The Camping Thing: The Rebirth

The most recent iteration of The Camping Thing was not satisfactory. I thought I might be able to get a good night’s sleep on a bunk that was just twenty-four inches wide, but that was a wildly optimistic idea. Trying to lay on a bunk that narrow was like trying to sleep on a window ledge. I gave it a shot but it just didn’t work out.

I’ve been sketching out new ideas for an updated version of The Camping Thing, something that will give me nearly the full width of the back end to sleep in, that will convert to a bench with a table so I can sit inside the van on rainy days, and that will still give me access to the fridge and the kitchen supplies without having to open up the back. The sketches are not complete; I’m still trying to figure out how to orient the storage for the kitchen supplies, for instance, but I’ve already built the lockers for the front of the van and I have a pretty solid plan for the rear lockers. I just needed to get the old version of The Camping Thing out of the van in order to proceed with building the latest version.

Today the sun came out for a few hours which were comfortably warm and sunshiny enough to make me want to work outside. My motivation is heavily dependent on weather. After cleaning up some of the mess in the garage to give myself enough room to work in, I opened up the van, unloaded all the camping supplies, and yanked The Camping Thing out of it and dragged it into the garage. Easy enough to do but it takes time because it’s heavy and I have to move slowly to make sure I don’t hurt myself or break The Camping Thing. The new version I’ve got in mind will be made up of smaller pieces which I hope will be easier to move around.

After getting it out of the van, I began the long and tedious task of taking it to pieces. I only intended to take the hinged lids off the top, a project which involved taking out the gas struts, removing the latches, and unscrewing the hinges. I figured unfastening all that hardware might take as much as two hours, but it went so smoothly that I kept on going until I had the whole thing completely disassembled and every piece of hardware and lumber was carefully (more or less) stowed in the garage in under two hours.

The next step involves building the rear lockers and fitting them so there’s plenty of room for me to stretch out while still leaving plenty of room for the fridge and the kitchen locker. I probably won’t get to that until later this week when the weather’s a little warmer (and drier – rain in the forecast!).

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