Stan the Van – Part 1October 24, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C
Our van is great! It’s a 1998 Toyota Estima Aeras and drives great. No bad noises, no pull on the steering wheel, all hoses are connected, e-brakes work. Everything you need for it to drive, works great. We just had to get used to driving on the left side of the road!
All seats in the back, except one, have been removed. In their place, a wooden platform has been built to be the frame for a bed. Several rectangle pillows make up the mattress. And when you slide the front seats forward, there is plenty of room to stretch out. The van came with pillows and duvets, sheets and covers. The bed is surrounded by curtains to keep the light out. And above, a moon roof lets the starlight in! How romantic..
Those are the two main purposes, driving and sleeping. Everything else is bonus, although it sure is convenient. In the trunk (the boot, as they say in NZ and Australia), a few shelves and cupboards have been built to make a kitchen area. The van came equipped with a butane camping stove, some plates, bowls, cutlery, cutting board, cleaning supplies and other bits and bobs. When the trunk is open, its door provides perfect shelter while you’re cooking. And it’s tall enough to stand up straight underneath.
Conveniently, the bed platform has built-in boxes that open for extra storage under the bed. You can also pull up the middle board, and by securing a leg underneath, make a dinner table. Folding the back board over reveals a third seat, for the occasional hitch hiker. The remaining sections of the platform lift to provide lots of storage space.
On top of all that, the van has a radio and CD player, and came with a whole stack of random CD's. We expanded the collection at a nearby op-shop (second hand store). The van has A/C and power windows. There are plenty of storage compartments, cupholders, etc.Read more