Saturday Snippets: 21.October.2017

The rain has officially returned to the lower mainland, and it’s returned with a vengeance! The deluge has been pretty non-stop since Wednesday, and is supposed to continue through the weekend (although we did see a break on Friday night, with the beautiful view seen above). I’m glad we ended up doing some under-van work last weekend, while it was still dry!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 21.October.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Not just dirtbags – the positive economic impact of climbing. I agree with a lot of this!
  • I love a good slice of banana bread. The kind that’s perfectly moist, but not full of oil, and often sprinkled with nuts or seeds or coconut flakes!
  • 9 seasonal foods to fuel all your autumn activities. I don’t think I’ve ever tried celery root… Perhaps it’s time to start!
  • Have you heard of the Vancouver Binners’ Project? For those of you that don’t live in Vancouver (or lower mainland), we often call the people who go through the garbage bins, looking for cans and bottles to recycle “Binners”. It may sound like a poor term to use, but the Binners actually do the city a big favour, by removing all these bottles and cans from the garbage, that would otherwise end up in the landfill. For the second year, the Coffee Cup Revolution took place last week. The Binners were given 5 cents for every coffee cup (which also end up in landfills) picked out from the trash. They collected over 49,000 coffee cups in four hours!
  • I can see this being a problem for high school kids, but for university-aged students?

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):


  • We’ve finished our galley drawers, and we’re very pleased with how they turned out. | Sprinter van conversion - galley drawers

  • The big drawer, which is over the fridge, opens fully and has soft-close latches, like all our upper cabinets. This drawer will hold all our utensils, spices, dish cloths, and anything else that will fit into a 4-inch height. Jonty’s going to make some customizable compartments so we can separate everything as we see fit, with the flexibility of being able to change the layout as needed. | Sprinter van conversion - galley drawers

  • The drawer under the sink is a pull-down drawer. We bought the little trays from Home Depot, and it’s going to be the perfect place for sponges and scrubbers and dish soap. | Sprinter van conversion - galley drawers | Sprinter van conversion - galley drawers | Sprinter van conversion - galley drawers

Other bits and pieces:

  • We painted part of the water tank using something called Plasti Dip. It’s a rubber coating that has a variety of uses, but can be easily removed or peeled off when you don’t want it on anymore. We think it makes a huge difference! Our eye isn’t drawn to the big white tank anymore! | Sprinter van conversion - Plasti Dip the watertank

  • We also covered all the exposed water pipes with pipe lagging, in an attempt to winterize our water lines. We’re hoping this will keep our water hoses from freezing, in temperatures just below zero. So maybe for Vancouver winters, not real Canadian winters 😉
  • Yesterday Jonty CNC’d the pieces to make our toilet / ottoman cover. Our plan is to use the toilet base as a chair / seat / ottoman when it’s not used for its other purpose. We glued it up and then I’m going to cover it!
  • I’m thiiis close to finishing all the curtains. Perhaps, by the time this goes live, they will be finished, and we can have pictures to show next week.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 14.October.2017

Almost without fail, the week following Thanksgiving brings with it a drastic change in West Coast weather. By this, I mean, the rains come. And, without fail, we’ve gotten our rain this week! The wet mornings have felt quite cool, and the local mountains have had their first dusting of snow. I’m really hoping the sun still makes an appearance every few days, as many of the trees are still sporting their greens, and I love seeing the changing colours… when it’s dry! 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 14.October.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • How to make climbing volumes. I feel like I can see Jonty’s side business here!
  • The secrets to cycling bliss. I’m on board!
  • I just finished reading The Miniaturist (a great suggestion  from my mother-in-law) and After You (it was okay), and am on the hunt for my next read. I saw a link to this site – search for a book, time yourself reading a sample paragraph, then the website will estimate how long it should take you to read it in full! Perhaps I’ll have to try it with my next find.
  • If you’re looking for ways to cut your salt intake, without sacrificing flavour, here are a few good options. We regularly use all of them, except for the cheese. That is saved for our weekend treats 🙂
  • I made a turkey roulade for Thanksgiving, and stuffed it with a spicy, herbed dressing. I’m definitely going to try making it again, with a few tweaks. This stuffed pork tenderloin is adding to my inspiration!
  • Doesn’t this look like the perfect Autumn cake for a chilly, rainy weekend afternoon snack? Mmmm, apples…

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion:

This week, Jonty has been designing the sliding drawer for the kitchen (over the fridge), and it’s been a bit of a puzzle, trying to figure out how he’s going to make it all work. Lucky for him, he enjoys a good puzzle 🙂

He was able to CNC it yesterday, and we made sure the puzzle pieces all fit together. Today we’re gluing it, then some stain and we’re good to install it!

We’re both looking forward to having a functional drawer, as we’ll be able to start leaving utensils and other pieces in the van all the time. | Sprinter van conversion - making sliding drawers

In the background, we’re still on toilet-duty, slowly getting our ducks in a row. I think we’re making a bit of progress, so hopefully some update photos for you next week 🙂

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 07.October.2017

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend! Do you have any plans? What’s your food menu looking like? The weather is supposed to be nice and sunny all weekend, and we’re looking forward to turkey (of some sort) and pie (apple-blackberry). We’re hoping to get another camping night in, so it’s my goal to bake at least some of our Thanksgiving dinner in the van. Crazy? Perhaps. But the thought of enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, while looking out over the ocean and enjoying a glass of wine doesn’t sound so bad 😉

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 07.October.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Let’s get this Potty Started!

  • Oh, you best believe I pulled out many of my greatest dance moves in the van, as we got our potty-building started 🙂
  • Our Separett toilet arrived last weekend! We went shopping for a new loo seat (the blue styrofoam one it came with was not worthy of a Moby build) and Jonty got busy making the box frame and loo-seat cut-out. | Sprinter van conversion - composting toilet installation | Sprinter van conversion - composting toilet installation

Front curtains:

  • I finished sewing the front window privacy curtains this week, and we’re pretty happy with the way they turned out! I decided to sew three separate panels (two side windows, one front), with the thought that there could be times when we don’t want (or need) to have the entire cab covered up.
  • We’ve installed simple hooks into the headliner, and the curtains hang over the windows via the hooks. They’re easy to put up quickly, and they make the front feel so cozy! | Sprinter van conversion - front privacy curtains | Sprinter van conversion - front privacy curtains | Sprinter van conversion - front privacy curtains

Storage cupboard:

  • It was always our plan to have a vertical storage closet in the van, to store jackets and bulky clothes, as well as drawers for additional storage below. The location and size have changed as the van has evolved, but now that we know where the toilet is going, it was a simple decision for where the closet would be – right beside it!
  • We’ve CNC’d and stained the cabinet wall, and the curtain rod is in! | Sprinter van conversion - closet storage

Fan covers:

  • A quick little project I fired off this week was making removable covers for the fans. During our first trip away, we definitely noticed the amount of draft that was coming in through the fan above the bed. We will always keep one fan open during the night (to minimize condensation), but with the nights cooling off, we thought it might be a good idea to be able to cover the one at the back. Also, the fan lets in quite a bit of light in the morning, so this cover will also block out any unwanted sunlight.
  • We used the same foam-backed vinyl as we wrapped the walls and ceiling with, and I sewed on a little pull-tab. So these covers press perfectly into the fan opening, and can easily be pulled out via the tab. Neat, hey?

Next up:

  • We’ll probably be starting on some drawers next, specifically the one above the fridge.
  • We’re also in the process of getting a second alternator purchased (the company needs to make sure their alternator will work with our Mastervolt charge controller), and also trying to figure out our shower set-up!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 29.September.2017

Whoa, last day of September? I’m not sure how I feel about time moving so quickly! We’ve had fantastic weather this month, and we managed to take Moby out for another night of camping this past week. This time, it was down a 4×4 logging road, to a lovely little climbing crag. It was fantastic!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.September.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

It’s felt like another busy week for van work, especially since we headed up north of Squamish on Tuesday night, to camp out at the base of a climbing crag.

What we’ve finished:

  • We’ve finally finished covering and installing the last of the van walls! I’m quite sure I’ve avoided taking pictures with camera angles that show views of the driver’s side wall, just because it was nothing but exposed insulation. Well, not anymore! Very exciting 🙂

  • Jonty also got the electrical panel box all organized and covered up. No more unsightly mass of seemingly tangled wires hanging everywhere! I love that the electrical conduit hides everything, and I also love that we now have a cover on top of the electrical panel (see the above picture). So we don’t have to worry about dropping anything down there, and we can also use the top as another little storage spot!

  • We wanted to get the front curtains all finished last weekend, but I only managed to get the front cab portion done (don’t mind the mess). The side window curtains are still in production. Hopefully they’ll be finished by next week’s snippet.

What’s next on the list:

  • We ordered our toilet, and it arrived yesterday! It’s the Privy 500, made by Separett. So it’s basically the “separating” portion of a composting toilet. We’ll be making our own toilet frame and running the necessary plumbing back down through the floor to our non-existent holding tank (there will be a tank at some point).
  • We’re going to start working on making shelving and cupboards right beside the electrical panel, as well as think about getting drawers made for under the galley. Now that we’ve spent a few nights in the van, it would definitely be nice to just be able to keep the essentials in there (like kitchen utensils) without having to worry about them rattling all over the place.

Pictures from the week of 29.September.2017:

We took a quick trip up to Squamish on Tuesday night, to make use of the great weather we’ve been having. The climbing crag we wanted to go to requires a 4×4 vehicle to get up an old logging road. Moby did wonderfully well! We parked on a little pull-out, with the river flowing on one side and the climbing wall on the other. It was a great little overnight getaway.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 23.September.2017

We returned from our mini work / vacation get-away on Monday evening, and started straight back into the normal routine on Tuesday morning! The time away has made us excited to get back on the road again 🙂 Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 23.September.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

We traveled to Vancouver Island and across to Powell River last week. I’ll try to post a few more pictures of our journey next week, but for now, here’s a few of my favourites from the van. | Sprinter travels - breakfast views in Powell River BC | Sprinter conversion - interior galley view | Sprinter conversion - interior galley view | Sprinter conversion - interior galley view | Sprinter travels - sunset in Powell River BC

Changes to make:

Spending a few days in a row on the road gave us time to really try things out and start to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and how we want the van to progress from here. The good thing is that there were no major pressure points with our current design! We were pretty happy with our layout.

With that said, we finally decided on how and where we want to install our toilet and shower. To do this, we realized we probably needed to change the orientation of the electrical panel box on the floor.

  • The good news: The new orientation allows for a bit more airflow around the electrical components, and the box is now attached to the L-Track in the floor.
  • The bad news: Simply rotating the box wasn’t as straightforward as Jonty hoped. So it meant cutting more 80/20 (but reusing most of it), re-CNCing and staining new panels, and dismantling then re-attaching all the connections. In the end, it took the rest of the week for Jonty to complete, but it looks fantastic, and ultimately, we both think it’s a better design. | 20170922-Sprinter-conversion-electrical-breaker-box

Privacy curtains:

We also figured out how we want our privacy shades to work at the front of the van. We were really impressed with how well all the other curtains worked, in terms of keeping light out + providing insulation, so I’ll just be making more of the same for the front. The middle insulating layer I’ve been using is called Insul-Bright, and it’s been a fantastic find at our local fabric store.

The plan is to have the curtains hang on hooks around the perimeter of the cabin, which will make it easy to quickly put the curtains up and take them down. | Sprinter conversion - sewing curtains | Sprinter conversion - sewing curtains

Happy Weekend!