Sara Liberte's bug-out van build has been progressing nicely, so she...
Two months ago, we introduced traveling photographer and videographer Sara Liberte and her new bug-out vehicle project, the Battle Van. If you haven’t already read the introduction to this build, we’d encourage you to do so now — here’s a link to that article.
The short version is this: Sara is building a 2017 GMC Savana cargo van into a fully-equipped all-terrain home on wheels, and we’re following along from afar to document the transformation. This isn’t some weekend warrior project that’ll be collecting dust in Sara’s driveway most of the year. It’s her every-day bedroom, kitchen, storage locker, and her transportation to remote photo shoot locations. She’ll be living in this van for extended periods of time, and using it to store her camera, firearms, emergency gear, and communications equipment as she drives from assignment to assignment.
A lot has already been accomplished since we last wrote about the Battle Van. First, Sara brought it to Pro Tint in West Virginia for some window tint to provide much-needed privacy.
Then she headed to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to meet David Adams at Clever Crow Fab. David lined the interior sheetmetal with DEI boom mat, which will dampen outside noise and vibration, allowing Sara to get some shut-eye even if the wind is howling outside. It’ll also improve the sound quality of the sound system (more on that below).
Next, a custom Truck Vault storage compartment arrived, and David hoisted it into the back of the van. It’ll serve as a platform for Sara’s mattress, and includes two slide-out drawers with massive capacity. It also locks securely, so Sara can keep her valuable gear inside and away from would-be thieves.
David also applied his fabrication skills to create wood countertops, cabinets, flooring, and a roof panel with inset lighting. An internal battery and electrical system is also in progress, and Kicker speakers will be installed to upgrade the weak factory GMC stereo.
An Aluminess Products roof rack was also bolted onto the exterior, and fitted with large solar panels from Zamp Solar. This will allow Sara to keep her computer and camera batteries topped off, and recharge the vehicle’s electrical system throughout the day, even when she’s in the middle of nowhere. She eventually plans to put in a backup generator to fall back on in emergencies — as the saying goes, two is one and one is none.
The Battle Van is already shaping up to be pretty dang cool, so we’re looking forward to see what’s next. We’ll keep you posted as the Battle Van receives more upgrades. In the mean time, check out Sara’s blog or follow her page on Facebook.