The Universe Tells Me to Sit Down and Hire a Professional....
So, I’m a bit behind on blog posts. Keeping things up-to-date across three websites is more complicated than I bargained for. I’m trying to get caught up, but I also think being a little behind schedule could be beneficial for me. It will give me a little flexibility to schedule posts to go live across all three platforms at the same time, and it will keep my current location off the internet, which is a good thing as a solo female traveller.
At any rate, this post went up on Medium at the beginning of May, and I’m hoping to get another post up later this week. Thank you for your patience!
Some things are too coincidental to be anything other than the Universe staging an intervention.
I finally feel like this project is doable. Now the only problem is: I’m not sure how quickly it can be done.
On paper, it seems like getting it all together (or mostly, at any rate) by June 15th should be within the realm of possibility. Reality seems less inclined to agree. It feels like reinventing the wheel, sometimes. When we finally get things moving, it starts to fall into place pretty quickly. Until we finish a step, and I find myself without the faintest clue how to proceed. I often don’t even know what tools exist that might be useful, let alone how to use them. So I have to sit down and do some research or wait for some guidance.
Nevertheless, we are starting to get closer to what I think will be the exciting part of the build: the furniture. Everything on this front half is technical, which to my artistic mind is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I find it tedious, figuring out all the different rules and trying to make sure nothing is going drastically wrong. The latter part of the build, while still very technical, involves some more design elements, and I’ll really be able to see my vision coming together. It’ll require more from my left brain, and I’m hoping that will make it feel a little less daunting.
The build has also been slow lately because there has been a lot going on outside of the project. A good friend of mine is getting married, and I was invited to my first bachelorette party ever last Friday night. I was excited, but mostly nervous, because I didn’t know what to expect and the only guest I knew was the bride. I’ve got a tendency to overthink things and end up building up my own anxiety, so my nerves ended up putting me on edge and making the van build and preparing for the garage sale yesterday that much more stressful.
As you’d expect, my nerves for the party were unwarranted. I had a great time, it seemed like everyone had a great time, and I came away with five more people I’ll know at the wedding.
Unfortunately, the rest of the night didn’t go so smoothly. I left the party at midnight, knowing I would be getting up at around 6:30 am for the garage sale. The party was in South Lake Tahoe, only about half an hour away from my house, so I figured I would get about six hours of sleep, and although I might be a little tired the next day, it wouldn’t be enough to really impact my day. It should have been fine.
When I got to the top of Kingsbury Grade, a police car was parked across the road. I pulled over and stared at it for a few minutes, wishing it away. There aren’t exactly any easy alternatives to get down the mountain into Minden. But the cruiser remained, and I had to turn around and go back to the Tahoe basin.
I knew I could go back to the party and just stay there, but I also knew there was no way I’d get to the garage sale in time if I did. Since 75% of everything I owned was up for sale, the control freak in me didn’t feel comfortable being absent. I decided to drive the long way. I took Highway 89 down through the back of the mountain, and then drove back around to Minden. It was after 1:30 before I got home, and after 2 am before I actually got to bed.
To top it off, we’ve been trying to sell my old car, a Ford Ranger, and I’d noticed that a wasp nest had popped up inside the gas cap. So I went to sleep reminding myself to deal with it in the morning. I jolted awake every half hour thinking there were wasps in my bed.
By the time 6:30 rolled around, I didn’t feel like I’d slept at all. But we got up, and we got to work opening up the garage sale.
Lately, we’ve been talking about getting professional advice on the electric system, I’ve even been thinking about hiring someone to do the electric. I know I’ve mentioned it in a couple of past posts. Hiring someone could save me a week or two if a professional came in and put it all together in a day, and it would guarantee I wouldn’t be tearing any walls down to solve a problem later in the build. My dad started coming around to the idea after researching grounding…. figuring out how to safely run excess current through the body of my house seems beyond our skillset. At this point, I’ve probably spent more than 50 hours studying electricity and circuits, trying to understand it, and I still feel like I have no clue what I’m doing.But I also felt like hiring an electrician was like giving up.
At the garage sale on Saturday, a van pulled up. It had a vent fan and solar panels on top, and I thought “oh good, new friends.” When the couple walked up, I happily told them that I was converting a van right now, and that I was currently working on the subfloor.
To my shock, the gentleman responded, “I’ve actually started a business in town converting vans for people. I’ve done 40 of them. I’m an electrical engineer.”
And all I could think was: “The VanGods have spoken.”
So I grabbed his business card and we chatted some more about vans. I’m going to give him a call and figure out whether I want to hire him to guide me through the process or just pay him to do the whole thing for me. The time I could save by paying him to do all the electrical is really tempting.
I mentioned in my last post that we came up against a problem with the step. The step by the side door of my van is open to the air underneath, so it needed to be insulated, but even the strongest insulation we’ve used, the foam board, is pretty weak and will probably break down over time when regularly subjected to the force of people stepping in and out of the van, particularly on the edge, where some of the pieces have already broken because they received too much pressure. So we were trying to figure out how to frame it so the step wouldn’t sag a year or two down the road. Eventually, we decided to put five wooden pillars in line with the insulation on the back of the step, and a long piece of wood flush with the insulation on the tread of the step both in front and in back. We framed that out this week and were able to get back on the subfloor.
Getting the pieces to fit has been a challenge. I want them to be as close and tight as possible, but I’ve realized that a perfect fit isn’t possible with a small space like mine, particularly when the walls are so oddly shaped. When the wood is too tight to the metal, it makes an awful creaking sound, and if the pieces only fit when lowered into place perfectly flat, there’s no way to fit the pieces together with the tongue and groove edges.
We’ve cut all three pieces of the subfloor now, and they all seem to fit alright, so we’ll be adhering those down sometime in the near future.