Past and Future

by Mark
(North Carolina USA)

In 1989 I converted a 1977 Dodge B200 Tradesman into a camper van. We bought it from a guy that had just recarpeted the inside of the van. It was one of the professionally created kinda hippie vans. It had a small closet, a sink with a hand punp, an ice box, some small cabinets, and a dinette that folded down into a bed. It had funky little bubble windows and a totally useless round vent in the roof.

When I got it I added a porta pottie. I found a wrecked class B van motorhome and got a window and a roof AC unit from it. A 14x14 hole was cut in the roof of the van to mount the AC unit. I also cut a big hole in the side of the van and mounted the window. There is a 110 volt system installed in the van with a microwave oven. And yes, I used a fuse in the system as a safety measure.

Curtains and some extra lighting were also added. We had a little black and white TV that we used in the van and I mounted an antenna on the roof. We camped in that old van a lot and had some awesome times.

Now I have a hightop 2000 Dodge Ramvan 3500, one ton. I converted it to a grooming van but, I am going to spend the summer ripping all that out and building a camper. This time I will run a 30amp shore power cord into a breaker box and split that off to probably three 15 amp circuits, one for AC and heat and the other two for everything else. I haven't decided on a 12 volt house battery but, will probably do that too, just for lights and a pressure demand fresh water pump.

Dog crates are also coming in so we can camp with our dogs. Rather than a dinette that converts to a bed I plan to just install a queen size mattress (if it will fit, I think it will) and set the bed up high enough to have lots of storage underneath it. I will install a porta-pottie but, no shower.

In the kitchenette I will install a microwave, a sink and a dorm room style refrigerator. Got a nice portable gas grill for any stove top kinds of cooking as well. That will be done outside. I plan to carry a screened in tent to use for cooking, watching TV, whatever. I will probably install a TV in the van too.

This is my current van project.

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