Getting the walls up was the necessary next step following the installation of the floor. Unlike the floor, the walls definitely required a lot more planning, such as what materials we were going to use, how the cuts were to be made, and how to insulate efficiently.
Insulating was more or less the easy part, like the floor, we used the same Duro-Foam insulation on the sections where it was applicable. The interior of our van, like many other types of Cargo Vans has an interior metal wall that is mean’t to have shelving and anything similar attached to it since the main users of these vans are either Hydro, Roofing, and Plumbing companies. The foam was able to fit nicely in certain sections but much of the interior wall is raised from the external siding of the van, making it impossible to use the foam everywhere without loosing more space. Luckily, Kayley’s mom had left over Roxul insulation laying around and worked awesome!! First off, it’s made out of recycled materials, Indoor Air Quality Certified, solid R value and it can be stuffed anywhere! Kayley was able to stuff it in every nook and cranny where the foam was unable to cover.
Through the many of trips to Home Depot, research and sound advice from Dennis (Kayley’s step-dad) we decided to use Harvest Cherry Plywood for areas that will be visible (bed area, doors and behind the kitchen counter) since it’s aesthetically pleasing and strong, then the other spots were covered with MDF Pressboard since it’s less expensive and easily manipulated.
Cutting was the hardest aspect of this process, there were lots of recuts, trying to get each piece to fit flush with roof, floor, wheel wells and adjacent walls had its challenges. It’s fair to say my powertool and cutting skills increased during this time.
As for attaching the wall pieces, we used Self-Tapping Metal Washer Head Screws to fasten directly to the interior wall, the plywood is quite thin and under pressure due to the shape/angle of the wall, so having a washer-head ensures the screw doesn’t rip through the wood along with pulling the wood tighter up against the metal interior. On the passenger side, where the bed will be, we used a single wood strapping to help pull in the wall and allow it to sit flush since the interior had some odd shaping to it. Through some trial/error, the wood walls eventually became the supports for the foam insulation underneath. We were having trouble getting the foam to stick using both construction glue and duck tape due to day time humidity we’ve been experiencing this summer. We eventually figured out that the wood would be tight enough against the interior that it could secure the insulation enough from moving around and falling out of place.
The finish of the Mahogany Ply was nice, it was one of the reasons we bought it, but a couple weeks ago Kayley came across a Hemp Oil that could be used as a wood finisher. We decided to paint it on the Mahogany to see what happens and luckily it turned out great!! It really darkened the wood to a beautiful dark red and gave it a more protective finish along with a nice smell (Not the smell you’d think haha). We didn’t coat the MDF Ply since it will all be eventually covered by the bed and storage area.
Like I stated earlier, this step had it’s challenges. Getting the walls to fit straight and flush was difficult, we were constantly having to go back to make cuts. The van walls aren’t perfectly straight, meaning the walls have to be bent, making it hard to judge the length and shaping of the wood pieces. But we eventually got everything to fit accordingly. The creases between each piece are going to be covered by some sort of trim and/or strapping for the bed and storage units.
-2 Sheets of DuroFoam: $25.40
-2 Sheets of MDF Plywood: $38.68
-2 Sheets of Harvest Cherry Plywood: $72.00
-1 Bag of Roxul: Free! (If we did have to buy it: $50)
-100 Pack of 8×1″ Self Tapping Metal WasherHead Screws: $10
-1 Strap of 1x2x8 Framing Lumber: $1.02
-1 Can of Hemp Wood Finishing Oil: $10
Next were onto the covers for the wheel wells, putting up the roof and laying down the vinyl floors!