Before Brian even spent a night in his van, he already completed a few major modifications; which he admitted took him and his Dad a few months and was proof of concept that they didn’t want to start from the ground up, letting us take care of the heavy lifting for them.
So, we understand that not all of you are YouTube vloggers like Brian, needing your van to support your lifestyle and provide a solid foundation from which to work. Therefore, there are some modifications that Brian did that we feel are unnecessary for the vast majority of you, however there are a few that we do still recommend.
First is the Road Shower. While pricey, it is pretty much the best outdoor shower option there is. If you prioritize having hot, pressurized water for rinsing off then the road shower is definitely something we recommend. However, if you’re like us and can get by with something a little more modest, we recommend the Helio Shower by Nemo. It packs up tight and is easy to store when not in use. You can fill it up and leave it out in the sun to warm up the water. You pressurize it with a simple foot pump and gets the job done when things get really grimy.
Second is elevating the bed. Depending on the size of your bike (or what type of bike it is) you might feel the need to elevate the bed. For the majority of you, your bike will fit under the bed just fine. However, if you feel you need that extra bit of room, spacers can be added between the bed braces mounted on the wall and the bed beams. Often times we can add these spacers here at the shop and elevate the bed 2-3 inches. But this is also something that can be easily done at home with just a socket wrench.
Third is the solar system. We feel solar is overkill for the majority of you and is an unnecessary up-front cost, plus a major headache to put together, and god forbid you ever have an issue and have to chase down some electrical problem. Instead, we recommend a Goal Zero Yeti 1000 or 1400. Check out our video here to find out why.
Lastly, Brian did all of these modifications prior to ever using his van, which we actually recommend against. Sure, he may have had to do everything prior to his 48-state road trip but typically we recommend going out there and using your van a few times before deciding on what to do. Your perception of your needs might change after a few camping trips, or you might realize that what you thought was a good place to store or mount (x) actually wasn’t a great place at all. Either way, trying your van out before committing to your modifications is a good idea, see why in Brian’s next video here.