Mobile Base Station
The end result is flexible platform to do a whole variety of things.
The interior is pretty flexible for us to do things like pick up lumber and supplies, add a seat to carry more people and load in the dog creates. The rear hitch carrier can accommodate gas cannisters or other exterior items and does not have to be removed when using our trailer. Sometimes one of us may be out for a full day with work meetings and the van setup is ideal to work, eat, nap, or whatever between meetings.
To minimize having to pack and unpack for day or overnight trips, we keep a lot of gear in the vehicle, including hike and bike equipment, rock climbing gear, ski equipment in winter, etc. This makes it a lot easier to just go or if we are out for the day and have time, we can take a detour and do some activity.
We have a large first aid kit for human and dog use, which also contains other items that we have found over the years to be helpful. The kit stays in the vehicle at all times. It is kept in a 100 liter pack so we can grab it and carry on our back if needed. But it is much too big and overkill for general activities, so we have divided it up into smaller pieces: when skiing or biking there is a small kit; for hiking with the dogs, we take the small kit + a second bag with other items. Other items that stay in the main kit include extra liquids, meds and salves, and full gas masks with cartridges that are important to have if we ever get caught in a wildifre situation or even just happen to be in an area where heavy smoke has drifted in from a wildfire.
Tools and Parts
We keep a big array of basic tools to make repairs to the van or trailer or our equipment when on the road. We also keep spare van parts for items that could fail without warning, rendering the van undriveable, and include an alternator, starter, belts and hoses, water pump, radiator thermostat, and other items small items. The difficulty is not getting items replaced or repaired, but getting parts in a timely manner. If something fails on a trip, as long as we have the parts, we might be able to do it ourselves or get the vehicle to a mechanic who can do it same day.
We have a full kitchen setup that stays in the vehicle. We don’t use it much as we prefer to precook and throw in the fridge/freezer.
We use a porta pottie and in place of showering, we have a fold-up kiddie pool that can be used along with a camel back hung overhead to provide gravity-fed water.