I feel so conflicted having to buy so much stuff to execute this van conversion, while in the midst of getting rid of 80% of my personal belongings. Stuff is supposed to be disappearing, not multiplying. I take comfort in the fact that most this new stuff is very much necessary.
For the past twelve years I’ve been making do with a $30 Ryobi cordless drill. It takes 8 hours to charge, and will not go through wood without a fight. It was time to upgrade. This Makita compact power drill and impact driver set has great reviews, and from what I can tell so far, has earned them.
In preparation for installing solar, I’ve done some preliminary, grossly overestimated calculations for energy consumption. You can plug numbers in to a spreadsheet until you’re blue in the face, but until you actually take the time to measure your true energy consumption, a spreadsheet of estimates won’t get you very far. The Kill A Watt should help me figure out how much power each of my devices draws, and should go a long way toward helping me plan an appropriate solar setup.
I seem to attract pricks. Maybe it’s my personality. I have never known anyone to run over as many nails and screws as I have. It’s rare that one of my tires doesn’t have a slow leak, so it’s important to me to always have a working 12-volt air compressor in the car at all times, and a reliable tire pressure gauge. In fact, I like to carry two gauges, because how can you ever be sure that one is accurate?
In addition to these items, I’ve purchased socket bits, primer, paint, wire wheels, a hacksaw, and more. Any fantasies I had of completing this conversion with minimal tools have completely vanished. Since tools and gadgets make my life easier, I can’t say I’m disappointed, but my wallet does feel lighter than I’d like it to.
One of these days I’m going to tally up all my expenses for this insane project. I’m really interested to know how much money I’m spending on tools and gadgets alone. In the interest of complete transparency, I will keep you informed.