Things just got good around here

goin camping

Explorer
WARNING Long boring story ahead. Personally I wouldn't waste the time.

Yesterday I picked up my van from Area 63 Productions who turned my Express Van into a camper.

Due to another issue that caused serious bone weakness. I broke my spine in six places picking up my dog. Sadly the other illness had to be treated first so the back was bypassed while they saved my life and is now deformed. Yes, I can walk and move but not very well. Can't carry anything over 15 pounds. So I could not modify my own 03 Express AWD.

I used to have an Airstream until I got sick. Could not manage it anymore.

Area 63 Productions is an Airstream repair and customization place owned by a very quiet German with a wicked sense of humor. I've know Uwe for the last 15 years. He used to do all the work on my trailer and we went camping many times. He is the stereotypical German mechanic. Patient and exacting. He is also my friend.

Uwe also was a van camper for decades and traveled everywhere in his van. He is currently doing Airstreams and converting MB vans and adding solar to vehicles and campers.

Since I could not do the work myself and now need help to get into my Ursal Minor Pop Top. (Just stand there and if I start to fall. Shove my ass up and into the top.) I had to do a van to keep camping.

So, while I am in the Mojave. I found a 03 Chevy Express AWD in AZ. with 65K miles, 3:73 gears, posi and a van limo interior. Brought it home ordered wheels and tires and had them put on.

The van then went to Uwe at Area 63 and Uwe. did the following.

Installed four solar panels and associated electronics.
Installed roof vent with a cover so the vent could be used in rain, snow, while driving.
Built Bed with storage underneath.
Installed LED lights in ceiling with LED reading lights for the bed
Installed Dometic 65 fridge that the panels can operate on float.
Installed big lithium battery.
Transferred all living space electric to the solar.
Gave me a cool switch that routes the solar battery to the engine so if the engine battery goes dead I can still start the van and get away.
Installed Rubber floor front to back. Needed with my German Shedders.
Installed Toilet.
Redid the ceiling which had a light and A/C-heater vents from front to back. Removed that and for vent and new LEzD lights and re did the ceiling. Looks great.

In early April when the parts come in the front passenger seat will get a swivel and flood lights will be added to the outside.

I am a minimalist so I had to pass on many luxury and support systems. With Uwe, you can have a 40 foot motor home (excepting washer and dryer) fit into a van. He asked if I wanted A/C run off a Honda 2000. I passed on that one too.

To say I am happy is a massive understatement. In fact. Today I will load the van and tomorrow it is off to meet friends from Las Vegas and Los Angeles north of Baker about four miles from nowhere to camp and visit this weekend.

Later when I have a chance I will post pics.

Folks, do what you have to do to enjoy what you love.
 
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