The Yeti has Walls!

16 Aug

Getting the walls up was the necessary next step following the installation of the floor. Unlike the floor, the walls definitely required a lot more planning, such as what materials we were going to use, how the cuts were to be made, and how to insulate efficiently.

Insulating was more or less the easy part, like the floor, we used the same Duro-Foam insulation on the sections where it was applicable. The interior of our van, like many other types of Cargo Vans has an interior metal wall that is mean’t to have shelving and anything similar attached to it since the main users of these vans are either Hydro, Roofing, and Plumbing companies. The foam was able to fit nicely in certain sections but much of the interior wall is raised from the external siding of the van, making it impossible to use the foam everywhere without loosing more space. Luckily, Kayley’s mom had left over Roxul insulation laying around and worked awesome!! First off, it’s made out of recycled materials, Indoor Air Quality Certified, solid R value and it can be stuffed anywhere! Kayley was able to stuff it in every nook and cranny where the foam was unable to cover.


Kayley getting everything nice and insulated

Kayley getting everything nice and insulated


Trusty ducktape

Through the many of trips to Home Depot, research and sound advice from Dennis (Kayley’s step-dad) we decided to use Harvest Cherry Plywood for areas that will be visible (bed area, doors and behind the kitchen counter) since it’s aesthetically pleasing and strong, then the other spots were covered with MDF Pressboard since it’s less expensive and easily manipulated.

Cutting was the hardest aspect of this process, there were lots of recuts, trying to get each piece to fit flush with roof, floor, wheel wells and adjacent walls had its challenges. It’s fair to say my powertool and cutting skills increased during this time.

IMG_0171 IMG_0147 IMG_0170 IMG_0169


It fits!


As for attaching the wall pieces, we used Self-Tapping Metal Washer Head Screws to fasten directly to the interior wall, the plywood is quite thin and under pressure due to the shape/angle of the wall, so having a washer-head ensures the screw doesn’t rip through the wood along with pulling the wood tighter up against the metal interior. On the passenger side, where the bed will be, we used a single wood strapping to help pull in the wall and allow it to sit flush since the interior had some odd shaping to it. Through some trial/error, the wood walls eventually became the supports for the foam insulation underneath. We were having trouble getting the foam to stick using both construction glue and duck tape due to day time humidity we’ve been experiencing this summer. We eventually figured out that the wood would be tight enough against the interior that it could secure the insulation enough from moving around and falling out of place.

The finish of the Mahogany Ply was nice, it was one of the reasons we bought it, but a couple weeks ago Kayley came across a Hemp Oil that could be used as a wood finisher. We decided to paint it on the Mahogany to see what happens and luckily it turned out great!! It really darkened the wood to a beautiful dark red and gave it a more protective finish along with a nice smell (Not the smell you’d think haha). We didn’t coat the MDF Ply since it will all be eventually covered by the bed and storage area.


Gettin' the good documented.

Gettin’ the good documented.



Mettrum Originals Hemp Wood Finishing Oil


Newly Finished Doors

Crew Chief sleeping on the job!

Crew Chief sleeping on the job!




Onto the next step!

Like I stated earlier, this step had it’s challenges. Getting the walls to fit straight and flush was difficult, we were constantly having to go back to make cuts. The van walls aren’t perfectly straight, meaning the walls have to be bent, making it hard to judge the length and shaping of the wood pieces. But we eventually got everything to fit accordingly. The creases between each piece are going to be covered by some sort of trim and/or strapping for the bed and storage units.


-2 Sheets of DuroFoam: $25.40

-2 Sheets of MDF Plywood: $38.68

-2 Sheets of Harvest Cherry Plywood: $72.00

-1 Bag of Roxul: Free! (If we did have to buy it: $50)

-100 Pack of 8×1″ Self Tapping Metal WasherHead Screws: $10

-1 Strap of 1x2x8 Framing Lumber: $1.02

-1 Can of Hemp Wood Finishing Oil: $10

-Total: $157.10

Next were onto the covers for the wheel wells, putting up the roof and laying down the vinyl floors!


Road Trippin’ to the Capital

27 Apr

Ottawa was home to Kay and myself for many years and it’s a place I miss more than not, so we both found it appropriate to take the new van and head to the capital for a little birthday fun with the homies.

Since buying the van, the weather here in Ajax has been inconsistent to say the least, 17’C and sunny one day and 2’C and snowy the next, winter has been playing games with me all season. But luckily, the Friday before heading to Ottawa, the weather improved and allowed me to get outside and do some work on the new vehicle. The van prior to being ours, was owned by Hydro One, they had a variety of metal shelving bolted to the sub-floor, leaving multiple holes in the floor once removed and there was a bit of surface rust present as well, but on the positive side, the interior siding and parts of the floor we’re spray coated to prevent damage, and major rust issues. It is key to have the floor fully sealed for when it’s time to insulate and start the initial build, any way for moisture to appear in the cabin is never good, and will only lead to more rust and mold issues. I headed to Canadian Tire (aka Crappy Tire, only the best store to come out of Canada), bought the Bondo Body Patching Kit, a face mask, rust brush and some heavy duty sandpaper! Now that I had all the necessary goods, I was determined to get the floor looking like new. After hours of scrubbing chipped paint, inhaling what I believe are toxic fumes through my face mask and getting hardener all over my pants, the holes we’re fully patched, which evidently ended up being a lot easier than I envisioned. Once the Bondo was dry, I gave the floor one last sand to smooth everything out and grabbed some non-toxic sealant my dad had left over from his multiple projects. If you are ever dealing with surface rust issues, attack it at the source and seal it as best as possible to prevent it from spreading, even though we will be insulating the floor and fully covering it, it’s better to have everything freshly sealed!

IMG_2638With a fresh new floor, Kay and I we’re ready for a little road trip to Ottawa and spend a couple first nights in the van!

We got a late start on the drive due to both of us working Sunday, leaving majority of the drive in the dark, we made sure to keep the tunes loud and to keep the conversation going or else our eyes started to feel mighty heavy.

The sign for Ottawa appeared around 11:30pm, and we made some calls to see where the homies we’re at. After playing phone tag, we picked up our good friends, Molly and Arija at a local bar, drove to their place, parked the van, stretched the legs, and enjoyed some beers, and their company (along with Aaron) until the early hours of the morning.

It may of just been the excitement of spending a night in the van but we both slept great, or it could of been our MEC Reactor 6.5 Sleeping Pad and our new Big Agnes Dream Island 15 Sleeping Bag, since our Van isn’t fully insulated yet, these made for a comfy warm night.

Enjoying breakfast public park style.

Enjoying breakfast public park style.

Once the crew was awake, we enjoyed some caffeine, filled our backpacks, picked up my brother, grabbed beers from a local Depanneur and headed to Gatineau Park for an afternoon of hiking. Molly and Aaron navigated us to a trail that we somehow had never encountered, but then again Gatineau Park is full of hidden gems. The Carbide Wilson Ruins Hike was one of those hidden gems, the moderate trail leads to an old mill that is open to explore and provides an insane view of the neighbouring rapids. The mill was built by Canadian inventor Thomas Wilson in 1911. Originally from Princeton, Ontario, Wilson discovered a process for creating calcium carbide, which is used in the production of acetylene gas, the mill was closed in the 1960’s and turned into a monument for the public’s viewing pleasure.

The crew

The crew


The excitement was real.

The excitement was real.

Proud of this shot.

Proud of this shot.

Arija the resting Buddha

Arija the resting Buddha


Airja performing her nature calls

Airja getting that pro shot.



Who’s down to Kayak this thing?!




Beer sippin’ & Snowball tossin’

This picture has a lot going on.

This picture has a lot going on.

Matt's new modeling photo for the upcoming Twilight movie haha

Matt’s new modeling photo for the upcoming Twilight movie haha.

Views from above

Views from above.


Nature is neat.




Deciding the best way to get down the rapid.

Deciding the best way to get down the rapid.


Most of the time was spent in awe of the rapidly flowing water, throwing snowballs through the mill’s old windows, taking photos, polishing off some cold beers and just enjoying being outside with the homies! Also, if you ever find yourself in the park wandering around, once you’re feeling hungry, I urge you to check out the Chelsea Pub, they feature their own brewed beer which is unbelievable and the food is spot on!

That night Aaron took us to his new place of employment, Mulligans Golf Bar, a pub filled with golf simulators, that’s my kind of bar! After consuming a ton of alcohol, performing thousands of golf swings and a sore stomach from the continual laughter, we headed home, ordered some food and hit the hay!

The following morning Kayley and I said our good-byes, and took advantage of the beautiful day to enjoy the drive ahead. If you are ever driving from the Toronto area to Ottawa or vice-versa, we recommend taking HWY 7, it’s filled with rad views, small little towns and tons of places to get food and taking pee breaks.


Silver Lake Picnic Area

Getting those feet wet.

Getting those feet wet.


Thanks to Kayley, Arija, Aaron, Molly and Matt for an awesome birthday, you guys are the best and it’s always the best of times, sorry I missed everyone else but we will back soon! I can never be away from Ottawa for very long.