Part 1 over 10 work days
This portion of the build actually spanned over a month, but, with my spinal issues, I would work for a few hours one or two days in a row, and then skip many days, and even a whole week to not over due it with my back. Had I been working under "normal" conditions, I could have had all the panels covered in 2 days instead of 5. Be that as it may, it was beneficial to have had the reigns pulled back and take the time to do it correctly.
2015 Ford Transit Cargo Van.
Primary uses: Hauling Art Booth and Inventory to shows, as well as recreational camper.
Medium Length. Medium Height. Loaded up front. Slide door side step, exterior upgrade.
Added: Driver/Passenger Side Steps, Window Guards, Hood Guard,Tire upgrade to 245/75/16
Van project #1: Insulating and carpeting the wall on the driver's side. Installing a pull out slat bed behind the driver's seat. After the March Road Trip, I'll complete the opposite wall.
Van project #2: Install screen doors in the Slide Door, and the rear Barn Doors.
Van project #3: Installing Maxxair ceiling vent/fan, insulating ceiling, and finishing off with carpet.
Van project #4: Solar Panels and battery bank.
Van project #5: Sub-Woofer.
Using the Existing panels as templates for the carpeting. They are like plastic corrugated cardboard panels, but heavy duty.
Using 3m 90 adhesive to attach the carpeting to the original van panels after cleaning them.
Bare Van walls will be cleaned before installing the insulation panels.
Van carpet is ready to be marked.
Using indoor Outdoor carpet from Home Depot. This is Elements Sky Gray. Thin, pliable. Easy to cut. Velcro will stick to it, and that is appealing to me.
Here you can see how flexible the carpet is. That's where folding the carpet over the panel will be very easy. I'll use clamps to hold the materials together after gluing.
Four wall panels on the drivers side are all cut and marked. Next step will be to use a hole punch for all the plastic clip points, then, adhering and clamping.
Second Day Work
Today I went to Home Depot to buy pink panel insulation. .5" thick. Also picked up some insulation wrapping in a roll which will be used around the panels to eliminate squeaking.
When I got home, the hole punches I ordered arrived in the mail, so all my marked holes have been knocked out.
Laid out the panel, and the carpet, applied the adhesive, and clamped. Since I have a limited amount of clamps, I did the fold over work in sections so everything had good bonding time with the clamps on.
Brought the finished panel into the Van, and I have to say, it looks damn good. :D
Tomorrow I'll grab some more clamps. The next panel is one of the large ones, so I'll need them.
3rd Day Work
Knocked holes were holes go in the panel that is top and just behind the driver's seat. Be sure to use a piece of rubber, poly board, or thick veg tan leather under your material to keep that hole punch sharp. I'm using Leather Crafting hole punches with a Poly Mallet.
Laid the adhesive down thick to make sure the center of the carpet/panel stick together for the long haul.
A surplus of clamps is never a bad thing. I got these at a surplus/salvage store. 6 for 3.00.
2 more panels to carpet up. On my next days off from work, I'll take the van to my folk's house. They have a garage big enough for the van, and I need to heat it all up inside and out above 60 so I can start to glue insulation to the wall, then cover up with these panels. :D
Day 4 of work:
The last large panel is carpeted and clamped. Letting that dry overnight before I move it. I've done up a vid on my phone. A bit of a demo on how to apply the carpet to the panels. Note: Craft paper is used under everything so I don't get glue everywhere, and after it dries, I use it again.
A bit cramped in the basement, but it's January.. otherwise I would do this in the garage with the door open to allow for better ventilation. One more small panel to knock holes into, and adhere to it's panel, and that wall will be ready for insulation.
Day 5 of work:
I finished attaching carpet to the last and smallest panel of that wall. I inspected all the panels to make sure they were ready to be installed.
Went to Home Depot to get the smallest roll of fiberglass insulation, some more spray adhesive, and some thing foam like insulation for smaller spots that need covered.
In the photo below you can see the first lower panel installed. The existing plastic clips worked fine with the carpeting on. But, anything thicker will not work with original clips.
That first panel had some of the thin foam insulant behind it, but the clips then didn't work.
The lower wall to the right of the panel shows the fiberglass insulation in place. One thing I learned working in the outdoor industry, is Loft = Good insulation. With that in mind, I did not over pack the insulation.. but left it to be lofty.
This second image shows both panels installed. That second panel won't even be seen, as my pull out bed will be in that space, and part way down the first panel. 6ft to be exact.
Day 6 of work:
Moved operations over to my Folk's house because they have a garage my van can fit into, and it's heated so all my glues will work properly. It's far to cold outside to work on that sort of thing.
The upper portions of the wall had the deepest empty space pockets to fill. I took thin insulation foam and sort of "framed" the space, so when the insulation panels are in place, vibration won't cause "squeeking" with foam on metal.
Here you see the front half of the wall, and I used 3M "77" spray glue. 77 is heat resistant so I choose to use it on the metal to insulation for vertical hanging. My thought is it will hold up better when the thing is hot. Same thing was done to the back half of the wall. The tape you see was removed after glue was dry.
Both wall portions have 2 layers of insulation panels, and I allowed over night drying before adding that second panel.
Day 7 of work:
This day involved installing the Slide Door Screen I purchased from Van Upgrades. The screens are made in the USA, and are custom to Sprinter, Transit, etc..
A family friend is in the Auto Installation Business, so he assisted greatly in the installation. After watching him, I'm confident I could install the second screen door at the back of the van.
I've already had a wooden floor put in on top of the stock insulated and rubber floor that came with the van, so there was some modification work that had to be done to fit the screen properly, but this wouldn't be an issue if the original floor was the only thing to deal with.
The system in which the screen is installed involves removing the door gasket, running 1/2" velcro along the inside of the metal the gasket fits over, then stick 2" velcro to the 1/2", and it's done so the gasket fits overtop the 1/2" part, leaving about an 1.5" of the 2" velcro sticking out. This allows you to hang the screen door, and remove it easily if needed. The screen can be rolled back and secured when not in use, and the Van slide door closes with the screen up, open, or closed. :)
The rear door will be installed on the next "warmish" day before the trip.. hopefully.
Day 8 of work:
With all the insulation properly dried, and no more heated area needed to continue work, I drove the van back to my house, and installed the carpeted panels over both half of the top portion of the wall. My 2x4x8 is bolted to the van wall via existing threaded van bone holes. This board will be used as a mount for my bed, as well as having eyebolts running along the top, and exposed bottom for extra tie down points. Another board will run across the top, but, Home Depot ran out of bolts, so I must wait to hang the second board. However, this does not hinder the installation of the bed, so that is next.
Day 9 of work:
Wayne Yoder, Amish Woodworking extraordinaire is building my bed. I showed him pics and vids of the slat board pull out bed concept, and from that he gleaned enough info to roll with it.
Left: Basic Bench portion frame. It is 6ft long, 24" wide in bench mode, and will pull out to 48" wide.
Right: Showing how he's working around the wheel well.
Left: Showing his corners and how he's connecting to that wall board. Right: We see the slat layout. The frame board straddling the bed is there only because Wayne was done for the day when I took the photo. The longer boards are the board that will slide out. They will be trimmed even to fit in that frame.
Left: That's about as close to a dovetail as you can get. Right: I wanted to leave ample room behind the driver's seat for seat adjusting, and there is a tie down point there at the floor under those straps that I wanted to remain accessible. During Art Show Mode, that space will be where I slip large framed pieces of work.
Left: I'm thrilled with the amount of storage that's under the bed. That's a full size Rubbermaid bin.
Day 10 of work:
Wayne finished up the bed. HUZZAH! There is a small error in the width of the bed, but that can be corrected after my road trip. To have the frame of the extension part close flush to the bench is what I want, Right now it closes about 5 inches from the bench, taking up more floor space than I want. I didn't have the heart to tell Wayne that after all the great work he's done. Here's the bed fully extended. I'll decide what to do with the "skin" of it while traveling. Should I paint it? Carpet it? Stain it? Panel the sides so it's enclose with hinged doors, or, leave it open for more stowing options? The road will help me decide.
LEFT: The bed in it's closed position. Even tho it is 5" longer than it should be, my Therma-Rest Dreamtime camp pad fits it about perfectly. Right: Extended Mode, two of my other Therma-Rests fit perfectly.. which these two pads also fit perfectly inside my Mountain Hardware Hammerhead 2 person tent.
This wraps up the van build until I get back from my road trip in late March. In April, I'll start the process on all over again on the opposite wall, then move on to the fan/vent, ceiling, etc...