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Author Topic: What to do first ?  (Read 821 times)

Amandine BRS

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What to do first ?
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:17:23 PM »
Hello !

I just bought a Sprinter, I read all things you should do in your van conversion, and so on... I am confused about what to do first ? ? ?

Should I put the ventilation fan first  and then the isulation ? Or should it be at reverse ?

I was thinking about those steps in that order :

1. Insulation
2. Electricity
3. Floor and walls
4. Ventilation
5. Furniture (bed, kitchen, and so on...)

Would that be correct ?

Amandine

Camper_Dan

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Re: What to do first ?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 01:17:32 AM »
Greetings and Welcome!

Roof vents, or any other holes in your roof are a bad idea, they're one of the biggest problems in all types of RV's, they require a lot of maintenance and always leak at the worst possible times.  Even if you don't have windows in the back that open, there are still better ways to provide better ventilation than roof vents.

After having built out cargo vans, and lived in one, I have to tell you I wasn't impressed, but if that's what you have, that's what we'll work with. 

The floor is a good place to start.  Passenger vans have about a 1" felt pad on the floor.  This provides both sound deadening, and excellent insulation.  It also wicks any moisture away from the metal floor.  Carpet is then added over that pad, to finish the wicking process.  Some people prefer hardwood or vinyl floors, which I think is a mistake, but regardless, basically nobody seems to install them correctly.  There's only two ways to prevent moisture build up on the metal, either ventilation or to wick it away.  Hardwood or vinyl prevent wicking, so you must build a floating floor, with ventilation underneath.  No matter how much insulation you add to a floating floor, it won't provide the sound deadening of a passenger van, but floor insulation is probably the most important place to insulate.  You don't want to trap condensation below your floor.  You can't prevent it, so you have to deal with it.

Next comes your walls and ceiling, ribs first.  If your ribs are curved, the easiest solution is to add new wooden ribs, beside the existing ribs giving you flat interior walls and ceiling.  Depending on the van, sometimes I add extra ribs.  If you have ribs about every foot or so, it makes for very sturdy walls and ceilings. Once you have straight ribs to build upon, the whole job becomes much easier. 

You will want to add something like yoga mats, or the puzzle mats, closed cell foam mats  to the exterior walls and ceiling to prevent them from 'ringing' while you're driving.  It is best to cover your whole walls and ceiling with this, using a generous amount of spray adhesive.  These mats provide both insulation and sound deadening.  Whether you think you need more insulation is up to you.

Before you put your interior walls and ceiling in, it's time to think about wiring.  It's best to keep all of your wiring easily accessible.  The top corner where the ceiling and the walls meet is a popular choice, running the whole perimeter of the interior, concealed by easy to remove trim panels for where the walls meet the ceilings.  Some people prefer to run their wiring down the inside of their walls, while others prefer to run their wiring on the interior side of their walls.  I prefer the interior side, so that all wiring is easily accessible without removing wall panels.  It's easy enough to disguise it so it looks good.  I tend to run my wires down a gap between wall panels, then cover it with a piece of easily removable molding.

If you choose to use conduit for your wiring, thread a piece of twine through along with your wiring, so that if you need to add more wires later, you can tiie them to the twine and pull them through.  Attach another piece to twine to the new wires, to replace the existing one for next time.  Properr planning can help prevent a lot of future headaches.

Let me know if you need more...

Cheers!
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Amandine BRS

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Re: What to do first ?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2018, 09:46:51 AM »
Waw, thank you for all those details.

I will be in very hot weather, I want to know that me, and especially my dog, we will survive. That's why I was thinking about the fan.

About polyurethane van insulation ? Is it a good choice ?

Camper_Dan

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Re: What to do first ?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 01:09:35 PM »
Greetings!

Polyurethane is fine for insulation, but don't forget the yoga mats, or you'll be in for a ton of road noise.

If you're going to be in hot weather, roof vents alone aren't going to keep your dog safe.  Shade will help the most, and if that isn't enough combined with ventilation, then you're going to need either some form of air conditioning or possibly a pet cooling pad.

Cheers!
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