- Ken Ilgunas
A picture tour
Ever since my article published, I’ve been giving lots of tours. For those of you unable to make it to Durham to see the van for yourself, this picture tour will have to suffice. I published my first “tour entry” way back in January of 2009.
Here’s the dash. The van was bought a little over a year ago for $1,500. I’ve put about 1,000-2,000 miles on it (about 122,000 overall). Unbelievably, I haven’t had a problem with it yet. Even the cruise control still works.
This is the area in front of the passenger seat. I'm not sure what was in the hollow space before.
This is my 12-disc CD changer under the passenger seat. I didn't realize it came with the van until I conducted a thorough inspection after my purchase. Some musicians therein: Tallest Man on Earth, Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, Bob Seger, Iron and Wine, Eddie Vedder, Gordon Lightfoot, and my beloved Neil Young.
The van came with Alan Jackson's "Superhits" that was found in one of the front door storage pockets. I've yet to give it a listen.
Automatic and fully-functioning doors and locks.
This is a shot of the van's rear. I use this space to store cereal boxes, camping equipment, extra books, laundry detergent, etc.
I also have a "hitch" feature, and some electrical socket that I assume I could use at campgrounds.
I wear my gray sweatpants (pushing 10 years old) and long-sleeve-tee to bed. If it gets really cold, I'll put on my gloves and a hat, though I've only had to do that once or twice this winter. I also have two pairs of thermal underwear. I've only had to use them a couple times this winter as well.
I use a bag of spare winter clothes (thermal underwear, extra gloves, etc.) for my pillow.
Windows are tinted and have shades. I have three large windows that I can open like this one below.
I bought this cutting board from the salvation army for $1.50 to tie the room together.
My tupperware. Sometimes I cook extra food to take to campus.
Here's my TV and VCR. I've turned it on once just to see if it works. It does.
I splurged about $45 for this headlamp. It was an excellent investment. When I turn it onto its "low" setting, I can read and cook in the van with little threat of people noticing the light from the outside. Three triple-A batteries last a ridiculous amount of time; something like 250-300 hours. Why fill a room with light when you can only see in front of you?
A knife I got from a skilled knifemaker in Ontario, Canada when I went on a canoe voyage across the province. I keep it with me for protection from car thieves who I've yet to have a problem with.
I lost my old waterbottle so I bought this one from Rite-Aid for $3. I fill it up every 4 or 5 days.
Here's the suitcase I brought to Durham with me. It now houses all my clothes, except for those that I hang up.
This is a converter I can plug into the cigarette lighter. Only works when I have the car running, so I've rarely used it.
Feel free to visit for a real tour!