Hello! My name is Kaya, and I’ve been living in a sprinter van for two years now. (You can see more of my vanlife stuff at OneChickTravels.com) I’m a rock climber, and when I can’t climb I get cranky. BUT on those rainy days when I can’t go outside for too long, I can usually find a tree to park under and a place to set up my hang board.
This hangboard is cool because it is removable, I slide it on to my van and then off again super easily. Here’s how you can make your own!
(The caveat is that this specific design only works if you have a T1N Sprinter Van. The newer vans don’t have a rain gutter lip in the same space, however, if you get creative I’m sure you could make this work with any van.)
Here are step by step instructions for installing your hangboard
Buy a hang board. I got mine as a present from a friend – it’s the Metolius Project Training Board in green.
Create a plywood backing for the hang board.
I would recommend placing the hardboard on your piece of plywood and tracing around the hang board. Then use a jigsaw to cut out the shape and sand down the sides. Extra training points if you do it by hand.
Create a ‘J’ shape with the galvanized metal piping and secure the pipes to the plywood backing.
The pipes used in my hang board were galvanized steel pipes with some ’T’ joints and elbow joints. Basically, you want to create a J shape with the ’T’ joint in the center of the stem of the J. This is the spot that will hang on the rain gutter lip. I highly recommend wrapping this ’T’ joint with tape so it doesn’t cause damage to your van’s paint job. Attaching the pipes to the plywood is just a matter of drilling some holes and screwing down some bolts. You can use lock tight to keep the bolts from ever moving again if it suits your fancy.
Attach the hang board to the other side of the plywood board.
Hangboards come with predrilled holes so you can screw them in to walls, so this step is pretty easy. Just screw the hang board onto the front of your plywood backing.
When I use my hangboard I do static motions only, and I highly recommend that anyone installing this version of the hang board do the same. I tell people there is a 160 lb weight limit, but I’ve never tested that theory. It seems to me that you really don’t want to stress the rain gutter of your van to the point of failure.
Good luck out there, and train hard!