Builds to Follow

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For the past six months our lives have been completely consumed by building out Amelia. We're so thankful to have had you guys with us every step of the way with suggestions and words of encouragement! We've received a ton of really great feedback from you all about how much you enjoy watching the build process so I thought that as our build draws to a close we could point you in the direction of four builds that we've really been inspired by and are looking forward to watching! Enjoy!


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 Molly the 4x4 Sunrader

Molly the 4x4 Sunrader

Also known as Matt Linder, we've been following along with Matt's build from the moment we set our sights on a 4x4 Sunrader!  He's been an endless source of inspiration to us and eventually we decided to reach out to him as we started working on Amelia. We have him to thank for giving us the guidance to take on several projects that we were previously frightened of (ie. fiberglassing). He always answered our seemingly endless questions along the way too! This is a public statement for our gratefulness of Matt's extreme attention to detail and willingness to share it with us. One day soon we will circle the wagons and turn him from an internet friend into a real life friend!

You can follow Matt and his increadible build on IG - @yotahome4x4

 Subfloor removed in Molly

Subfloor removed in Molly

Q: What vehicle are you using in your build, and why?

A: I am building Molly, a 1987 Toyota Sunrader 4x4.  Being a competitive big mountain skier I’m always traveling for contests or just chasing storms, so I needed something I could winter camp in. I picked the Sunrader because of it’s fiberglass construction, 4 wheel drive, and rarity. Also I just love Toyota’s. 

 No one does electrical work like Matt does...obviously!

No one does electrical work like Matt does...obviously!

 Floor heating elements

Floor heating elements

Q: Where are you building?

A: I’ve been building the rig at my Dads shipyard in Sausalito, CA. Because Molly is fiberglass it’s enabled me to build it like a boat.

 What did I tell you about the electrical?! Matt has really just made a spaceship! 

What did I tell you about the electrical?! Matt has really just made a spaceship! 

Q: How long have you been working on this build?/How long do you expect it to take?

A: I’ve been building my Sunrader for almost three years. I know that sounds like a really long time but I don’t work on it much in the winter because I am skiing.  I’d say the rig will be done within a month, but are projects ever done? I’d love to motor swap it next, but going to use it as is for now. 

 Interior of Molly

Interior of Molly

Q: What is you’re favorite feature of your build?

A: It’s really hard to name my favorite feature because I went a little wild on the build. My favorite features are....heated floors, fiberglass cabinetry, yacht hatches, and the 2000 watt sound systems (500 of which are outside).

Q: Favorite tool to use in your build? 

A: I love all tools and am a huge Snap-On fanatic.  I don’t have a favorite, but I definitely did more sanding then anything else. I really like my Festool sanders and vacuum because it cuts done on fiberglass dust.  Also my Knipex ratcheting crimpers made all the wiring a little more enjoyable. 

 Matt's tools of choice

Matt's tools of choice


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 Jess & Mike with their new 4x4 Sprinter

Jess & Mike with their new 4x4 Sprinter

We had the pleasure of meeting Jess, Mike, and the original home on wheels shortly after we arrived here in Florida to start our build. They were in the area and swung by for a visit and a vegan milkshake. We've absolutely loved following their travels ever since. Though this build has come about after some unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, we're psyched for them and their new home on wheels!

You can follow Jess and Mike as they finish their new build and head back on the road on IG - @van.there and their website - VanThere.com

 

Q: How long have you been on the road?

A: We've been on the road since April 2017

 Jess & Mike's first home on wheels

Jess & Mike's first home on wheels

Q: What vehicle are you using in your build, and why?

A: We are building a 2017 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 4x4 144" wheel base. After a head-on collision with a herd of elk in Idaho with our last van, a 2013 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 170" wheel base, we decided it was time to really challenge ourselves to be better minimalists. The loss of three feet of space between our old van and new one is significant, but we're excited to see this build come together. 

 Interior view of their original van

Interior view of their original van

Q: Where are you building?

A: We are building outside of Philadelphia, PA at Mike's family home

Q: How long have you been working on this build?/How long do you expect it to take?

A: We expect the build to take 1 month. Ideally, the build will be complete by our one year VANiversary on April 24, 2018, with a backup goal of our 2nd wedding anniversary on May 14. We started building on March 24, 2018

 New Build

New Build

Q: What is you’re favorite feature of your build?

A: Our favorite feature of the build is how every inch of space is intentionally utilized. It takes a lot of creative design to get every feature you want in a small space. In our 144" we have managed to fit a full size bed, composting toilet, two bikes, skis and snowboard, surfboard, inflatable paddle board and back packing equipment. In addition, since we work from the van, we will have booth seating. Together with the swivel seats, there will be more than enough room to seat 6 people comfortably! we're really looking forward to hosting #vancrawls with our adventure friends on the road! 

Q: Favorite tool to use in your build?

A: Our favorite tool of the build is the Kreg jig! Not sure how you could build a home without it! Just buy it. You will thank us. 

 New interior coming along

New interior coming along


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 Max arriving from Germany

Max arriving from Germany

Owen and I are obviously fans of old German vehicles, and are long time fans of the Mercedes 400 series of fire trucks. We even considered one for ourselves. We're always on the look out for inspiring van projects and we recently found this beauty when taking a spin around IG. We'll let Jasmine tell us a little more about their new van project!

You can follow along on IG - @Firetuckcamper

 

Q: Tell me a little about yourselves. What made you start transitioning into vanlife?

A: We are Jasmine, Rupert, Bucket, Crash (2 year and 10 month old border collies, respectively) and Max, a 48 year old Mercedes LF408G - a former fire engine! We are based in Leeds, England (somewhere in the middle!). Rupert is a tree-surgeon and I run an events business (@theginfayre) which is currently touring Scotland and the North of England. We're currently living a very traditional, stereotypical life... complete with the nine-to-fives (well, almost), cars, daily routines and have just abut jumped on the property ladder. Eventually, the plan is to quit the daily grind, jump in the van and travel Europe (maybe beyond!) for a year and just see where the road takes us... 

 Complete with all fire extingguishing accessories

Complete with all fire extingguishing accessories

Q: What vehicle are you using in your build, and why?

A: We are using a Mercedes LF408G, a former German Fire Engine. We are using it for no other reason other than I found it listed as for sale in a recently joined Facebook group and two weeks later it being delivered onto our drive from a giant low loader! Our first thoughts were to turn it into a mobile bar, but I had been quite desperate to travel Europe backpacking since I was a kid, I thought.. now's my chance - and even better, we can do it in a van and take the dogs too! 

Q: Where are you building?

A: We're fortunate enough to have managed to buy a house, which we are currently renovating at the same time! So, at the minute we are just building on our driveway. It's quite busy and we have to manoeuvre the cars around just to get into the fire engine, but it's pretty handy because we can just step outside and work on it! There are a few open workshops in Leeds though, so it's likely we will be utilising their spaces every now and again, especially when it comes to building the new roof.

 Original interior

Original interior

Q: How long have you been working on this build?/How long do you expect it to take?

A: We've had Max for a year now and haven't really done much on her apart from stripped out the Fire Engine-esque features. It came complete with pumps, hoses, gas masks... Everything you need to do the job right! I'm hopeful that we can have the majority of the build completed by the end of September before the winter weather kicks in and we can take her for a test run in the highlands and islands of Scotland for a few weeks...

Q: What is you’re favorite feature of your build?

A: My favourite feature will definitely be the high-top / pop-top roof (haven't decided which one we're going to do yet!) but as we currently can't stand up in the van, I know it's going to be a welcome feature - especially when cooking!

Q: Favorite tool to use in your build?

A: Again, haven't started yet, but I know it's going to be the grinder... Not sure I'll be allowed to be let loose with it when we're cutting a hole in the roof! Will definitely need supervision, haha!


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Also known as Pete, Tay, and the always handsome Snoop! We met/ran into them just outside the southern entrance of Joshua Tree about a year ago. We ended up camping together for a few days and enjoyed late nights around a campfire, and long mornings over coffee made in their incredible van. They are talented builders, and have an amazing build going on right now! You can follow Tay, Pete, and Snoop as they work on IG - @Alwaystheroad their new build IG - @Vanlife.Creatives and their website - Alwaystheroad.com

 Pete, Snoop, and Tay with their project van

Pete, Snoop, and Tay with their project van

Q: How long have you been on the road?

A: We've been on the road full-time for 1 year and 4 months.

 Floor installation

Floor installation

Q: What vehicle are you using in your build, and why?

A: We are building out a 2005 Dodge Sprinter 158" wheel base. We chose this van because it's the same van that we live in right now, and we think it's such a good-sized living space. The high roof allows you to fully stand inside (if you're 6 ft. tall or shorter), and we feel the 158" wheel base is the perfect in-between size compared to the 144" and the 170". They also have Mercedes diesel engines and if taken care of, they can last up to 700K miles. They're amazing!

Q: Where are you building?

A: We are building in Dodgeville, WI. Pete's parents own a business where they design and build portable chiropractic tables, and they have two workshops that have pretty much every tool you could ever imagine. We feel unbelievably lucky to have such resources available to us and it makes the conversion process overall so much easier and more enjoyable.

 Completed floors

Completed floors

Q: How long have you been working on this build?/How long do you expect it to take?

A: We have been working on our build for 3 weeks now and we plan on finishing it in mid to late June. Our first build took us 5 months while working full-time as well.

Q: What is you’re favorite feature of your build?

A: In this new build, so far our favorite part is the composting toilet. We wish we would have incorporated one into the van we live in, so we're excited to be able to give that comfort to this van's future owner!

 Siding installation

Siding installation

Q: Favorite tool to use in your build?

A: Our favorite tool is a simple one: the square. We use them constantly to make sure that every angle is straight and on point. Without that simple tool, the perfect right angle just wouldn't be possible!

The following are images of their first van build and home on wheels: