Did you know that "The Northerner" in Spanish is El Norteño? It so happens that this is also our new vans new name. Yup, we named him (it's a him), El Norteño. I'm rather obsessed with the desert, we both love taco's/ Mexican food and we're from Canada so it made sense to us to combine all those things into a name for our little Toyota Hiace. Alison didn't agree with my various naming ideas, but we finally settled on the Spanish translation of "The Northerner," pretty cool right? (On a side note, the word Norteño is also associated with Mexican-American gangs, music, food and people that live in New Mexico.)
I've swapped out my large and well equipped shop for a driveway and warm weather since I last wrote. Alison and I traveled from Vermilion, Alberta to Abbotsford, British Columbia in the first week of November. After a week of getting settled at my parents place I dove into van renovations and haven't really looked back since. First step was, of course, to strip the vans interior to metal.
I wanted to start with a clean slate which meant everything had to come out of the van, that included the existing bed and vinyl plank floor. Thankfully there was very little rust and the flooring came out easily.
Before I could move on with the ceiling I had to put in place the roof vent that I had purchased earlier which meant cutting a big'ol hole in the roof...this was a full day project for me, but I'm pleased with the result.
Due to one of the engine access panels protruding into the living area I needed to find a way to keep it accessible in case of the need for engine/ transmission work. My solution was to build up the area a little (allowing me to insulate it the area under the fridge more) then I will make a fully removable kitchen.
Next step will be finishing the kitchen and moving on to the rest of the cabinets throughout the van, then a steel frame for the bed will be made and installed then flooring and drawers.