This morning I carpeted the small storage area under the floor in the rear of the van. After carpeting it, I used some 1x2s to create a small lip to rest the lid on. I drilled a 1″ wide hole in the center of the lid in order to pull the lid off and I rounded off the bottom edges of the lid so that it doesn’t snag on the carpeting. This storage area sits directly under the portable toilet and will be where I keep the toilet deodorizer packets.
Next I started building the box that surrounds the propane tank. The box is just wide enough for the propane tank to fit inside, that way it can’t rattle around or anything. I plan on carpeting the sides to add a little cushioning, as well.
Once the box was built, I drilled a(nother) 2″ hole in the floor to vent the box. Propane is heavier than air, so if the tank leaks at all, it’ll hopefully just fall out of the van through the vent hole. I covered the vent with some window screen to keep bugs out. On the bottom of the van, I used silicone to seal around where the vent comes out.
Then I did some test fits to ensure my hoses fit nicely. The majority of the time the tank will only have one hose connected to it and that supplies the stove and water heater with gas. If it gets cold out, I can connect the second line which feeds a small heater.
I built a wall around the wheel well and filled it with the last bit of insulation I had left over from the walls. Once it was filled, I covered it with a sheet of 7/16″ OSB.
I stopped at this point and thought really hard about making this seating/bed area fold up against the wall instead of being permanently attached to the floor. Since I won’t always need this seating/bed space, it’d be nice to have it fold against the wall and give me more leg room. I talked myself out of it because I’m honestly tired of building the van and just want to get out on the road already, so adding a complicated, fold-up bed at this point is not worth it… even if it would have been super rad.
Instead, I just built the frame and attached it to the floor like the other bed. The nice thing about doing it this way is it will give me even more storage area; the inside is roughly 1′ high, 2′ wide, and 3′ long.
You might notice that there’s a small lip on the front of the frame. Well, that’s so I can pull out the other bed and connect the two if I want. Each bed is wide enough to sleep on by itself, but I imagine some days I’ll want to just sprawl out on a normal-sized bed. I haven’t built it yet, but the bottom, left corner will have a box that houses the portable toilet and will also support that corner of the bed.
The last thing I did today was cut the plywood for the top. I only had enough plywood to cover the storage area of the bed and gotta buy more to cover the propane tank and toilet box. I still need to add plywood to the inside walls of the storage area and cover the whole thing with carpeting, which I also need to buy more of. The outside of both beds will be faced similarly to how I built my cabinet doors and drawers.