Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fat Kiwi: Painting 90% finished!!

After a marathon two days of painting, and about 20 cans of spraypaint later....

From this.... (approx midday Sunday)

To this! (Approx 4.30pm Sunday)

We're really happy. Now, all we have to do is figure out how to hook up the electrical and plumbing systems... and find suitable hangers for the curtains. It's a bit crazy really. We leave on our road trip in about 43 days!


Anonymous said...

I can feel the exitement rising.. Just 43 days!! Wow i thought it was the end of the year you were off .. now its just 6 weeks away! (20th July?).

Hope you have a huge petrol budget cause seriously that van is going to suck up a lot of $ in gas getting about the vast distances in the US..prob about 12-15 mpg? no doubt you have thought of that.

I also suggest a test drive to somewhere with a couple of overnights in a camp ground to shake down any bugs and issues you didnt know were there..? Maybe you have already done that as well!

Cheers, Wal

Brendan said...

Yeah we considered the (rising) fuel costs. We haven't calculated the mpg yet as one of the few big mechanical issues was a fuel tank leak and we haven't taken it out since that was repaired. Based on what research we've done we're expecting around 14mpg highway with conservative driving. Our original plan was a normal large-ish van with a mattress put in the back, that probably would have done around 18mpg. A large minivan probably would have put us over 20mpg, be we had our doubts about being able to actually live out of one for a month.

The only real monetary gain offsetting the additional fuel cost is that we don't need to eat out nearly as much as we have a fridge and stove. The main advantages are conviniences like being able to eat properly instead of living off snacks and fast food, having a proper electrical system for lights, A/C etc during the night/stops, having a bathroom, and so on. And of course just having space to move around and stand up.

Assuming $4 a gallon at 12mpg over 8000 miles, fuel is roughly $2600. If we manage 14mpg, it's more like $2300.

A smaller van, but one with enough space to live in, at 18mpg would be $1800. So we're paying a premium of $500 to $800 over the month. Compared to a large minivan its more like a $1000 premium. I guess we'll see if we think it was worth it at the end of the month ;-)

We have done one overnight test run where we tested the bed and oven, and we'll certainly do a second one once we've finished the interior work and hooked up the secondary electrical system. The plumbing will probably be the last thing to be worked out.