Ceiling and Wall Panel Install

Material List:

Once we had established our floor plan, and started to frame the walls and cabinetry, it became evident that we were going to need a plan to put the finishing touches on the walls and ceiling areas of the van.

In order to accomplish this we began experimenting with 1/4″ cabinet grade plywood that could be easily bent to mirror the ceiling arch.

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After a little head scratching we locked in our plan. First we applied UltraTouch Radient Barrier insulation to the metal panels of the ceiling using 3M High-Strength 90 spray adhesive.

Then we wired the van for all the power circuits that would need to pass from the electrical connection area under the bed to the far side of the van serving pumps, outlets, lights, refrigerator, and water heater. Note that we used 12 and 14 gauge extension cord so that the cord sheathing would add an extra layer of protection from chafing on the sharp metal edges. In all aspects of the build we tried to allow for the wear and tear that wiring, plumbing, and other non-roadworthy items may experience.

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The next step was inserting cross nuts in the pre-drilled holes along the roof support ribs – these were located a few inches on each side of the roof centerline. The MaxxAir Fan and Coleman Mach 10 Air Conditioner were installed prior to this fabrication.

Starting at the rear of the van, we fabricated panels that would span from the center of one rib – to the center of the next rib – of the roof support beams. To hold these panels in place, and follow the roof arch, we used 3″ strips of the 1/4″ plywood to create battens. These clamped the ceiling panels in place using 1/4-20 stainless button head cap screws and the cross nuts. Along with the cabinets, rear factory electrical chase, and a fabricated cleat at the front of the van, this completed our ceiling.

With the system mock up done we were able to locate the puck lighting (from Superbright LED’s), install the second layer the insulation, and adhere fabric to the panels.

Similar to the ceiling panel work, we fabricated large sidewall panels behind each of the two couches and kitchen cabinets using 1/2″ plywood.

Everything including some of the metal pillars that would’ve been left exposed were covered in an automotive grade fabric that we purchased at a local upholstery shop, and it was adhered using the spray adhesive. We also wrapped the styrofoam crash pads above the driver and passenger seats and several other small detailed areas for a more finished look.

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