I'm sure it's fairly uncommon for folks to modify a mini-van into any sort of RV or Motorhome, but unfortunately that van (A 1995 Windstar) is all we have to work with. It's what we own, we both lost our jobs some time ago and have been unable to find work again just yet, and will be losing the place we've been living in about a month and a half, so until we can get back on our feet, we have to find a way to make this work as best we can. We don't intend on installing a bathroom, and a sink is unlikely unless there's SOME way to manage it without making it absolutely impossible to move around inside, but some things are obviously necessary, and we know we have to be very careful about how space is used, but neither of us have done this before, though both of us are very good at building things from the ground up. That doesn't mean we don't need as much advice on the subject as possible, to try and make this more bearable. I think it goes without saying that we have already removed all of the seats in the better part of this van, and a family member is allowing us to store those and most of our belongings with them, but there are still many, many hurdles, and we have little time to at least get it livable on a very basic level, though we do at least have a lot of time to work on it at the moment.
My question(s) - The ones I have at the front of my mind;
- Does anyone have experience in modifying a mini-van in this way?
- Even if no one has experience with this type of van modification, are there any suggestions you could/would be willing to make, in order for us to utilize the small space we have as best we can?
- As far as a bed goes, since there's two of us that does make it a bit more difficult, so for now we've landed on "Futon Matress" as a bedding solution, as we can't just put blankets on the floor and sleep there with the medical issues we have, because we would be nearly non functional most of the day from sleeping on a surface quite that hard and unpadded. If there are other bedding options that provide even somewhat reasonable padding, what might those be?
- Since we would obviously like privacy, and aren't keen on folks looking through the windows while we're sleeping, do you have any suggestions on blocking the back windows? They are currently tinted, but not much, and I was thinking of something (If possible) that not only blocked the back windows, but also provided a bit of insulation to keep cold from seeping in through them so much.
- I was thinking of creating a barrier of some sort between the front seats, but I'm not sure if say.. wooden panels behind each seat, and a curtain between those seats so that we can get from front to back easily but still maintain privacy by closing said curtain, would work well, so anyones thoughts or suggestions on that would be appreciated.
- Currently, the only things we know we will absolutely NEED are; A bed, a cooking surface, a heater of some variety, storage space (I was personally thinking that building our own 'bed frame' with storage underneath would work for that) and a De-humidifier (we live in Texas, and even with adding more insulation where we can and/or where is necessary, humidity inside the van is undoubtedly going to quickly reach the point of unbearable, especially at night when we're inside for longer periods of time. If we can't sleep, then daily functionality is going to become more and more of a problem as time goes on.) If there are things I haven't thought of that anyone feels would be necessary, it would be great to hear about them. Also, if anyone knows or has a good idea of what types of bed frames, cooking surfaces, heaters, etc. would work best, I would be grateful for suggestions.
The reason we're not even attempting to install a bathroom or worrying overtly about a sink (Unless it's a reasonable possibility, since it would make some things easier) is that a really great friend of ours, though he doesn't have the space to let us stay with him inside his house, is more than willing to let us park on his property as well as use his washer and drier, and bathroom facilities, including shower, since he understands that we'll be job hunting extensively (Perhaps it could be even called obsessively) while living out of our van, and we need to make the best impression possible at ANY interview.
Any advice, or links to sites, forums or other groups that might be of some help with our current project/situation would be greatly appreciated.
A huge Thank You to anyone who's willing to offer advice on this.