Toward the end of our van build I had a friend who was following our build photos, ask me if everything really did just work the first time for us as we built the van. I laughed out loud, and then realized he was serious. The answer is a firm and complete no. There is exactly one thing that worked first try in the van: Our bug net.
Cats in the cradle
The week before Christmas my father flew into town. He was coming to put me through a week long woodworking bootcamp.
Oh god, we bought a van
After the initial elation of finally having bought a van wore off, it began to set in, that we now how to build the entire thing ourselves. We were not particularly handy people, and now we were going to have to learn every discipline from scratch. Had I known then what I know now, I would have been much more afraid.
So you want to buy a van
When you decide you want to buy a van, there are a lot of options: Dodge Sprinter, Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Westies, Vanagons, tall ones, short ones, gas, diesel, just a bewildering array of options.