Campervan Renovations: Part 5
New Mattress and Dinette Seat Cushions
Campervan Renovations: Part 5
New Mattress and Dinette Seat Cushions

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This is the fifth part of our Campervan Renovations series.  To see where it all started, you might want to check out the four previous posts:

Part 1: Pre-Renovation Tour
Part 2: Gutting The Interior
Part 3: Insulation and New Wall Panels
Part 4: New Bed and Dinette Seats

With our new permanent bed and dinette seats in place, it was time to make them a little more comfortable.   Since the bed is 4 feet wide by approximately 6.5 feet long, we couldn’t use a standard mattress. Instead, we decided to use a 4 inch thick open cell foam base with a 1.5 inch thick memory foam topper. We can always add another layer if that isn’t enough. There are more natural options out there, but unfortunately they are all WAY out of our budget at the moment. Perhaps a future upgrade.

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Campervan Renovations: Part 4
New Bed and Dinette Seats
Campervan Renovations: Part 4
New Bed and Dinette Seats

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This is the fourth part of our Campervan Renovations series.  To see where it all started, you might want to check out the three previous posts:

Part 1: Pre-Renovation Tour
Part 2: Gutting The Interior
Part 3: Insulation and New Wall Panels

Now that we’ve got the “bedroom” walls insulated and covered, the next priority was a new bed. We wanted a bed that wouldn’t need to be set up and dismantled each morning, so it would have to be made smaller to leave room for the dinette. After using the van to haul lumber from Home Depot a couple of times, we also knew that the new bed would have to allow for that occasional purpose as well. We think we’ve created the perfect solution.

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Campervan Renovations: Part 3
Insulation and New Wall Panels
Campervan Renovations: Part 3
Insulation and New Wall Panels

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This is the third part of our Campervan Renovations series.  To see where it all started, you might want to check out the two previous posts:

Part 1: Pre-Renovation Tour
Part 2: Gutting The Interior

As you will remember from the previous post, after removing the old bed/dinette and carpet, we pulled off the old pink wall panels.  Underneath, we found 22 year old foam insulation, which had begun to disintegrate, and had a number of large gaps.  In this post, we’ll show how we replaced this old insulation and installed new wall panels.

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Campervan Renovations: Part 2
Gutting The Interior
Campervan Renovations: Part 2
Gutting The Interior

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In an earlier post, I gave a pre-renovation tour of the campervan that we purchased for our honeymoon road-trip across Canada.  If you haven’t read that post, you might want to check it out first, for a better idea of what we started with.

In this post, I’ll be covering the gutting of the bedroom/dinette section of the campervan, in preparation for the addition of new insulation and updated wall paneling.

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Roasted Cauliflower: Three Different Ways
(oil-free, no added salt, vegan)
Roasted Cauliflower: Three Different Ways
(oil-free, no added salt, vegan)

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One of the hardest times for Paula and I to stay healthy is in the evening, after dinner.  We both love salty, savory, snack foods while we relax before bed.  Unfortunately, the easiest (and often tastiest) options are usually chips, crackers, salted nuts, etc.

In my experience, it doesn’t seem to matter which type of chip or cracker you choose, they are all pretty much the same, from a calorie standpoint.  If you check out the nutritional information, they are all typically around 200 calories per 50g.  It doesn’t seem to matter if they’re fried, baked, popped, gluten-free, or organic. The sodium content will often differ slightly, but hardly ever within a healthy range.

We’ve experimented with a number of oil-free whole-food snacks to try to curb our cravings, and have recently found a couple of options that seem to do the trick.  If you’re a snack-fiend like us, today’s recipe is worth a try!

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Campervan Renovations: Part 1
The Pre-Renovation Tour
Campervan Renovations: Part 1
The Pre-Renovation Tour

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A couple of months ago, Paula and I decided to buy a used campervan.  We had a number of reasons for this decision: it could be a comfortable place to clean up after a back-country camping trip (before the long drive home), it could be an easy way to crash in a friend’s driveway after a party, and it would certainly serve as luxurious accommodations for the occasional “car camping” trip.  However, one of our biggest reasons for buying the campervan was that we recently got engaged and are planning to take a cross-Canada road trip for our honeymoon!

We looked at a number of options before making our purchase, but eventually decided on a 1992 Pleasure-Way.  We got an incredibly good deal, and it had pretty much everything we could ask for in such a small package.  It’s built on a Dodge Ram chassis, has a bed, a toilet, a sink, a 2-burner propane stove, a 3-way fridge (propane, AC, and 12v battery), a roof air conditioner, a propane furnace, and a pile of storage space.  It basically has everything except a shower.  Plus, Pleasure-Way is a Canadian company, so it seemed fitting.

We were very lucky to be able to take it on a couple of weekend trips before making our final decision, and we loved it! We knew right away that we would want to make some modifications, but overall it was perfect.

The rest of this post will serve as a pre-renovation tour of the campervan, as it was when we first bought it.  Future posts will document the various modifications we make in preparation for our honeymoon, this summer.

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Mexican Salad with Toasted Tortilla Strips
(vegan, oil-free)
Mexican Salad with Toasted Tortilla Strips
(vegan, oil-free)

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Paula and I have been trying to eat a little healthier lately, but to most of our friends and family that statement seems kind of odd.  You see, we’re two vegans surrounded mostly by meat-eaters, so when we talk about trying to watch what we eat, most people wonder what else we could possibly do?!  Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, vegansim can be just as unhealthy as any other diet, if you do it poorly.  And until recently, we’ve been doing that a lot…

There are just so many wonderful vegan alternatives out there these days:  vegan cheese, vegan sausages, vegan roasts, vegan chick’n strips.  You name it, they’re making alternatives for it.  It’s truly amazing how easy it’s becoming to “go vegan”, but unfortunately most of those options are highly processed and contain large amounts of sodium and fat.  They’re fantastic treats when you’re craving your old comfort foods but if you eat them every day, they can be almost as unhealthy as the original non-vegan versions.  So in an attempt to return to our healthy lifestyle, we’ve been doing our best to eat only whole-foods that are high in nutrients, but low in sodium and overt fat.

This can sound pretty bland when your taste-buds are accustomed to so much extra salt and oil, but with the right combination of flavour-packed ingredients, you’d be surprised how exciting healthy-eating can be!

Which brings us to today’s recipe… 

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Not All Vegans Are Super Skinny Not All Vegans Are Super Skinny

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I’ve been vegan for about 4 years, and was vegetarian for a year before that.  However, most people are somewhat surprised to discover this when they first meet me.  For one thing, unless I’m asked to talk about it, I’m generally not very preachy.  For another, I’m not particularly skinny – and everyone knows that all vegans are super skinny.  I mean, when you eat nothing but rabbit food all day, how could you possibly be anything but?

Right?!

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