Miscellaneous Van Construction

This past week has been slow for me van-wise.  I’ve been busy at work grabbing extra shifts, so I haven’t put in a ton of effort into working on the van. What I have been doing, is working on a few small projects that don’t necessitate their own separate posts.

Tailgate Flaps:

Since I will be van-dwelling in the late summer through the fall I will be travelling around during some periods of nice weather.  I’d like to be able to cook out doors a few nights and wanted to take advantage of the Astro’s dutch doors.  I decided to build two tables that could fold down, allowing me to cook and prepare food while standing at the back of the van.

These were pretty easy to construct. I measured the dimensions of the pallets to be that of the dutch door length and height. I laid some pallet wood side by side and then braced them.   Using some cabinet hinges, I attached the boards to the dutch doors.  The screws don’t provide the greatest amount of support as the van paneling is not the most structurally sound object. To help with this, I attached eye screws to end of the board furthest away from the cabinet hinges.  I then ran paracord from these screws to the van paneling.

I did the same thing with the other dutch door.  This panel perfectly fits my stove, allowing me to tailgate!


Half of my semester should be filled with nice weather, but I’m in an area notorious for hard winters.  With that in mind, I’ll be needing an area to hang my coats and jackets.  I already have the coat rack hanging off the side of my kitchen, but I will have multiple sweatshirts, jackets, and a winter coat.


The finished closet.  I’ve started working on the battery system as well

 After designing for a while in my idea book, I got to work.  I created a rectangular frame out of wood, that lacked one of the shorter sides.  I attached boards to one of the long ends, then attached the boards to the head of my bed.  Opposite of this set of boards, I attached a single board, which abuts against the back of the drivers set.  Spanning the space from the drivers seat to my bed, I screwed a 7/8″ dowel between two of the boards.

Perfect!  My closet is all set and I can hang up a fair bit of my clothes.

Battery Area:

I realized recently that I was losing the space between the driver’s and passenger’s seat as there is no center console.  I decided to add a space for the battery.  This changed my anticipated layout, but I found several advantages from doing so.

By placing the battery near between the driver and passenger I was able to free up space underneath the closet.  I could use that space then to store my shoes.

I built a small table to sit over my battery box.  I can now set my cup holder on top in easy reach of the driver and passenger.


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