Couple turns old van into home-on-wheels for just $1K

January 15, 2020 by  
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IKEA offers an almost infinite amount of space solutions for any type of abode — for one couple looking to convert an old van into a home on wheels, IKEA products were their saving grace. Ambitious couple Grace Aquino and her husband Marlon were on an extremely tight budget when they decided to turn their old van into a full-time home so that they could travel the world. As impressive as it is shocking, the couple managed to create their beloved  Flippie van for just $1,000 using IKEA products and doing the work themselves. Van conversions are nothing new, but creating a custom living space on wheels isn’t always as cheap as people expect it to be. Whether buying or building, the cost of living, dining and bedroom furniture can add up quickly. But for one ambitious couple looking to create a bespoke living space within a very compact 60 square feet, everyone’s favorite Swedish furniture brand, IKEA, helped them customize their new home, which they managed to do by themselves for just $1,000. Related: Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels When they first decided to embark on a nomadic lifestyle, Aquino and her husband planned to contract professionals to convert an old 2017 Ram ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van into their roaming hut on wheels. However, when they realized that the cheapest estimate given would run them $15,000, the couple decided to take a more practical, DIY route. Accordingly, their first stop was IKEA. “To our surprise, the cheapest quote we were given was $15,000 for a very basic build without a platform for our bed. So our only practical choice was to do it ourselves. While doing our research, we were overwhelmed at the amount of work it takes to convert a van. We didn’t have the tools, the space and the skillset needed. My husband had really only built Ikea furniture in the past, so we thought why not visit Ikea to get some inspiration? Once we found a few things that we knew would work for our van, we decided to fully commit to building just with Ikea,” Aquino explained to Lonely Planet. Except for the flooring, power station, insulation and ottoman, all of Flippie’s furnishings came from IKEA. First, however, the couple had to make sure that the space was comfortable for living in full-time. Therefore, they started by insulating the 60-square-foot interior with styrofoam insulation covered with a foil liner, which they bought from Home Depot. Later, the van’s flooring was topped with exercise floor mat puzzles purchased at Walmart. Once the main envelope of the van was customized, the couple headed straight to IKEA to purchase space-saving, affordable furnishings . First, they purchased a large sofa bed that pulls out at night, but folds up during the day to create more space. The couple also added storage where possible, including a spacious overhead cabinet that was installed over the bed. At the back of the van, two large doors open up into the compact but functional kitchen, which was built using Raskog Cart and Pantry unit that cost just $29.99 and a Sunnersta mini-kitchen set that costs $121. In this area, the couple also installed a pressure shower system for the faucet and added various baskets for storage. A unique back wall is covered in pegboard to hang utensils, paper towels, etc. Across from the tiny kitchen is the couple’s work space, which includes a Besta Burs desk and a Top Trones storage unit. A large ottoman pulls double duty as extra seating and extra storage. In addition to the IKEA products, the couple splurged a bit on an Eco Power Station ($700). While the company is still developing a solar panel , the couple uses shore power to charge the battery so that they can charge their phones and laptops. + The Sweet Savory Life Via Apartment Therapy Images via The Sweet Savory Life

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Couple turns old van into home-on-wheels for just $1K

Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels

October 28, 2019 by  
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British designers Supertramped Co. have converted an old Mercedes-Benz T2 van into an incredible bohemian-inspired home on wheels. Ernie is a bright blue and white van that has been completely renovated with a fun, shabby chic interior design that  not only includes some whimsical beachy decor, but also an array of 400-watt solar panels that allow the beautiful camper to go off grid virtually anywhere. The Mercedes-Benz T2 vans were produced by Daimler-Benz from 1967 to 1996, and the boxy, durable vehicles were often used as ambulances or delivery trucks.  The vans were also known for their smooth maneuverability, something that, along with its compact shape, makes them the perfect type of van to convert into a vibrant home on wheels. Related: Amazing camper van maximizes space with clever boat design tricks According to the Somerset-based designers, the clients approached them with the idea of a surf-inspired mobile beach hut that would serve as their tiny home on wheels while exploring the world. Inspired by the sea and trajectory of the van, designers went to work and created Ernie— a beautiful camper van that runs on solar power. The exterior of the van is a bright blue and white, paying homage to the typical large striped umbrellas found on the sea side. The beachy theme continues throughout the interior with a fun, shabby-chic interior design . The walls are clad in rustic wooden panels punctuated with plenty of large windows, giving the space a warm atmosphere . The main living area is a compact, but cozy space with bench seating and dining table that sits across from the kitchen. Throughout the tiny space, fun decor made up of seashells and starfish trinkets add a bit of whimsy to the design. Like most camper van conversions, the design for the kitchen space has to be functional and space-efficient, and Ernie delivers in spades. The main area is  equipped with a fridge/freezer combo, stove top and oven. comprised of whitewashed cabinetry with a vibrant blue and white backsplash. A farmhouse sink adds a nice country style touch to the seaside vibe. Further past the kitchen is a small bathroom with full shower and marine toilet. However, the shower stall is incredibly original, featuring exposed pipes, subway tiled-inspired wooden wallboards, a giant skylight above that lets in tons of natural light . The sleeping space is located in the very back of the camper. A bed platform is set up with plenty of storage for sporting equipment, clothing, etc. underneath. A pair of dual doors open outward to take in the unobstructed views. In contrast to its warm, laid-back interior, Ernie also boasts a very hightech system. The van was installed with several modern features such as Alexa-controlled lighting, a surround sound system, WiFi, UV water sterilizer, led lights and a 400-watt solar array . + Supertramped Co. Via Curbed Photography by Simon and Kiana Photography

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Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels

Newly released video game challenges players to survive the climate apocalypse

October 28, 2019 by  
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Ever wonder how you’ll survive an apocalyptic climate crisis ? You can now get a simulated preview of your survival chances in a newly released, multiplatform video game, The Climate Trail. Developed by William Volk, the game focuses on a group of climate refugees fleeing Atlanta for Canada as the conditions all around them worsen. Wanting to raise awareness about the climate crisis in hopes of dispelling climate change denial and inaction, Volk charged ahead with creating the game despite having to overcome “the challenge of learning a new development system (Ren’Py) and programming language (Python).” Thus, he released The Climate Trail, which combines visual graphic novel storytelling with simulation game elements. Related: Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs According to his developer blog , “I’ve self-funded the project because I want to make people care about the climate issue,” Volk explained. “I wanted to create an emotional impact, weave in science information and make a game that makes a difference. I’ve always believed that games can have social value.” Inspired by the iconic game The Oregon Trail, which was a hallmark of elementary, middle and high schools from the 1970s to the 1990s, Volk’s game is as an educational survival foray, wherein players are pitted against hunger, thirst, extreme weather and other cataclysmic disasters in a dystopian future ravaged by the excesses of climate change. Incorporating scientific information about global warming , greenhouse gas emissions and sea level rise , Volk hopes the game will be introduced to schools as an instructive tool, teaching the value of resourcefulness in unpredictable and risky scenarios. With education as his top priority for the game, Volk made sure to steer away from gun-toting scenes, even humbly apologizing in his blog, “Sorry, no shooting in this one.” Rather, he chose to focus on knowledge and information, saying he paid “a lot more attention to the science of climate change” to make the game convincing, for the purpose of “catching the conscience of the deniers and doubters, to really take climate change seriously.” Volk shared, “The catch-22 about this game is I started it with a much more optimistic attitude than when I finished it. The more I dug into it, the more it seemed things were actually worse than imagined.” There are three levels of difficulty: moderate, significant and extreme. Available free for download and even free of advertisements, the game can be played with Mac, PC Windows and Linux systems. Mobile versions for iPhone, iPad and Android Google Play are available as well. + The Climate Trail Via Gizmodo Images via The Climate Trail

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Newly released video game challenges players to survive the climate apocalypse

Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

October 28, 2019 by  
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In a first-of-its-kind study , the World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and United States Forest Service collaboratively found that a disconcerting 62 percent of the U.S. wood products studied were mislabeled. Mislabeling often signals wrongful supply chain violations — illegal logging and deforestation — that consequently hamper endeavors to promote sustainable wood According to Amy Smith, the World Wildlife Fund’s forests deputy director, “Wood products are intentionally mislabeled, sometimes to pass off lower-value wood for more expensive varieties, and sometimes to cover up the fact it was illegally sourced. We wanted to know how often this fraud occurs, and our study indicates it could be alarmingly common. The wood you think you are buying is not what you get.” Related: More than half of Europe’s native trees face extinction How does mislabeling occur? Loggers, for instance, could harvest trees from a threatened or ecologically vital forest ecosystem , then mix wood species to cover up the illegal logging activity. Following transport to the lumberyard, species origin of the timber logs and boards are further misrepresented to allow illegal wood in the supply chain. Distortion persists as the wood is misidentified as a different species, continuing onward to the mill’s processing, the factory’s product manufacturing, and eventually reaching the import and retail junctures as an illegally sourced wood product made available for purchase. Mislabeling of wood is of high concern because illegal logging harms fragile forests, placing them at risk of biodiversity loss . Whether purposeful or not, mislabeling breaches the U.S. Lacey Act , first enacted in 1900 to ban trafficking of illegal wildlife , then amended in 2008 to include plants and plant products, like timber. The U.S. Lacey Act’s landmark legislation continues as the world’s first ban on the trade of illegally sourced wood products. To solve the crisis, the U.S. Forest Service strives to increase training in identifying wood species. Doing so pinpoints supply chain gaps that need measures to combat illegal logging, mislabeling and the sale of fraudulent wood products. It is hoped this will cultivate best practices in verifying sources of wood species to confirm they arrive from sustainable, responsibly managed forests. Similarly, consumers are encouraged to make a difference by pledging to purchase products approved by the Forest Stewardship Council as FSC-certified . The FSC is “the most rigorous, credible forest certification system” that ensures products reliably comply with environmental protection standards before gaining access to markets. “ Deforestation and illegal logging are critical threats to our world’s forests,” Smith added. “It’s our responsibility as consumers to demand legally and responsibly sourced forest products. We do that by purchasing FSC-certified wood and paper and letting businesses and policy makers know that enforcement of our import laws — plus investment in technologies to detect fraud — must be a priority.” + PLOS ONE Image via James Schnepf / WWF-US

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Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

DIY kits help explorers transform Sprinter vans into rugged adventure vehicles

August 28, 2018 by  
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Having spent years transforming Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans into adventure vehicles, Oregon-based Zenvanz is known for using top-of-the line materials, such as bamboo , to transform van interiors into sleek, sophisticated living spaces. Now, the prolific company is putting its superior design knowledge into helpful DIY kits that allow road warriors to convert their own vans into a bespoke homes on wheels. Zenvanz has spent years perfecting its ingenious van conversion methods, which are geared toward providing adventure-seekers with durable and comfortable roaming homes . The company’s strategic modular systems have been specifically designed to make the most out of the space available with the ethos of providing “maximized livability using minimal space.” Related: This pop-up camper transforms any truck into a tiny mobile home in seconds Along with a host of quality materials, the company uses its signature feature, bamboo, to transform open Sprinter van interiors into sophisticated and space-efficient living spaces. Every retrofit focuses on providing the utmost when it comes to combining the desire for travel and adventure with the need to be comfortable on the road. The interiors are clad in cabinets that are made from lightweight aluminum and eco-friendly bamboo to ensure optimal storage. In addition to providing turn-key vehicles, the company now offers DIY kits for van owners who want to hit the road in comfort and style. The kits, which include everything from bedding and storage to kitchens and showers, are easy to install using bolts instead of screws in an effortless installation process that ensures easy access to the electrical systems, wiring and more. According to the Zenvanz team, the strategic DIY kits were designed with flexibility and longevity in mind. The kits guarantee a quick and easy van conversion for either the full-time adventurer or those who just need a weekend on the open road once in a while. The modular panels are entirely removable, meaning that the vans can be reverted to their original stock interiors just by turning a few bolts. + Zenvanz Via Uncrate Images via Zenvanz

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DIY kits help explorers transform Sprinter vans into rugged adventure vehicles

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