Hafen Van Travels Blog

Setting up Social Media pages for Hafen Van Travels

I have set up a YouTube channel for Hafen Van Travels.

I used my Fire Dragon (symbol for Wales) illustration from my Dragon Magic Workshop Journal as the cover photo. (available from Amazon, Kindle and most bookstores).  I also have an author profile on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/caraemoore

Fire Dragon Copyright Cara E. Moore 2014

I have a page on my Crystal Arts and Health Pinterest page for the Van conversion, Hafen Van Travels, Glamping and RV Travel and Trailmix and Glamping Food.  https://www.pinterest.com/crystalartsheal/

I will be using a couple different ways for cooking with Two pan cooking for the gas cook stove. (got the recipe book by Cheryl Foster)  For baking I will be using the Coleman Cook stove oven and a solar oven.  There are specialized techniques and recipes for solar oven cooking (leave the baking pans uncovered and use dark pans) and campfire cooking and for using the wood stove to cook.

I got the Idiot’s Guide for dehydration for dehydration cooking and instant dried food cooking.  I will be getting the Roadpro 12 v slow cooker for slow cooker cooking and the 12 v saucepan for heating things up and for doing popcorn.  This should give enough flexibility for various cooking conditions.  I am hoping to dry fresh produce with the dehydrator for meal making as well.  The Idiot’s guide to Dehydration has over 170 recipes including pet treats.  Backpacking Chef website has recipes for dehydration as well.

I will do food prep ahead using a Coleman Extreme Cooler.  Boat Galley is another good resource for using coolers for meal preparation.  By doing meal prep ahead I hope to take advantage of full sun to set up the solar oven.  An upside down cast iron pan can be used as a base to cook pizza and an oven rack can be used to maximize the cooking space.  I will be getting the portable, foldable solar oven for the space saving convenience.  I will post videos of this on my Hafen Van Travels Youtube Channel.

I am hoping to do some fishing along the way and preparing that for cooking as well.  Baked potatoes can be done in the slow cooker or wrapped in foil for campfire cooking.  I will be doing pastry for pies for the solar oven and pizza bases as well as breads for the Coleman Cookstove oven.  Food Envy has done a video for their Facebook page on how to make Crème Brulee using a spoon heated up on a gas burner instead of a gas torch to finish the topping of the dessert.

For the van conversion itself I am using Van Dog Traveller’s book as a base for the conversion. I am adding other ideas I have seen from videos off of YouTube.  I will acknowledge those sites as I do the conversion.  A “cub” woodstove (from Cubicstoves) can be used for a van conversion with the Dickenson deck flu (have posted links on Pinterest) which can be ordered to be sent to Walmarts.

I also want to have an RV tub with an accordion door (both can be ordered from Walmarts).  I will make a base for the RV tub out of offcut OSB from the floor.  I have solar showers and will get a shower pump as a backup.  I want to make a bathroom sink out of a stainless steel bowl and will make sliding doors for the toilet area (sliding track is available from Walmart) and I will use the plastic panel for the tub surround and attach strips of wood to make a Shoji type door.  Off cuts from the plastic panel will also be used to make a sliding door for the back of the toilet wall which will face the back of the van for easy removal of the Porta potty cassette.  I should also have enough plastic panel to make a backsplash for the kitchen sink area.

I am looking at boat fittings to secure any furniture and for a pedestal mount type table.  I will be using Ultratouch Reflective Barrier for underneath the OSB subfloor for sound proofing and over the wheel wells and to line the ceiling. I plan to fix this onto the bottom of the subfloor with 3M adhesive spray with the foil facing up.  I will cover the top of the OSB with Vinyl.  For the walls I plan to use Reflectix with the heat resistant Nashau tape covered with Foamular (pink stuff, apparently white one doesn’t hold up well in a van) covered with moisture and vapor resistant Typar tape for the gaps. (all available from Home Depot)

I will use furring boards to secure the hardwood paneling and make a fabric and foam covered strip to finish off where the panel joins together and on the top for the wiring so it can be removed.  I will drill holes for the Fresh Water filling panel and Grey Water disposal panel on the side of the van and on the other side a 30 amp hookup where the deep cycle batteries and solar panel monitors and Inventor will be located.

On the roof I will attach the solar panels, install a roof vent and plumbing vent and the flu hole for the wood stove.  With the wall panel kit, the wood stove will only need a 2 1/2 inch clearance inside the van. Most campgrounds and many gas stations have the type of wood I will need for this stove.   I also plan to get a CB and weather station radio.  I will need to install an antenna for that as well on top of the van.  I am also looking at a Wifi booster and HD TV antenna (have installation videos for those on the Van Conversion Pinterest Page).

Backroads Vanner has a good video on how to install sun and bug screens on the windows and the back of the van using Phifer Super Solar Screen from Home Depot and some heavy duty snaps (he got from Jo’s Fabrics).  I have a USB and battery operated air filter I got off Ebay and once the Solar Panels are installed I can get a low watt version to use.

I will get stainless steel hooks for hanging things up and store things under the furniture. With the offcuts from the paneling I will make overhead cupboards with sliding doors. (have some YouTube videos for making these).  For lighting I will be using a warm-light solar rope and some Luci camping lanterns that can be solar charged.

For entertainment I have travel games (from camping trips) and I will get an AC/DC TV with DVD player and mount that inside the van.  I will also have my guitar (relining a flight case I got off of Ebay) and my Bodhran.  I also have a travel art kit for doing watercolors, jewelry making tools and crystals for making jewelry and my crochet hooks and yarn. I like to make hats and toys for charities.  I have a global dongle for email and Internet connection.

Van Dog Traveller’s website has an Excel Sheet for monitoring the progress of the Van conversion which I downloaded and I purchased his book.  I have done up a profile for RV Village which has many different groups such as Boondockers (dry camping), Touring musicians, Van Dwellers, Passport America (50 % off selected campgrounds and have a cell phone app) and Harvesthostmembers (stay at vineyards and farms).

Good Sams offers 10% discount off of campgrounds and discounts off of gasoline and dump facilities at Truck stops as well as lots of other benefits.  Sanidumps is a good site for locating dump sites for your grey and black water (sewerage) and has lots of good articles. KOA has their own campgrounds and is a good site for information on camping.

Other van dwellers have recommended Escapees (also has a job board for working on the road).  Reserve America has a campground directory list.  Walmarts offer overnight parking but some sites don’t allow this service. http://www.walmartlocator.com/no-park-walmarts/  If traveling with pets, check the pet policy of each camping site.  Some van dwellers also do Stealth camping and have various sites they use in rotation. They use blackout curtains to block any light coming from the van.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.  Namaste.