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Installing Mosquito Nets in Our Custom Camper

In Camper Conversion, México, North America, The Van by Dane + Penny2 Comments

Temperatures had been rising and so had the number of mosquitoes, ever since we hit mainland Mexico. We had two options: roast in the van with the windows up protected from the little disease carrying pests or offer ourselves up to them on a sweaty platter in an effort to catch a breeze and pray we don't get dengue, or zika, or chikungunya... or malaria. Penny's legs were covered in bites and despite our efforts with coils and spray, she couldn't keep them off her. So, we bought a roll of mesh netting as defense. Not sure what to do ...
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The Price of Haste in Chacahua

In México, North America, The Van by Dane + Penny3 Comments

There we were, bombing down a dirt road to the remote beaches of Chacahua, a place only accessible by boat. Clearly it is in fact reachable overland, although you can (and should!) cross the river in a lancha (small boat) to explore the most remote parts of the town. Once the road turned to dirt we quickly found out why many say it’s only accessible over the sea: it was tracked out so bad it felt like we were driving down railroad ties without the rails! Even aired down, we could feel poor Diego shaking apart at a slow pace ...
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Designing Our Home on Wheels

In Camper Conversion, The Van by Dane + PennyLeave a Comment

One would think planning 45 square feet of living space would be pretty simple. However, the prospect of designing this tiny space to share with another human, fitting within it everything we would need for a year, travelling throughout all types of weather and wild - well, it didn't feel so easy! I had never travelled in a campervan, never mind designed one, but I knew living in a poorly organized space could be the death of some otherwise beautiful moments for us. So, I started with the basics asking myself these questions: How would we want to use and ...
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Why We Chose Our Rig

In The Van by Dane + PennyLeave a Comment

Once we'd decided to overland the Americas, it didn't take long for us to determine that a Mitsubishi Delica would be the vehicle for us. We knew this four wheel drive Japanese passenger van, stock with good clearance and a narrow body could take us where we'd want to go. We wouldn't be restrained from goat-worthy trails or left turning around at the sight of narrow colonial city laneways, and, fuelling up wouldn't empty our savings accounts! We opted for the PF6W with a longer body, more headroom and a gas engine which, unlike the diesel option, is also used ...
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Fear + Loathing in Palm Springs

In California, North America, The Build, The Van, United States by Dane + Penny2 Comments

In an attempt to surprise Dane's dad & step mom (aka "Schmum") who live several provinces away, we had been avoiding conversations about our timeline for weeks. Even though our trusty GPS tracker (the DeLorme inReach) had been giving away our location, we managed to sneak into their complex - where they least expected to see us - and successfully pulled off the mission. We spent the next several days catching up on current events, playing card games and laying pool side -and, of course, tinkering with the van when we had down time. We finished our last few projects, ...
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Making Our Delica Compliant

In Importing & Compliancy, The Van by Dane + Penny3 Comments

You can bet your behind that in Canada there is a rule or policy to follow, or license required, to do just about anything. Ensuring that a vehicle is road safe is definitely not exempt. And rightly so! Although, the task to make an import deemed "compliant" can be a total pain in the... So, I knew we would definitely need to do a few things to make the van compliant in North America: headlights, DOT tires and day time running lights, for sure. After completing those "simple tasks" I took it to two shops where they each quoted approximately ...
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Why Not Import?

In Importing & Compliancy, The Van by Dane + PennyLeave a Comment

Once we decided to drive the Pan-American Highway, it was a no-brainer that we both wanted to take a Mitsubishi Delica. They have adventure written all over them! Ready with four wheel drive, locking center differential, great clearance, a narrow body and are ‘easy’ to convert to a camper. We began saving while researching the many models available, narrowing it down to the ‘white unicorn’ or ‘yeti’ of Delicas: the PF6W (Long Wheel Base, Crystal Lite Hi-Roof, 3000cc V6 Petrol). Most people gravitate to the diesel models for fuel economy & torque, however we went the other way for abundance …