Progress has been slow due to our trip to Spain, but this fortnight the van’s gone from just having bits of plastic and duct tape hanging from the roof to being fully lined and insulated, with the floor down and the tongue and groove walls up. Even the back windows are in! This might be because Naomi’s dad’s helping us out with the woodwork… and the measurements… and the windows… But apart from all that, we really are doing some work, promise.
By the end of the week we should be on to building the bed and kitchen counter, all going well. We may even fix the lock on the sliding door, and finally stop shutting ourselves in the van. For anyone also doing a van conversion, read on for details on what we’ve done so far; although to be honest we’d recommend reading a blog where they know what they’re doing.
After getting the van back from the garage with its shiny new wheel arches we ripped out the old floor, sanded off any bits of rust, and used a rust resistant paint to go over any weak spots. Using spray adhesive and duct tape we put up a vapour barrier over the whole of the interior metal to prevent it coming in contact with condensation, then filled the spaces in the bodywork with insulation. For the large gaps we cut recycled Celotex to size, and stuffed smaller spaces with recycled plastic loft insulation. We then put up another layer of vapour barrier to stop the insulation trapping condensation, and to add more protection for the metal behind.
The floor is 12mm plywood, cut into three pieces to make moving it around easier, which was stuck to the floor ribs with glue and screwed in the corners. We cut boxes from the same wood for the wheel arches, and then worked our way up the walls with tongue and groove boards, first screwing a few batons into the metal frame, which we then screwed the wood to.
The rear windows were cut following instructions on YouTube videos, and seem to be stuck good (so far). The next step will be fitting the skylights, before putting up the tongue and groove on the roof and bulkhead. We’re saving the bulkhead for last, partly because we’re so very excited to work out the fiddly angles and strange shapes, and partly so we can use any leftover offcuts to try and fit it. Then it’s on to building the bed and kitchen counter, and fitting the bulkhead with some sort of cupboard… Let’s see well how that goes.