Van Build Mama Bear [Part 1]

AT THE BEGINNING Mama Bear came to us looking like thiS

If you’re new here catch up on our previous posts of how we attained this Toyota Hiace 2.5 Diesel

We never in imagined we would be able to take on this project, Rene & I used to watch our favourite program Chip Foose on telly and he use to transform old junks into new gorgeous motor vehicles. Never thought that we would one day be trying it ourselves. Up to now, it’s all preparation for what’s to come in our future. To embark on an overland journey across one continent, it’s good (for us) to build our rig up from scratch because we get to know how things work in order to fix whatever we need on the road.

QUESTION : Would you torture yourself to do this sort of labour? Would love to hear your answers – in comments box below. ­čÖé

COLOUR REFERENCE we were inspired by the vwTripper on Instagram. We were first toying with the idea of going a matte military green but then we decided against it as it would be too risky at borders, so we went for this khaki colour called Desert Sand.

SEVERAL MONTHS of super HARD WORK LATER …

ADD ONS

  • Roof Rack
  • Roo Bars
  • Jerry Can swing away holder
  • Back Steps

FAST FORWARD TO TODAY (January 2020), Mama Bear’s interior is ready for carpentry. She has come a long way! The bodywork boys at RMS Multi Trade and Services did a good job sealing most of the holes she had drilled everywhere but there were still a few ones that got missed and we had to patch them with silicon before moving forward to building a subfloor.

DRAW, DRAW and REDRAW

Now finally with a clean interior we are able to design for our needs when living on the road. We made a list of the essentials (experienced after 2 years of travelling in Vanhalen)

OUR PRIORITIES FOR THIS VAN BUILD

  • Comfortable Work Space – we plan on being able to work remotely and that means editing videos, writing music, online work etc this would take up the majority of our days when we are not busy with shooting.
  • Indoor Sleep Area that is a FAST SET UP
  • Water System and Sink & Hand Pump that doesn’t require electric pump
  • Small Stove with Gas usable either inside or out of the van
  • Battery System using Solar Panels & Alternator Charging
  • Shower and additional Water Storage
  • Good Ventilation low power consumption

THE REFERENCE WE USED TO COME UP WITH OUR INTERIOR DESIGN

THE REFERENCE FOR OUR WATER SYSTEM

CHECK FOR LEAKS

Before we begin laying our subfloor with heat insulation, we are doing some final checks for leaks, as you already know by now if you’ve been following our story from the start – Mama Bear had many holes drilled into her.

TRACE & MEASURE FLOOR

  • TRACE AN OUTLINE SHAPE – We used MahJong paper to measure the floor – we suggest if you do it use cardboard as it would be a lot more accurate.
  • DREW AN OUTLINE ONTO PLYWOOD – We built our previous tiny camper’s subfloor using 12mm Plywood and so we decided this is sufficient for Mama Bear too as we want to keep her weight as low as possible. We will still lock down all the items built into her (more about that later)
  • MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE – Our Van floor measurement is and 1 plywood is 4ft x 8ft – we had to use 2 pieces of plywood for our floor.
  • WALL PANELS are 3mm, we didn’t want them too thick and heavy either as our furniture pieces will be the bulk of the weight as we will be using recycled pallet wood.

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

AFTER SUCH GOOD PROGRESS Unfortunately we will need to take a step backwards to body work again at RMS because when the rain came pouring down yesterday, we took Mama Bear for a spin and saw that three of her windows leaked water as well as the back doors. So this has to get fixed before the next step.

We can’t afford to get the wood subfloor wet.

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