Introducing Moby, Our Big White Van

Many of you have been asking us how our van is working out. I’m excited to report that Moby is like a dream come true! But before I continue to gush about how awesome the van is I feel like I should publicly give a cheer to all mini van owners because until a few months ago I thought mini vans were LAME. Soooo here it goes… hooray for mini vans!

Honda Odyssey Named Moby 

My neighbor Gail deserves all the credit on the decision to purchase a mini van because she was the one who brought up the idea of us buying one in the first place. When I laughed in her face she went as far as to poll her mini van-owning FB friends and the Honda Odyssey was the winner as far as performance and internal space available (translate: room enough to sleep inside). Gail was also the one who thought up the name Moby, so she definitely deserves a huge shout-out (even though she’s a UofM fan).

It was a good sign when our other wonderful neighbors Debbie and Kathy hooked us up with their friend who happened to be selling her Odyssey. One test drive was all it took for us to become the owners of a 2004 white mini van with a tape deck, cd player, electric seat adjusters and lots of room.

Building the Sleeping Platform

Researching different ways to sleep in our van was really fun and interesting and for a few days I literally obsessed on ways to creatively and affordably turn Moby into a camping machine. We didn’t have a lot of time (or expertise, or tools) to build anything but the universe works in mysterious ways because our friends Tara and Troy actually had a platform sitting idle in their garage. We went to their house on a Saturday morning and left with a 4 foot x 4 foot platform in our van! Troy had built the platform for his Odyssey but hadn’t used it in a while so he was more than happy hand it over to us (after he did some fine-tuning so it would fit in our ’04).

The only issue was that we are both taller than 4 feet… so how were we going to sleep on it? We went over to our friend’s house and Justin whipped up a 2 foot extension piece for our feet. He attached it to the 4 foot platform with hinges and BAM! Room for our legs. When we sleep we fold the 2 foot piece down and when we drive we fold it back up so we have room behind our seats to access important things like food, etc.

We had to buy a few things to complete the platform (like the metal plumbing pipes for the back legs and wooden legs to brace the extension piece when it’s folded down). I tacked an old sheet over all the wood to keep splinters away. Perfect.

unnamed (1)unnamed (4)unnamed (3)

The Most Comfortable Bed Ever

Since the bed itself has become an item of curiosity for many I’ll break it down for you, layer by layer:

1. Wooden platform covered with a purple flat sheet tacked on to keep splinters at bay
2. Two yoga mats laying side by side
3. Two Thermarest inflatable backpacking sleep pads (held in place by the yoga mats), one for each of us
4. Two-inch memory foam mattress that our friend Karl gave us
5. All layers are held in place with a fitted flannel sheet
6. Two sleeping bags
7. One super cute quilt that my SUN kids made for me with help from the volunteer instructors Sharron and Joy


Things Fitting Perfectly Into Other Things

I’m pretty obsessed with making this happen! I’ve always loved how boats and RVs employ the smartest use of small spaces. Fold up, pull down, fill it, stack it, yes! I’ve pretty much taken over the van management because I really enjoy transitioning everything from daytime to nighttime and back to daytime again. Everything has its place and being organized means quick access to anything at any time. Systems.

No Peeking

Covering our windows with towels for privacy is still how we “tuck ourselves in at night”, but our windshield is big — too big for towels. We were in Cedar City Utah when a light bulb went off in my head… I remembered that my friend Jenni used a reflector shade in her car on hot days… so we made a trip to the store-which-shall-not-be-named to purchase one for Moby. Who knew we’d end up with such fancy sun shades?


If you’re crazy enough to be interested in all the smaller details just let me know and we’ll drive over to give you a tour.

3 thoughts on “Introducing Moby, Our Big White Van

  1. I love your blog! I read every word , which is great right? The only problem here is that it makes me miss you two so dang much! Don’t worry, its all good, I’ll be alright. Keep on doing what you two crazy kids do! I look forward to your next post.

    ps – Vinny still wants to know when you kids are coming home…..

  2. I am SO excited that the bed worked out for you two. I am very jealous of your untethered adventure. Keep up the blog posts so I can live vicariously through your experiences, and begin to dream up how I can make it a reality for my family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *