A Beautiful Home-Built Camper Van

The new kitchen

My sister Gail and her husband continue to improve their van.  Gail has tweaked the insulation and done a lot of interior upgrading since I last posted pictures of their project.

The photo to the left is the kitchen Mike built in time for their Labor Day camping trip.  It has a hand pump water system,

Storage unit at end of bed

small gray water tank, microwave, refrigerator, and a 15″ round, deep sink.  Their stove is a camp stove that can be used indoors or outdoors.

They also built a new shelf unit at the end of one of the beds to hold shampoo, soap, and other supplies.  Clothes and other necessities are stored in bins under the beds.

The ledge above the cab is a storage area which also holds and supports their solar shower when in use.  They can let the sun warm the water, or they can fill it with warm water from the stove.  Because the water bag lies flat on the shelf, it’s well supported.  And water pressure is higher than if the bag hung down on a hook.  They clip a shower curtain to hooks on the ceiling, stand in a plastic pan, and can enjoy hot showers inside!  The pan is small enough to easily pick up and carry to dispose of their gray water.

Another view of the kitchen.

I am in awe of all they have accomplished, starting with a used cargo van.  It suits their style of camping perfectly.  And best of all, they don’t have to worry about potential plumbing problems associated with a a pressurized water system.

The van's twin beds

They have a small, free-standing air conditioner/dehumidifier that vents out the side.  It’s so efficient that they were able to nap and sleep very comfortably in Texas heat last weekend!

[on edit — click here for full details of Gail’s camper van build.]

If we are able to get our next camper before Thanksgiving, they plan to meet us at Mom’s in Florida for a family campout!

Now back to my mundane little world.  The doe and two fawns that Ron saw in our yard yesterday morning sampled the toy garden’s lima beans and collards last night. 🙂

Squirrel in the Fig Tree & Hummingbirds

After working in the garden late this afternoon, I decided to pick figs and make fig preserves this evening.  But most of the figs were partially eaten, and the uneaten ones were not ripe enough to pick.  What a disappointment!

If it were birds, I wouldn’t have minded too much.  But later I was sitting on the deck and noticed the fig tree moving.  I didn’t think that a bird would cause that much motion, so I watched for a few minutes… and then I saw the squirrel.   After he helped himself to what he wanted in the tree, he jumped to the ground and ate the partially eaten figs that I had discarded.

Since I didn’t have enough figs to even think of making preserves, I decided to play with an orange marmalade recipe.  I LOVE orange marmalade.  And figs go well with oranges.  So I’m planning to cut up my few figs and add them to the marmalade recipe and see how it turns out.  I bet it will be good!

Two hummingbirds have discovered the feeder I put up yesterday.  They have entertained us on and off all day.  It always amazes me how such exquisitely beautiful little birds can be so contentious in asserting proprietary rights to the feeder.  It’s like watching a tiny WWI airborne dogfight!

I also started more fall vegetable seeds in little plastic cups this evening.  I used to have good luck direct seeding almost everything.  But this year it is so hot that it is impossible to keep the garden soil evenly moist.

 

 

 

A Meandering Kind of Day

Late this afternoon I started out to work on the camper.  But before I started, I decided that I needed to dig some compost around the pole beans.

Then I noticed that the bunny fence needed attention, so I cut the hardware cloth in half so it would cover twice as much garden area, then rearranged and replaced the fence.

Then I remembered the periwinkles that needed thinning, so replanted some of them in the big planter in the front yard.

Then I weeded the garden, drug the hose around, watered the lima beans, then drug it out front to water the newly planted flowers….

Then the sun was going down and I never did get around to the camper.

Tomorrow is my day to rest, relax, and bury myself in a good book.

So Monday I’ll get back to working on the camper!

Tatting on the Wall

This is a bookmark that I made displayed as a picture.

I’ve been tatting flowers and motifs and putting them in picture frames.  Some of them don’t look great.  So far the flower garden bookmark looks the best.

I’ll keep replacing the ones that don’t look so great until I have a nice wall grouping.

The frames aren’t black… they just came out looking that way in the photo.

I’m still not smoking, and feeling better every day.  My chronic cough is gone.  One symptom of quitting that I didn’t expect was depression.  It was pretty severe.  But I’ve apparently turned the corner on that, too, because I feel good this morning.

It is so cold, but it is supposed to warm up this weekend.  So I’ll probably take the tarp off the camper Saturday and start cleaning and packing.  Then probably Tuesday or Wednesday we’ll head home to Florida.

I am so ready to get on the road!

Baby Bunnies

This isn’t travel related, but I did want to share something that happened last evening.

Ron was outside weeding the raised garden beds.  One had a real thick clump of chickweed in it.  When he pulled the clump up, two tiny bunnies hopped out — about 5″ long each.   They were so fast that at first Ron thought they were mice.  One immediately disappeared from sight.  But then Ron called me to come take a look.  He stood still and pointed at the grass behind a planter.  There sat the other little bunny motionless as a tiny carving.  And where Ron had weeded, a nest lined with rabbit fur was exposed.

I was so afraid the mother would abandon the babies since the nest had been disturbed.  I wanted so badly to pick the little thing up.  I thought briefly of trying to bottle feed him and raise him.  But then I decided to just hope the mother would come back and rescue her babies.  So we left the garden.

Maybe the Mom did return and round them up.  I am afraid to check the nest again. I don’t want to know if she didn’t.

P.S.  The nest was abandoned.  I do hope the Mom relocated her babies.

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