We’d been talking for a couple years about buying a van to convert into a camper and last spring (2016) we had an opportunity to buy my Nana’s van. A sweet, sky blue, 2000 Ford Windstar minivan to be exact. The timing worked great, it had relatively low mileage, and my grandparents were the original owners so we knew its history. We had already been planning to go on a two-month road trip after our South America trip, and having the van would be an awesome asset for such an occasion.
As soon as we got the van home and took some measurements, Alastair designed a storage unit and sleeping platform (and even made a super cute miniature cardboard version) to maximize the space. The design was more complicated than originally thought because the van itself has about six inches of slope from the rear bumper to the front seats. Thankfully, the construction process went smoothly and we managed to get the whole contraption built and installed in the span of a weekend with (a lot of) help from my dad and the use of his workshop.
Before our road trip to the southwest we took the Nanavan on a couple local weekend camping/hiking trips and then for a longer trip to Yosemite. This allowed us time to get familiar with how to best organize and function with our new set-up, and discover a couple minor things we wanted to add or change. So far it has worked quite well and we’re having a good time taking it on adventures and tweaking things along the way.