Yay. We got an email from Andre, our salesman from Mercedes-Benz of Massapequa. He was writing to let us know , the van arrived a few weeks early. We picked it up on Dec 1st. Our experience with Andre and the dealership was amazing from beginning to end. Even though it took almost an entire year for Mercedes to build the van, it was well worth the wait and really, we were in no rush. We had to go with the Mercedes Sprinter over the Ford or Dodge because it’s the only van that offered 4 wheel drive and the only van that Greg could comfortably stand up in.
We are still shocked by how GIGANTIC the van is. I’m so glad I ordered the extra handles by each of the doors so that I can pull myself up into the van. It is so high off the ground. I absolutely love driving it being that high up but it’s no easy task getting inside.
We decided to throw a rug down and our pretty pink princess bed just for the time being while we are figuring out our build. Plus I had an extra map of the USA that I put up with some magnets just to motivate us.
That lasted about a day and then we were off to Home Depot to think about a more permanent yet temporary floor. We found some yoga mats on sale for 5 bucks and thought maybe if we cut them into strips that might help a little with the ridges if the van floor and maybe also with the insulation so we decided to do that and then bought a 6 by 8 piece of vinyls to lay over it. We could still feel the ridges so we put some cardboard under the vinyl. That seemed to help as well.
The next day, flooring mats were on sale at Job Lot. A 4 pack for 8 bucks so we decided to give that a whirl. We got half the van done and then it got dark. Greg finished up all the cuts the next day.
That was about a month ago. We realized we needed a more sturdy floor so we installed one eighth inch plywood on top of the matting and then some foam underflooring stuff and then the vinyl on top of that.
Next we moved on to sound dampening and insulation. For the sound dampening, we used Rattle Trap, which was super easy to install. For the ceiling of the van we used half inch pink Owen Corning fiberglass board. And the walls, we used Thinsulate. For the windows, we used reflectix. The insulation took a REALLY LONG TIME. So much measuring plus we wanted to be sure to get it into all the ribs and every opening.
The insulation makes a big difference in holding the heat in, which was very helpful because all the work we did inside the van was done during the very cold winter months in NY. Greg decided to build the couch/ bed platform out of pipes. He ordered the mattress from a semi truck mattress website. Perfect length and width for the van. We also bought the bins “before” building the bed because the bins have to fit underneath as they are the most import part of the van as far as storage goes. Those pipes fit right above the bins.
Next up was the configuration of my floating bed. We ordered some L-tracks from Amazon and some fasteners. Then a visit to Joannes fabric to pick out some sturdy fabric to attack to some 1 by 1’s to support my mattress and ME. Our “personal seamstress,” Cyndi put this all together for us. She was worried about the stability of it all. No worries, its very stable and very comfortable. We took a “practice trip” down to South Carolina this past week and it worked perfectly!!
Stay tuned for our next blog describing our Maiden Voyage down to South Carolina.