Jolly July - A Progress Report

Posted in The Honey Badger Diaries

Jolly July - A Progress Report

Slow, steady, streamlined is what’s happening with our Honey Badger. Blueprint? There isn’t one. Plan? There isn’t one. So how are we going about this conversion you might wonder? We’re feeling our way. Like building a tree house,  we’ve got a tree and branches, we've got the platform and the outer walls are there. Now we're going to squeeze in an entire house and hope the wind doesn't take it away, let our branches be strong and willowy. A lot of brainstorming happens.

Our faith lies squarely with the engineer on the project. The very able Earl Buntman. Engineer, inventor, carpenter and master craftsman. When things go slightly akimbo I just go back to my mantra “Earl is a perfectionist”. Last week I happened to see a guitar he’s building. A work of art. With the finest inlays, delicately positioned, each piece of wood perfectly laid. A labour of love, dedication and passion. The wood used is all imported at great expense from various parts of the world. Redwoods, beech, maple and a dozen more I can’t remember. The timber and the timbre has to be perfectly synchronised otherwise the instrument is of no use. This knowledge gives me peace of mind. With Earl there’s no favouritism, it’s all or nothing. Perfection. Nothing else matters or will be tolerated.  He deserves a standing ovation!

It was with mixed feelings that I watched our Honey Badger leave the safe compound at Boland Engineering last week. “Its progress”!  I know! But we were so happy there. Every person who worked with or around our vehicle treated us so kindly. We experienced nothing but good humour, patience and professionalism knowing full well we were often in the way, holding up important work which would benefit the real business at hand. We were the charity case you see. But not a word to make us feel in the way, unwelcome or uncomfortable. Thank you Hanli Roothman and your compliment of very able staff, you’ll never know how much we appreciate everything you did to make our stay in your workshop so memorable. We realise that at times you must’ve felt really frustrated, but you never showed it or expressed it and I thank you. Now that you’ve got more space my wish is that every harvester, tractor or heavy machined implement in Worcester needs a service and that they’ll all knock on your door. I know that’s where they’ll get the best service in town. It’s service like this that makes living in a farming community and small town so special. Thank you.

So, the fresh water and fuel tanks are fitted. The battery compartment is ready to go, ladders, spades, spare tyres, high-lift jack, has been fitted. All the heavy welding has been completed, the window casings have been prepared and the windows have been delivered waiting to be installed. The entryway from the cab into our living quarters has been completed, just waiting to be sealed.  The roof has been prepared for the solar panels and Earl says our "deck" is ready for a sundowner. 

Mental plans have been drawn up, some sketches have been made. Some too ambitious. The “island” bed has been measured up and the frame has been built. The initial frame had sharp corners, these have been rounded, so no broken toes or bloodied shins we'll have. The bathroom has a designated space, as space is limited we’re still thinking about fittings and fixtures and how we’re going to position them for optimum convenience, always keeping in mind comfort has to be a priority too. We would hate to have regrets or frustrations every time we make use of our lavatory. We need a good flush, good pressure in the shower and somewhere comfortable to brush our teeth.

There are a few headaches cropping up e.g. our dining area has to double up as a computer workspace too. I have in mind a permanent workstation where all our laptops, chargers, printer/scanner etc. will be safely stowed with an easy changeover system for dining or watching a movie. Therefore the seating must be comfortable, the desk/table interchangeable and the extra space optimally used for housing an Engel freezer, stationary, cutlery and a small library. We’re conceptulising.  A tall order. 

On Thursday Andrie Everson at Pro-fitment fetched our Honey Badger and drove her to his premises for the electrical wiring. I presume the pipes and square tubing, to channel gas to the inside as well as outside burners will be done now too. As well as the piping for water to the kitchen and bathroom. As their specialty is air conditioning they are installing that into the driving cab.

Earl guesstimates that we might be able to go for a test drive at the end of the year. Too ambitious? It might sound like ages, but the year has rounded a corner and soon-soon contractors will be downing tools for their annual break. Not long to go now.  "Our home will be where we park it!"

If you have any ideas, recommendations or tips please send us an email to we love ideas and would hate to reinvent the wheel.   The red landrover comes all the way from France, so with a little effort anything is possible. 

Our travelling companion will always be "Earl" the Honeybadger.