove.  Mike and I are very happy with, and will remain in Taj, our Roadtrek 170... it's our projects that need more space!

Charlie (a.k.a Van Dodgeram) and Taj

I've slowly been coming to the realization that Charlie will just not be a good fit for the vandstead... too many alterations are needed.  For one thing, without changing his motor to diesel he can't contain a wood burning stove... else BOOM!  My heart is set on wood burning cooking and heat.

The Halibut from Navigator Stove Works

So after talking it over with my very understanding husband, the decision has been made and we'll be selling Charlie and getting something that will meet all of the needs of a vanstead... including a small mobile garden.

Just for kicks I looked up diesel vans on craigslist in our area and I found what to me would be the perfect vanstead/project van.  A 1977 Mercedes Van - $5000 130,000 miles.  Runs excellent and ready for road trips! 

Isn't he cute... just tons of character!~ I love the lines and the possibilities are endless!

I'm sure this one will be gone by the time we get back and get around to deciding on the perfect vanstead/project van, but by this I will measure all others! :)


  1. I love the mercedes van. Looks like it would have lots of headroom. We had a dodge vancamper, and that was tough, never being able to stand up. If it is meant to be it will still be there when you get there.

  2. That van does look nice! I hope you find something equally nice or better in the spring. So---this means that Rose can never have a woodstove either, I guess. Oh phooey. Well, that leaves room for the added freezer--it's not all bad.

  3. I agree Jane... standing up is going to be very important!

    Judith, I'm afraid so... after tons of research, I'm convinced there just isn't a safe way to install a wood stove in a gas motored van. However, there is the HERRING w/biodiesel from Navigator Stove Works. I think with the toasty furnace that came with Rosie, you won't even miss it! :)

  4. That is one cute van! Maybe it was the precursor to the Sprinters?

    My neighbor has a carpenter's workshop in his box van that he takes to his job sites. Are you planning on wandering around in 2 vans to further the vansteading things?

  5. Tesaje, that's what Mike thought too... about the Sprinter.

    Yes, we want to have the vanstead with us too... otherwise who would tend to the mobile garden and the chicken. lol. j/k! Mike still says no to the chicken! But there will be room for all sorts of vansteading activities.

  6. Heidi, that's too bad. I have always loved woodstoves and dry heat would be an advantage. There is something nice about fuel that you can gather where you are, instead of depending on a big supply chain. I'm sure the propane furnace will be nice, too, but I still dream of a woodstove. I like things to be as simple as possible, and a woodstove does it all.

  7. Agreed, there's just nothing quite like it!

  8. I love the van. I don't think I have ever seen one like that, if so, it was too long ago to remember. Hope you end up with one that is like it.

  9. Oh WOW! Navigator Stove Works.... amazing website and what a fabulous product! I never knew these things existed (but I DO lead a very sheltered life.....!!)

  10. that looks like a fun project! I have been toying around with the idea of creating a greenhouse out of the shell of a VW Bus and being able to tow it with me if I move!

    A friend of mine had a wood stove in his Bus (an actual school bus) that he outfitted with two rooms, bathroom and kitchen! Might be a little too big for you, but it sure was roomy! :D

  11. Pidge, Dara, and Laura Anne... thanks or your comments! Laura Anne, I love the VW Bus shell greenhouse idea! Brilliant!