Thursday, December 5, 2013

Home improvement

Getting one’s van home just right is a process of trial and error. After all, few people have any previous experience with this living arrangement. We gather the things we think we need and fit them into the van somehow. Then we change things when the first ideas become unworkable.

And then there are those with allergies and chemical sensitivities. Living in the closeness of a van—particularly an older, heavily used one—can reveal problems that weren’t apparent before.

Such was the case with Lesa’s van. She needed a better way to store things and the van was making her sick.

Fortunately, van dwellers get together once in a while. We share answers, talents and resources. When Lesa talked about the problems with her van, several of us replied, “We can help you fix that.” (Good thing Mark has a trailer filled with power tools.)

Mark does the funky funky measuring dance.

Out with the evil carpeting, in with the good vinyl flooring.

One of the first steps was to pull out the stained, nasty, dirt-grabbing carpeting and replace it with vinyl flooring. Presto! Relief from allergy problems. Next will be shelves, storage cubbies and an improved bed.

Lesa works the sander like a pro.

While van dwelling has special appeal to solitary people, we don’t need to be alone. And we don’t need to be 100% self-sufficient. We’re loners, but we’re also a tribe.

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