VAN LIFE WITH SERGEI BOUTENKO
“According to Alan Feld, owner of Field Van (previously known as Sportsmobile West), there are two types of van people:
- Folks that live out of their vans
- Folks that live in their vans
“Kiley (my wife) and I fall into Category A, we live out of our vehicle. As such, our van build is modular and minimalist. It’s basically a room with a bed, plus various types of storage. Thus, when we cook, clean, shower, and go to the bathroom, it all happens outside our vehicle. Additionally, all of the furniture/features inside my van are designed to be removed completely. When I need to use my rig to haul stuff, I can loosen a few bolts, fold up my three-panel bed and have a nearly empty van in about 30 minutes. I think this type of setup is ideal for people who use their rigs as a daily driver and go adventuring on the weekends.
- VertiRack (surfboard/paddleboard/kayak rack)
- Prime Design no-drill aluminum ladder and roof rack
- DIY plastic pallet roof-top deck (for sightseeing and napping)
- Road Shower (pressurized solar shower)
- 100-Watt solar panel
- Bump Step (hitch-mounted step)
- DECKED System (two drawer storage)
- Custom steel three-panel bed with tri-fold mattress
- Kong cooler in place of a refrigerator
- Three solar generators (Inergy Kodiak, Anker Powerhouse, and EcoFlow Delta)
- Various LED lights (to help us see in the dark)
- Camp Kitchen by Trails Kitchens (portable kitchen box containing stove, dishes, utensils, etc.)
- Cargo nets for storage
- Seat back organizers by Overland Gear Guy
- A few Tailgater Tire Tables (tables, which mount to vehicle tires)
- Insulated privacy curtains by Adventure Van Co.
A NOTE ABOUT DECKED DRAWERS SPECIFICALLY
“The DECKED drawers under my bed are one of my favorite features of this van build! First, they allow me to store a wide array of tools, tripods and camera equipment safely and securely. Before I popped this system in my vehicle, I was perpetually worried about injury from random flying van junk. Unsecured metal objects and inertia from a moving vehicle are a recipe for disaster. Conversely, carefully stowing objects in large, lockable drawers gives me peace of mind that anybody who rides in my van will make it to his/her destination unharmed.
“Additionally, DECKED Drawers are extremely easy to work out of. As already mentioned, I keep tripods and camera equipment in my DECKED Drawers. When I show up on-location to film, it’s ridiculously easy to climb out of the driver’s side door, walk around to the back of my vehicle, open both rear doors, slide out the DECKED Drawers and start setting up for a video shoot. This workflow keeps me organized, reduces gear loss, minimizes equipment exposure to weather and enables me to conceal high-valued cameras when working in public places. It’s a dream to work in this fashion.
“Finally, DECKED Drawers are made from bombproof plastic/metal parts, so I never have to baby my drawers and/or worry about damaging anything. This is a beautiful thing!”
Thanks for sharing your build with us, Sergei! Catch up with him on his website, his YouTube channel, or out on the road. Keep an eye out for next month’s featured build and submit your own using #DECKEDUSA.