Insulation came first.

I used Havelock Wool for the walls and 1″ polyisocyanurate foam board for the ceiling and floor.

For the floor:

  1. I removed all the d-rings from the floor and bought 2.5″ bolts that fit the threads. I took one de-ring to Home depot and the sales guy helped me find the right bolt. This would fix the floor to the can.
  2. I cut a template in cardboard, sized to the 4′ width of the foam board and future 3/4″ plywood.
  3. I cut out the foam board with a jigsaw. I screwed the bolts into the holes to mark the hole locations on foam board.
  4. I used the foam board as a pattern for the wood, cutting out the wood with a jigsaw.  I laid the foam board on the floor, then secured it with the weight of the wood.
  5. I joined the seams of the wood with a biscuit joiner.   I like this tool and will be using it again. I decided to do this because, with just six bolts holding the floor down, the seams felt vulnerable.  And because ZI didn’t lay any furling strips under the floor, I had nothing to grab onto with self-tapping screws.

For the ceiling:

I’ve not done it yet.  I’m finishing it with tin ceiling tiles. Because they’re so flexible, I’m beginning the ceiling on the upper curve of the wall. I think that will be the cleanest seam between ceiling and wall. I’m using 1″x4″ wood to build the frame for the 24″x24″ panels.  My guess is I’ll cut 24″x6′ strips of board, held up by the wood framing.  I’ll post a blog / video when I do it.

The next step: major planning.

I worked out my layout in nearly every detail in advance. But nothing is ever final until you get in the van and work around all the curves and ribs. Nothing is even.  It’s like the inside of a whale.  So adding the furring strips and the framing of the bed, shower and kitchen takes some thought.

The first thing I did was draw a center line on the floor, a perpendicular cross-line where the bed seats end, and I hung a plum line from the ceiling.  Then I drew the layout on the floor, measuring everything out from these lines.

The bed frame is 22″ high, with 5″ cushions.

There will be a step up from the rest of the floor, so when seated, it’s the height of a standard chair (approx 18″). My electric and water will be under the bed, mostly under the 6′ x 24″ part.

The shower framing:

My shower pan is 21″ x 32″, and I want it butted up against the rise from cargo to cab so I have maximum kitchen space. That means I have to cheat the shower back wall (angle it, to make room for the driver’s seat) while still giving the appearance of a square exterior shower face. I’m thinking I want to cut into the 2×4’s so the lip of the shower pan can slide in .5″ to steal a little extra space. The biscuit joiner might be good for that. What a great tool. I used it on the floor joints.

Furring strips on the walls:

I expected this to be easy. It’s not.  The purpose of furring is to have something to attach the walls to and some additional security for attaching the furniture. I plan to bolt things directly to the van walls using rivnuts and Secure everything to the floor as well with angles.

So I’m not enjoying the furring strips at all.  Getting the self-tapping screws to go through the metal is a bitch. I’m using some rivnuts and some self-tapping screws because the rivnuts are a breeze. Another cool tool. Plus making it so the 1/4″ wood strips all lay flat and have something to attach to is taking planning and a lot of trial and error but I think I’ve got it now. It always looks like people just throw up furring strips, but the van is so curved with jutting out parts. I’m not having that experience at all! I hope I can frame out the window / cargo door so it looks less like a cargo door, but I’ve not even begun to tackle that yet.

My COVID art project…

That’s what this is. The decisions are all artistic ones, choices of good design, working form to meet function.  I’ll be making a video after I finish the furring.  There are so many how two videos out there. My videos will be more about answering questions people have and sharing specific issues with my design choices.

Here are closeups of the design.  I’m in love with the Cuisinart air fryer. This is a great #vanlife oven choice.  I can cook 3 large chicken breasts in 15 minutes, and they’re juicy and delicious!