Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Oct 4

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Notes from a few more days of #vanlife in Iceland: . - The Wi-Fi that comes with the van is great. As far as we can tell, it’s tied into the GPS/sat tracking system and has made coordination/chatter between the vans in the group a lot easier. The only quirk is that it cuts out a certain time after the shutting off the engine. Sometimes opening the door is enough to get it back on (connected to the dome lights?) but sometimes a quick start of the engine is necessary. . - Fit out of our van is super basic. I almost brought a bag of 3M Command Hooks and now totally wish I did. In vanlife, everything has to have its place, but at least if you lose something, you know it’s gotta be in here somehwere. . - My planning usually revolves around sub 3hr drives, but we’ve discovered it can be hard to get our devices (phones, iPad, Bluetooth headphones, etc) charged in that period of time, and this van disconnects the 12V outlets when the ignition is off. We ended up buying a second two port 2.1 amp 12V USB charger for about $20 which also allows us to get the two small backup batteries we brought topped off for use overnight. . - Depending on your layout, look into renting a folding table and chair to setup inside the van for cooking and eating. With three on the bench and one in the chair, we can serve up dinner for four inside when it’s raining or cold. . - Car seats in a van are a pain, especially if the rear bench doesn’t have Latch/ISOFix (which most don’t). You’ll have to bring a locking clip for the seat belts and just hope your marriage survives clipping them in each morning. At the end of the day, we toss them into the front seats which gets them out of the way but makes reaching anything else up there a pain. . - And finally, kids will adapt to anything if you give them some space and freedom. Check the pics for their techniques for getting “upstairs” to their bed/play area. Before we left on the trip, Mae was saying she wanted to be an ambulance (no, not an ambulance driver, an ambulance) when she grows up. Now she wants to be a van. . - The big supermarkets in Iceland are Bonus and Kronan and have the basics you’ll need. Of course, you’ll need to do some guessing on some of the Icelandic packaging. Cooking with a single burner certainly limits your culinary motivation to some extent, but with a deep DC cooler fridge, you can eat pretty well on the road. . - The gas stations in Iceland usually have a couple pumps with card readers and the others you need to pay inside. The card readers take PIN cards only. Note that if you press the “Fill Tank” button, it will precharge you the max amount and refund the remainder within a few days. . - Heat is provided through a Webasto unit under the bench that works great for the small space. They told us to run the engine after every three hours of use. If you’re coming to Iceland anytime other than the peak of summer, I’d recommend bringing or renting sleeping bags. We rented along with the van and have been glad we did. #vanlifewithkids #roadtripwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #iceland