I always wanted a really basic sink and water system. No holes in the side of the van for a fill port, removable jugs for filling at filtered water stations, no tanks outside the van to freeze. I wanted an electric water pump. Combined with the fact that I decided I’d be OK boiling water rather than installing a complicated water heater system, I was able to put together a super cheap and functional setup for my van’s kitchen.

My van has come and gone, but I adventured for 50,000 miles over two years in it — which puts me in a great spot to reflect on what I wanted and what I changed over time.... Read the rest

Like everything else, I did a deep dive on heaters during my initial build. I ended up installing a Propex HS-2000 6500BTU furnace, but later switched to a generic diesel heater that I purchased on Amazon. I didn’t find that the Propex was sufficient in the lower 20’s or colder in my van. Additionally, the cost of diesel means that I’m getting three times the heat output for less than half of the cost of propane. I sold my Propane furnace to pay for my entire diesel heater installation.... Read the rest

Having a Yukon Gear locker installed, I wanted to be able to change the gear oil in my differential regularly.. and the factory cover makes that a nightmare. Sealed with only black RTV from the factory, draining the oil involves removing twelve bolts, breaking that RTV seal, cleaning both surfaces, reapplying RTV, reinstalling twelve bolts, allowing time to cure, and filling with oil. Well overdue for my break-in change, I opted to ditch the factory cover for something with a drain plug, and ditch the RTV sealant for an actual gasket.... Read the rest

Image result for tpms light

TPMS is really cool, when it works properly. As much as the old geezer in me wants to say that it’s just as easy to bust out a gauge and check tire pressure manually, it’s not. My van does not have the “message center” in the instrument cluster. All I have is trip, odometer, and miles to empty.

After 6 tires, 2 flats, and 28 thousand miles in 7 months, I have learned my way around the Transit’s TPMS. I air down my tires on trails enough that this reset tool has paid for its <$15 price tag several times by now.... Read the rest