Originally known as TheVan44, the MiniVan is the first keyboard designed by TheVanKeyboards.
The keyboard initially shipped as a kit that included the PCB, an aluminum case and plate, plate-mount stabilizers, and assembly hardware. After the first few rounds of MiniVan group buys, the board was sold on TheVanKeyboards.com both as a kit and as individual parts for users looking to customize their build or upgrade an existing board. The PCB has seen many revisions over the years to improve PCB design, add more layout options, and implement features like PCB-mount stabilizers, a USB C port, RGB indicators, and Kaihl hotswap sockets. Several different and unique cases that support MiniVan PCBs have been designed both by TVK/Trash Man as well as community members.
Following the closure of TheVanKeyboards.com, TheKey.Company acquired exclusive rights to produce and sell the MiniVan, including existing PCB and case designs. As a result, new MiniVan-compatible products that have been designed by Trash Man have avoided using the name "MiniVan" and the "Van" suffix altogether. After deciding to implement port scanning on future PCB designs, Trash Man has adoped a nautical-themed naming scheme for newer projects (e.g. Ketch, Skiff, and Hull).
According to the creator, the original design goal for the MiniVan was to create a unique 40% keyboard that could be used as a daily driver. The design objectives were as follows:
More information can be found about the history of the design on this archived About Us page from TheVanKeyboards.com
The MiniVan is traditionally a tray mount keyboard that uses M2 screws to secure the PCB to the bottom case. This allows users to build the keyboard with or without a switch plate depending on their own preferences. There have been several other cases designed for MiniVan PCBs that use alternate mounting methods as well as multiple PCBs that retain compatibility with MiniVan cases.
KLE available here: http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/b6d6a56c69e3d90da893288694332229
Nearly all MiniVan PCBs support multiple bottom row layouts to allow for flexibility and customization dependent on each user's preferences. Not all revisions of MiniVan PCBs supported all of the layouts listed. Information about supported layouts for individual PCBs can be found on the page for each PCB linked in the section below.
Support for these layouts can be found on nearly all TVK/Trash Man designed MiniVan PCBs
These layouts require custom keycaps or stabilizers and may not have explicit support in the configurator
There are three iterations of the official MiniVan PCB that were included in keyboard kits. Later versions were also sold as standalone PCBs on TheVanKeyboards.com
Several other PCBs designed by TheVanKeyboards/Trash Man have reimagined what is possible in the MiniVan form factor
Many community-made PCBs have been designed to fit into MiniVan cases and have brought unique features and layouts
Plate files and case dimensions for MiniVan PCBs can be found on the Files page
There are several cases that were sold during different rounds of MiniVan group buys
TheVanKeyboards/Trash Man designed and produced mutliple standalone cases that were sold without PCBs
There are several community members that have designed their own MiniVan-compatible cases that bring unique features and mounting syles