Van Dwelling 01: Introduction of Project

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

  1. Replace neutral safety switch
  2. Fix gear indicator
  3. Update registration
  4. Asses full cost of all needed mechanical repairs
  5. Figure out exact scope of mechanical and aesthetic work to be done
  6. Perform work

The next post will document the repair of the gear indicator.

Hello World

Hello World. This is the first of hopefully many blog posts. At this point my plan for the blog is nebulous. Hopefully, it will serve as digital journal for my thoughts, adventures, failures, and projects. The vastness of the internet is comforting when browsing as an information consumer, but more than a little intimidating when trying to create new content. What value can I possibly add to a seemingly infinite universe? I don’t know. Maybe that will become more clear in the future.

As of now, the plan is to start the blog with serialized posts about my job as a mechanical/energy engineer, my adventures in Colorado, a project to build a van dwelling, and my investigations into economics and personal finance. Sprinkled within the main topics will be random entries about topics I feel like writing about. No matter the topic, I will always strive for valuable insight and clear, fluff free writing.