GMC Safari Camper Conversion – Part Two
With the bed and storage complete I could now move on to all of the smaller jobs required to make the van habitable. You can read part one of the conversion here.
First up was cutting the insulation to size so it could be pushed into the windows to make blinds. This worked well in the last conversion so I decided to stick with the same technique.
I used some left over material as extra insulation for the cool box. Every little helps after all.
I used some cord to create a curtain rail and Hilary very kindly sewed a loop in the top of some back out material to form a curtain. This combined with the blinds should keep most of the light out, and hopefully some heat too.
I used bungie cords (is there nothing they can’t do?!) to hold the storage containers in place on the shelves. I ended up moving the water container seen here closer to the side door and adding a tap for easy pouring.
I added a simple latch to the back of the sofa to keep the hinged section closed whilst driving.
The rear doors of the van didn’t stay in place when open and swung around in the wind. To fix this I used some scraps of wood as door wedges.
I then attached some cord loops to the top of the doors and connected these with a bungie cord.
This held the doors open pretty effectively. The plan is to throw a tarp right over the top of the open doors to provide some shelter from the rain whilst cooking (note to self: try this out before it actually rains)
I had some help attaching the velcro to the sofa back and bed top which will hold the foam in place. Thanks Carly, Richard and Karina!
I could now start filling the storage space. I used a left over piece of two by two to prop the hinged section open.
Removing the rear foam section reveals the kitchen area where I can place the stove and prepare food.
Under the kitchen area is storage for food and anything kitchen related. The two plastic crates slide right out and contain nearly everything needed to cook in the van or on a camp fire. On the recommendation of some friends I purchased a 5lb refillable propane tank which runs the two burner stove.
I used some mosquito netting and elastic to mosquito proof one of the front windows so it could be left open it at night to keep the van cool in the summer. This turned out to be a little awkward due to the shape of the door, but I managed to rig something up. I will probably apply the same technique to the other front window.
The finished conversion! I’m very pleased at the likeness to my design. It is also very comfortable in there. It’s official.
I am very excited about taking the van out on it’s first road trip when we drive it up to Whitehorse from Victoria.
With two people being in this space, keeping things organised is going to be very important. The first trip should be a good opportunity to start figuring out the best place to put things and identify things that need to be tweaked.
Thanks to everyone who helped out by offering your labour, suggestions and donations. I really appreciate them all.