This is the kick-off post on a series about building a van dwelling.
The van is a 2000 Ford E-150 with approximately 156,000 miles. It was purchased for $2500 and has been parked in my driveway for the past few months awaiting my attention.
Currently, the van has the following things going for it.
- Already has solar panels and a battery bank
- Already has a propane storage tank for cooking
- Already has a small fridge
- Already has a butcher block counterpart with an integrated stove and sink
- Already has a bed/couch
- Has a sweet arduino control system for controlling some of the van systems (such as the LED lights and fans). The system has a touchscreen interface.
The drawbacks of the van are
- High miles. Considering the make, it probably only has a few serious road trips left in it.
- The gear indicator is broken, so it is tricky to know exactly what gear you are in.
- The neutral safety switch is broken. The car can only be started in neutral with the parking brake activated (not a huge problem really, more of an annoyance)
- The driverside window doesn’t roll up or down. The mechanism is jammed.
- Registration needs to be renewed
- Some standard maintenance items need to be done (like the timing belt)
The game plan right now is to perform the work in the following order
- Replace neutral safety switch
- Fix gear indicator
- Update registration
- Asses full cost of all needed mechanical repairs
- Figure out exact scope of mechanical and aesthetic work to be done
- Perform work
The next post will document the repair of the gear indicator.