It is no secret that we have some commitment issues when it comes to our van. As we continue to build out our home on wheels, we find ourselves constantly looking for ways to make improvements without them being permanent. We’ve made a strong effort to keep our van as modular as possible, knowing full well that we’re going to want to change things down the road (pun intended). What works for us now, might be the complete opposite of what we want in a few years. We want our home to be able to grow with us and we’d like to keep from making thousands of holes in our walls while we both grow. Our van is designed so everything can be pulled out easily and re-organized if we choose. One of the most common questions we hear relates to any regrets we might have in the choices we made while building out the van. We had a few, but we were able to fix them quickly and easily. It was hard to find an affordable and yet environmentally friendly way to attach things around our van. Nite Ize Gear Ties have become our go-to for more odd-jobs than we can count. They have become such a valuable tool for us we wanted to share some of the out-of-the-box ways that we’ve used Gear Ties around the van.
1. Keeping Our Refrigerator Closed
There are many good RV-style refrigerators on the market. Unfortunately for us, they are all extremely expensive. When we were designing our van we ran up against some budget issues and decided to use a standard ‘dorm style’ mini fridge. It’s worked out alright, but we had to find a way to keep the door closed while we were driving. For that, we purchased a child-lock from Amazon and replaced the lock with a Gear Tie and it works great. Come at us bumpy roads; nothing’s going to fall out of our fridge now!
2. Attaching bedside baskets to our walls
We wanted some extra storage near our heads while we sleep. Something to keep our books in. The most budget-friendly and least vehicle-damaging solution we could think of was to buy some cheap baskets from Target and attach them to our L Track with Gear Ties. L Track is the rail system that we attach all of our cabinets to instead of screwing them into the van itself. Now we have movable baskets that don’t require screws, and all the bedside reading we can get our hands on!
3. Attach A Tarp To Our Roof Rack To Create A Makeshift Shelter
Even as we are writing this blog, we wish we had an awning on our van. Sometimes we don’t have a choice of how we orient our van when parking at a festival. Right now, our door opens to the hot Virginia sun 80 percent of the day. The downside is, like many other aspects of building out a van – awnings are expensive. Our solution was to attach a tarp to our roof rack with Gear Ties. It creates less waste than zip ties and they are just as strong. They are also a much faster solution than busting out the paracord and tying everything down. We simply stake the other end of the tarp to the ground. It’s not as pretty as a fixed awning, but it works!
4. Create A Safety Bumper For Our Air Plant
It’s imperative that you have everything secure when you start driving your home. Even more so when you’re headed into the mountains on a 40 mile rutted out dirt road. We like to be surrounded by nature even when we’re stuck inside the van. We decided to hang up an air plant in our kitchen. The only catch is the plant tends to swing and smash against our wall when we’re driving. For this, we used a couple of Gear Ties to make a rubber bumper for the back of the plant’s basket.
5. Turn Our Tarp Into A Shower Curtain
Presto! What was once a tarp is now a beautiful shower curtain. When we’re showering on the road, we create a small private bathing room using a tarp and the back doors of our van. We hang the tarp using the existing holes in the top of the doors, and a couple of Nite Ize carabiners. That usually works until it gets breezy and the wet tarp blows into you. That might not sound too bad, but it’s extremely unpleasant. When the wind picks up, we use a couple of Gear Ties to help stake down the tarp so that can’t happen. It works great!
6. Keep Our Extra Dog Food Fresh On The Road
It’s hard enough finding space in the van for our own food. We also travel with roughly 50 pounds of dog food at any given time. We’ve found that the large Gear Ties Mega work perfectly for securing an open bag of dog food without much additional effort. We just roll it up and toss it under our bed. No need to worry about spills or it losing freshness. We use the same Gear Tie over and over again, limiting waste and helping us stay organized.