August 6, 2015 Van Conversion No Comments

My van had a carpet floor, it didn’t look really bad, but I wanted something better looking and easier to clean. After doing some research on the internet I found the following common practices:

  1. Soundproof / Weatherproof the metal
    • I used rubber mat from my workplace for free
  2. Plywood plank
    • From used pallets, the plywood is really good with 15mm of thickness. I will probably use some for the bed too. This pallets were used to transport solar panels.
  3. Vinyl floor, they are really easy to clean and good looking
    • From KR Flooring in Auckland, it was an awesome experience, they have cut-offs in a very competitive price and the guy even made me a 50% discount and gave me a cutter and a doubled side tape roll.

Here in New Zealand was pretty hard to find most of the products for soundproofing that I read about, so I finally decided to use a used rubber mat from my workplace.

Day 1: Getting material, destroying pallets, cutting plywood

First of all was breaking apart the pallets with a wrecking bar and a hammer.

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Second point was cutting the plywood to the right size. I used the old mat in the van as a template. After marking with a pencil the dimensions I got the electric Jigsaw  and cut it to the right size.
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Day 2: Fitting plywood and rubber mat

I wanted to put the rubber mat, because I read in the Van dog traveller blog that was very good to reduce noise, it didn’t work that well for me, maybe because the engine is behind the seats and is almost impossible to reduce (more) the noise. I also used some flash tape because Van Dog traveller did, not sure how it  will help me and it is very expensive here in NZ (Bunnings).

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bitumen sheet flash tape… Not really worth it

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double sided tape and flas-tape with bitumen

 

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cutting the rubber mat

After fitting the rubber mat, was time to cut the plywood to the right size. Unfortunately using the template didn’t give the perfect size. We used the jigsaw and some sand paper to make it the right size.

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plywood fitting

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plywood at the right size

Day 3: Screwing wood, fitting vinyl and glueing it

This was the part I was more scared about, I was not sure how to attach the plywood to my van, I was not sure about screwing it to the metal floor because I was afraid to go through and touch any mechanical part, valve or cable. I finally did. I used Tek screws to do it and so far it still works. This helped me to put the two pieces of plywood on the same horizontal level and assures me that the vinyl floor will not move around.

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Secondly it was time to cut the vinyl to the right size. I followed the recommendations of Van Dog Traveller and worked pretty well. I used the double sided tape to stick the vinyl to the plywood.

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fitting the vinyl floor

Conclusions

Total time: 6h

It was not as difficult as I though and the screwing of the plywood was quite easy too. The only problem is that if one day I need to access to the metal for some particular reason, I will need to make a mess. For a second time I want to remember:

  • Templates are really good, I should have use it to first cut the vinyl too.
  • If I had to pay I will not have used the rubber mate
  • Don’t buy the flash tape
  • Think on a way that removing the plywood will be easier. Maybe screwing after fitting the vinyl?floor
Written by oriolSP
Siempre curioso, salí en mayo de 2015 a explorar el mundo, iba a ser un corto viaje y se ha convertido en una forma de vida