Thursday, January 21, 2010

22/1/2010 :

In October 2007 I was going to buy a Nikon D300 but realized that for the same price I could get a D40 and this van ....... [ the D40 turned out to be a good choice as well ! ]
[ 10/03/2010 - another 'photovan' in NSW ]

This was going to be my "photovan" for touring and photographing New Zealand , but first it would need some 'enhancing' ..... There was already a wooden floor so I added a lino .

Then the necessary items had to be located in an efficient manner . A computer desk and a large toolbox for locking away expensive gear . The outside of the van wasn't going to change much for a reason [ besides removing the signwriting ] , very conveniently it will stay shabby looking because there's no sense advertising the possibility of expensive gear inside !

The van has gone through many changes and modifications , including an awning that folds out from the platform on the roof and doubles as a place to take photos from when I need more height . [10/04/2009 ]
In the above picture the mattress was my bed on the floor but it was a nuisance having to clear the floor each time I wanted to sleep so I changed the system to include a board that goes over the passenger seat so the bed is always ready - without having to clear a space each night ! note the spare battery on the floor behind the seat ] .

The cooker eventually found a place on the computer desk
and this was recently upgraded to include a sliding table that still needs a leg to be added ..... The top inverter at the back is a 'normal' inverter and the one below is the same power output but since it is a "pure sinewave' inverter it costs 5 times as much . If you use a plain inverter it can damage electronic circuits in something like a camera battery charger that needs a proper power supply with a pure sinewave . the cheap 'square wave' inverters can 'confuse' the electronic circuits and they will either not charge at all or fry themselves . The cheap inverter does run a laptop ok however .

The left side recently became a set of storage bins for food and cooking gear ...

The inverters are 'necessary' to run the laptop .

The spare batteries , one behind the drivers seat and one at the back , are charged from the van's charging system - there is a switch next to the drivers seat that connects the extra batteries to the charging system once I get moving and the engine is running . I do this manually - I'm an auto electrician so there's no way I'm going to spend time wiring it up properly without getting paid !!
Every inch of the van is finding a use , a rechargeable torch is plugged in to the cigarette lighter socket [ one of 16 in total fitted to the van ] and the solar powered 'bug zapper' is also strapped down .

Every square inch .....

And the latest addition helps me find the places I visit in New Zealand !

As I get time I will add the photovan's adventures to this site .....

 It's first test trip was to Papanui point Ruapuke , Raglan ....

which was in the early days of its development ....

Then I added a small platform on the roof for the rally ....

eventually I got a bigger platform for the roof ....

Who links to my website?


  1. Amazing! Looking forward to more entries. What size propane tank do you use for your grill?

  2. I have a two litre gas bottle - when traveling I buy food when possible but for the 'wild' places I do a bit of cooking :)

  3. Thanks - it gives me a lot of fun .... even if it does use twice as much fuel as my 1500cc Nissan :)

  4. You are a man of many talents, Desmond.

  5. Man, you are a genious !! Oscar

  6. Hi Desmond, this is Brenda...

    Brilliant! I love it! It has everything you need, and the freedom to go where you want, when you want. How wonderful to wake up to beautiful scenery, and the sounds of nature, fresh air, -- plus all the home comforts necessary right within your own transport.

  7. Hi Benda , thanks - it is a good feeling to wake up to beautiful scenery :)