After just over two months of owning Rover the van, the interior conversion is complete! My Dad built a solid (and only slightly crooked) raised bed frame over the dog crates. I was worried there wouldn't be enough room with an almost full-sized bed raised over two feet, but the van proved to be gigantic enough.
The frame still allows me to access the side windows to help air out dog breath. There's room along the wheel wells for storage and a spot for the spare tire in between the crates. I can even slide some stuff between the crates and the plywood support layer. Most importantly, the bed is actually comfortable.
Another victory from the past month was finally securing a roof rack for my cargo box. I ended up buying cross bars and attaching them to the van's existing U-shaped rack. Now that the cargo box is up there, the van is just under nine feet.
Since all the major work is done, I've begun to develop an irrational (okay maybe somewhat rational) fear that the van would die on me. I took her in for an oil change and maintenance check, and surprisingly, everything is in relatively good shape.
Our first overnight trip will most likely be for the Mt. Misery dryland dog sled race in the Brendan T. Byrne in a few weeks. Fingers crossed she keeps on chuggin' along!