Van build part 1: Insulation and sub floor

Before much could be done in the van everything needed to be removed that the previous owner added.

van 2
Photo from day 1.

Since he was using it as a work truck there were parts bins and E-track screwed to the walls.  An impact made quick work of the self tapping screws used to hold all the track on and voila!  An empty box.

Empty box

After that the plan was to start insulating.  The interior panels were mostly all screwed in with sheet metal screws so it seemed easy to remove them, insulate, and then put them back in.

As you can all see, the van was already insulated.  Just very poorly and the rodents decided to fill up a panel with hickory nuts!  Can’t blame them, it is a pretty cool van!  There was also the issue with that one panel you can see hanging down on the left side, it was riveted in on the bottom with the wheel well rivets and had to be cut out.

My neighbor across the street, Mike, took interest in the project.  We talked for a while and he gave me 5 – 1″ x 4′ x 8′ sheets of of polyisocyanurate (say that 3 times fast!) foam boards.  These have a reflective layer and a supposed R-value of ~R6/inch, much higher than the loose fiberglass insulation which has an R-value of ~R2.5/inch.  All of the old fiberglass stuff was removed and saved for later use, then 2″ x 2″s were screwed to the floor/walls where the divider wall to the cab goes.  This needed to be done before the foam boards could go on the floor. So far van modifications have costed: $0.IMG_3934

The next day after work Sasha and I ran to home depot for some supplies.  A sturdy floor that can have stuff easily screwed to it was a must.  Since this stuff was on sale for $10 a board, we got 5 – 4′ x 8′ sheets of it.  It is 7/16″ OSB which should make a fine sub-floor.  Before the wood was cut the floor foam was pulled back out and the small metal panels in the corners were removed.  While it was all empty the panel that needed cut out was also removed, finally!

When the foam went in the full 4′ width was at the back, resulting in the 3rd piece being only ~24″ wide up against the divider wall.  So when the plywood started to go in it was started at the front to avoid the seam of the foam being in the same place as the seam for the wood.

Measure twice, cut once!  It fits like a glove!  The only issue there was getting the sub-flooring in was that last piece needed to be pulled up to make that small notch for the door latch.  I’ve also decided that all the metal panels that were removed won’t be going back in.  They’re too heavy and really just not needed.

That’s all for this installment; next step is the vapor barrier and actual real flooring, then walls!

Stay tuned for more!!!

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