Just over 3 weeks until I move into my van!  I’m doing a ton of research, trying to figure out what I’m really going to need, and what I can live without for a while in terms of stuff for my van.  In all likelihood, a lot of my first two months savings is probably going to go into making the van more livable for me.

Comfort and safety will come first.  As far as safety goes, I need to be able to black out the windows completely at night.  I don’t want anyone to be able to tell that there is a single woman and a cat in the vehicle at night.  I’ve been watching videos on how to black out the windows, and I’m going to go with the felt/reflectix option. Black felt on once side for night, and reflectix on the other for day when I want to keep the sun out.  So I’m going to need the window block outs immediately.

As far as comfort goes, I’m going to need a really comfortable bed for sleeping.  I bought a new bed about a year ago, and it so comfortable – just right for me!  It’s one of the things that will cause me pain to give up. There is a bed in the van already, but it’s not a high quality mattress, so I’m going to need a high quality mattress topper to go on top, and make the bed sleepable on an ongoing basis.  I’ll do whatever it takes in order to have a comfortable sleep.  So those two things will be essential before I even move into the van.

Further items that I feel I need to get as soon as possible are a back up camera and a security screen.  Traffic and pedestrians here are just crazy.  Pedestrians will seriously walk out in front (or back) of you as you’re driving down the road, backing out of a parking space… or whatever!  I will be going from backing out a small car in which I can see nearly everywhere around me, to backing out and parking a huge van in which my vision is limited.  A back up camera will be essential as soon as I can possibly get one.

The screen will give me a level of feeling comfortable about keeping all my worldly belongings in my van, about sleeping on the street at night, and about leaving my cat when I have to go off to work (where I will park in the parking garage – it’s quite cool in there).  The mesh screen will be between the driving area and the living area.  I’m also considering metal screens for the windows.  I’ve had my window smashed in Berkeley before. I’d hate to have that happen while I’m sleeping.

OK, so those are the immediate, and somewhat immediate things.  I’m also considering a back up battery – I’ll have to research on this more, and see what others have done, but i know that sitting in starbucks while my phone, ipad, facial cleanser, toothbrush… or whatever… charges, is going to get old really fast!  I really need to be able to charge those things while I’m in my van reading, or whatever.

Beyond that… I really need to decide what level of cooking and washing up I’m going to be doing in my van.  Eventually, when I get to travel, I’ll want a full set up.  But for now I don’t need to cook, so travel appliances are in the future.

Oh… I’m going to need to make a decision about how I’m going to handle it when I have to pee at night!  So many things to think about!  But decisions have been made and things are coming along so far!