We have a 16 year old Ford Transit Van with a double raised top, so I can stand and move around in it, which is very easy in so many ways.
I once burned the motor. Well it wasn’t actually my fault, the waterpump broke down and there was no signal at all. We put in a revision motor, which cost a lot of money, but nearly not as much as a new car would have cost us. She’s growing old with us now and when her time has come that she will give up completely, will be the blackest day in my life, because we don’t have the money to buy a new one and there are no second hand ones with the double raised top.
Funcion 1: Temporary Camper
I change my van into a temporary camper, whenever I have to get on a more than one day trip, which is quite often in spring and summer. I don’t like sleeping in hotels/motels and I don’t like to stay overnight at friends. I like to be on my own.
I put in a complete single bed, I have a portable toilet, two coolers, a heater for when it’s cold, a small tv for when I get bored in the late evenings, a small camping cooker for my food.
I am a breeder of an old and rare sheep breed called Drenthen Heath Sheep and I’m an inspector of the breed. Travelling around my country in June/July and August to inspect the sheep from other breeders.
Function 2: Animal Transportation
Last Friday (October 30) I had to move four of my sheep to another breeder in order to get them covered by their ram. It was a two and a half hour trip. When transporting sheep, I put a special made pen in the van. Designed by my hubby and made out of wood. It looks a bit like a dog’s bench, but much bigger of course. As my van has no separation board between the front and the back, I can keep an eye on the sheep while driving. They stand in a thick layer of straw and I put some hay at the sides so they can eat if they want to. My sheep are travelling very comfortable. I don’t have a photo yet from my sheep in this van, never thought of making one, but next time I will make a photo and show it to you. In the mean time I’ll show you a photo of my sheep in the little Daihatsu Hijet van I use to move them from meadow to meadow.
However that Friday I went fishing some trout first. It’s in a pond at 1,5 hour drive from my home. I can put the car next to my fishing place and then I open the back doors and side door to let some fresh air in for the sheep. They don’t mind waiting a bit. They either eat their hay or lay down to chew their cud. I caught 12 trouts and 1 salmon that morning. I put them in the electric cooler which runs on my car batteries. I had put in a whole bunch of ice packs so the fish would stay cold till the next day.
Function 3: Moving Van
We have two daughters who happen to move around quite a bit and when they do, we’re helping them to move their stuff to where ever it has to go. At this moment my eldest daughter sold her house and all her stuff has to come home for the time being. So after I had delivered my sheep, I drove on to my daughter’s place and filled the van with tables, chairs, small chests and a lot of boxes. Her sister came over to help and she made a photo of the ‘moving van’.
Whenever I’m moving things or am transporting sheep, I can’t put my bed in the van. In that case I only take a pillow and a fleece blanket and sleep on the front seats. I can sleep anywhere I put my head down and I do that whenever I get tired of driving. I don’t park my van at any place because that wouldn’t be safe at all. I park on gaz stations and put my van in between the big lorries. I can close the doors from the inside and I feel quite safe that way.