It is at Vaughan's house that we settle down for the work. In order to be certified "self-contained" the van must be equipped to have on board everything it takes to live there three days without any rejection. For two people, regulation imposes a water supply of 24 litres, a can for wastewater 24 litres, a closed trash can... and a 10 liter toilet (preferably waterproof ) - 10 that can be used when the bed is made. It's a challenge to fit it all into our van, but it is a commonly used model for that purpose and we will get there. The big advantage of this van is that it drives like a car and consumes much less than larger vans.
Why all these constraints and work to have a "self-contained" certification? The answer is simple... it is forbidden to go "wild camping" in New Zealand without this pass... controls are frequent and fines are salty! Wild camping is a must if you want to avoid long car journeys (back and forth from the hotel or campsite) to spend the day or go hiking in a lost place... And there are many places lost because it is a big country (1500 kilometres from North to South) with only 5 million inhabitants, including 60% live in six 6 Cities. It leaves plenty of room for a wilderness that New Zealanders actively protect.
First operation: remove the seats at the back. A visit to YouTube makes it easy to find hidden bolts and how to reveal them.
As we will spend a winter in New Zealand we will need to put the van back in "standard" configuration with its rear seats. We must therefore not interfere with the original anchors, not pierce the floor and do everything "removable".
The work begins with reflection, a plan, precise measurements...
Assembling elements and sanding
The first item is completed after a day's work. Is n'est not welcoming?
From time to time we take a break to have a beer and listen to music at the nearby bar-restaurant: Ray's on the Bay
One more day for the foundations of the rear platform
Then the chest panels
And the back wall.
All that remains is to arrange the kitchen in the trunk
A horizontal worktop... finally more or less depending on the load of the vehicle
A sink (stainless steel salad bowl), cans, drawers and you're done. Plumbing will require another trip to the DIY store to find the right fittings to make it clean
Two layers of varnish on the raw woods.... There you go!
Graham and Julie (our Friends of the AirB&B de Whangarei) invited us to spend the weekend at their home on the occasion of Graham's birthday. It's a serious matter between menwomen are going to have fun in town.
We enjoy being in Whangarei (Northland's largest city) to buy a mattress a sewing machine and fabrics.
The following week will be devoted to the couture workshop with many visits on the internet to learn the basics of this art.