Van Build – Pergolicious

First, an update on Veronica’s health… sorry to leave you hanging not knowing how things were going on the van front. Our story left off with Ronnie being dropped off to the auto shop after failing to start multiple times throughout the day. The odd thing is, for the next two days, she didn’t have any issues starting again. So, after talking with my man Todd the mechanic and going through the various options, I ultimately decided to just go and get the van back. Since I’m not leaving for the cross-country trip for a couple weeks, I vowed to just monitor things and see what happened. It’s been a week now and Veronica has been starting and running like Usain Bolt!

Once reunited, I was pretty motivated to get going on the build again. That same night I created new tongue and groove sections for my plywood foundation and glued together. This would turn out to be a bit of a foolish endeavor, however. I’ve done OK with my board cuts and such up to this point, but turns out that glue doesn’t really bond when it’s freezing outside. The next morning, I discovered this while the boards fell apart easily and I got liquid glue all over the front of my puffy jacket. And so, in a frustrated state, I loaded the individual pieces into the back of the van to deal with after work.

I am very fortunate to have a warm space where I can drive the van inside to work on. That’s where I went to continue the floor install. On the way, I thought I’d test out what’s certain to become a critical aspect of my vanlife adventures, the tape player…

I was also very fortunate to have had my father once again lend a hand and guide me through the process. That, and he brings with him a wide range of saws and tools to choose from to accomplish the various tasks.

My earlier glue fiasco didn’t turn out to be that big of a deal. With two of us now, we quickly fit all the pieces together and then proceeded to securing the combined platform down. This was done by using long deck screws with a washer and screwing from underneath the van itself into the board.

I went right through the holes that had originally held bolts for the seats and by adding in some silicone caulk sealed it all off nicely. Since the screws were long, they stuck up above the plywood and we used a grinder to cut them off flush.

The next step was to fit and install the laminate floor. A few days prior I had purchased some Pergo XP Extreme Performance Haley Oak Premium Laminate Flooring, so we were ready to go. Sort of. It took us a bit to get going figuring out the general layout. Mainly, I had to decide if I wanted the grain of the wood to go parallel to the van’s sliding door?

Or perpendicular?

It didn’t take me long to decide the former, parallel. We had a few tricky cuts in there, but once going, it went smooth and we managed to get pretty much all of it installed in the one night! Our last cut of the night was the only one we really messed up and even so, had just enough material. I mean just enough! A few days later, we got back to it and finished the last little pieces, so now what’s left is figuring out a few little trim pieces that will finalize the edges at the side and rear doors!

I love how it turned out!!!

Next up… building the couch/bed!

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