Vanlife: At Last…Working on CMR’s Home, Violet the Van

After months of distractions, the flooring for Violet the Van is well and truly underway. Framing is cut and fitted, but not yet secured.
Posted by: Charles Pakana
Posted: 2 August 2020

Vanlife: After months of what seem to be endless hours caring for Gubba Mumma and project work, serious work has begun on Violet the Van.

After purchasing a new drop saw to make things easier, it took nearly a full half-day of measuring (and re-measuring), cutting and fitting to get the job done. The big lesson learnt was: Measure once, twice then a third for surety before cutting. Yes, I made some mistakes but the lesson was well and truly learnt at this early stage.

Checklist Snapshot

There’s still a heck of a lot to do just to get the floor done for Violet the Van, and here’s a quick snapshot of the checklist:

  1. Cut spacers for the framing and insulation board
  2. Label all the floor fame pieces then remove and stack
  3. Sweep and degrease the metal flooring
  4. Inspect for scratches and coat with anti-rust paint
  5. Refit floor frame, install spacers, adhere with industrial adhesive and screw frame together
  6. Install insulation sheeting on wheel arches
  7. Create cardboard template for the 12mm floor board
  8. Install rigid foam insulation to fit within floor frame
  9. Cut, fit and screw down 12mm floor board

Yep, it’s a fair bit of work just to get the floor in place, but this will be the foundation upon which the entire van will be built. It has to be rock solid and squeak-proof. After all, vanlife is the basis of CMR’s future and Violet is going to be my full-time home.

Far from being a Vanlife Handyman

It should be noted that I’m far (far, far) from being a handyman. I did woodwork at school, but fudged my way through that. With COVID-19 lockdowns well and truly entrenched within Melbourne’s future, money is going to be hard-fought for over the next year or so. That being the case, I’ve decided to do the entire build of Violet myself. No professionals. No outsourcing. Just Charles!

So things might longer than initially planned. I’m still hoping, though, that Violet will be up and ready by Christmas; and helping me with that is the Travel Stone given to me by Aunty Cindy Bux. It’s always in the van and always giving me that bit of extra luck.

Shoutouts for this Post

As of this post, I’m going to include shoutouts to businesses and people who help me along the way, and the first one goes out to Pricewise Insulation in Epping, Victoria. When I went in a couple of weeks ago to purchase the rigid foam insulation sheets for the floor, I got to talking about the CMR project. Once they heard that, they immediately slapped on a massive discount for me! A huge thank you to all the team at Pricewise Insulation.

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