I thought I'd write a blog to talk about what's going on with us at the moment.
A few days ago we asked Facebook how you lot would feel about us doing a fundraiser for a new van and we received a really positive feedback from all of you.
As a lot of you know now, after nearly 4 years of being on the road, our van isn't capable of being our home for much longer, due to it being unlikely that it'll pass another MOT and also the fact that we have outgrown the van to the point where we are just sleeping ontop of all of our work materials, supplies, merchandise and stock for most of the year. It feels urgent because Doozer is fully booked for a summer of festival gigs. So this is a pretty crucial time for us to get on with sorting out our van home for the year.
Initially we tried to save up for a new van by ourselves. Our savings aren't moving quickly enough though and spring is arriving really really fast!
We first decided to go to the bank and ask for a loan, as initially we thought we'd need a much larger amount of money to get a newer van and kit it out. We were declined. The reason for the decline was unclear, even after we contacted the credit company. It didn't even matter that we could afford to pay the loan back. I suspect that we were declined because our incomes are erratic from month to month throughout the year and we don't tick all of the neat little boxes that society wants you to fit in.
Anyway, a couple of days later we spotted a van for sale online, which coincidentally was exactly the sort of van we wanted, it was going for a really good price, AND it wasn't far away from the gig Doozer was doing on the weekend. So we decided to go and have a look at it. It is perfect...AND on the paperwork, the lady bought it off a guy called "Paul James" which is ALSO Doozer's name!!!! Is this fate?
We want it. It's going to cost just under £2,000 to buy it and we have only £700 put aside so we need to generate £1,300 to buy it.
We spoke to the lady yesterday and told her we'd love to buy the van, however, we don't actually have enough money for it. So we told her our situation and that we could do an online fundraiser for it. She told us that she'd like us to buy it, so she'll hold onto it for a WEEK for us, but after that she'll have to sell it on as there is some biker bloke who wants to use it to shove his muddy bikes in! So we're limited on time here, if we don't get this van it won't be the end of the world. It'll just be a lot harder to find something else that's the same sort of van going for a similar price in a shorter amount of time.
So, we have set up a gofundme page to raise the initial £1,300 we need just to buy it.
We have only one week though. You can help us get this van by donating here:
We will obviously also need help kitting it out once we have bought it too.
So we have set up a few things to help us along the way to making our van into our home.
We've got #VANLIFE t-shirts, jumpers and hoodies for sale, using the recent design that I used on the video. This is available until the end of this month only, and we will get the money a few days after the campaign ends. So all money from t-shirts and hoodies will go towards kitting our van out.
And I have also made prints of the design available too, they are UV poster prints, available in 6 different colours, 22cm x22cm. Have a look at those here, if you fancy one, £10 from each print will go towards actually buying our van, and kitting it out.
So, you're probably all wondering what we will need to do, and buy to "kit" our van out.
Here's a list of things that will need doing... our friend EL who repairs and kits out cars and vans for a living will be helping us with this, he hasn't come back to us with a quote yet but as soon as he does I'll update this blog about it. We'll both be helping him with all of the work so that cuts down costs a bit and I think most of what we do will be made out of reclaimed materials and second hand goods.
Those are the IMPORTANT parts:
- Firstly, we'll need to insulate our van. To keep the weather out, keep us warm in winter and keep us cool in summer.
- Then we'll need a mattress, to sleep on.
- Kingsman/celotex/ecotherm 25mm foil backed PIR insulation
- Damp membrane
- Timber battens for walls/ceiling, and floor to insulate that too.
- 6mm ply for lining walls ceiling with
- Timber battens for walls
- Gas pipe and isolator valves, regulator
- Cable for leisure batteries
- Solar panels and cable and controller
Everything after this is will be just things that we NEED but not the most urgent as some of this stuff can be bought along the way. We just want anything that needs to be built to be done in March as that is the time that we are all available to work on the van. After that we're all very busy people, on the road and hitting festival season so it will be a lot more difficult to do the work whilst on the road and living in the van.
- A small log burner, to keep warm on cold nights (El will be making this for us)
- Kitchen area, we will need wall cupboards floor cupboards and surfaces - We will all be building this. A cooker would be nice but it isn't urgent as it can be fitted in later on. As long as we have the kitchen structure fitted in we're good.
- Gas Hob
- Gas oven
- 12 volt/gas Fridge (We might not get this, it's just on the list for now)
- A sofabed - To sit on, and if we need a spare bed on the road for whatever reason while we're on the road, we got it.
- A small table and chairs which will double up as a working area/office and somewhere to sit and eat at mealtimes. This is something we lacked in our current van so it feels like a luxury thing that we want, but to us it will change everything as we'll finally be able to actually get our work done when we need to!
I've drawn up a rough first draft plan of what our layout will be like, this may change depending on our work when we're building it all.
We'd absolutely love it if you guys could all help us. This is literally everything we've done for almost the last four years and I don't want this to stop anytime soon. We are both aware that many of you are in a similar boat to us, not a lot of people have a lot of spare cash kicking about, so don't feel guilty if you can't contribute in any way. We would really appreciate you guys just spreading the word about this and sharing our videos, our links and our posts about the t-shirts, the prints and the gofundme. Just showing your friends and getting the word out would be amazing enough.
Here's our video we made for Facebook. Doozer has recently written a song about our current van, this is just a clip. There will be a full length video coming soon, plus a download of the song. Doozer is also going to be doing a LIVE Facebook video tonight as well so keep an eye out for us!!!
Obviously if we get this van and kit it out, we plan to keep hold of it for as long as it takes for us to buy something newer and longer lasting. We'll be saving up our pennies from all of the merch and all of the gigs and artwork and everything for the next couple of years.
So if you can't support us now, show up to a gig sometime, we'd love to see your face and have a drink with you.
The Famous Artist Birdy Rose