Ambulance Build 10

The holes… they’re getting pretty demoralizing.

We’ve made so many holes. Drilled through that. Cut through the other. Jigsawed this… just… holes holes holes. Holes for propane pipes. Holes for electrical wiring. Holes for stoves. Holes for cabinets. Holes for cat flaps. All the freaking holes.

It got so that we were both “I don’t wanna go out in the cold and make more holes.” every time we had to start a new day of van work.

Yesterday was different. Yesterday, we started in on the floor! We still have more holes to make, but we’re done with all the holes that were preventing us from laying the floor.

Step one: lay down some Reflectix.

kay installs reflectix
kay installs reflectix

Step two: lay down some underlayment

kay installs underlayment
kay installs underlayment

It wasn’t clear to us which we should do first. I’m thinking it doesn’t really matter much as both should act as a vapor barrier.

Yes, we realize that Reflectix doesn’t count as insulation. It’s purely for reflecting radiant heat. That being said, we can’t actually install insulation on this side of the floor. I can’t actually stand up straight under the grab rails or the heat / ac duct. I can only stand up straight on the sides. Even adding the Reflectix was a question.

You’ll notice I’m wearing socks. It’s literally almost freezing outside, and there’s snow on the ground, but our shoes tracked in water, so every time we came into the ambulance we had to take off our shoes. Our feet were freezing.

Step three lots of cutting.

kay cuts laminate flooring
kay cuts laminate flooring

It’s surprising just how much jig saw cutting we had to do. We were expecting zip zip zip with the miter saw, but no. Lots of weird cuts. A table saw would have been very helpful for most of it, but we don’t have one of those. At this point I’m kind-of regretting not getting one at the start of the build. It would have improved a lot of things and saved a lot of time. Easily worth the money. Of course, we couldn’t fit it in the garage with the other tools…

weird cuts
weird cuts

Anyway. It all came together and I can not tell you how absolutely ecstatic I am about it. It looks great, and more importantly it’s forward progress on the build that isn’t just destroying and or putting holes in things.

the new flooring in the ambulance
the new flooring in the ambulance
closeup of new flooring
closeup of new flooring

To finish off the day we routed the edge of the door we’ll be installing between the cab and the back. When we’re done, anyone looking in the cab will just see more gray automotive carpeting and no hint of a tiny house in the back. We were going to add the automotive carpeting tonight, but yet another trip to Home Depot, and the supermarket, and increased complexity in what we’re going to do with the back side of it… Well, we decided to wait until tomorrow.

routing the door
routing the door

Dachary and I both love being able to put nice rounded edges on things. It’s not necessary, but it’s such a nice touch that just makes things that much better.

When we weren’t putting more holes in things, or cutting doors, or installing trash cans (behind a hole), we started putting together a new first aid bag for this vehicle. I brought in the other one, to make sure we laid it out identically. Despite all our spare first aid stuff, and the starter kit i got the bag with, we still ordered another ~$200 worth of stuff to go in it.

On the one hand we love being first responders and knowing what to do in a medical emergency. On the other hand, a real first aid kit that’ll actually do anything more than put a band-aid on your “boo boo” is not cheap. I want to say it’d be nice to be ignorant and not spend all this money and space, but really it’d suck to be injured and not have access to good kit, or knowledge of what to do with it. We may not get many serious injuries, but our kits get a fair amount of use. Even if it’s just digging out an exceptionally deep splinter and keeping the would sterile.

building a new first aid kit
building a new first aid kit

Side note for those curious:
It’s laminate flooring. We were going to go with “Pergo Outlast+” because we’ve had good experience with Pergo in our last build, but the current Pergo offerings kinda suck. They look fine, but the moment you see a light reflecting off of them it becomes painfully obvious that it’s just an image printed on them. We went with “Home Decorators Collection” brand because they did a really good job of putting artificial texture that matches the grain of the wood. Some of the Pergo colors do that too, but not the ones we were interested in. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. I do wish there were more variations. I think there are like 6 different prints, so you have to very careful when laying them out to avoid accidentally putting repeating boards right next to each other.

About Kay

An old-school geek, addicted to travel, with a love of programming, writing, Esperanto, and starting businesses. -- @masukomi on Twitter.

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