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Adventure Van Cabin Area

Up front is our high class luxury cockpit that will surely cause valiant battles when racing for the keys.

Adventure van cabin
From the passenger side looking in our artificial Ikea plants grab quite a bit of attention for two bucks a pop.
Rocker switch panel
This combination of toggle buttons must be flipped in the right sequence to start the van, but if done wrong the computer self-destructs. I bought these 12v rocker LED switches in a pack years ago and have been using them since. Civilians can also use them for an auxiliary motor fan, master relay that connects the alternator to the house batteries and fog lights. They are wired to only function when the ignition is on so that we don’t drain the starter battery.
Touch screen bluetooth stereo
Here’s the aftermarket stereo cleaned up. The previous owner also put this in but we had to do a little work to fit it better. There are quite a few of these things on the market and they work… sort of. The touch screen doesn’t respond well and the volume control jumps every once in awhile. What is really nice is using Bluetooth to get audio from the phone.
Backup Camera and driving camera
Driving camera and backup camera. Turns out our stereo could have been wired to the backup camera but this thing is installed already and I don’t feel like wiring anymore. Kate even less so. The driving camera has been passed around several cars at this point. It’s a G1W dashcam that is even cheaper now than when I bought it for 80 bucks. It just turns on when the car is on and records continuously for about 5 hours, then writes over the earliest footage. This way should we see any Russian meteors on our trip we’ll be able to prove it.
Folding Cup Holders
We’ve got two cup holders that I found on e-bay screwed to the motor cover. These were experimental but work pretty well. As a side note, which of these vacuum insulated mugs do you think holds more coffee? If the leading question didn’t give it away, it’s the Zojirushi on the left (although it is priced twice as high). It also appears to keep the coffee hot for longer than the LifeSky on the right, but that’s anecdotal and I haven’t tested thoroughly.
Seat heater switch
Kate’s favorite: seat heaters! I’ve put these on every car she’s owned as she uses them to relax her back. With as much use as she got out of them in Phoenix, it was a no-brainer to put them in a van that’s going to be traveling north. The aftermarket seat heater kits work superbly; they’re easier to install in newer cars because seat covers snap in compared to older ones that use those industrial staple things. I take a few extra steps to wire separate power from the battery but they don’t draw too much wattage and some people are fine just wiring them to the auxiliary.
Vehicle emergency equipment
Underseat storage drawer holds a couple of emergency items. Vehicle break out tool and a first aid kit are quickly accessible.
Door panel refurbish
The 6×9 speakers were put in by the previous owner. They’re cheap JBL things but work plenty well for me to listen to podcasts. I’m really happy with how nicely the door panels trimmed up. We just used some spare FRP wallboard and covered it in carpet, then used Chrystler retainer clips to snap it in oem-style.
Van vent fan
Our van came with an old school RV vent with a fan in it. The vent is an incredibly standard piece of equipment, so it made sense that someone came along and made a better aftermarket exhaust fan to plug into it. This thing is wired to pull air out and works noticeably better than the airplane propeller that was mounted in before. You can really feel the air move across the bed when the rear windows are cracked. It’s far from quiet, however (but tolerable enough for sleeping).
Fire extinguisher
With such a packed cabin and cooking supplies and such, we figured it’d be wise to grab a fire extinguisher. Because we have so many construction materials, we decided to get a UL Rated 1-A,10-B:C (general household use) extinguisher rather than a vehicle-specific one, which mainly combats chemical and electrical fires.
Adventure van cabin area
That straight blue panel sure does clean up well compared to the dated dark wood one that we started with!
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ParkedInParadise.com Your Guide To #vanlife, Camping And RV Living

Hello! We are Kate, Ian and Harper. We spent over two years living in a DIY camper van and visiting 48 US states. Along the way, we've met with other van lifers, checked out their rigs, and learned a lot about adventure travel. We hope this site can help you plan your next road trip.

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