First night in my van this Friday!

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  • So, I've been having some mega issues and complaints about my van being parked on the shared driveway of the flat I'm staying in at the mo so I'm having to bring things forward and move into my van sooner.
    This Friday night will be my first ever night!
    My van isn't really ready yet. I won't have electrics, gas or water just yet but I'm thinking a lot of blankets and battery powered fairy lights and I should be ok for now.
    What do you guys think?

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  • I guess it will be managable, that said the comforts of heating, lighting and water make what can seem like a chore really enjoyable. I've slept in my van at -17 with no. night heating on and it was fine with 2 duvets and a hot water bottle.
    Hope you enjoy your first night :)

  • Definitely vents and detector
    I ended up in a and e last week after 8 hours sleeping in a fumed up van! Fell asleep drunk with food grilling.
    And me falling asleep with food on the go is a big no go so go to show it can happen to anyone!

  • Definitely vents and detector
    I ended up in a and e last week after 8 hours sleeping in a fumed up van! Fell asleep drunk with food grilling.
    And me falling asleep with food on the go is a big no go so go to show it can happen to anyone!

    It can happen to anyone who chooses to get drunk, that is... :D

  • I second the hot water bottle! And go for a king size duvet so you can pull it right up to your nose and not have your feet stick out the other end. I have a winter duvet and a summer one. At the moment the winter one is enough with no other heat but i can pull the summer one over me as well if i get cold in the night. I find that a draught is worse than the cold.

  • Definitely worth investing in s good '4 seasons' quilt. And knit yourself a pair of nice woollen bedsocks. Easy to cool down if you are too warm but very difficult to warm up if you are too cold.
    As BF says, draughts are a pain - curtains / wall hangings around you can make a difference there...
    Try to keep some ventilation under the mattress to prevent condensation problems - a problem even in warmer weather...
    Best way to keep warm at night is to share the bed with someone ;)

  • Good luck with your first night. We have lots of blankets etc and a water bottle is essential.

    As for electric, gas and water I suggest keeping it all very very simple and only add things when you find you can't live without them. When I built my first van I spent a lot of money building in systems that either needed constant maintenance etc or were rarely used.

    Better to start with very basic equipment and add complexity as and when you NEED it.

    For instance, our water system in the Airstream consists of two 5Ltr spring water bottles from the snoopermarket. Every now and then we might replace them if someone leaves one in the recycling. For hot water we have a kettle. The sink drains into a bucket.

    Simple is good


  • I had a calor gas fire - looked similar to those old 2 bar electric fires, but dont run it while you are asleep and let the gas run out, I was only just in time once when I came back to the van to find the others asleep and the gas guttering on its last legs. they got a proper telling off., mine was mounted just above the windscreen in my parcel van.
    this is a similar size unit -…LTpvJmG7bwCFUoOwwodqhoAfQ


  • The first few days are the hardest, you get frustrated when you can't find things or when you knock over the water bowl, dog food or any other number of things. It just makes it harder if you're cold and bored. Stick at it and once you're through the initial part you'll probably love it. The fairy lights should cheer you up. Good luck!

  • Yeah you'll get into a pattern of not so much chores but
    A steady paced routine.
    I myself don't like chores and routine but it's different within the van
    It's necessary if you don't want spillage, things falling and just general ease.
    Everything is a lot longer and relaxed to do as well.
    I find its like that anyways

  • Regarding heating the van - I've been doing up an old caravan over the winter to take on the road in the summer. I looked into the safest form of heating and without doubt the best is a balanced flue heater. These are room-sealed, so all the combustion products go outside. You can pick up second hand ones for £50. Mine is floor-flued, so I had to cut a hole in the floor. Then you hook it up to a gas bottle. Fume-free and condensation free.


    There's the same model on ebay…ories&hash=item1c3cf667d2

    I'm not the seller! Don't worry. But I am an ex-corgi registered gas fitter, and after all the training they put you through, I'm very wary of fumes in a small space, and my caravan is only ten foot!

    Stay warm and safe, eh?

    (and hello, first post here, but I browse a lot) Love on!

  • Hey guys!
    Thanks for all the advice and well wishes :)
    It's been ok. Cold! but ok.
    I still get a little nervous being out alone. I've found a lay-by on the outskirts of Exeter which isn't ideal but has done the job for now. I've invested in some battery powered lights and extra blankets. I need to get my gas sorted to I can cook (and fill hot water bottles!).
    If anyone knows of any nice spots near Exeter/Taunton then let me know! I'd really appreciate it :)

  • Glad your okay.
    Have a look in bnm as camping stoves and gas will be available soon for summer.
    Just make sure to properly ventilate it.
    Hope you manage to get things sorted soon and you'll be used to and enjoying being alone soon enough

  • Yes, glad u'r ok. Used to be able to park under the A38 flyover at Buckfastleigh on the turning nearly opposite the fuel station as if you were heading to Beara Farm which itself used to be very cheap parking, even in midseason; don't know if Farmer John still runs it tho. Lay by's abound however, and better to north Devon. Also can park in forestry on Bodmin Moor. Keep on truckin, Toby.