Paved To Pines Blog

Laying Subfloor & Vinyl Planks In Your Van Conversion

Posted by Paved To Pines on Jul 26, 2019 1:33:05 PM

Do I Need A Subfloor in my van conversion? 

Yes! A subfloor provides a solid surface in your van conversion to secure your finished flooring to. Without a solid subfloor, your finished flooring can lift, crack and warp. Another plus of subflooring is to protect your  floor against moisture and mold in a damp environment. This is something you need to be very careful from when doing a bus or van conversion.

 

MATERIALS

  • 1/2" to 3/4" Plywood (For Laminate Click Planks, Luxury Click Flooring, Luxury Planks Glue Down)
  • 5/8" to 3/4" OSB (everything but glue down products)
  • Insulation (Rigid or Reflectix)
  • Self tapping screws
  • 3/8" to 1/2" Plywood for furring strips
  • Seam Tape
 
 

Do I Need To Run Studs/Furring Strips

No! It is possible to fasten your plywood subfloor right to the van metal flooring. You would want to run furring strips when you plan on putting insulation between your van metal floor and subfloor. Ask yourself what you plan on using your RV for and in what climates.

 

Should I use Plywood or OSB?

We would suggest you use 1/2"-3/4" plywood. Plywood is stronger than OSB, so if you do go with OSB be sure to use at least 5/8". If you plan on using a "glue-down" flooring, you will want to use plywood for proper bonding.

Step One: Furring Strips

 

Furring strips on a Sprinter Van floor. (3/8")

  • Furring strips are used to allow room for under floor insulation to keep you warm in your vanlife travels. You can use spray insulation (cork at 1/8")
  • Cut furring strips out of 3/8" - 1/2" plywood at 2" widths
  • Place your first strip where the cargo area meets the cabin area (driver/passenger seat)
  • Mark out 16" spacing down both sides of the van with a sharpy or pencil.
  • Fasten a furring strip at every mark with either glue or self-tapping screws.
  • Once you finish placing your furring strips, lay/spray your insulation.
  • If you are going to use spray foam in your camper van conversion, make sure you cover each furring strip with tape so it does not get sprayed. You'll be scraping away spray foam for hours to be able to get a nice flat surface to lay your sub-flooring to.
  • Another note on the spray foam, be careful spraying into the pillar gaps, there has been horror stories of people over-spraying and warping their exterior wall panels of the van.

* Be sure to check under your van floor to insure you don't puncture anything. Another good practice is to silicone each hole you make to make it air tight.

Step Two: Subfloor

 

3/4" Subfloor covered in luxury vinyl plank.

This might not be the vans subfloor you're looking at, but its right under that beautiful luxury vinyl plank!

  • We lay the subfloor using 5/8" - 3/4" plywood sheets.
  • Measure from your first furring strip at the front of your van to the middle of the next furring strip and mark out any cut outs.
  • Overlapping sheets on the middle of each furring strip allows for enough room to fasten to your sub-flooring panels.
  • Run a heavy bead of construction glue across furring strip and then lay down your sheet.
  • Fasten with appropriate length screws.

* If you are using vinyl plank flooring or a glue down flooring, make sure to use a plywood with good-one-side (G1S). This provides a solid, smooth surface for optimal bonding.

 

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Topics: DIY

Finishing wall panels in a van conversion

Posted by Paved To Pines on Jul 26, 2019 12:53:09 PM
This is a guide for all you camper van conversion DIYers looking to create your wall panels with some extra flair by adding patterned fabric, vinyl, or carpet.

 

MATERIALS

  • 1/4" staples
  • Electric stapler (huge help)
  • 1/4" birch or maple plywood sheet ($20ish/sheet)
  • High Adhesion Trim/Headliner Spray Glue
  • Utility knife
  • Carpet/Fabric/Vinyl
  • J-Roller

Below the video are some additional tips you can use to help you with building the walls of your camper conversion.

Sorry, no audio because we were rocking some "Pour Some Sugar On Me" in the background and YouTube is being sour about copyright issues.

TIPS:

  • Cut the carpet with 1.5-2 inches of extra materials around the edges. You don't want to fall short.
  • Wall Panels are cut from your 4x8 1/4" birch.
  • Use heavy duty trim or automotive headliner adhesive for your panels. Elmers spray glue will have you pulling your hair out when your fabric starts to fall off. To be extra careful, especially with hanging panels like your roof, spray the panel and the material and wait 5-10 minutes for the adhesive to tack (see the bottle for instructions).
  • Once glued, carefully lay your panel onto your material and flip it, use your J-roller (or hands if you must) to ensure there are no air bubbles and that the material is pressed against the panel.
  • Once you have rolled/pressed the material onto the panel face, flip the panel back over so you see the back of the panel.
  • Pull the material over your wall panel and staple the side that takes the LEAST amount of pulling and stretching. This will secure a side for those tricky curves and corners that will need LOTS of pulling.
  • Use the staple gun to "hook" material and stretch further. MAKE SURE you check the size of the staples, the last thing you want to do is create this beautiful panel, have your fabric cut and staple through the front of it and puncture the other side.
  • Always pull tight to create the "tightest" looking wall panel. See the video on how to cut your corners properly into a little dovetail to make it easier on yourself.
  • Scotch Guard your vinyl wall panels when complete to protect from stains.

This will give you a beautifully covered wall panel for your van conversion. 

If you don't know where to buy product for your conversion, look for some local upholstery shops who will sell you some carpet or vinyl. Amazon also has some selection but it's hard to tell what it looks like in a small image.

Carpet & Vinyl commonly used in van conversions:

  • Duramax Carpet
  • Automotive Carpet
  • Church Pew Carpet
  • Interweave Carpet
  • Marine Vinyl

If you cannot find these from a local shop, give us a shout and we will do our best to help you out!

We hope this helps you on your DIY journey, if you have any questions or comments let us know!

Cheers,

Paved To Pines.

 
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Topics: DIY

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